Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coron Wreck Diving

Spotty internet coverage prevented me from posting much while traveling, but we've returned from another an incredible adventure. I'll do my best to recap it all as quickly and lovingly as i can.

From Puerto Princesa, we flew north about an hour to Coron, a well-known dive spot famous for its wrecks. On September 24th, 1944, US forces sunk a fleet of Japanese Ships during WWII. In total there's about 12 wrecks you can dive in the area.

We did two days of diving with Sea Dive and would highly recommend them to stay and dive with. We had one dive master that we didn't love, but that would be our only dive-related complaint. Their boat was awesome and hospitality at the resort was great with reasonable pricing all around. The food was good, but both Coron Bistro and Out Of Africa are nearby, offering truly great food. Oh, i definitely recommend 2nd or 3rd floor rooms, as the first floor was really noisy. Paper thin walls and a family with little kids next door made for a rough night.

We had 3 full days in Coron, did 5 total dives comprised of 4 different wrecks and the thermal Barracuda lake. I had never been wreck diving before, and these may have spoiled me a bit. It was incredible. The bay itself gets relatively little circulation and currents are low. This makes the diving a little easier and preserves the sunken ships as well, but it also means the water is filthy. All that matter decomposing over the last 70 years doesn't get swept away very often, and the water appears ripe with plankton and moss.

This trip, we were prepared for ample underwater adventures with a new camera/underwater housing combo, the Canon G9. I took dozens of videos on these dives, and rather than post link after link, i actually assembled them into one 8 minute video with some sweet music overdubbed for your viewing and listening pleasure. The four dives in this video are: Kyogo Maru, Tangat Maru, Irako, and Olympia Maru. I'm thinking Maru probably means Tanker, while Irako was a refrigeration ship. The schematics below show the sea floor orientation and rough outline.

Here we go!

And a few random pictures that didn't come out well in the video, or weren't caught at all. First, a cool turtle with some remora's tagging along for the ride.

Next, a few stills of the school of Jackfish we saw on the Irako dive. There were thousands and they let me swim along with them for a while.

Last, a few colorful scorpionfish. These guys are cool because they blend in with the surroundings and you feel awfully proud when you spot one.

Next up, possibly tomorrow: Barracuda Lake and some incredible island pics!


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