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Here is a report on SCUBA diving in La Union I found on the web ( I was searching for Philippine SCUBA sites). I will be diving Anilao and Puerta Gallera next week. You should check-out those places for great diving...but not too close to La Union.
Discover the Philippine underwater paradise. More than 7,000 islands of lush tropical greenery, ringed with unspoiled beaches, are scattered around these deep-blue waters - waters which offer about 40,000 square kilometers of coral reefs teeming with a wide variety of marine life.
The Philippines has one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. Its tropical waters are enriched by currents coming from Japan, the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Celebes Sea. No wonder the country's waters abound with species of fish, shells, various marine invertebrates and other forms of marine life found in the Indo-Pacific region. It has no less than 800 species of corals.
Research Reef The reef is located about 10 minutes ride straight out from Ocean Deep. It begins in about 25 feet and drops gradually to 100 feet where it become sandy. The caverns area offers several tunnels and swim through with 40-50 foot valleys. There is one large cavern, which goes in about 30 feet and is about 20 feet in diameter. Many lobster and small cleaner shrimp can be seen here.
Tamayo Reef This reef is the northern part of Research on the charts. It has many taller valleys and big coral heads. One place is called Grouper Gulch because several large groupers have been sighted here.
Hashi Maru This wreck is a Japanese freighter, which was sunk by US Bombs in 1941. It is in 75 feet of water on the edge of the reef. Because of the sandy/muddy area where it sunk, visibility is not always the best. The wreck is in several pieces now after some salvage attempts. It is fun to start digging in the hull area where you can find tire interiors plus glue. Gas masks, and several ammunitions. Please do not bring the ammo up as several have actually exploded even though they have been there for over 50 years.
VOA/Lighthouse/Domes The Voice of America, the Wallace Lighthouse and the Radar Domes of Wallace all are located along the Poro Point Peninsula. The reef begins on the shore and extends out about 300 meters from shore. It begins a gradual slope and eventually gets to about 120 feet. There are Coral crevices and small hole, which house several different species of fish. Lobster have been seen here. A small nurse shark has been sighted here but not seen since Nov 2000. It is usually the best place to go if the weather is a bit rough as it is the last to get bad visibility and the first to clear.
Red Buoy The red buoy area is on the right side of the harbor on return. The actually buoy has not been there for 12 years. There is a wall, which extends from 25 feet to 120 feet. (It is difficult to find) Also several varieties of fish. We have seen eagle rays in this area.
Black BuoyThe black buoy is located on the northern entrance to the harbor. There are many tunnels and caverns, which have lobster, grouper, and jacks. This is the best area for sighting these types of underwater creatures. The reef runs mostly north and south and begins about 20 feet deep and has a well defined wall down to 50 feet. 40-50 feet has many large coral heads with many valleys and crevices. (The buoy has not been there for 20 years)
Fagg Reef South Fagg reef begins about 20 feet and can drop off to 600 feet. Most areas have a gradual slope not a well-defined wall. The south end has some remains of timber possibly from an old ship. Other than this it is flat and not much to see.
Fagg North This area has a well-defined wall, which runs north and south. There are several pieces of metal, which resembles a ship at about 100 feet. To the North East are some small coral heads which have fish under. This reef is mostly damaged by illegal dynamite fisherman. Most of the coral here is dead.
Fagg Tanks Of the 675, M10A1E tanks built at Grand Blanc Arsenal between Sept., l943 and November, l943, 300 were left with the original 3 in. gun and an additional 2,500-pound weight to counter balance the turret. 3 of them together and one to the east now rest in 135 Feet of water. Another is located in 200 feet of water along with other metal, which was dumped there after WWII.