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Beneath The Galleon - Puerto Galera, Philippines

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by Knightdivers, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Knightdivers

    Knightdivers Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Malaysia
    17
    8
    0
    Just wanna share my trip to Puerto Galera in June 2013. This is one of those trips where I made the decision to just pack my equipments and go without much research. I just wanted to surprise myself this round.Manila is an easily accessible city by taking a direct flight from any major city in the region. In my case, I flew directly on MAS from Kuala Lumpur. Ideally, you want to land in Manila Airport and not Clark as it takes only an hour plus from the airport to Batangas Pier which is to the south of Manila. From the pier, it will take another hour to get you to the resort.

    Platform Advantage
    It is interesting to note that El Galleon is the only resort on Puerto Galera that has her own platform. This is extremely crucial for divers and any sensible tourist who is not too fond of getting their luggage and equipments wet at the wrong time. Personally, I am not keen in getting my feet and equipment full of sand whenever I get on and off a boat.

    Muck Paradise
    With more than 30 sites to choose from, we were spoilt for options. Do note that if you are looking for the pelagic creatures, this is NOT the place BUT if you are into muck diving, tiny creatures, the weird and unknown, beautifully healthy corals and nice wrecks with good visibility (up to 40 metres), this place is a MUST. The Mandarin Fish can be easily seen a stone's throw from the resort.

    Matter of Experience
    If you are looking for experienced dive guides, El Galleon’s dive centre - Asia Divers offers thebest with some of them logging more than 9000 dives in this area alone and 26 years of history! One person that you must meet with such experience under her (weight) belt is no other than Allison. We had the privilege to dive with her during this trip along with her other equally experienced guides. With such great experience, it is not surprising that they run a lot of PADI courses as a CDC including the certification to be a Dive Instructor. As the market for Chinese divers from China is growing in this industry, Asia Divers engaged 2 full time Chinese speaking instructors to capitalize on them.

    A Safe Haven
    Well, training aside, what did we see and what can you expect to see? As Puerto Galera was discovered by the Spaniards in the early 16[SUP]th[/SUP] century as a safe haven from the storms as typhoon, you can expect most creatures here has the same instinct and divers can enjoy year round diving. On a good day, you may find the Hairy Frogfish resting at approximately 15 metres in the Boat Yard, a site which eventually stretches to another site called The Hill. This area is definitely a haven for macro photography. I took more than a dozen shot trying to frame the Blue Ring Octopus and countless anemone shrimps. If you are a fan of nudibranches, this is definitely the site and you can always have the chance to find the Wonderpus or the elusive Mimic Octopus lurking behind tiny corals. Sea moths, ghostpipe fish, pygmies, flounders, flying gunards, scorpion fish and any other bizarre creatures can be found right here. You will just need a good guide or an eye for details and a great sense of imagination.

    The Sites
    If you are looking for pristine corals, the stretch of dive sites from Sabang Point to Monkey Beach will never disappoint. It is also interesting to note that El Galleon uses a speed boat for the divers making most of the sites accessible within 5 to 10 minutes tops.If you ain't claustrophobic, the Hole in The Wall is one dive site you should consider. At approximately 12 metres, there is a hole where it fits a diver with good buoyancy through. You can expect to see snappers, giant trevallies and occasionally a turtle.Personally, I enjoyed my dive in Alma Jane, a wreck located at 30 metres deep and it is not too far out from the resort. This cargo vessel was sank by the Puerto Galera Dive Association about 10 years back and now it is teaming with life. You will most probably be welcomed by a school of friendly batfish. If you can position yourself right with the sun, the wreck and the school of batfish, an award winning shot will be in your pocket soon. If you are on Nitrox, you will probably have time to go into the wreck and discover other interesting creatures in there such as the Painted Frog Fish and the Coleman Shrimp. I managed only the former.

