Malapascua Is. - crazy and calm diving….
As I have mentioned numerous times, travel here is much harder and to be honest we were getting tired of the grind. After changing our plans a couple of times we decided we would spend the rest of our time before our flight to the whale sharks in one place. We chose Malapascua which was of course a long bus ride and battling with sketchy Filipinos over the boat ride but we made it to our small island and settled in for the long haul.
As always we consulted our lonely planet book and chose Blue Water Resort because the price was right for both staying and diving. Well the long and short of it was that it was disappointing. To break it down the owner was gone and the people running it didn’t give a $#!t about anything. More on that later.
We spent our first couple days unwinding and letting the travel wash away. We took a couple hour walk and went around the whole island. We also ate dinner at all the restaurants and cruised along the beachfront walkway at night. In all honesty, you could walk the pathway and pass maybe one other person. We felt like we were alone out there. We even spent a couple hours snorkeling on a secluded cove where we saw our usual suspects of fish.
After a couple of days we wanted to get under the water and see the thresher sharks. This was why we came. We asked our hotel 2 or 3 times if they could take us and they kept making excuses for not going. We actually had to tell them we were leaving to go to another shop before they finally begrudgingly did…and it was a disaster. Our guide didn’t have a clue, and broke every diving rule in the book from disrupting sea life to smashing coral because be had no control of his fins. Our regulators leaked and unbelievably on our second dive they brought a guy who collected shells for sale!!! It was disgusting and we have decided to report them. After that we made a decision that even though it would be more of a hassle and cost more we were not diving with them again.
We headed down to the beach and spoke with the guy at Evolution and signed up for our big thresher dive. Now this place is a sunken island with nothing to see except maybe a thresher. Its sort of unique but is the only place in the world where they congregate consistently. Unfortunately because of a storm, the shops on the island hadn’t gone in a couple days so when we got there, there was 13 boats and over 100 divers. Needless to say the shy creatures never appeared. After that we headed to Gato Island for 2 more dives and we were pleasantly surprised. Though, again because of the storm, there were a lot of divers we saw sea snakes, a 3 m whitetip shark, moray eel, baby squid and the 6 mm long Pygmy seahorse. This thing was almost impossible to see but a great check off the list. It softened the pain of not seeing the thresher. We decided not to dive for the thresher again, you have to be at the boat at 5 am every morning and of course when we asked later they had gotten a sighting, but I guess that’s the luck of the draw.
Anyways, all in all the island was a pleasure, we saw cool things, met two awesome Canadians (the first on this trip) and got to officially chill.
Now we have 2 days in Cebu to watch the superbowl, Ally’s Steelers are in it, then it’s off to the mother of all fish, whale sharks where we will not be leaving until we get some facetime with them.