Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chasing turtles - Apo Island

Day 3: August 20 2016

This was probably the highlight of our trip. Finally I will be able to put another Done on my To-Do list. As animal lovers we were both 100% excited to be able to swim with turtles and my partner was very vocal about it. It was the first time I've seen so much excitement in his eyes, it was seriously glowing. Biruin mo sa apat na taon naming magkasama ngayon ko lang siya nakitang sobrang SAYA.
We availed our Apo Island tour package from Harold's mansion, aside from hostel they also offer different kinds of tour packages just contact them directly for more information. We paid for PHP 1200/pax (Previously PHP 1000) that includes gears, food, fees, boat and land transportation. If you'll be traveling on small groups I would recommend booking your Apo tour to Harold's. 
Makuntento kana, binigay na nga sayo ang lahat nag hahanap kapa ng iba?

I was surprised that their Fins and Snorkeling set are all branded. Oh diba bongga, big time!
Fins: Aquamundo
Snorkeling set: Mares
6:30 AM head to Harold's dive center to get our gears. Our call time is 6:45 AM and we expect to depart at 7:00 AM. We were combined with large group which we don't mind because the more the manier, I mean the more the merrier.

7:00 AM head to Dauin
I am a little bit disappointed with Dauin beach, good thing I removed it from my itinerary.
7:30 AM Boat - They have a very huge boat and I am guessing it could accommodate 30 people.
8:00 AM Tour briefing
Apo Island is a marine protected area
No touching nor stepping on corals

Take nothing but pictures - Look but don't touch
Leave nothing but bubbles - Tama, h'wag ka nang mangiwan pa ng heartache
Kill nothing but time - Pati yung nararamdaman mo sa kanya patayin mo na
Common sense na lang
I am very thankful because the sun was shining that day. 

8:15 AM Our Apo Island Adventure started
It was a bumpy ride, you have to be splash proof to be able to survive. Bring Dry bag for your valuables. 
That's apo Island
9:00 AM Touch down Apo Island, our boat did not dock maybe because it might harm the corals on the sanctuary since it is huge. Don't quote me on that okay? I am just guessing lol. 

According to our guides travel time will depend on the water condition.

Our package include 3 dives

Ready for our first dive
10:30 PM Done with first dive.
We spotted 2 huge turtles and 1 of them is doing number 2. lol
The current and strong wave is quite a challenge but still I am very happy to be able to swim with these fellas really close.
By the way, since this the island is a marine sanctuary - touching of turtles or any marine creatures is prohibited. If you happen to violate these, it's fine time or jail time. Please maintain your distance.

I am glad that I joined Seazoned Philippine's City dive and I was able to apply what I learned there but I am still scared to go deeper, 
Make sure to document as much as you can since you will no longer be seeing any turtles on the second and third dives.

Second Dive was a combination of corals and a little bit of white sand under. Nothing special about it.
Third was more exciting. I've seen more corals. They were very healthy and it was really colorful. We spend longer on this area and took alot of photos as much as we can.
Favorite part was when we go in the middle of 2 huge rocks with corals under. 
I fell in-love with this place and I wished it never ended.
Going back to the boat is quite a challenge because the current was intense.
Apo Island is surrounded by strong current that's why you have to make sure that you stay close to your guide. Better safe than sorry. We have to accept the fact that we will never be able to outsmart the ocean no matter how expert we are.

I learned what Drip diving is, We just let the current take us to where it's going. 
My gopro will not give justice to what I witnessed. It's beautiful down there..

3:00 PM Done with dive

4:40 PM Back to Harold's Mansion

Transferred to a fan room at the rooftop, Bath is common.
what's cool about Harold's is they have their own garden, I was amazed and tempted at the same time to harvest these fresh lettuce lol
Aside from a very fulfilling trip we also met new friends and because of that we found company on our trip to Manjuyod sandbar.

Rest for a moment and went ahead to eat dinner.
Our foot brought us to Jo's chicken inato
We ordered gambas and pecho inato

Both tastes good .

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