Aug 20, 2011
Free Diving at Mamsa, Apo Island
We were just chilling out at Harolds Mansion when talk got around about joining the maiden voyage of Harold's 30-meter boat to Apo Island for some fun snorkeling and scuba diving. I didn't really feel like scuba, but I was dialed-in for some free-diving. Whoohoo!
The boat was waiting for us at the Sta. Monica beach area where smaller paddle canoes were waiting for us to be transported to the big boat. Just about everyone was there. With ample space for comfortable elbow-rubbing, it had party written all over it. The trip was smoother given that it's a bigger boat. The speed was just about normal. I guess being a new boat, they wanted to get the feel of things first before racing the engine. There was no plan to land on Apo Island itself. All the diving we do will be from the boat.
Great Reef, but Where's the Fish?
We anchored at Mamsa Point in Apo Island, and it didn't take long until we were all under the surface. As much as Apo Island has been lavished with all the superlatives about its pristine reefs, there isn't much fish to see at skin diving depths. I still feel that to see the plentiful schools of animated fish, or see a big one, you have to be at scuba diving depths. This became more apparent when the scuba divers returned with tales of turtles as big as a table. For the free diver/snorkeler/skin diver, the Dauin marine sanctuaries offer more for the depths we reach - that's just my 2 cents.
I was between dives when I got a text message from marine biologist Amanda Ackiss inviting me to join her and another marine biologist, Katherine Cure, at Apo Island (on the island itself). I was on the fence until the text read, "Jump! Jump!" Cool! With that, I swam to shore to borrow Amanda's dry sack, and swam back to the boat to get my stuff and bid goodbye to Harold and his crew. I swam back to shore with all my things where I would stay overnight at Apo Island to nose-in on what marine biologists do!
Thank you Shayn for the underwater camera!
(US$1 = Php 45.26 as of July 7, 2015)
- Apo Island boasts of having the freshest fish on your plate - avail of it!
- even though a marine sanctuary, fishing is still allowed in Apo Island, providing livelihood to the locals - but controlled fishing
- electricity is only from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
- internet is painfully slow and intermittent when on
- public eating areas are hardly available except from resorts where guests are checked-in
- drinking water is still sourced from the mainland
- medium boat ride from Malatapay to Apo Island up to 4 people, roundtrip (Php 2000/boat)
- big boat ride from Malatapay to Apo Island up to 8 people, roundtrip (Php 3000/boat)
- open water dives (average, Php1000/dive)
- take a tricycle and ask to be dropped-off the jeep terminal going to Zamboanguita (the terminal is near Robinson's Plaza) - P8.
- at the terminal, board the next jeep for Zamboanguita. Just tell the driver to drop you off at the Malatapay Market. P20, 42 minutes.
- upon disembarking at Malatapay, walk towards the beach until you come upon the pier office. This is where you sign up for a boat ride. They're organized here with posted rates.
- get onboard the pumpboat and enjoy the boat ride. For 4 people, P2000 return. For 8 pax, P3000 return, 40 minutes. (rate as of Nov 2011)
- Goodbye Apo Island Apr 23, 2017
- Freediving Certification Course in Apo Island with Jean-Jacques Gautier of Plongeurs du Monde Apr 11-22, 2017
- Scuba Diving in Apo Island Apr 13-23, 2017
- Teaching Yoga in Apo Island Apr 10-22, 2017
- Hiking in Apo Island Apr 17, 2017
- Revisiting Apo Island Apr 10, 2017
- Scuba Diving Apo Island with Mario's Scuba Diving and Homestay June 14-17, 2015
- Apo Island with Amanda Ackiss Aug 3-4, 2012
- Sunrise Dive, Apo Island Aug 21, 2011
- Free Diving at Mamsa Point, Apo Island Aug 20, 2011
- Open Water Diver Certification in Apo Island with Mario Pascobello May 15-19, 2011
- Back to Apo Island - Mar 26, 2011
- Apo Island with Bianca and Gianne - Oct 14, 2010
- Skin Diving at Apo Island - Apr 17-18, 2010
Michael Pfleider Amigo
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