Saturday, June 09, 2012

Whaleshark Party Oslob Philippines

I went to Cebu for a couple of days in the last week of May 2012 to dive at Moalboal and Oslob. The resort - Quo Vadis (Visaya Divers) was very pleasant; it has a very good house reef where we found Mandarin fishes breeding, blue ring octopus etc.. However the lack of a jetty or boat means that you have to walk all the way back to shore - and hopefully you won't step on a sea urchin or crown of thorns (oh joy not). I found the DM and staff very helpful and friendly.

I much prefered the diving at Pescador Island which is about 30mins boat ride from Moalboal. Beautiful reef dives, magnificent wall dives, plenty of marine life, soft corals in abundance, just simply awesome.

Unfortunately, the waters had quite a lot of jellyfish on the surface - and most of us got stung. I got it in the face and have the tentacle scar as a very painful and dubious souvenir. The DM says that by June and July and jellyfish bloom is over.

The food from the Maya Mexican restaurant was superb. There are actually quite a number of good restaurants around the area. Best to choose this option rather than being tied down to the resort food; the service was rather slow at times.

The highlight of the trip was of course the dive at Oslob with the whalesharks. There were about 7 in the area at any one time. First dive got a bit boring as the ws were too busy feeding - so they were practically vertical throughout that hour. It was noisy and chaotic as the fishing "feeding" boats charged in and out dumping swimmers and snorkelers near or on top of the sharks. The 2nd dive got a bit more interesting as the whales went out into deeper waters. Maybe they had enough of snorkelers kicking them in the face or maybe they had eaten their fill. So we had a great time swimming with them at depth for a 30+ mins while they played with our bubbles. Awesome. The journey back home took 2 hours.

If you do plan to go to Oslob - whatever you do - avoid going there on a weekend, school holiday, or religious holiday - we went there on a Monday and it was crowded - I'd imagine it'd be 10 times as worse during a public holiday.