News from El Galleon Dive Resort & Asia Divers, Puerto Galera

Scuba Diving in Puerto Galera and Advanced Diving Skills

advanced diving puerto galera

Do You Want Advanced Dive Skills?

Are you a certified diver and want to develop your skills, learn new ones, and become a more confident diver? Are you trying to decide between taking a core PADI course or a specialty when you are diving in the Philippines?

The good news is that as a certified diver you have plenty of options and we have a diverse range of dive sites in Puerto Galera for you to explore while developing your skills and learning new techniques.

Deciding on what course to take next depends on your current certification level, your interests, and what you want to get out of the program.

 

Advanced Open Water
Complete your Advanced Open Water course theory at home with eLearning or here in Puerto Galera

 

If you are an Open Water Diver then the next core course for you is the PADI Advanced Open Water Course – and this is our recommendation for all Open Water Divers in Puerto Galera! You do not need to have advanced dive skills to start the advanced course – you learn advanced techniques during your program and the course may even be taken directly after the Open Water course! You’ll make 5 incredible dives with your instructor, including a deep dive and underwater navigation. The other three dives are yours to choose from a wide range of options. Until the end of May, PADI is also offering a 25% discount on Advanced Open Water eLearning so you can start learning from home straight away!

 

PADI Advanced eLearning
Take the PADI Advanced Open Water course in Puerto Galera and explore to 30 meters

 

For those who are already Advanced Open Water Certified, the next step is the PADI Rescue Diver Course. Do you want to become a PADI Divemaster or Instructor? Then you’ll need to become a PADI Rescue Diver first – it’s a requirement for all professional level courses.

Here are some other programs that might be of interest to you when it comes to diving in Puerto Galera and developing specific skills…

Emergency First Response: Known as “EFR”, the Emergency First Response is a complete CPR and first aid course which is a requirement for certification as a PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Divemaster. The course deals with all aspects of emergency assistance, not just those related to diving. You’ll learn about handling accidents at home and in other daily situations too. Topics covered included, CPR, spinal injuries, serious bleeding, choking, shock, splinting, first aid assessments, and many more techniques that can extend a patient’s lifeline and provide care. This is a great certification for anyone’s CV and teaches essential lifesaving skills.

 

Emergency First Response
Emergency First Response is a complete CPR and First Aid course

 

Rescue Diver: This is one of the most challenging and rewarding PADI programs you’ll ever take. You’ll learn how to stay calm and handle emergency situations in a focused and efficient manner, You’ll learn self-rescue techniques as well as how to rescue others. Most importantly you’ll learn how to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place and how to recognize potential accidents before they happen.

Start your Rescue Diver Course online with PADI eLearning today!

 

Advanced Rescue Diver
The Rescue Diver Course is the most challenging and rewarding PADI program

 

Reactivate: Has it been a while since your last dive and you want to recap some of the essential basic underwater skills before diving in Puerto Galera? No problem, the PADI reactivate program is specifically designed for this purpose – to get you back in the water and feeling confident about your abilities.

 

Divemaster Puerto Galera
Become a PADI Divemaster in Puerto Galera – your first step to becoming a pro!

 

PADI Divemaster: If you are already a PADI Rescue Diver and are thinking of the diving industry as a future career path, then the PADI Divemaster Course is your first step into professional diving.

Unlike other PADI Courses you’ll be mentored and work alongside your instructor. You’ll gain an insight into working in the industry and behind the scenes at a dive center. You’ll also develop the skills required to assist PADI Instructors with PADI Courses as well as how to guide certified divers independently. If you want to take your scuba diving to the next level then taking the PADI Divemaster Course in Puerto Galera is a great way to do it.

 

Enriched Air eLearning
Dive deeper for longer with the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Course

 

If you are already an advanced level diver, or want to specialize your skills in a particular field then PADI Specialty courses allow you to do just that…

Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty: It seems so unfair when you have plenty of air left and your computer tells you that you need to shallow up. Have you ever wished you could stay deeper for longer? Diving with Enriched Air (Nitrox) increases your allowable bottom time meaning you can admire the depths of your favourite sites when diving in the Philippines, for longer. Did you know that you can take the Enriched Air Specialty theory online with PADI eLearning?

 

Underwater photography
Learn more advanced photography skills in the Digital Photography Specialty

 

Digital Underwater Photography Specialty: It’s hard to explain to non-diving family and friends some of the creatures that we see underwater, but with amazing images, you don’t need to! Master the techniques required to produce sharper and more colourful images that will impress your buddies and land-loving friends.

