This was our most anticipated trip before the summer ends. From Sablayan, it takes a 2 hour boat ride to Apo Reef. Before reaching the island, we already take our first plunge in the water. It was amazing! Our first dive we immediately spotted barracudas swimming around. At 30meters the visibilty is absolutely clear! A few seconds we can see sharks everywhere! I've never seen so many corals in just one dive spot. there were so many fish also.
We stayed at the island for one night, 2 days. after our first dive, we set our tents and food at the camping site. Luckily we were the only guests at the island. We had the whole place all to ourselves! It was so quiet and relaxing. The water is warm so it is nice to swim after a tiring day. The island is inhabited by birds and you can see them flying around. On our next dives, we saw more sharks, barracudas, lots of trigger fish, a manta ray, a few nudibranch, red snappers, turtles and many more. Be aware that there is mild to strong currents while diving. You can also see the thermocline in some dive sites. On our way back to Sablayan we saw some dolphins bridging the surface :)
If you plan to stay at the island, be sure to plan it carefully as there is no fresh water there (only rain water), there is a restroom (in bad condition), you have to bring food, water, utensils, and cook sets, etc. There is also no cellular signal there-Smart or Globe. There is a charging station at the ranger station at 5pm onwards. Bring bug spray.
On the night that we stayed on the island, hermit crabs swarmed the ground, also it rained in the middle of the night, we had to transfer all of our tents and other stuff on higher grounds (at the building in the island). So be prepared for anything when you're there. :) In the morning we were surprised to see newly hatched turtles by the beach, some even are lost in the middle of the island, so our bangkeros gather them and help them get to the water.
Impt: Make sure to contact the Department of tourism at Sablayan to arrange your trip to Apo reef. You have to settle the fees before the trip.
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