Obviously, Camiguin Island is one of my favorite destinations for diving, aside from being accessible and cost saving, the sites are arguably teeming with marine life and less crowded from divers. Jigdup Shoal has been a far dream, it was not a usual “go to” site actually, to my mind I presumed it was for hard core divers.
There is always something new in my favorite island even if I come here again and again. We never thought we could dive in the shoal, it lies in the open seas and any changes in tides, current or waves can be risky. The DM told me that couple of days back the skies were overcast and the surfs were up, so he was hinting for Mantigue Island again for our scheduled dives.
The cheery morning greeted us as we cruised for Camiguin from Balingoan – beautiful sunrise, clear skies, calm waters – exactly what we needed for the day! I was smiling and hoping at the back of my mind for the shoal. 🙂 Indeed, when we arrived at the diveshop, the DM announced for the Jigdup Shoal trip!
We wasted no time as we cruised for the shoal, situated in front of Bohol seas. The wide, blue waters was unbelievably calm, so perfect for our dives! Again, the God of the seas favored us in that weekend sojourn. Our first descent was in Black Forest, the briefing limited us at 25 meters depth with maximum of 45 minutes. I guess our DM had repetitive dives in the past days, so keeping safe his profile. The rich diversity of marine life was not surprising, the healthy waters was decorated with hard and soft corals and teeming with fish life. Floating around in the midst of marine creatures felt like home. It was so engaging I fell into more than our limits without noticing my depth. But being back in the waters after six long months was what I needed, I was aching for peace and serenity I can only find in the waters. It was unfortunate as I went around I found a fish trap waiting for prey, I felt bad just seeing them. In no time, I hold on to Angel to steady myself for our safety stop until we surface up. I went 32.2 meters and we had 56 minutes bottom time, way beyond the given limits.
We spent our surface interval lounging on our boat amid the blue waters. The good thing was we are all alone in the shoal, at a distance I can only saw few fishers on their small boats treading for some catch. The blue skies and blue waters was so calming.
I left myself under the sun for few minutes just watching the horizons.
Our second descent was in The Wall, which was just nearby and was richly decorated with critters. There were nudis, feather stars, giant clams, perennial anemone fish and lots of juveniles. We were hoping for white tips or mantas but we were not lucky. We sighted a turtle gently swimming away from us, pointing it out to Angel – his favorite specie. We swam and floated in the warm afternoon waters making most of the last few minutes, until we had our safety stop in the shallows. Hopping up on the corals searching for critters, we found a black shell on the sandy bottom, lingered awhile touching until it becomes all white! We lingered more until the DM gestured for surface. At 78 minutes bottom time, it was longer as we have planned. As usual, it was surprisingly good!
We cruised back to the island grateful for the dives conquering the Jigdup Shoal. Camiguin has always in store few surprises feeding my soul, and it was such pure joy!
We were hoping to avail of perks during the Camiguin Dive Festival but nil, registrants need to appear at the DOT Office located in Mambajao, our dive shop was in Tupsan few kilometers away before town proper.