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Dive Review of Devocean Divers Malapascua/Hippocampus Beach Resort in
Philippines/Malapascua

Devocean Divers Malapascua/Hippocampus Beach Resort: "Thresher Sharks", Oct, 2019,

by Michael Joest, Kehl, DE (Top Contributor Top Contributor 48 reports with 29 Helpful votes). Report 11196 has 1 Helpful vote.

Photos Submitted with this Report


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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Malapascua Hippocampus + Devocean Divers
When I checked my list of creatures I put on a “must see”, I found many tick of meaning: seen, taken pictures, encountered – however there were some disturbing open space. Among others there was no check on Thresher Sharks which was annoying to me. However I thought this would be one which I could easily remedy. Looked and found a group trip down to Cebu and Malapascua with one of my favorite dive travel agents. They not only promised Threshers but also snorkeling with whale sharks as a plus. The season they choose didn´t agree with my “best time to visit” website. But well, why not, warm it is nearly all the time, a few drops of rain would not kill me, I´m not made out of sugar. Don´t you feel it´s strange to think about having dived for nearly 50 years and not have seen some animals or only once? I for example had my one and so far only Mola Mola at the Rowley Shoals in Australia, a breathtaking and amazing adventure. Since today however this creature succeeded to avoid me in every place I went to. Friends suggested Bali and even the so close to me Mediterranean, well I tried and missed. I guess this happened with you on various occasions as well, do you agree?
Just coming from a quiet and remote resort at the coast, arrival on Malapascua was like stepping from a garden path right onto the highway, boats tourists resorts dive centers everywhere.
Wake up call at 4:30 in the morning, puuh. Who gets up that early on vacation – only divers it seems. Friends I tell this shake their head not believing someone can be so stupid. They would stay in bed till around 9 and then slowly enjoy a lovely breakfast close to the beach. Well, each his own and the temptation are the thresher sharks. At 5 we started with a smaller Bangka, 7 guests, 2 guides, Dodo and Felix, heading into an awesome sunrise. The dive guides start early and do all the work. Our box was already on board, the Nitrox cylinders which we had analyzed the day before ready for assembling the gear. All divers had chosen Nitrox 32 EAN as the dive plan said we would stay a while in around 30 m waiting for the sharks. 5 boats were already on site, I would have liked to be the first to hit the water thus increasing our chance of shark encounter. Briefing told us to stay well behind the line and knee in the sand, there is actually a rope tied to some concrete pillars to keep divers in their place. No flash no touch etcetera they said. We kicked down to some reef edge around 12 m then slowly dropped deeper on the guides sign. Soon we found groups of divers kneeling next to each other on some sandy ledge right in front of the abyss into the deep. We followed suit, looked out into the grey blue hoping for the best, the dive computer showed 29.4 m. After about 10 min Felix snorted in his regulator and pointed. Out of the blue slowly some grey form materialized – the thresher – gracefully and slowly this beautiful creature passed in about 6 m away from us swinging its huge tail, wooouuuh. Minutes passed, bottom time faded much too fast until a second animal came by. I did 4 of these early bird adventures to saturate my longing for thresher sharks. Each time we were lucky and saw some animals and I got some nice footage and short video sequence to bring home. Once we did a two tank there in the morning, on arrival I counted 14 boats, when we left only 3 remained. Diving in 30 degrees of water with no current or challenge is a lovely and lazy way to enjoy your hobby, ideal for oldies like me and even more so for beginners. The reefs are stunning in its abundance of colors which dazzle your eyes. Critter lovers will find their share of interesting things in these awesome reef structures, where soft and hard coral mix with sponges in large areas. Fish life is scarce, besides basslet fish everywhere on the reef you most times only found juveniles of all sorts, nothing bigger than a fist. Once in a while a turtle was feeding on coral or surfaced to catch a breath. Lonely bat fish, grouper, a shy shark far away in the distance you would find only a few times. We did 3 day trips to some outer islands as a full day tour, which are worth it. Kalanggaman is a breathtaking typical south sea island dream looking like a Maldives one with great beach. Deep walls reaching well below 80 with plenty of pastel colored Gorgonia are inviting you to stretch your computer limits. On top a nice coral garden provides plenty of opportunities for great shots during a prolonged safety stop. . Walls again at Capitancillo, a tiny island with a lighthouse. Gato island was supposed to be the grand finale and was recommended to us, could however not meet or fulfill my expectations. There was a bit more fish life, a good hard coral garden on one side, the other showed some boulder with pretty soft coral besides large areas of rubble consisting out of broken sea shells and urchin skeletons, looking like a typhoon went across or dynamite fishing went on here. A tunnel of 25 m takes you through the island, reaching from the better part to the worst. Only there did we find several of these black/blue and white striped sea snakes wriggle over the coral.
Hippocampus our resort has a beautiful dining area right on the beach, meals and drinks were mouthwatering good. My room was good, tap water smelled of sewer, sometimes we had no water at all. Devocean divers run a tremendous operation their schedule plan is always full and it´s a wonder everything goes smoothly here. Two times we went for dinner to a local market were we got a whole tuna of 5 kg for 800 Pesos, with vegie or garlic rice they then served it grilled as a lovely meal.
Contact: info@hippocampus-online.com + malapasuca@devoceandivers.com

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving worldwide more than 100 destinations, mostly South Pacific and Asia, Africa and Caribbean
Closest Airport Cebu City Getting There 3.5 h transfer from airport

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 29-30°C / 84-86°F Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 25-30 M / 82-98 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions no deco
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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