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Dive Tales from Tubbataha – Day 1

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11 April 2009

Dive 1, 7:30am, Malayan wreck

N8 53.141 E119 53.367

Malayan wreck with jacks in the shallowsMalayan wreck with jacks in the shallows

It was the first dive of the trip, and it started with very slight current and some fan corals. The highlight of the dive came towards the end, when we reached the wreck in very shallow waters. There were sweetlips and a nearby school of jacks, which promptly went towards the wreck, making for some very nice pictures.  Other people on our group saw four stingrays and lot of baby grey reef sharks—about 10, they said. Maybe they were lying . . .

Dive 2, 10:30 am, Wall Street

Blasted ghost net suffocating the reefsBlasted ghost net suffocating the reefs

Visibility was not so good, and the current kept going back and forth. Highlight of the dive was a big ghost net wrapped around the reef beside a big barrel sponge. Two tunas passed us by, and a school of Emperor snappers swam with the current below us for quite some time. Lots of anthias around the top of the reef.

Dive 3, 4:15 pm, South Park

N8 50.718 E119 53.826

It was nearing dusk, and the bad visibility suddenly turned enchanting, creating a nice, filtering effect with the rays of the sun. There was much reef damage, but with the nice light, the reef became photogenic, and we shot it against the late afternoon sun.

First crown-of-thorn starfish sightingFirst crown-of-thorn starfish sighting

Some nice fan corals, and one hosted a crown of thorn starfish. The other group saw lots of them; Aussie boat manager Wayne counted more than a hundred throughout the dive. I picked up two rice sacks that were smothering the reef, and Yogi photographed them floating in the blue – very surreal – like, what animal is that?!

Are you an octopus?Are you an octopus?

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