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Dive Review of Dive Solana in
Philippines/Anilao

Dive Solana, Apr, 2013,

by Nigel LLEWELLYN-SMITH, CA, US ( 1 report). Report 6950.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I tacked on a day's vacation to week-end layover on a business trip.
Crystal Blue had no vacancies, recommnended Dive Solana.

On Day 1 (Friday), I was the only person at the resort, was treated like royalty in and out of the water. Both dives were easy, plenty of small critters.

On Days 2 and 3, a Texan couple, resident in Manila showed up for the week-end. We all got 3 dives in on both days. Mostly shallow reefs, with good coral, and a turtle on one. I was surprised to see what looked like broken/dying coral and with new growth appearing. I asked the DM what changes he'd seen (since 2003 when he started diving) and he thought the coral and life was increasing. Which was good news

On Day 3, we dived a reef with a pretty stiff rip (I now understand the Tagalog work 'kuryente'!) We hadn't planned an 'abandon' dive signal, and in any case, I couldn't remember what it was. I burned up 70 bar in first 7 minutes, and the DM was forging ahead, oblivious to the 3 of us trailing him. Dives 2 and 3 were less intense....Dive 2 was in the lea of an island, visibility was worst of the series, and I saw the first items of submerged trash floathing by. The DM indicated it was many times worse after the first rains of the monsoon season. Dive 3 was on a wreck, with abundant shoals of angel (or bat-fish) and easy swim-throughs.

Overall: I had a great time, the diving was good and mostly easy. The area was refreshingly undeveloped, though unfortunately not completely unspoilt. Meals were all buffet (I discovered a limited menu when I was checking out), and lunch/dinners were pretty similar: fish, beef or pork and chicken; boiled rice; soup and sometimes a salad. Access to the resort is via a long stair-case (but a porter takes bags up/down, thankfully!). I had a room with a/c, a huge veranda. All very clean and comfortable albeit a little spartan. Beware, for non-divers there is nothing to do or visit close by, so non-diving partners will probably be unhappy after a couple of days. WiFi was intermittently available in the open lobby.

All in (transfers from Manila, 4 nights all inclusive and 8 dives) cost about $1000 - I thought it was pretty good value. The crew at the resort were always helpful and acommodating...
Websites Dive Solana   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 0-25 dives
Where else diving Scotland, Hebrides, S Coast UK, Caribbean, California, Hawaii, Red Sea
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 27-31°C / 81-88°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-200 Ft/ 9-61 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None evident, but all dives had max depth around 28m. On one dive, I hit 35m briefly
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Crew were very good grabbing cameras once surfaced. Not much in way of space or facilities on the panga, but I'm sure they'd have gotten them if they'd been asked.
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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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