Once More in Samal Island


Diving at White Rock & Mushroom Rock


For the past days I have been mobile due to work responsibilities, and the pressures of year beginnings got me.I was supposed to be at Sinacaban for a project meeting but have to travel instead to Davao for an urgent and equally important meeting. I was rushing my Notes to FS as it has been due already.For sure there will be report requirements again for this trip, more deadlines to cope up, consequently shorter sleeping time and more labor for paper works that come with it. 


Since my plan to dive in Dolphin Island was restrained I think otherwise to divert it to Samal while in the Davao meeting.So I pack my mask & snorkel in my backpack wishing I could find time for my great love – the underwater life!The meeting was too hectic – deadlines, reports & catch up plans – retiring for bed was always late. Nevertheless I took time to be with Io & Hope – sumptuous crab dinner at Asia Restaurant, eating native durian at Magsaysay Park and exploring People’s Park.It turn out to be a lovely night with them, haven’t seen them for ages and we’re animatedly talking about our next trip together! 


So after my breakfast and bidding bye to LAJ and HGV, I left Apo View Hotel for Sta. Ana wharf, DM Maeng told me to be at the dive shop at 8am. Well, my bags will go ahead of me to CdO. I was praying I would be feeling good as I lack sleep and had cholesterific meals. It was a bit down cast morning and I was thinking the viz wont be too good especially that there were rains in the past days.Being alone, I was glad to see DM Maeng, Keiko, Ernest with son Mark.I realized only three of us women (with Keiko & Montana) among 17 divers (I think) in the group – I could only wish females would not be outnumbered in exploring the underwater life.Hmmmmm, is this a gender issue?


We sailed off to our first site, while getting into chat with DM Arnold, DM Charlie, DM Yoyong & Allan – I wasn’t feeling perfectly well but praying hard I could make it thru the day… DM Arnold took time to point out those sites we had last time, we passed Talikud – I can’t help reminiscing coral gardens -I spent 65 minutes last time exploring the vast marine life in the area. It was an hour when we finally get into our first site, I would be with DM Charlie and a german national (I forgot to ask his name), we descend at White Rock – a wall dive with alternating currents as we go around.One time I was kicking forward but wasn’t moving, I didn’t find any diver ahead of me, I look back to find out that Charlie drifted away, I hastily followed them – I just couldn’t afford to be lost! We wandered into shallower part with hard & soft corals and smaller fish species, lingering for our safety stop.Funny was I float up no matter how I tried to deflate – though not completely on the surface. I was wishing Charlie would look up but he didn’t! In a little while, he went up with the deutsch man and joined them in ascending completely.


Our surface interval includes our lunch (I have no food with me, except water and mentos candy), Charlie shared his pack lunch with me (thanks Charlie!) well, this is about adventure with the boys!  There was lot of food actually, especially the Japanese group which had an array of yummy looking foodies.  I tried to relax after my lunch praying hard that I would feel better for my next dive – it felt like I was giddy.  Pewee & Ernest keep on story telling – crazy, funny stories…. He mentioned he dove at Banaug Shoal (in Mantangale Alibuag Dive) and enjoyed so much the big moray eels.


Our next dive was in Mushroom Rock – strong current!The instruction to descend was to go straight to the bottom and hold on before going around.I jump and drifted for Charlie – my belt went off and I requested for his help. We descend and I watched our companions flat on the sand holding on – an unusual sight for me. J It’s more of drift diving watching all those mushroom looking soft corals scattering around the big white rock, we passed a colorful soft corals area, fishes like anthias, anemone & clown fish, nudi branches and more but no groupers or jackfish or wrasse… I stayed near with Allan going around in tow with Charlie – carefully checking my SPG now and then…I joined Allan for our safety stop near a fish trap (actually I dislike seeing them in diving area) until he finally signaled for our ascent.Lingering on until the boat pick us up, finally getting into our refuge – thanks God I made it!I tried to relax on our way back to the wharf, I still need more strength for my trip back to CdeO.


Arriving at the shop, I helped myself for some tea – I just needed something warm to refresh me up. I planned to get the 8pm bus to CdO, but Pewee & Ernest overheard and discouraged me for safety reasons – they said going thru Bukidnon’s high elevated mountains is risky, going thru Butuan is more advisable.  My mind wasn’t conditioned for such long trip but it would be good I can come home.  Allan was too good-hearted to volunteer in bringing me to the bus terminal in his car – I was tired and all I wanted was curl up on my bed! 


Nevertheless, it was a beautiful Saturday – diving in Samal , meeting new friends, good weather and more….I’m looking forward for my next dive in Samal during our DIY Coron anniv trip on first week of March – Angel and I promised ourselves. I can’t help to be excited to explore the other parts of the island!  The Lord is gracious indeed….

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