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Dive Review of Crystal Blue Resort in
Philippines/Anilao

Crystal Blue Resort: "More critters than anywhere I've been!", Apr, 2019,

by Mark Etter, PA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 11075 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I have never seen so many critters packed into one location before, including Indonesia, etc! In one dive at Octo Point we saw several mimic octopus, wonderpus, and blue ring octopus. The site also had flamboyant cuttlefish, hairy frogfish, and tiny juvenile frogfish. Hard to imagine seeing this all on the first dive! During the week we saw Rumengan's pipe horse, Bargibanti pygmy seahorse, and dozens of nudibranch and flatworms that I have never seen before. This is macro heaven even for divers who have been to Lembeh, Raja, and Ambon. We saw at least 6 Rhinopias during our trip. There were several hairy frogfish, sometimes there were 3 at a single site! I was truly impressed. See my attached photo gallery for a brief review of the subjects. [marketteruwp.com link].

My guide Glenn was fantastic and very patient. We often extended our dives for more than 80 minutes when we had enough air. There were only 3 divers on our boat for the 10 days. CBR runs several small boats. The sites we visited were for macro photography. There are other great spots for coral diving including Kirby's rock, etc depending on your preference. These sites can have some exciting currents too.

I attended Mike Bartick's class on macro photography while at CBR. We dove 4 times per day and also had about 3 hours of teaching each day during the course. Mike is an excellent macro photographer and teaches a great class. He also does black water dives every night. Crystal Blue resort was simple and relaxing with a safe location. The food was excellent! Anilao is much easier to get to than Ambon or Lembeh and has more of everything found elsewhere. I rarely return to a previous location but I'm going back to CBR in Anilao!

see my gallery for a sample of critters: [marketteruwp.com link]
Websites Crystal Blue Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Komodo, Ambon, Lembeh, Alor, Bunaken, Raj Ampat, Misool, Kri, Caymans, Egypt, Maldives, Australia, Dominica, Truk, Hawaii, Silver Banks, St Lucia, Bonaire, Curacao, Provo, St Kitts, Barbados, Nevis, Cozumel, US Virgins, North and South Carolina, etc
Closest Airport Manila Getting There JFK to Manila. Direct flight was great on Philippine Air. I upgraded to First Class by Lottery system. 16.5 hr flight much easier when you can lie flat to sleep! 2 hour drive south from Manila to Anilao

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 77-81°F / 25-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco. Otherwise free to do what you want. Best to stay with guide if you want to find the small stuff though.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Great camera room! Crew will load cameras onto boat and then back to rinse tank after each dive. Great photo instruction with Mike Bartick. Best super macro spot I've ever seen! More than 20 camera stations in the camera room with everything you need for digital SLR systems. Great macro photo course with Backscatter and Mike Bartick. Daily photo reviews in the morning during course with personal instruction. Mike even lends gadgets to try for snooting, creative lighting, extension tubes, etc.
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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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