Diving in Moalboal – Copton and Sardines

We awoke nice and rested after our early night and lovely late sleep in until 7.30 – what a treat. We wandered down to have breakfast with everyone, I opted for the mushroom omelette with mango, mango juice and green tea. I wasn’t feeling fantastic today but that was nothing a full day of diving couldn’t fix. We wandered down to the dive shop to sort out our kit and meet Deloy our divemaster guide for the next 2 days.

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After a short dive briefing we packed up the boat, which was quite a bit smaller than the others we had been used to and headed out along the ocean. Moalboal is great in that all of the dive sites are within a 15-20 minute boat ride away and so it wasn’t long before we arrived at The Compton, our first site of the day. The site was famous for having a sunken plane wreck that divers can penetrate and sit in the cockpit as well as a gorgeous wall area full of macro life. I was surprised at how impressive the wall was, taking me back to Balicasag days where we spotted so many pygmy seahorses (the hardest critters to photograph ever), banded pipefish, lionfish, sweetlips and some harlequin crabs.. We then ascended up to the sandy bottom of the wreck and enjoyed a good explore, both around the outside and then inside the cockpit. The plane was sunk in 1993 for recreational diver purposes and it certainly is a nice element to add to the already interesting dive site.

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We ascended and sat on the boat for an hour before jumping back in just along the reef a little at North Point – probably the furthest away of the dive sites but still only 20 minutes or so by boat. This was a lovely relaxing dive and again we were surprised by the quality of the local diving, certainly a lot better than Malapascua. We saw a squid, harlequin crab, parrotfish, anemonefish and a long-nose swordfish. The dives were great as you could multilevel by descending to around 30m and finishing the dive really shallow at 6m to finish all of your air with still lots to see. When we finally dragged ourselves out of the water we had a short boat ride back to Magic Island Resort to dry off and enjoy a delicious lunch of chicken noodle soup.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2808.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2811.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2819.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2824.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2832.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2837.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2839.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2847.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2864.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2870.19893613_1477998132221576_1453634533_o

That afternoon we had one of the most famous dives in the area – Panagsama to see millions of sardines. As we approached the site we could see them jumping out of the water due to the sheer number of them in such close proximity. It was certainly a site to behold as we dropped in and were met by the swarming mass of fish moving in perfect unison and creating really interesting shapes in the water. We sat and watched them for a good 20 minutes trying to capture some good shots before continuing our dive as normal and spotting pufferfish, sea-snakes, harlequin shrimps, pipefish, trumpetfish and barracuda. It was quite distracting swimming along checking out a turtle then all of a sudden the water going dark because hundreds of millions of fish had decided to swim right over your head. An experience I would recommend to everyone visiting Moalboal.

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We went back to shore and enjoyed an hour or so chilling by the pool which was about 6 steps from our bungalow. It was nice to sit and relax and enjoy the resort – one of the pros about staying in one really. It was just Carolyn and I doing the night dive and so we ambled down and kitted up on the shore. We would just be diving the Magic Island House Reef with Deloy and so the hardest part was getting out to deep enough water in the low rocky tide. Thankfully prince charming Deloy was there to assist by essentially dragging us along. Oh so attractive. It was a another really great night dive – definitely a future specialty I want to do – where we saw a bobtail squid, small cuttlefish, red hermit crabs, a smashing mantis shrimp, a cowrie and some catfish . It was nice and shallow and very chilled. After an hour of being a mermaid we emerged into the dark of night and Deloy kindly dragged us all the way back to shore. What a champ!DCIM101GOPROGOPR2965.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2977.DCIM101GOPROGOPR2980.

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We were quite late getting back and so after quickly drying off we headed down to dinner with the others and enjoyed a lovely evening of chat with Bell, Russell, Richard and Yvonne. We got lots of tips for diving in Australia and some interesting tips for macro at Lembeh in Indonesia. We enjoyed this alongside tempura fried shrimp, marble cake and of course some rum and gin to finish the night off. We were on holiday after all. Around 9 we all retired for early nights ready for another day of action packed diving. Eat, Dive, Dive, Eat, Dive, Dive, Eat, Repeat.

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