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What an atmosphere: awesome house reef diving in the Philippines

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When I think of a “house reef” dive, images of a dull dive somehow spring to mind. Perhaps it’s because many resorts offer diving on their house reef at a lower cost, that it would appear a house reef dive would be in some way substandard to the sites elsewhere. I’ve therefore tended to shy away from the house reef in preference of boat dives, so imagine my very pleasant surprise when I revisited Atmosphere Resorts’ own reef earlier this year.

Juvenile giant frogfishCrinoid Shrimp (2)I’ve been to the resort several times over the past few years and always love the coastal dive sites of Dauin. I’m a critter nut so it stands to reason that Dauin has become one of my all-time favourite dive destinations, alongside Lembeh, Komodo and Tulamben. Due to my somewhat prejudicial position I rarely dived the house reef and the dives I did make paled in comparison to sites such as “The Cars” and “Pyramids”.  But this year, having read numerous reports about the great sightings on the Atmosphere House Reef, I decided to take a chance and sign up for the dive as part of my 20-dive package.

The change was completely outstanding! The Atmosphere dive team have been cultivating their own reef for the past few years. Not only is there a healthy coral garden for the critters to hang out but the purpose sunk containers are now encrusted with sponges and host to crinoids, with resident batfish and barracuda.

Our dive plan was to visit the containers first, as they lie between 22-30m, and then make our way up the reef slope. It was hard to ignore the nudis I spotted during the descent – but off we headed and what a reward awaited us. A pair of juvenile giant frogfish was hanging out in the sponges, ornate ghost pipefish hovered over the sand, crinoid shrimp and candy crabs were discovered in the feather stars and soft coral. A lovely anemone harboured a pretty aggressive group of anemone fish but we managed to get a few shots of the delightful porcelain crab; and all this was at the first container! Needless to say I didn’t make it to the other 2 before the deco time meant I needed to start coming up.

Orangutan CrabPorcelain Crab

Our guides zigzagged up the reef slope pointing out yet more cool critters. A pair of velvet ghost pipefish was an absolute first for me (and my dive buddies), nudis, jumping leaf fish and crabs followed. The sheer diversity of marine life seen meant after an 80 minute dive another visit was still absolutely necessary! To say I was hooked is a complete understatement. In total we made 4 dives on the house reef, with a sunset dive turning up a pair of harlequin shrimp.

Leaf FishNembrotha Lineolata

Can it get any better? Well the latest reports are those harlies have got busy and produced even more. A blue ring was spotted carousing the reef and a couple of painted froggies have been found on the reef slope. Other sightings include hairy shrimp and pygmy seahorses. The Atmosphere Resort house reef has totally changed my perception and I can’t wait to get back over there next year to discover even more.

If you’d like to learn more about diving in Dauin with Atmosphere Resorts and Spa, Susie will be at the Philippines Stand (#830) at DIVE2015 at the NEC on the weekend of the 24th/25th October. Stop by for a chat – she’s more than happy to tell you about the fabulous diving in the area – and not just the house reef either!

Susie has been enjoying the life of a dive instructor, travelling the world diving and teaching. Susie is somewhat of a liveaboard junkie after working as a cruise director in the Red Sea, the Philippines and Indonesia. She has also led trips to Fiji, Palau, Similans, Myanmar, East Timor, the Maldives and the Galapagos, yet she still finds time to do some shore based diving at her favourite sites in the Philippines too. Find Susie at www.heritagediving.com

Competitions

WIN one of the NEW Momentum M20 Dive Watches!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Nautilus Diving to give away one of Momentum’s new M20 Dive Watches as a prize!

Leading watch brand Momentum has introduced the new M20 series of watches. The new collection includes the M20 DSS Diver with a classic black dial, or striking Bahama yellow dial, and the M20 GMT Diver in a black & blue “Batman” version.

The M20 Dive watch features a solid 316L stainless steel case that is beautifully rounded and polished, taking its design cues from our original 1990’s Aquamatic model. The case is just under 42mm in diameter, but the smooth curves make it feel much smaller. Style, performance and unmatched comfort on the wrist.

The M20’s elegant yet durable design allows it to be worn in almost any situation. It has a 200M depth rating along with an off-set screw-down crown for added comfort.

The M20’s are also very legible, with its double-dome sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating there is virtually no glare. At night, the SuperLuminova luminous dial and hands come to life, a vital feature for serious divers where light may not reach certain depths.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can find here), we reported that the Women Divers Hall of Fame have announced the selection of how many new members who will constitute the Class of 2021?

Is it:

  • A) five
  • B) six
  • C) seven

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Nautilus Diving Momentum M20 Dive Watch October 2020

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Nautilus Diving and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. Your information will be shared with the competition's sponsor unless you tick the opt out box. This competition closes on 09/12/20. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Dive Training Blogs

5 Easy Steps For Choosing A Scuba Diving Center You’ll LOVE! (Watch Video)

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How do you pick which dive operation wins your money for your scuba diving vacation? If you only get to dive on vacation, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and getting experiences you enjoy. That’s why we are giving you our easy 5-step process for filtering out dive centers and narrowing down your selection to find the scuba team you want to be diving with!

In this example–driven video, we are showing you our procedure for how we pick our scuba dive operator. In this case, I use the island of Barbados, as I’ve actually never been scuba diving there.

THANK YOU so much to EVERYONE who is a part of this great community. We promise we have so much more planned for this channel. We’re going to keep spreading information and positivity to the Scuba Divers around the world! IMPROVE. INSPIRE. EXPLORE.


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Spend 7 nights at the Cinco Plazas Apartments, Lanzarote with flights and 5 days diving from just £625pp with Diverse Travel this winter.  Travel 12th November - Spaces are limited - contact us now to book. Other dates available.

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