 

Digital Underwater Photography
Do you want more advanced photography skills? Take the Digital Underwater Photography Specialty

 

Other PADI Specialties: Is there a particular type of diving that you want to learn more about? We also offer a full range of PADI Specialty Courses which allow you to learn more and develop knowledge in specific aspects of diving. We currently offer the following additional PADI specialty courses: Boat Diver, Deep Diver, Drift Driver, Night Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Search & Recovery Diver, Underwater Naturalist, Underwater Navigation, DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle) and Wreck Diver.

 

DPV Puerto Galera
Imagine exploring underwater with a DPV scooter!

 

Are you feeling inspired to step up your diving skills? For more information about diving in Puerto Galera and our PADI Courses, send us a message through our online contact form or email us at instructors@asiadivers.com and we will get right back to you.

We look forward to introducing you to scuba diving in the Philippines soon!

 

Scuba Diving Puerto Galera: the Coral Triangle

scuba diving puerto galera

Scuba diving in Puerto Galera is one of many scuba divers’ biggest dreams. To understand why Puerto Galera is such a wonderful place for many scuba divers, we need to look at the big picture of the scuba diving world – starting with the world-famous Coral Triangle.

What is the Coral Triangle?

The Coral Triangle is a 1.4 billion-acre coral-rich aquatic region that encompasses the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. It’s considered to be a crucial region for conservation and research, as it contains the world’s most diverse ecosystems of tropical reef and pelagic species – often found nowhere else in the world.

Often referred to as the “Amazon of the seas”, The Coral Triangle is far more diverse than The Great Barrier Reef and the Fiji Islands combined. About 6000 species of reef fish thrive in these waters – 250 of them are endemic to this region. There are an estimated 798 species of corals, making up an incredible 76% of all known coral species on Earth.

The Center of the Coral Triangle – the Verde Island Passage

scuba diving puerto galera - coral triangle

foto by Beth Watson

 

The Verde Island Passage is a narrow strait between Mindoro Island and Luzon island of the Philippines. The humble strait may not look much from above sea level – a busy strait that connects several islands together, with a shield volcano that guards the passage.

But the underwater world is beyond belief. The Verde Island Passage is called the center of the Coral Triangle because among all the sections of the triangle, this region is the richest of all. A UNESCO World Heritage Site nominee, this stretch of water – no more than 1.14 million hectares – contains some of the rarest sea turtles and wrasses.

Why stay at Puerto Galera?

If Puerto Galera is a house, then Verde Island Passage is its backyard. Of course, dozens of must-see dive sites sprawl around the holiday city like patches of flower beds in the proverbial diving garden – see them for yourself by looking at this map of dive sites in Puerto Galera.

Apart from incredible dive sites, Puerto Galera is also home to some of the Philippines’ untouched reserve of natural beauty. Waterfalls, river rapids, and curious traditional villages welcome travelers from around the globe – you just have to pick the right accommodations with the right kind of services for you.

El Galleon Dive Resort

At El Galleon Diver Resort, dive sites are just minutes away from our private dock. You won’t need to wait in a long line to get to your next bangka boat to take you wherever you want to go – we have them stationed at the docks along with a couple of speedboats.

Our thorough PADI-certified courses at Asia Divers (a subdivision of our resort) has helped hundreds of divers over the years to learn to scuba dive. Many have even gone on to become instructors themselves.

Learn to dive, dive independently, and explore the Coral Triangle – it all starts at Asia Divers.

Tips to Improve Blackwater Diving Photography in Puerto Galera

blackwater diving puerto galera

At a particularly moonless and cloudy night, the pitch-black sky blends with the featureless blackwater diving site – just a short boat trip away from Puerto Galera. In the seemingly endless abyss, a magical scene emerges as your vision becomes accustomed to the dark. Small floaters and ghostly swimmers surround you, some translucent and bizarre-looking, but all worthy of a great series of photos.

Here are four tips to improve your blackwater photography so that you can make full use of the unique blackwater environment.

1. Master buoyancy

If you haven’t mastered neutral buoyancy, underwater photography at any time of day can be a great challenge. In blackwater, it gets harder because your camera works in a light-poor environment, even if you use flashlight and strobes. Any movement is sensitive and the camera demands that you stay still for a dozen seconds at a time.

Another advantage of peak-performance buoyancy is that easily-startled critters would feel less anxious in front of you as you don’t make so much movement. Smaller critters would not be pushed away by agitated water, which often happens when a diver moves too much.

