Pescador Island

Pescador Island Coral Reef

A dive in Pescador Island

As divers we often get asked what is it like to dive, what do you see, how does it feel? To give you an idea lets talk about a typical dive on one of our more popular sites Pescador Island, the famous Marine Park here in Moalboal, Cebu.

We meet at the dive center, everyone is busy preparing their equipment, a quick nod and a smile when we meet but then back to the gear. The Divemasters are also busy greeting divers as they arrive, laughing and joking amongst each other and carrying dive gear and tanks to the boat.

Dive breifings are given, there’s a nice atmosphere in the room, everybody anticipates a good dive ahead, we hop on the boats and cruise accross glass like water, the best bit about early morning dives, so qiuet, only the boat engine disturbs the silence.

After about 10 minutes the engine stops and the crew tie the boat to the buoyline, everybody on cue starts putting their equipment on as the boat and dive crew move expertly around them helping them into their BCDs.

The Divemaster watches everybody complete their buddy checks, making sure all equipment is present and working, he shares a few thoughts about the weather and dive conditions, typically beautful and easy, he reminds us of a few points from the breifing before wishing us a good dive. Minutes later we are in the water and descending, following the Divemaster down the descent line, we were the lucky ones, first down and for a few moments we have the whole dive site to ourselves.

Today we have planned a deep multi-level dive, a few days before we trained for this on our PADI Advanced Open Water course, now it’s time to put that knowledge to use. Down to 30 meters where we will stay for a while, here there is a special point where we have a good chance to see White Tip sharks. After 6 minutes we ascend to a depth of 20m. We will stay there for another 20 minutes and then ascend to 5-6m, where we spend the rest of the time of our dive and make a safety stop to get rid of excess nitrogen in a safe way.

Cathedral at Pescador Island

The magic blue environment engulfs us. You can not talk, but there are many sounds, the hissing of the valves in your scuba unit, the air bubbles you’re exhaling fleeing to surface, the current and waves moving small particles in the reef, the sound made by colorful parrot fish when they eat hard corals. Over the drop off you glide to the bottomless void. You are descending deeper and deeper, watching your depth gauge and your buddy, equalizing the pressure in your ears.

At 25 m we start to slow down, at 30m we stop our descent. The underwater world is different now, there are not so many colors anymore, and it’s darker than when we are close to the surface. We drift slowly with the current. Sometimes we stop, looking in small caves for moray eels, big groupers, or if we have some luck, a sleeping White Tip shark.

Suddenly I hear a sound behind me, It’s my buddy banging his knife against his tank, a diver’s way to gain someones attention. I turn around to look at, he is right behind me, where he should be, eyes wide open, pointing out in the blue. I look where he is pointing and I see a school of big barracudas very close to us. Four, no five of them, each of them at least a meter big. They hang motionless in the current, holding their position without any visible effort. They seem to observe us with cold, merciless eyes, like if we would fit for a mid-morning snack. They stay with us for four or five minutes, keeping always the same distance to us.

We check our dive plan, time to ascend to a shallower depth now, and the barracudas disappear in the big blue. We continue our dive, gliding weightless along the wall, stopping here and there, exploring the colorful reef, finding many different kind of reef fish, like lion fish, bat fish, sea cucumbers and so on.

At the end of the dive we encounter a sea snake. Another potentially dangerous animal, very poisonous but not aggressive. We just keep a little distance and observe the snake hunting in the reef: how it glides from hole to hole, looking for her prey. After a while the snake runs out of air and it glides in smooth, wavelike movements up to surface, gets some fresh air, and heads down again.

Time is flying by and soon we reach our planned air reserve. We have to ascend and to get back to the dive center. We are really happy, chatting in the boat with the other divers about all the things we have seen. Okay, we missed the sharks, but this gives us just an excuse to go back to Pescador. And these barracudas, man, they were really cool! No surprises the next day when I see the same divers, plus a few new ones getting ready for that mornings Pescador Dive.

Some of us must live underwater!

Savedra Dive Center