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Dive Review of Seaquest Dive Center/Visayas Dive Safari in
Philippines/Visayas

Seaquest Dive Center/Visayas Dive Safari, Apr, 2007,

by Gayle & Bob Bringas, OR, USA (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 3414.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving North Sulawesi, Raja Ampat, Bali, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Red Sea, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Palau, Truk, Tahiti, Costa Rica, Belize, Honduras
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 0 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions All guided dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This is a 5-day, 4-night dive safari from Moalboal, Cebu, to Panglao Island, Bohol. There are 13 dives from a large bangka. No Nitrox, tanks are filled from a compressor on the bangka. It's not the most comfortable mode of transportation. You either stand up or sit on the deck. The tanks are laid on their side on the bow (no tank racks) so you have to step over them (if you're tall) or step on them (if you're short) to get from one side of the boat to the other. The "comfort room" is a roofless enclosure on the stern that sits out over the water. Embarking/disembarking was via a plank angled from the beach to the bow, if the bangka was able to get close to shore. If it had to anchor out (as at Siquijor Island), divers/gear were ferried in small skiffs and then you had to pull yourself up onto the bow. Dive entry was a side-roll off the bow. To exit, you hand up your fins and climb up the dive ladder with your gear. We saw dolphins on every crossing, but not on any of the dives.

It was five-and-a-half hours in calm seas from Moalboal to the first stop, Apo Island. We stayed at Apo Resort for two nights. You take only a pack with needed items to the resorts, and leave the majority of your luggage on board the bangka. At Apo Resort, we had a stunnig view of the beach and cove from our room. There is no running water on the island. Fresh water is brought in from Negros Island in five-gallon plastic cans. The generator only runs from 6 PM to midnight. You'd think that the rooms would have been designed with these two facts in mind, but no! We used our dive lights in the bathroom, as it had no other form of illumination if the generator was not running. Space in the shower area was taken up with the barrel of fresh water used for rinsing off. Part of the doorway to the bathroom was blocked by the barrel of seawater used to flush the toilet. The barrel of fresh water was not replenished during our two-night stay---conserve. The granite tile floors are extremely slippery when wet. Meals were served family-style for the safari group and the dive guide. Meals were well-prepared and plentiful, mostly Asian/Filipino cuisine.

Apo Island is a marine reserve. Santuary fee is not included in the cost of the trip. No dive gloves allowed. This was some of the best diving on the trip. Slight current, 50-60 foot visibility, water temperatures 82-84 degrees. Lots of big schools of big fish (surgean fish, banner fish, etc.) A turtle or two on every dive, ribbon eels. The only dive with strong current was at Coconut.

One-and-a-half hours in calm seas from Apo Island to Siquijor Island (also a marine reserve and sanctuary fee is not included in the dive package.) We spent two nights at the Coco Grove Resort. It's a beautiful resort spead over a large area. Two swimming pools. Grounds are lush, tropical vegetation, well-maintained. The cottages are set back from the beach, so you have garden views, not ocean views. Has electricity and hot/cold running water. All meals were served family-style for the safari group. Food was predominantly Asian/Filipino dishes. Meals were well-prepared and plentiful.

Only three dives around Siquijor, as we made dives around Apo on the day we left for Siquijor Island and made a dive at Balicasag Island when we left Siquijor Island en route to Panglao Island. Visibility was 50 feet, slight current, water temperature was 81 to 83 degrees. We saw blue ribbon eel, snake eel, banded pipefish, ornate ghost pipefish, porcelain crabs, plus all the "usual stuff."
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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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