2. Know your camera’s lighting needs

On land, try to experiment with macro shots at a shallower depth of field. A general rule of thumb for underwater photography is to get closer to the subject, instead of zooming.

If you take the shot at a distance while zooming, what happens is that there will be too little light for the camera to be able to focus perfectly, not to mention light scattering as your camera takes in more detail than it needs.

Some cameras require even more light at a minimum focal distance, so be sure to know how much light your camera requires.

3. Mind your light

Your lights have three functions: to help the camera focus, to help you find critters, and sometimes to attract critters to you.

The amount of light and exposure can also be affected by the type of light focus you choose – floodlight or spot. Spotlighting can be beneficial not only to find critters in the distance but also to provide a higher amount of light over a concentrated area. This is useful to photograph translucent critters as some absorb light.

It’s also important to not disturb light-sensitive nocturnal animals with spotlighting. Floodlights are a better choice to work with for easy-to-shoot critters.

4. Have patience and keep track of time

Many people get the hang of night photography in just a couple of hours on land. On your first few blackwater dives, you may only get a few good shots. While it is tempting to stay longer underwater to maximize your practice time, please remember the safety protocols of scuba diving and return to the surface at the right time.

Be patient, and keep practicing. Blackwater photography is a rare skill that takes years to fully master.

Dive with us!

At Asia Divers, our active community of blackwater divers is known to be very friendly and helpful. Don’t hesitate to contact us and become part of this great community.

How to Choose the Right Dive Center in Puerto Galera

dive center puerto galera

In Puerto Galera, there are many dive centers to choose from, ranging from small to large It can be overwhelming at first to choose the right fit, but if you ask yourself the right questions, and look for trustworthy reviews, the process of choosing the right dive center will be a lot easier. Take a look at our top considerations for choosing the right dive center for you:

Is price a reflection of quality?

Many people would say ‘yes’. After all, in our everyday life, we get what we pay for, and more expensive dive sites would offer the highest quality services, right?

Not quite. Sometimes a high-priced service masks a few weaknesses. Don’t let a luxurious dive center lead you to think that the dive center operates sustainably and safely. At Asia Divers, we are transparent about our activities and dive programs that benefit the environment and the local people.

On the other spectrum, it should be noted that paying a little more for safety can make a huge difference in the quality of your dive (and your peace of mind).

Do they care about the important things?

Many dive resorts lose themselves in providing high-quality customer experience on the accommodation side but pay little attention to the diving activities and the quality of their equipment.

Just like price, a luxurious display on their website doesn’t reflect the dive center at all. Be sure to ask for a tour around the dive center and operations area. Should they refuse to do so, then something is up! Don’t hesitate to find other dive centers in the area if that happens.

Safety and quality diving experience are the cornerstone of our operations at Asia Divers.

Find trustworthy reviews online

Review sites are some of the most democratic places on the Internet, and they are active communities of real people who have gone to the hotel/restaurant/dive center themselves. Who could be more trustworthy than them?

On our blog, we report many positive things that are happening in Asia Divers, but we encourage you to hear about what other people say about us. Dozens of people have made reviews on TripAdvisor and Agoda. These two are trustworthy review sites with a great record for accuracy.

Also, check out our blog

Our blog is a place for our active community to report about all our diving activities and programs. We are also up to date with the latest news and write a post on anything that may impact your holiday experience with us.

Apart from our informational pages, our blog is a repository of knowledge about everything related to diving, written by experts across various sub-fields in diving. Looking to improve your underwater photography skills? Wanting to know more about the dive sites around Puerto Galera?

Our dive bloggers will answer every question related to diving in Puerto Galera so that you can be more informed.

Why Beachfront Dive Centers in Puerto Galera Are the Best

Beach resort Philippines

There are thousands of dive centers around the world, but not all of them are located in the most strategic places, like a beachfront in Puerto Galera. You can find some in city centers, which will then take you on a long trip just to reach the dive site.

The waiting doesn’t stop there – quite a few dive centers are not even prepared to provide their own boats, so they have to rely on local services to take the group to the exact spot you’ll be diving.

In such a case, you spend more time on the road and waiting for boats, and spend less time in the water – two hours during two dives in a day, to be exact.

 

Find a Dive Center Near the Beachfront, and You Won’t Need to Wait Any Longer!

