Ate Jai invited me again to dive. My heart beat like paradiddles in excitement. There would be no hesitation to say YES. But
it was Friday! OH NO! And Friday is a working day! So I just asked permission to be absent and Voilà, I was diving again. Wohoo! This time I was in the waters of Marigondon Reef in Mactan. Another experience and more learnings for me to place in my treasure chest.
We did three dives in Marigondon Reef.
First : FUN DIVE – 9 : 30 am
Marigondon Reef is situated in the east coast of Mactan Island Cebu. This reef has a wall at a depth of between 40 to 200 ft covered with sponges, soft corals, hard corals, and gorgonians (sea fan). From the shore, we swam close to the ledge and as we submerged, we found ourselves on its edge. I looked down and couldn’t see the sea floor anymore. It’s indeed deep. We explored the reef towards north (going to Plantation Bay area). We went a bit deeper and reached 73 ft, the maximum depth I had during this dive but we levelled off at 40 – 50 ft where most of the wonderful sea creatures dwell.
The scenery was more than awesome. To my left is the wall covered with lovely corals and seafans flaunting their beauty, where a lot of different species of fishes play or rather search for food. They are trying to hide from us through their ability to camouflage with the surroundings. Like the lizard fish which didn’t move at all and were concealed in their habitat (I found yah!). Other fishes showed off their defense mechanisms, like the Razor fish that acted like twigs when they sense a predator coming (you can’t fool me! Haha). The clown fishes faced us bravely to protect their anemones. (Oh, oh, don’t worry, we won’t destroy your home) and there were just many indescribably amazing fishy things that happened. Oh, to my right on the other hand is a blue vast space where anything can appear (like sharks maybe).
I was mesmerized again and again by the scenery of the underwater world. It’s a totally different kind of world down there. Indeed, it was fantastic.
SECOND : DRIFT DIVE – 11: 30 am
Currents in Marigondon Reef are quiet strong especially during lunchtime until 3PM so this is often a drift dive here. Reminder from Kuya Val: Always check the tide tables before you dive. Two things can happen when you opt for a drift dive, either you go with the current or against the current. The former is easy and feels good coz you can just let go (at least that’s what my dive buddies said) and feel like you’re flying underwater, while the latter is a looooot of work, exhausting and not so fun at all especially to a beginner like me. Let me emphasize here that I am a first timer here and I have no idea at all (no matter how they describe it) of what’s going to happen. Haha, I like surprises!
Dive plan is to go with the current (yey!). So down the reef we go and whoops, I can really feel that current. Its like an underwater storm and I felt like an action star flying over the corals. I had to hold on to some rocks so that I wouldn’t be swept away from the group. But a huge surprise came upon us, a Giant Silver Trevally, it was sooo huge! We were also surrounded by so many fishes busy eating. It was their feeding time. I learned that day thru observation, that during strong currents, fishes (big and small) and many underwater animals are happily feeding because the current has brought some food for them (lotsa planktons I guess).
Another surprise came to me, a Scorpion Fish that looked like a rock or a coral, and not moving at all. The prickly fish fins carry poisonous venom and can possibly kill a person. Hah! Fortunately I was not able to touch it coz I kept on holding onto rocks due to the dragging strong current. Gosh I got really scared.
(That’s why as much as possible never ever touch or hold on to anything, may it be a fish or a coral. They may be poisonous or harmful.)
So I stopped and let go the idea of holding on to a coral or a rock. I just let the water move me as I watched the magnificent reefs and amazing marine life. Drift diving is truly an underwater experience worth trying.
3. Night Dive – 6 : 30 pm
As Wiki defined, night diving is an underwater diving done during the hours of darkness.
Again, this was my first time to night dive. I was hesitant at first because all I could see was darkness and a number of WHAT IFs came to my mind. Oh, well, I just have to conquer my fears and experience the thrill of being in the dark underwater world.
When everybody was ready, we submerged ourselves in a pitch black view underwater.
This time we were diving much closer to each other so that the group would not go far apart and if something interesting was spotted by anyone of us, we could immediately see what had been found. We brought flashlights with us. For me, it was like a competition as to who could spot something first. Haha! And I was eager to be the first to find something interesting. And these were what I found: Starfishes walking,(or probably crawling, just moving) Fishes sleeping, Lion Fishes dating (because they were in pairs), Nudibranch dancing (the way it swims looks like it was dancing),Hermit Crabs eating, Sea snakes hunting for food, Sea Urchins moving and many more doing this and doing that . . .
Night diving was really awesome. I underwent different underwater experiences and encountered many marine nocturnal animals. Sad to say, just a few pictures where captured because we don’t have that techy cameras with strobes and high flashes.
It was an awesome day for diving and seeing different kinds of marine creatures so close. In our three dives, we were in Marigondon Reef. However, there are changes and with each change, different events happen, different species are encountered and different experiences are told. One can never tell what to expect. Every time there are surprises. The underwater world is such a wonder.
Scuba diving is truly addictive. The more I dive, the more I crave for it and the more confidence I acquire in exploring the waters underneath. And I am happy to I already have a total of six dives as of this date. More to come!
Thanks again Trek and Dive and Company. I owe you a lot, BIGTIME. 🙂 🙂 🙂*Credits to #rainjai_gp and Kuya Val for the pics and for my dive guide, my brother Rain, thanks for everything.