I was missing the waters, my fins were itching wanting to flip once again, so thinking of revisiting Samal waters after more than a year revived my spirits. Angel and I had this dive trip for the month, after missing our Coron trip last month. So one Friday evening after a long day at work, I gathered up my gears and boarded an ordinary bus for Davao. It was unfortunate that the tourist bus was already full when I got to the station. It turned out that the ride wasn’t too cold compared to aircon ones, although there were lot of stops along the 6-hour trip, I arrived safe in Davao much earlier than Angel. It gave me enough time to check in at DMSF, freshen up and got some rest from the long trip.
Angel and I proceed to Davao Scuba Dive thinking arrangements were made already but our contact called up to go ahead to Paradise Island Resort as we need to be back early for another appointment. We rushed back to Sasa wharf and cruised for the resort as it started to drizzle. Our contact Alan was very helpful suggesting to prepare ourselves and gear up as we will do beach entry. It was good since there were no other divers. He briefed us shortly about the sites which is just beyond the beach area. We were warned of the currents, but we informed him that we wanted shallow dive as Angel and I were both having colds!
There’s one thing I don’t like much with beach entries – carrying the gears on my back – but I was grateful, an assistant was helpful enough to carry it for me. I scampered the cemented landing as I was much behind from angel and the dive guide and descend the steps. My gears waiting for me floating on the waters, getting into my gears with the cool crystal waters felt so good. Gosh! I belong to the waters, indeed…
Our first ascend was at the coral gardens, where we found a concrete lying angel on a steel crib. It was submerged sometime ago as an artificial reef but sadly, we didn’t find any coral, crinoids or fishes. It was lying there more of an intrusion on the sea bed. Farther, there were lot of branching green corals, soft corals, damsels, clown fish on anemones, puffers. Angel spotted a moray which I missed. Some trumpet fish, wrasses, sergeants and sponges. There was current indeed, and it was bit ardous catching up. I signalled for a stop, when the guide finally waited for me with the Ok sign. I need to slow down… We ascend after we covered the two slopes in the area, our deepest at 14.8m after 46 minutes with 500 psi of my air. Angel and I was sad there was much trash underwater, we gathered handfuls when we end the dive.
Angel and I spent an hour for our surface interval at the guest area – short chat with the guide, listening to the serenade, sipping our fruit shakes, people watching and still deciding how much to give for our gift to Io 🙂 We decided to postpone lunch and just went for our last dive immediately so we could leave the place early for the afternoon function.
For our next descent, we brought our net bag for the trash and went further on the same spot top cover the last slope. Again, there was the green hard corals scattered, corals of other specie, basket sponges, soft corals. There were damsels, wrasses, clown fishes, sand perch and more. I spotted a sea cucumber, lot of black sea urchins and found just one crown of thorns! then we got into a field of colorful coral garden with lot of juvenile fishes. I spend more time there exploring , hopping on the corals and picking up trash we passed by. There was current again swimming against it, for some time we lost the guide as he went fast. Angel and I was left alone, and just explored the scenery. The guide appeared again and signaled for us to go back, drifting with the current was fun. Until we got to the sandy area, had our safety stop and finally ascend after 51 minutes with 12.2 meters as deepest, my air down to 800 psi. Our net bag was filled with trash! 😦
We hastily had bathroom routines, pack up gears, settle our bills, some pleasantries with the shop staff and bid byes. It started to rain again but it didn’t stop us to board the boat for our cruise back. The two dives was more than enough to have a good relaxing weekend with Angel. We finally cruised thinking for our next afternoon activity and later for the reception party at Waterfront Insular.
Angel and I was actually thinking about food! 🙂 The dinner at the Waterfront Tent, Margie’s Bakeshop or Blugrey Cafe in downtown Davao! Well, the good food and dining enthusiast in us was itching again…. 😛