Category Archives: Puerto Galera Dive Sites

Scandi joins the Blackwater Revolution

blackwater diving puerto galera scandi divers resort

A new craze has ripped through the scuba diving world. Blackwater diving has grown dramatically becoming a new and exciting way to see many new species and also to see fish in their early larval stages.

We were lucky to have the professional guidance of Jerome Kim to help us with our blackwater education. Jerome has already taken hundreds of world class blackwater images from locations around the world so were in very capable hands.

As we prepared the line our guides became wide eyed at the thought of hanging out in the Verde Island passage with two hundred meters of water below during the night. We measured out twenty meters of rope, fixed 5000 lumens of lights at the end of the line with some lead weights.Smaller lights were attached at five-meter sections of the rope, gallon containers were attached with plenty of knots to make sure our equipment didn’t drop to the ocean floor.

As the sun started to drop Jerome briefed our team, we would be a mile away from shore before dropping the line with all the lights switched on. Its important to leave it down for a while as the lights attract all the weird and wonderful creatures that live in the open water.

blackwater diving scandi divers resort philippines

With darkness descending we kitted up and pushed thoughts of sharks and barracuda to the back of our mind. You question your sanity a little bit as you see the lights of Big La Laguna way off in the distance. Looking out into the black water the dive lights were giving off a tremendous glow, we back rolled into the water and descended down into the abyss.

It’s a strange feeling at first, you feel yourself holding the line tightly, staying next to the safety of the glowing lights. After a while you get comfortable, weird little creatures float into your view, things you have never seen before that blow your imagination to pieces. Before you know it all those pre-dive scary thoughts disappear and you finally let go of the line and follow these creatures in the dark waters.

The plankton population was picking up due to the effect of the lights, our light beam focused on a small creature that was about the size of a small pea, as it come closer to us you could see its beautiful round blue eyes that were reflecting in the light. It landed on top of my hand, after a while its legs unfolded and crawled along. After doing some research we figured out it was a larval stage zoea crab.

As the water became darker it felt like being in space, little aliens were all around you, amazing jelly fish with little flashing lights resembling a UFO drifting through the galaxy. The amazing finds continued with a larval scorpion fish about half an inch in size. One of the most common sights was what looked like tiny transparent manta rays that are called sea butterflies, these would swim by flapping their wings, the beauty of these creatures really was something else.

Atlanta Peroni

The dive was a great success, we were happy to see so many exciting critters. Jerome took so many images. One of his favorite images was of a beautiful mollusk called an Atlanta Peroni which you can see on this post.

If you would like to try black water diving then speak to the dive team on your next visit to Scandi divers.

Life is too short not to try out new things, they say that scuba diving is the nearest thing to being in space, add the blackwater effect to that and you are one step closer to the moon!

Get yourself to Verde Island and Dive with Scandi Divers Resort!

verde island puerto galera philippines

If you are diving the Philippines, as a visitor, a resident or an expatriate; Verde Island needs to be on your scuba-safari bucket list. Situated between Batangas and the island of Mindoro, Verde Island is a day trip away from Puerto Galera (as well as Sabang and White Beach). The area around Verde Island boasts some of the best diving in the area, which is to say some of the best diving anywhere in the world. Depending on the tide, the currents in the area run from tepid to strong. This dive is therefore best suited to more experienced divers with an advanced PADI open water certification.

With over 300 coral species, the area (known as the “coral triangle) is considered one of the largest and most diverse concentrations of coral found anywhere. The pristine coral attracts an astonishing array of marine lifeincluding dense schools of anthia fish, dolphins, fans,sea whips, sea snakes,rays, reef sharks, as well as endangered species such as hawksbill turtles, olive ridley turtles, green turtles, humphead wrasses, giant groupers and giant clams.

Because Verde Island is some distance from our location on Big La Laguna, you should coordinate with Scandi’s dive team to organize a day trip to remember. It’s best to enlist a few like-minded advanced divers for the trip to share the cost of the boat and crew. More importantly, you’ll definitely want to compadres for the experience as you explore the stunning beauty of a Verde Island Dive.

Verde Island Dive Trip Logistics: The boat leaves early in the morning to catch the proper tides for diving Pinnacle, Coral Garden or Washing Machine. Scandi will organize a dive master and crew who will take care of your gear and lunch after your two dives. The crew brings drinking water and towels as well as most everything you need besides a camera (which you will definitely want). Typically the dives are separated by a surface interval followed by lunch on the beach before you head back to Scandi in the early afternoon.

The Pinnacle/Drop Off

The Pinnacle is a massive reef located on the east side of Verde Island. Your boat will drop you near the point or pinnacle of the reef where you descend to explore the amazing variety of coral and marine life denizens of the reef formation. It’s important to maintain buoyancy and stay with the dive master as the current is best gaged by a diver with plenty of Verde Island experience to ensure you don’t get blown off the wall or caught in a rogue up or down current. As you traverse through the dive, you will see large fan coral, sponges and large schools of juvenile triggerfish, butterfly fish and antheas. The area is so abundant with life, that the schools actually obscure the surface. The variety of marine life as well as the hard and soft coral together with great visibility make this Puerto Galera’s premier dive.

Washing Machine

After the stunning experience of the Drop Off, Washing Machine makes for a wholly different scuba experience. Depending on the tidal conditions when you dive, you might experience currents that rip across several shallow canyons that push you in different directions or a great, shallow dive for photographing sea life and coral. Besides a wild current ride, you can see schooling fish and occasionally pelagics such as tuna, traveled or reef sharks. With the current churning, hence the name “Washing Machine,” it may shift direction unexpectedly and so the dive is reserved for experienced divers with and experienced guide.

Tech Divers with a Turtle – Video

You know how much we love our turtles, so here’s another vid of a beautiful turtle happily munching away, with tech divers Marti Duggan and Steve Wright lurking in the background 😉