    Best Place to Go Tech!
    If deep diving is your cup of tea, Tech Asia, which is the technical diving arm of Asia Divers offer full fledged PADI technical diving courses, dives and even trips around Puerto Galera and also around the region. The person to talk to is Dave Ross. This fine British spends his free time exploring and charting the caves of Samar in the country and funding it himself. Technical diving allows you to explore the deeper outer reef of Puerto Gallera which starts approximately 50 metres deep with sites such as Sweet Lips Corner for the Eagle Rays, Mapating for Marble Ray's nest, and a site called Black Fish Corner for Tunas. It is at this site that the divers of Palau's Blue Corner find it comparable!

    Surface Time
    El Galleon offers more than 30 air conditioned rooms on the beach side and the hills. A swimming pool with a deep enough corner for new divers to practice, a restaurant with a French chef, a bar for divers to chill and share their stories, a private spa that allows you to look to the open sea, a well equipped camera room with computers, and most importantly, a fully equipped dive centre on the platform. If you happen to come along with a spouse that didn't dive or bringing your kids along, you might want to spoil them a little by checking into El Galleon's Villas instead which is located only 5 minutes walk away. I hope the photos represent the beauty of the villas well as I think I ran out of words to express myself here.For more info and photos of this trip, you can always visit their website http://www.asiadivers.com/ or check out their FaceBook pages at https://www.facebook.com/asia.divers and if you need an agent, PacDome would be of great help HomeNight life in Puerto Gallera can be pretty interesting if you decide to take a walk into the nearby village. This is where you can get some local food especially the BBQ, fruits and perhaps top up your pre-paid phone. Bistros serving both local and imported beer are literally everywhere as well.The usual question I suppose - Will I be back? Most definitely!!

    Getting There & Costing
    · Budget: Below USD500.00 for 4 Nights 5 Days with 4 boat dives a day, twin sharing room, breakfast, dive guide, tank, weights, return transfers from Manila Airport – Boat – Resort
    · Nitrox Available with minimal charge
    · Return Air Ticket to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore USD200.00 (if you buy early)
    · Lunch/Dinner – Approximately USD5 to USD10 per person per meal
     
    Searcaigh, Kevrumbo, tracydr and 3 others like this.
  2. IamScubaDog

    IamScubaDog Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Dallas, Texas, United States
    32
    5
    8
    Thank you for the trip report. Much appreciated.
     
  3. EMG

    EMG Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Manila
    46
    16
    0
    Hole in the wall is one of my favorites. As is Monkey Beach. Alma Jane another fun one, the frog fish are always there hanging out, as are the bat fish, and the last two times I was there a banded sea snake was hanging around.

    Great report.
     
  4. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    7,522
    2,719
    113
    1. I am intrigued to know why El Galleon was "allowed" to build that pier on public land?
    2. You must be very lucky to find someone to share a room.
     
  5. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Teetering
    4,318
    38
    48
    First post in a couple of years, but my understanding is that El Galleon owns the lease to the foreshore, thus meaning it's part of their "land". Actually, the jetty has been there as long as the shop - 25 years this year.

    That lease was almost not given, and I may have had something to do with that. Ask Allison...
     
  6. clgsamson

    clgsamson Koya Kap

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    13,068
    63
    48
    The pier? that's where to puke after a big nite at The Point. Fish food.

    ps - do not ring that bell!
     
  7. matt_reed

    matt_reed Tech Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: The Land of Confusion [Philippines]
    1,082
    223
    63
    Oh if only PG could talk, the stories it would tell of you eh Larry :)
     
    clgsamson likes this.
  8. victordive

    victordive Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location:
    1
    0
    0
    I was really wondering how could you get such low price?

    I was quoted USD 688.50/pax from ellgaleon for 6d/5n 12dives round trip mnl-pg
     
  9. markb

    markb Angel Fish

    65
    13
    8
    I think the low price is because this is an advert.
     
    Wingy, kwhkg and DeputyDan like this.
  10. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    4,196
    510
    113
    I agree. The entire trip report reads like an advertisement - not a trip report!
     
    kwhkg likes this.

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