A beachfront dive center in Puerto Galera is the absolute best because it provides at least one of three things:

  1. The best services for diving, far more than what a regular diving agency can offer,
  2. Unimaginable conveniences, such as equipment storage and in-house technicians,
  3. A resort, which is comfortable to stay at!

 Luckily, Asia Divers has all three waiting for you in the Philipines.

 

Find the Best Service For Your Scuba Diving Needs Here

One major plus point for service in a beachfront dive center is quick access to the water. Whether you are a beginner or an expert at scuba diving, you are only a stone’s throw away from the water.

But wait, there’s more!

Did you know that Puerto Galera stands on one of the most diverse coral-rich regions on the planet? The area between Puerto Galera and the Verde Islands is home to vibrant and giant Gorgonian sea fans, sea snakes, crustaceans, manta rays, and tens of thousands of reef species waiting to be discovered by you.

All dive courses in Asia Divers are standardized to follow PADI guidelines. Scuba diving can be a challenge to learn, so we make sure that you receive the best instructions and plenty of time to practice – hence another advantage of staying in a dive resort close to the sea!

Earn your PADI Open Water certificate with us and learn more with our PADI Advanced Open Water and the PADI Specialty courses.

 

Conveniences of a Top Diving Center That You’ll Take for Granted

Scuba diving used to be reserved for the ocean lovers who wouldn’t mind going through a few inconveniences. However, scuba diving is becoming cheaper and more available to everyone. That means we’ll do our best to make sure that everyone is comfortable with scuba diving and other aquatic activities.

We consider the little things. For instance, we have a dedicated camera room for underwater photographers. We understand that underwater photography is a skill that takes tons of practice. It would help to get faster feedback on your photography quality by processing the films once you reach land.

We also have our own boats and even a private dock, ensuring that the only time you touch the water is when going underwater. The private dock also mitigates the unnecessary risk of injury during low tide when boats can’t get close enough to the shore, and guests have to tread carefully over rocky surfaces.

 

Comfortable Rooms to Replenish Your Energy For the Next Dives!

beach resort room puerto galera

El Galleon is a dive resort part of Asia Divers. We figured that since you’re already in Puerto Galera, The Philippines, it would be great service to offer you a comfortable resort-style accommodation so you won’t have to travel elsewhere to sleep and relax!

We have five types of rooms. The Seaview Room is one of our most popular rooms with a pleasant view of, you guessed it correctly, the idyllic seascape. For those who are not early morning risers, we still recommend that you try waking up early one day and admire the glorious sunrise from beyond the horizon right in front of your balcony.

The Family Rooms are built for families with various interests. Of course, for the land-lovers, there are plenty of activities and natural places to appreciate in Oriental Mindoro. Our family-friendly services, like organized tours and even a beach BBQ, ensure that everyone can share a wonderful time in The Philipines.

 

Visit Puerto Galera for a Holiday of a Lifetime

What makes a beachfront dive center such a great place are the extensive dive services, conveniences, and the comforts of a resort. Be sure to check out our room offers, activities, and scuba diving courses here!

What Diving Courses Can You Take in Puerto Galera?

Diving Course Puerto Galera

Whether you want to try diving for the first time or plan on diversifying your dive skills, taking a course in Puerto Galera, Philippines, will be one of your best choices.

Why Take a Diving Course in Puerto Galera?

Puerto Galera offers dive sites that sit directly on the Coral Triangle. Particularly in the Philippines, between several islands off the coast of Oriental Mindoro and the Verde Island Channel, the highlighted zone is home to some of the world’s most diverse species of corals, reefs, and pelagic species.

If you take a diving course in Puerto Galera, you will be blessed with amazing sights as you train and refine your dive skills.

Dive Courses You Can Take in Puerto Galera

Dive Course Puerto Galera

As long as you visit a certified dive center, you will receive proper training according to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors guidelines (PADI). This means you get to learn from a wide variety of diving courses.

In general, PADI courses are divided into three broad categories:

  1. Recreational courses – for beginners
  2. Specialty courses – for intermediate to advanced divers
  3. Technical courses – for advanced divers

Recreational Courses

A variety of courses for children and beginners can be found in our PADI Recreational Courses offers. Children as young as eight years old can already participate in PADI courses such as Skin Diver and Bubble Maker. Skin Diver teaches children to hold their breath longer underwater while Bubble Maker instructs them how to breathe through the mouthpiece.

For the adults who have never tried diving before, PADI Discover Scuba Diving offers a chance to scuba dive without a certificate. Starting from absolute zero, an instructor will teach you to scuba dive in one single day.

