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Dive Review of Atmosphere in
Philippines/Dumaguete

Atmosphere, Apr, 2010,

by Laura Todd, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 5533.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Malaysia, various South Pacific, Baja
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 78 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Reasonable size dry are plus Camera only small tank on boat. Excellent camera room with everything you could need at resort

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This is a wonderful destination and a great resort that is doing almost everything right. Atmosphere has an almost perfect location with fabulous muck diving right out the door, the brilliant corals of Apo an hour away in one direction and the walls of Siqiuor an hour in the other. There is a reasonable fuel charge to go to each of these more distant sites and I am glad I went, but have to say the local sites around Dauin were MUCH more fishy and interesting. The big local style boat is comfortable. The guides are excellent, always keeping groups between 3-6 divers. They seemed as excited as we were by all our finds. Nobody hassled us when we stayed down 70 minutes or till the air was gone. The density and variety of muck critters is giving Indonesia a pretty good run for its money. A sampling: flambouyant cuttle fish, ambon scorpionfish, hairy octopus, variety of frog fish, ornate ghost pipefish, pegasus sea moths, including juveniles, common and estuary seahorses, loads of nudis, flatworms and sluggy things (most of them mating), several jawfish with eggs in thier mouths, beautiful alled cowries and soft coral crabs, rock mover wrasse, reef octopus. The animals that are small elsewhere are huge here and vice versa. For example the cutttlefish are tiny at about 6-8 inches average, but there is a nudibrach (Jorunna rubescens) as big as my forearm. There is quite a bit of variety in the sites, from old cars to sand slopes to patch coral. "Sahara Reef" may be the perfect dive site: half sand with exotic critters, then patch coral, then you turn a corner into a garden of pristine 6 foot high barrel sponges with enormous turtles resting between them.The night diving is not to be missed. We saw a polycerid nudibranch (clear with multi-colored spots), mating diaphanous pink sea hares, huge velvety looking pleurobranchs with gold markings, the biggest sleeping parrot fish ever and a Melibe type nudi (clear with the large round feeding hood) which I had thought were a cold water species. The facilities were clearly designed by divers with storage, rinse and briefing areas just right. Things on the hotel side are just as good with cool tiled duplex rooms, each with large shaded porch and outdoor shower and tub. The grounds are all lawn, so you can go around barefoot if you want. The chef is an artist and there are always several good to great choices for dinner. Their breakfast "buffet"actually had 2-3 different cook to order choices daily. Nice pool and bar area. They have an ongoing staff training program - the management is clearly interested in you having a good experience. Desk operations smooth,curteous and organized. They are environmentally conscious and encourage customers to be the same. The only minor irritations here were the walk to the boat (per the local govt boats are not allowed to park in the many marine protection areas) and the small extra charges for bringing cameras on each dive, using Nitrox, etc. Somewhat more expensive that the average resort in the Philippines and worth every bit. Handy tip: Even though April/May is the "high season" here, go in June, when the sea flattens out and the rain has not yet started.
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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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