Diving in Sogod Bay!

Limasawa Island – historic and spectacular… Mere mention of the island bring memories of  my History subjects back in grade school and high school – the mark when civilization started in my country.  But now, the island is more than just that, and I never planned to set foot on this place just for historical issues although I love discovering the roots of Philippines history.  Thinking of Southern Leyte gave more appeal to me and Angel – to discover its secrets in the depths which is more enthralling and exciting. And without much hesitation, we included it in our dive sites to discover in 2010!

 One New Place

Being our first dive trip together for the year, we look forward for this get away – work was too hectic for the past months and weeks and all we needed was a break.  We met up at Cebu that leads us to a night boat trip to Maasin, we’re going to some strange place and I trusted that things will work out well just like our previous trips.  The weather has been good but as we started to sail, the waters got too choppy, anticipating for a delayed arrival but hoping we won’t get motion sick.  Docking as early as 2am in Maasin port, it was still too dark and cold.  We boarded (after asking from a PPA guard) on a multicab for Padre Burgos, it took an hour for the drive but on the way we entertain ourselves watching the road scenery – old houses, churches and structures.  We asked the driver to drop us off at Peter’s Dive Resort – I guess Leyte people are generally friendly.  No sign of life when we got into the resort as we entered the gates, unknowingly the guard was asleep at the dark corner.  A staff got up to lead us to our cottage after asking our reservations.  Setting our heavy bags and still sleepy, we are grateful we arrived safe at the resort.  Making most of the time, we dose off for more rest – Angel ahead as I was setting up the UW cam.  It was good morning already instead of good night!  🙂

 Zach’s and Adrian’s Cove

I jolt from my bed, when Angel announced that it was already 730am – getting more than two hours sleep was  enough to start our day.  We hastily went to the shop to inquire and book for the morning’s dive – indeed, it’s for Limasawa Island! J We ordered for breakfast at the resto and noticed that the guests were all foreigners. We rush back to our cottage to prepare, it seems everybody and everything were set in motion already. It started to drizzle as we prepared to leave, but it doesn’t dampen our spirits, we cruised for about 45 minutes to our first site – we choose to take our time while other divers obviously excited jump to the waters ahead.  Well, they have to wait for us, Angel and I got into the waters about 8 minutes later as the boat had to turn back to the spot after drifting away.

 It was a wall, there were drop offs and we feasted with the rich marine biodiversity – varied corals, anemones, anthias, damsels, butterfly fish, pipefish, stonefish, moray eel, puffers, and lot more. I had to summon Angel now and then for the photos! DM Ronnie had to add weights for me, which I found disgusting – aluminum tank is making me lighter! I was adjusting myself with the weights and for awhile I keep on going down, the DM including Angel keep on hinting me to go shallower.  But the sights wee all to wonderful to behold, not yet totally disturbed by humans – it’s a marine protected area. The corals, crinoids were bountiful and too colorful. We stayed longer for our safety stop on a sandy spot with coral gardens, hopping and taking photos.  Angel surfaced earlier but promptly followed him when my air was down to 40bars.

 

Our next descent (after an hour of interval) was a little further but still in the island, like the first site it was rich with fish life, colorful corals – we even spotted greenish bubble corals which is uncommon.  I think there’s a mantis shrimp, colorful nudis, more puffers, pipefish. I swam through a barrier reef! J Angel and I spent more time over a coral garden going around and taking photos.  WE found some trash and finally surfaced when he got low air, we ascend first than the rest of the group.  Fortunately, the rains have stopped when we cruised back to the resort.

 More Discoveries

After a brief afternoon nap, we went to town for an internet café, my WCDMA connection is not working since signals were too low.  I need to change my flight back home for some error in time estimates.  Padre Burgos is laid back and rural but with friendly people.  But potential to flourish is not far for PBurgos with splendid dive sites, more people would be visiting the town, and possibility for more investors.

 We got back and waited for dusk as we were booked for a night dive at the house reef.  Dess is our dive master and gave us a short briefing. It was a beach entry and I have to get into the gears with the tank!  Something I never done before, I always put on gears while on the water and have it carried for me with an assistant.  It was tough, and Angel searched for my mask twice down the water as I have lost it while struggling with the gears. And when we descend already, I felt something was wrong so I signaled to Dess for ascent, I lacked weights!

 

The housereef is interesting, I guess night dive is more interesting as more critters not visible during the day come out and display their uniqueness. Colorful nudis, hermit crab, cleaner shrimp, a cute squid, grouper, sleeping fish, colorful reefs, puffers again, critter that looks like a spider, and more…  Our Saturday is indeed full, three wonderful dives all!   🙂

 We got up later the next morning and after a hasty breakfast, we rush to town to attend mass, it was drizzling again.  Well, the Visayas is not disturbed with the El Nino as it rained everyday. I was blessed especially that the African priest did well in officiating the mass, his song is inspiring and articulated his homily spiritually. We cancelled our snorkel as the water’s rough and cold.  We rested (like a real vacation!)  for the rest of afternoon and after packing up, left the resort for Maasin.

 We took refuge and landed at  Panny’s Bakeshop after roaming the streets in Maasin – getting our tickets, search for ATM, and looking for resto.  It was fortunate that wi-fi connection is free and so we’re productive until we board the boat for Cebu. The brief stay in Padre Burgos was too wonderful and we promise to be back to explore other rich sites in Sogod Bay. The Lord never fails to arrange things perfectly everytime, always…

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