One of the most famous dive sites in this area of the Philippines is Apo Island. It is just a short boat ride away from the Atmosphere Resort, via the marine park office to get your permits to dive there. Apo Island has been a Marine Sanctuary for over 20 years and this shows even as you glance down at the reefs below from the boat as you pull up to your dive site.
The corals here are healthy and abundant and the beauty of the shallows is breath-taking. On a sunny day, the corals light up in their multi-coloured splendour to delight both snorkelers and divers alike. These shallows are also home to a large number of sea turtles, who rest on the soft corals and graze on the hard corals. Banded Sea Kraits (sea snakes) also inhabit these shallow waters, taking divers by surprise as they wiggle out from the protection of the corals to head for the surface.
Once you have taken your fill of the shallows, and in the knowledge that you will have to come back here for your safety stop, you can head deeper down the sloping reef. The reef is just as healthy here, but the species of coral and fish change as you descend. Magnificent Anemones, balled up to show their vivid purple skirts, host families of anemonefish. If you look closely at the large sponges, you are sure to find one of the areas signature species – the frogfish. And if you keep one eye looking out into the blue, large pelagic species have been known to come in closer to the reef wall and give divers unexpected encounters with various species of shark.
On your surface interval you can buy local trinkets from boats that visit with clothing and souvenirs, whilst rehydrating or grabbing a bite to eat. The Atmosphere boat, Victoria, is a traditional banka boat with bamboo outriggers and is the most commonly used boat for this trip. It is extremely spacious, with plenty of room both for those that like to worship the sun or those that like to stay in the shade. The crew are always on hand to look after you too, changing your equipment over between dives and ensuring you have everything you need.
Apo Island is a must do day trip when staying with Atmosphere. We are only sad that we did not have enough time to go back and do a second trip there, but there are so many more dive sites to explore, and just not enough time for us to fit it all in. Next time…
Olympus OM-D EM-1 MKII with Olympus 8mm lens
INON Z240 Strobes
For more information about Atmosphere Resorts & Spa visit their website by clicking here.
For more information about visiting the Philippines click here.
Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados
In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.
Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.
For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.
Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)
Introduced by Jeff Goodman
Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.
A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.
CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.
Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts
Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.
During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!
Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.
For more information about the CCMI click here.
WIN a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive...
WIN a Tovatec T3500S Rechargeable Dive Light!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at CPS Partnership to give away a Tovatec T3500S Rechargeable Dive Light...
WIN a Fourth Element Arctic Hoodie!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at fourth element to give away one of their NEW Arctic...
WIN a Northern Diver NDB5 Holdall Bag!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Northern Diver to give away one of their NDB5 Holdall...
Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.More Less
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