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Dive Review of Action Divers/Deep Blue Sea Inn in
Philippines/Puerto Galera

April, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Michael Judd, OR, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 3400
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, Maldives, Palau, Thailand, Hawaii, Fiji, Chuuk
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents  
Water Temp
78   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Keep divemaster in sight.  Usually 45 minutes, 100 foot depth max.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
Dove with Action Divers, stayed at the Deep Blue Sea Inn, both on Small La
Laguna Beach (although the area is generally referred to as Puerto Galera,
few divers actually stay in the town of PG; most are at Sabang Beach, Small
La Laguna or Big La Laguna).
Deep Blue Sea is right on the water, although the narrow beach is more of a
pedestrian roadway and parking area for boats than a place to lounge.  This
is also true of Sabang, just to the west.  Big La Laguna has a decent beach
for sunbathing or swimming.  The room was very basic, but I couldn't
complain for $30/night.  The AC, small TV (with cable) and hot water shower
all worked, although you had to move the toilet paper to use the latter,
since the bathroom was a bit on the small side.  The rooms were cleaned
well each day.  The restaurant on site was adequate if you're not fussy,
and there were dozens of other food options within easy walking distance. 
The San Miguel beer was inexpensive and cold.  Overall, quite sufficient
and a bargain if you're not planning to spend a lot of time in your room
beyond sleeping.
The three "Beaches" comprise about a mile of hotels, restaurants,
dive operations and other tourist-oriented businesses.  Although tourism is
obviously the main industry, it hasn't yet got that over-built plastic
resort feel of a lot of dive destinations.  Vendors on the beach are
regulated, so you're not pestered too badly.  I felt quite comfortable
walking around at night.  Enough action on the street and beach to be
interesting, but not overwhelming.  You get to PG by a combination of
bus/car and boat rides.  Depending on how much money you want to spend and
how much adventure you like, there are a range of options, from the
transport the locals use to private car and boat.
I would recommend Action Divers.  They offer 3 dives a day, at 9:00 AM,
noon and 3:00 PM, returning to the shop on the beach after each as the dive
sites are no more than 15 minutes away.  That schedule works well if you
are staying nearby on the beach.  You can join any trip or not as you
choose (although understandably they like to know in advance).  The cost is
all of $22 per dive, about the standard rate in PG.  Before each dive you
mount your BC & reg on a tank at the shop, and the staff loads it on
the boat for you.  At the end of the dive they unload it and you wash your
own gear and wet-suit and hang it at the shop for the next dive (they move
everything inside at night).  Diving is from a "bangka", which I
can best describe as a large out-rigger canoe with an outboard motor. 
Enter the water by back roll, exit by handing your outfit up to the crewman
then climbing the wooden ladder.  The bangkas were comfortable for six,
cramped for ten, but even then the rides were short enough to be bearable. 
Most of the dives were drifts, ranging from gentle to speedy.  The dive
guides were professional, with the proper balance between direction and
flexibility, and good at pointing out critters.  Over the six days I dove
with them, there were only a couple of repeat locations.
Overall, I would give the dive sites a B+ grade.  On the negative side, the
visibility was never more than 80', more often 40' to 60'.  Second
complaint is I never saw a fish more than two feet long - even the site
named Shark Cave had no shark (which we were told was highly unusual).  But
there were many more pluses than minuses.  If you like Nemo, this is the
place for you; there was a multitude of different kinds of anemonae fish on
almost every dive.  Nudibranchs were so large and plentiful that even I
couldn't help seeing them, in at least a dozen fantastic patterns and hues.
 Lots of lionfish, quite a few frog-fish, some octopus and cuttle-fish,
plus numerous angels and sweetlips.  In other words, lots of great little
stuff.  The quality and variety of corals was also high.  Although there
are many dive operations in the area, there are enough dive sites that we
didn't run into any traffic jams and only encountered other groups a couple
of times.
I'd sum up Puerto Galera by saying you get a lot for your dive dollar, both
on land and underwater.  While airfare from the US is going to run you more
than $1000, the fact that you can eat, sleep and dive for not much more
than $100 a day makes it a good alternative to the Caribbean.   
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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