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Dive Review of Asia Divers/El Galleon in
Philippines/Puerto Galera

Asia Divers/El Galleon: "Asia Divers at El Galleon", Jun, 2017,

by Frederick R. Turoff, PA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 34 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 9670.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments There are perhaps 50 dive operations in Puerto Galera. The waterfront is wall-to-wall resorts and dive shops. Asia Divers at El Galleon Resort is a well-oiled operation. Divers were placed 4-8 per group and generally stayed with the same dive leader all week, although my group experienced three different leaders, but one main one. Most dive sites were nearby, within 5-15 minutes max. Visibility was somewhat disappointing, 30-40 feet often. A dive on the sunken Alma Jane produced a well-decorated large frogfish and a small school of spadefish. Two trips to Verde Island nearby (an extra charge), maybe a half-hour ride, gave us the 100’ visibility many seek. These excursions also showed us the only large fish we saw all week – sweetlips, grouper, snappers, plus a hawksbill turtle munching on coral. But no sharks all week! A first for me was seeing an anemone eating a sea star.

Four dives were offered daily, but night dives were not mentioned, so we did none. After each dive we returned to the resort. Several separate gear rinse tanks and camera rinse tanks were at the dive dock in the prep area. Gear was kept in a large room on hangars and in bins but hung outside during the day between dives. Those using Nitrox checked percentage each day before dive gear was assembled and brought on board by the crew. After dives the crew brought gear to the prep area. They also handled cameras to and from the boat. Several showers were available for rinsing on the dock.

As a photographer, due to visibility, I focused on small stuff when at nearby Puerto Galera dive sites. There were plenty of shrimp, crabs and nudibranchs. An occasional banded krait came by. One dive produced four cuttlefish including a hunting flambouyant that changed from psychedelic to dark brown when in stalking mode. After a few dives, the leaders had full confidence in my abilities, and this led to me being left behind on several dives as the group moved on while I tried to find and produce a good image. As a result, I used my safety sausage more on this trip than I have before, as I often surfaced well away from the group. At least our boat was distinctively colored so I usually spotted it quickly. I also noticed guides pointed out less than I expected, but perhaps this was because I missed their leadership for good parts of dives due to being behind the group. Still, I found many good subjects for my photos. Of course, on the one dive I missed, our group found a blue ring octopus that hunted while they watched for perhaps 15 minutes!

Food at El Galleon was good and plentiful, especially the mango shakes and pumpkin soup. As might be expected, the sashimi was excellent. One notable aspect – smoking of staff was not allowed in the restaurant or housing areas nor in the dive area or boats. That’s refreshing as I often observe lots of smoking when I visit this area of the world.

Rooms were acceptable with air conditioning in each. Some rooms were up the hill, so a climb was needed to get there. Ours was by the pool on the first floor and near the restaurant, so it was convenient for us. Each room had a safe in the closet.
The camera room was on the second floor of a building by the dive dock. It was well provisioned with adequate power sources, air hoses, towels, and room for gear. Just outside the room was one of the several bars which was undergoing renovation by local craftsmen who demonstrated fine woodworking skills with hand tools. Also on that level was one of two massage centers. At US$14 per hour massage, I took advantage of that service daily.
Websites Asia Divers   El Galleon

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving USVI, BVI, lesser Antilles, Bonaire, all three Caymans , Coco Island,
Revillagigedos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines,
Micronesia, Red Sea
Closest Airport Manila unless seaplane is used Getting There Fly to Manila, then either take a land shuttle to Batangas and then a ferry or take a seaplane from Manila to Puerto Galera.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Try to keep with group, but once recognized as competent, dive leader didn't enforce. Max depth indicated each dive. Most dives finished shallow for off-gassing while submerged.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments The camera room was on the second floor of a building by the dive dock. It was well provisioned with adequate power sources, air hoses, towels, and room for gear. Cameras were handled by crew to and from boats unless one wanted to do it himself. Cameras were stored on floor of boat carefully. Dedicated rinse tanks on dive dock but no rinse tank on boat.
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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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