Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - West Escareo, 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.
West Escareo is located about 1.6 kilometres to the east of the resort in a small bay. It is west of the lighthouse headland. A GPS mark for the starting spot for the dive site is 13Â° 31' 20.024"N 120Â° 59' 17.452"E (using WGS84 as the datum). The dive goes to the west and then to the south.
|A satellite photo from Google Earth of West Escareo. This dive started at the red mark and went west. Sabang Bay is to the left.|
As mentioned this site is in a small bay which is just before you get to the lighthouse headland. The dive starts just off the shore. You drop into shallow water, about 9 metres, and then head north to 18 metres. From here you head west with the current and get deeper to 22 to 24 metres. You stay at this depth for 30 or so minutes before starting a very gradual ascent.
The bottom is sand with some small coral outcrops. We see a small banded sea snake at the start and then a very nice orangutan crab. There are some anemones with clowngfish and lots of the normal tropical species of fish. Out in deeper water we see a school of small silver fish, no idea what species they were.
|Orangutan crab||A small goby in a hole in the sand|
Eventually we end up shallower with lots more coral. These walls were not spectacular and to be honest, we had much better diving at other sites in Sabang, even ones near here.
|A nudibranch||Only the second time I saw this nudibranch|
We end up in six metres where we do our safety stop. There are some nicely coloured fish here and a few nudibranchs. Some of the featherstars have shrimp in them too.
This was not a great dive really, other spots are much better. Water temperature was 28C in September and the visibility was about 20 metres.
|A clownfish in an anemone||A short-finned bannerfish|
|A small pufferfish||head on shot of a nudibranch|
|Crinoid shrimp||Some brightly coloured fish|