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Dive Review of Adventure Scuba in
Philippines/El Nido

Adventure Scuba, Nov, 2012,

by Kate Dowden, UT, US ( 1 report). Report 6825.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 0-25 dives
Where else diving The Crater in Midway Utah- in the snow.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 28 to 29 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 12 to 20 Meters

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Required PADI or SSI cert card. Not sure on the others because we're too new to break restrictions.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Again- we're so new. We have our one little GoPro Hero 2 with an underwater case and we got a lot of fun footage and photos. You could stick that camera in a shoe and it would be happy so I cannot speak to ease of use of fancy cameras.

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

Accommodations N/A Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments
In El Nido Town on the island of Palawan there is a dive operation about every 100 yards. My husband and I were on our honeymoon and had completed our Open Water PADI cert about 4 days before we left for the Philippines so we could not be any more NEW to diving. We have nothing to compare this to (oh wait we did our open water cert in a 96(f) crater that was under 12inches of snow- theres that to compare it to) so we went with our gut. We wanted to do our Advanced Open Water PADI to gain more experience diving and reinforce learning- so a large part of our decision on an outfit was the personality of the dive master as we would be spending a lot of time with him/her.

The Outfit: We chose Adventure Scuba affiliated with the Art Cafe (which is a mecca for all things in El Nido) based on their dive master Tom. He was straightforward, sincere and told us the pros and cons of doing our certification with his outfit. Being linked with the Art Café is also very nice as they have a great bar, restaurant and shop. (Although don't miss La Salangane down the street for great food and house flavored rum)

Equipment: We came with our own mask/snorkel/fins and rented reg/bcd/tanks/wetsuit. All were suitable and in good working order though slightly worn.

Boat: The style of boat used is called a banca boat- expect a walk in waist high water at times. Surprisingly smooth ride even on choppy-ish seas. No frills except the dazzling scenery!

Tom took us on a total of 13 dives so we hit nearly every dive site in Bacuit Bay which was awesome! Tom (a 3500+ dives type of guy from England- DARLING) took great care of us, he was very patient, thoughtful and an effective and thorough instructor. He really maximized our time in the water- and was fun to follow as he showed us A LOT of marine life. Every day on the boat Adventure Scuba made us lunch- which you can choose from fish, pork, chicken or veggie. We had a taste of each and enjoyed them all. Lunch includes rice, a small salad (which we ate and never had any gut issue) coffee, bottled water, cookies and bananas. While eating you were normally at some insanely incredible beach with sparkling blue surf and coconut trees. Mind numbingly beautiful archipelago. Going diving in Baicut Bay is THE best way to "Island Hop" which is the primary activity in El Nido.

Creatures: The big names we saw were green and hawksbill turtles, black tip sharks, an amazing school of car sized bump-head parrot fish and TONS of small colorful fish. Seemingly endless varieties of small damsel and anemone fish everywhere. Overall we loved our experience!

Notes on the town: We went in late November over Thanksgiving and had great weather- although a typhoon came through 3 days after we left. THERE ARE NO ATMs IN EL NIDO and few places take credit cards so bring a wad of cash. Power goes off (in the whole town) from 6am till 2pm- or whenever the town generator fails which was a few times while we were there- pack a headlamp. Also- Adventure Scuba will come pick you up at one of the fancy private island resorts and take you diving for half the price the resorts charge. If you really want your mind blown on a tropical luxury experience check out Miniloc Island Resort- but call Adventure Scuba for diving in the area.

Experienced Divers: You'll have to ask Tom what it's like to dive here as an experienced diver but I had a great time- and no matter how many dives you have Bacuit Bay is absolutely breathtaking to look at and spend time in.
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Subscriber's Comments

By David Cutler in ID, US at Dec 07, 2012 15:00 EST  
Good for you! The first few trips were very special for us (Partly because our Idaho eyes had not seen many tropical beaches.) Keep your enthusiasm and here's to many more trips. Gringo
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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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