Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - MV Alma Jane, Philippines
In August and September 2023 I did a three week long dive trip to the Philippines with my friend John. We spent the first week at Anilao staying at Buceo Anilao Dive Resort and the next two weeks at Sabang (Puerto Galera). A t Sabang, we stayed at Capt'n Greggs and dived with them as well.
There are a dozen or more dive sites located within 10 minutes run from Capt'n Greggs.
Unfortunately we had a Super Typhoon hit the northern Philippines when we were at Anilao and lost some days diving there. We were also delayed a day in getting to Sabang.
MV Alma Jane is located in the main bay opposite all the dive operations and to the left of the middle of the bay. It is a very short run from the resort. A GPS mark for the starting spot for the dive is 13Â° 31' 30.238"N 120Â° 58' 23.329"E (using WGS84 as the datum).
|A satellite photo from Google Earth of Sabang Bay. MV Alma Jane dive started above the white vessel to the left of the red mark and went west and then south.|
The site is only a few hundred metres from the resort to the north-west. There is a mooring on the stern of the wreck and the boats drop you near this (up current if there is any). You drop down the mooring line to the wreck which is in about 29 metres on a sandy bottom. The stern of the wreck is about 25 metres deep.
The wreck is a small coastal freighter of about 30 metres length. It is sitting upright with the bow pointing to the west or north-west. It had twin engines and props but they were removed before the ship was sunk as a dive site.
|Looking back at the bow||Fish on the wreck looking from the port side|
|John and a gorgonia||A school of fish over the wreck|
Once we hit the deck we go right around it a couple of times. There are good photographs to be taken at the bow and under the stern. You can swim between the rudders and the hull as you go from one side to the other. You can go inside the wreck in a couple of spots. The bow area is quite open. The holds are empty and the port side has collapsed in a bit.
There is a lot of growth on the wreck, including sponges and gorgonias. There are dozens of batfish all over the wreck, mostly at the bow. There are a few large sweetlips at the stern and a large octopus too. There are other large fish over the wreck as well. The wreck also has some nice nudibranchs and we see a couple of small cuttlefish on the sand next to the wreck.
|Some of the batfish off the bow||Looking at the stern from the starboard side|
After about 15 minutes, we leave the wreck and head to the south-east, swimming about five metres above the bottom. After five minutes of slow swimming we come to some reef at 25 metres. We head south-east and follow the bottom into the shallows. On our second dive here we stayed 21 minutes on the wreck and then headed south-west for 12 minutes to reef.
The reef here is composed of coral outcrops here and there. IT gently slopes back up towards the shore. We end up in six metres where we do our safety stop. We see quite a few anemones with anemonefish (clownfish), orangutan crabs, shrimps and some Moorish idols and long-finned bannerfish. There are more nudibranchs here too as well as some moray eels.
|A nudibranch on the wreck||One of the many nudibranch seen on the reef|
The reef section of these dives were both very good. This was a good dive. Water temperature was 28C in September and the visibility was about 10 to 12 metres.
|A nembrotha nudibranch||Yet one more species seen|
|A porcelain crab in an anemone||One of a few moray eels seen|
|A starfish shrimp on a starfish||An orangutan crab in an anemone|