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Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by gkrane, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. gkrane

    gkrane Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Corpus Christi, TX
    486
    106
    43
    I have decided to bite the bullet and started saving for a trip in 2019 on a liveaboard to supplemant my yearly carribean trips. I had posted in the Indo forum asking for suggestions and what came up was Raja Ampat, PNG, and Komodo mostly as where the best places to go to see sharks, reefs, clownfish and powder blue tangs for my wife, clear water, and a whole new biodiversity. After doing some more research I think I may have found the perfect place for us. A liveaboard to Tubbataha Phillipimes for a week. From what I have read it has everything we are looking for and airfare is much more reasonable to the Phillipines than it is to Indo. Am I correct on these facts? The trip would be for myself, my wife, and my son who will be 14 at that time. The months we could go would be End of May, June, July, or Mid December. What would be the best time to go? One of the LOB's I am looking at is the Expediton Stella Maris. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
  2. FT

    FT Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    300
    141
    43
    May-June a good time of year for a Tubbataha trip. Certainly would meet your stated requirements. You would have to contact the Stella Maris directly to see if they will accept a 14 year old -- let them know his anticipated certification and number of dives.
     
  3. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    7,569
    2,746
    113
    There are several liveaboards going to Tubbataha. One operator, Moonshadow, insists on min.147 logged dive!
    Best time is from late Apr to late May. Season closes around mid June.
    The 14yrs old boy is the MAIN issue. You have to ask.
    Most trips start at Puerto Princesa so budget an extra domestic flight.
     
  4. gkrane

    gkrane Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Corpus Christi, TX
    486
    106
    43
    I just heard back from the Stella Maris. They don't have a problem with a child diver who has an AOW and Nitrox certification.
     
    FT likes this.
  5. gkrane

    gkrane Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Corpus Christi, TX
    486
    106
    43
    I just looked at the Moonshadow website and it says they require 257 logged dives. How did they come up with that number? I'm not picky but my wife wouldnt go for that operation anyway. 66ft in length, a couple of toilets and almost close to being what a modern M/Y costs. The M/B Dschubba doent look very seaworthy.
     
  6. Damselfish

    Damselfish ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    9,170
    1,731
    113
    I almost suggested Tubbataha on your other thread. It has plenty of mantas, sharks, and schooling fish. Some reef stuff, though that's not the big draw there, and currents/depths/dive plans may not always cooperate with checking those things out. Like most diving focused on larger animals you can get apparently get skunked there sometimes and not see a lot of what you go there for. If you're traveling that far, I would combine the liveaboard with a land stay to get more variety of diving. Good airfares to Philippines can be found and the resorts and diving can be pretty reasonable. Outside of some liveaboards, it tends to be a relatively inexpensive place in general.

    The season is something like mid March - mid June, that's when conditions are reliably acceptable. I don't think you will find any liveaboards going out there outside that, and your odds of good conditions are probably better if you stay away from the ends of the season. I know some folks that went early in the season and said it was pretty rough. The boats move to other areas of the Philippines at different times of year depending on conditions and what's to be seen when/where. Best to book reasonably far in advance to get the best dates, with the dates being so limited things can book up.

    A 14 year old puts a twist in things and might be an issue. We did Tubbataha on the Azores and their minimum age is 15 for any itinerary. At Tubbataha some of the diving can be deepish. There were lots of changing currents, we usually just went with them as much as possible but were often changing direction many times on a single dive. It's very remote and a long motor out there, and a long way from help. (With the currents some areas in Indonesia are known for, I don't know if some of those itineraries are so ideal for for newish youngish divers either.)
     
  7. FT

    FT Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    300
    141
    43
    Hurray! Book it and add a week at a land-based operation. Shame to go all the way to the Philippines for only a week. And there are so many other wonderful complementary options.
     
    gkrane likes this.
  8. gkrane

    gkrane Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Corpus Christi, TX
    486
    106
    43
    Now this sounds like a great idea.

    Damselfish, how do the currents compare to say Cozumel? On some of the dives there we get moving along at a pretty fast pace. Also, you mentioned some of the dives can be deepish. Are most of the dives under 100" deep?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  9. gkrane

    gkrane Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Corpus Christi, TX
    486
    106
    43
    The Stella Maris departs out of Puerto Princesa.
     
    HooleyF likes this.
  10. gkrane

    gkrane Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Corpus Christi, TX
    486
    106
    43
    Where would you suggest for land based diving after the LOB that is close to Puerto Princesa? What do the inter island flights usually cost?
     

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