Diving at Duka Bay

It was a bright Saturday morning – it was still early but I gotta be going – I was expected to be at the meeting place at 7:30am, I need to leave home earlier.  My bags were packed the night before to be sure everything I need is all tucked. It was bit exciting since this dive is a requirement from my diving instructor before I could have my lessons for advanced open water diver course with him.  It has been almost two years that I dove with him, so it’s some sort of reuniting with my fave instructor. Though its bit tense because for sure, I would receive many reminders and corrections from him J – but no worries actually, he’s so ever kind with me… 

I was carefully browsing the mag stand (nothing to do) when Mario arrived, glad to see him and we climb into the truck J – my mind is wandering with excitement for today’s adventure. All was guys, not uncommon – still a gender issue! I was introduced to the guys, two of them from NY and London – Fred & Andy but both Cagayanons.  They were bit amused buying fresh fish along the road – not found in their new place! They were amazed that big yellow fin tunas as abundant in MisOr waters, at super low priced compared in NY & London.  It was bit of long drive to Duka, especially that we have cargoes in the truck – tanks and other dive equipments.  We drop-by at Baling ni Juan for  breakfast – the guys need it while I waited for them. 

Mario has just opened his diveshop about 3 weeks ago here in DU Dy Beach Resort, the place is exclusive – outside Duka Bay Resort.  A modest shop still undergoing improvements – tranquil and idyllic.  We finally got into our gears after we waited for the crew who went to the palengke for our needs.  We will go fish feeding today!

 Duka Reef is a marine protected area, very rich in marine life and has lot of dive sites waiting to be explored.  Our first descend was in Paradise – drop offs, caverns, crevices gaily decorated with colored corals. It boasts of “alibuag”, a freshwater spring in the sea – a nature wonder!  I tried to go near and feel the gushing water… There were a  variety of fish specie in the area, we went fish feeding (don’t like it much) so it was an alive encounter with the  critters. Our companions enjoyed taking photos and vids. I ascend later than the guys as I still have more air, Mario stayed with me while the rest of the group left.  I took my time swimming near the reference line, finally ascend when Mario summoned me and my air down to 1000 psi.  We had a late lunch, enjoying the tuna – tinola, grilled and fried! 

 Our next site was Japanese Garden, we went fish feeding again – such a rich fish life!  They feasted on the bread, we were surrounded by varied fishes (please view the vids – courtesy of Andy). I was fascinated with the sight of fishes so alive circling us as if asking fro food.  I was even more delighted when I stumble with a porcupine fish – I had fun playing with it, and Andy was quick to get a short vid of my encounter. J I sighted an artificial reef, a big structure with corals, grasses, sponges and other marine critters – wonderful sight! I ascend later again than the guys and I spend more time roaming around near the ref line, finally surfacing when my air is down to 1000psi.

 It was another wonderful encounter, new things learned, new sites explored – more reason to come again as I will be having my advanced open water diver course with Mario.  Well, got an approval from him to have my lessons – and it must be soon.  It’s been long overdue and I need additional skills for a more enjoyable dives.  I will be back in Duka Reef again soon for more diving adventures…

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