Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Fantasea, 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.
Fantasea is about 350 metres almost due north from the resort. A GPS mark for the starting spot for the dive site is 13Â° 31' 25.705"N 120Â° 58' 27.016"E (using WGS84 as the datum).
|A satellite photo from Google Earth showing the location of the starting point for Fantasea at the red mark. Capt'n Greggs is bottom as shown.|
We started this dive by dropping to the bottom at 18 metres. There was a strong current running to the north-west so we drifted that way and went a bit more to the north and deeper to 23 metres. The bottom was sandy with coral bits. After eight minutes we started going shallower. Over the next 30 minutes we got to 17 metres.
There are lots of coral outcrops along the way and also some strange large cone-shaped coral sections. I have never seen these anywhere else as far as I remember. Along the way we see some really nice nudibranchs, a small banded sea snake and then a medium sized turtle with a very scratched shell. I get very close to the turtle to get some photographs.
|A close up of the turtle||The weedy scorpionfish- Rhinopias frondosa|
There are also a couple of large "tinnies" which presumably have been scuttled here for artificial reefs. As well as these, there are many mooring blocks, large ropes from the moorings and lots more junk on the bottom. All these are attracting fish.
As we go we also see a few orangutan crabs, another banded sea snake and more nudibranchs. We also are very lucky to see a white Rhinopias frondosa, weedy scorpionfish, a fairly rare fish.
|Varicose phyllidia - Phyllidia varicosa||A different form of varicose phyllidia - Phyllidia varicosa|
There are also a number of mantis shrimps out in the open. However, they are hard to photograph as they are constantly on the move. Nearly everywhere we look there is something interesting to see.
After 50 minutes we start a 10 minute ascent to five metres where we do our safety stop. There are more things to see here too. This dive also had quite a few different species of coral and taking photographs close up provides some very good patterns.
|One of the wrecks||The larger banded sea snake|
This was another very good dive. Water temperature was 29Â°C in September. The visibility was about 12 to 15 metres.
|One of the cone shaped corals, about a metre high||Joshs chromodoris - Chromodoris joshi|
|An ocellate phylllidia - Phyllidia ocellata||Chamberlains nembrotha - Nembrotha chamberlaini|
|One of the corals||Another one|