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

Action Divers/Deep Blue Sea Inn, Apr, 2007,

by Michael Judd, OR, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports). Report 3400.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Maldives, Palau, Thailand, Hawaii, Fiji, Chuuk
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 40 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Keep divemaster in sight. Usually 45 minutes, 100 foot depth max.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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