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Dive Review of Exotic in
Philippines/Malapasqua

Exotic, May, 2011,

by Karen Guthrie, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports). Report 6076.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Fiji, PNG, GBR, Thailand, Palau, Hawaii, Catalina Island California, Bahamas, Grand and Little Cayman, Cozumel, La Paz Mexico, Belize.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 80 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Viz was not so hot and the Thresher sharks were far enough away that you were shooting available light but the Mandarin Fish were great and so photogenic. Be careful of the sand as the whole resort has sand paths and so sand gets everywhere but there are little puddles of water near the stairs to the rooms so that you can desand your feet. I got a few drops of water into my housing and when I later removed the oring I found one grain of sand.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The good: we saw Thresher sharks 3 of the 4 mornings that we got up at 4 or 5 am to go see them and twice they were circling for a long time getting cleaned with us just stuck to the bottom trying to move as little as possible watching them. We also got to see Mandarin Fish mate at sundown and several large Devil rays came by during those early morning dives. We saw a couple of octopus out hunting and some neat little critters. There is definitely more to do here than just the sharks. The dive op runs great and there are about four boats going each day so you have a choice of programs and could easily do 4 dives a day. The diving is off their native boats that show on the website and that is neat and different and they are VERY stable. It is a bit of a long drop off the bow for your giant stride and I took to jumping in with my reg in my hand because the old gums were getting a bit dinged up but it was not a problem and the ladder that went down next to the center hull allowed easy boat reentry. The restaurant food was pretty good but the full board meal plan is a different menu from the other and the choices are more limited but there is plenty of food on it. They have great two hour massages for $30. There are a number of extra fees and for us they added up to $575 in four days. That is massages, about one beer per day and bottled waters and fees for different parks or dives and nitrox. We did 10 dives 8 nitrox. If the dive is shallow they just put you on air. The air-conditioners worked great (we are not used to heat or humidity and I wanted to keep my camera dry for repacking so I was very glad it worked.) No mosquitos, not one bite and they usually love me! We overnighted at the Raddison Blu in Cebu City and it was a great hotel next to a very modern mall so that you could go get dinner without having to pay upscale hotel prices and on Orbitz the prices were not outlandish.

The BAD. The showers were salty and from what I have heard from people not connected with the resort they are that way over the entire island. It is not just Exotic Dive Resort's problem. Also, since the water is salty I gather that it plays havoc with the water heaters because we got one warm shower in four days. Since it is not cold there it is not too big of a problem and the saltiness is reduced from seawater so you don't itch or anything it is just odd. One dive had outrageous current and they didn't abort. So, my octo decided to start free-flowing even after we got out of the current causing some tense moments. I think they should have aborted because that site is famous for the current so they couldn't say they didn't expect it. I don't really enjoy dragging myself down the anchor line in 3 knot or so currents and there was nothing that great to see down there except a mantis shrimp. NOTE: Advanced Certifications are required, that is the first time I have ever seen that, and the diving is not as advanced as many other things we have done but it is good to be around divers who know what they are doing. We both got horrendous outer ear infections and I had to see four different doctors including specialists, while one doctor trip worked for him. I lost the whole second half of the dive trip trying to deal with the infection and ultimately when the hospital in Moal Boal (where we had transferred to trying to see the bait balls) said they had done all they could we gave up and returned to Cebu City to see the specialist thus ruining most of the second half of his diving as well. I wonder if it was diving so close to shore in the twilight dive to a considerable population or if we were both just unlucky. In all our diving we have never hit an outer ear infection before. I would suggest alcohol and vinegar 2:1 as the Ear specialist suggested to me after dives to prevent this.

Summary, if you are in love with sharks as my husband is this is the only place to reliably see the majestic Threshers and it is worth it. The other diving is pretty good too and the resort does great for as far from civilization as they are.

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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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