The PADI Open Water course is the elementary school of scuba diving, which opens up to a greater possibility of diving independently and diversifying skills.

Specialty Courses

Children from the age of twelve can already begin their diving career after graduating from the PADI Advanced Open Water, which comes after the PADI Open Water course. While you can scuba dive to a certain depth with an Open Water certification, many Adventure Divers and Specialty Courses challenge you to dive deeper and in more advanced situations.

This is where an Advanced Open Water certification is required to continue your diving education – it’s the high school of diving, so to speak. Afterward, you can begin to diversify your diving skills. Be sure to check out our Specialty course offers.

The list below shows you some of the possibilities when learning with Asia Divers.

  1. Intro to Nitrox and Enriched Air Nitrox – Dive longer with this special mix of air.
  2. Peak Performance Buoyancy Diver – A crucial skill for underwater photography.
  3. Drift Diver – Learn to control buoyancy and navigation under currents.
  4. Deep Diver – Dive up to 40 meters deep.
  5. Naturalist Diver – Learn the names and shapes of hundreds of underwater species.
  6. Dive Against Debris – Campaign against oceanic pollution by diving responsibly.
  7. Equipment Specialist – Be an expert of your equipment.
  8. Multilevel Diver – Learn to scale a sea wall.
  9. PADI Digital Underwater Photography – Take photos of the underwater world.
  10. PADI Night Diving – Witness what lurks underwater at night.
  11. PADI Navigation Diver – Learn to navigate underwater.

Dive With Us in Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera offers amazing seascapes and sightings that complement your dive training. Build a solid groundwork with our instructors at Asia Divers. Our policy is to encourage learners to take their time and never to take a single shortcut to complete the training.

If you have any inquiries, please send us a word!

How to be a Scuba Diver on Lockdown? PADI eLearning!

Elearning corona

With many of you at home around the world, we thought we’d share a little scuba diving love with you and some ideas on how you can still be a diver and how you can even develop your skills, and make the most of some great savings while we are all waiting to be able to travel again!

Become an Even Better Diver

Have you always thought about taking your next level of PADI Course or wanted to take a specialty but never found the time or don’t want to spend your time in the Philippines studying? Well, there is no time like the present to get started and get the theory out of the way without even leaving home. If you are looking for something to do on lockdown then this could be the solution! PADI eLearning takes care of the knowledge development component of your PADI course and by taking it at home, you can work through it at your own pace and PADI are now offering an awesome 25% discount on all eLearning Courses!

Here are some of our favourites:

  1. Advanced Open Water: If you are a PADI Open Water Diver, we recommend taking the Advanced course. The PADI Advanced is the next core course for you and it will certify you to dive to 30 meters – which means even more of Puerto Galera’s awesome dive sites to explore! You’ll also learn how to navigate underwater as well as looking at other new and exciting types of diving!

 

PADI Advanced eLearning
Develop your dive skills and get certified to dive to 30meters

 

2. Rescue Diver: This is probably the most rewarding course you’ll ever take and you’ll build your confidence in the process. You’ll be learning lifesaving skills and techniques as well as learning how to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. If you are thinking about becoming a PADI Divemaster or Instructor in the future then the Rescue Diver Course is essential.

3. Divemaster: Yes!! You can now start your journey to becoming a PADI Professional at home! If you are thinking of the diving industry as a future career path, get started now! The PADI Divemaster certification is your first Pro certification and your first step towards becoming a PADI Instructor!

 

Divemaster eLearning
Take your first step towards becoming a PADI Pro and start the PADI Divemaster Course with eLearning

 

4. Digital Underwater Photography Specialty: Okay, so you can’t go underwater right now, but the skills and techniques you learn in the PADI Digital Underwater Photography specialty can be practiced at home – which means hours of entertainment with your camera when you can’t go out!

5. Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox): It seems so unfair when you have plenty of air left and your computer tells you that you need to shallow up. Have you ever wished you could stay deeper for longer? Diving with Enriched Air (Nitrox) increases your allowable bottom time meaning you can admire the depths of your favourite dive sites in Puerto Galera for even longer!

 

Enriched Air eLearning
Dive deeper for longer with the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox eLearning Course

 

Don’t want to study alone? Buy a PADI gift pass for your buddy and study together! Do you have non-diving friends that want to get certified? The PADI Open Water Course is available online too and is now reduced from AU $220.00 to AU $165.00. There is no better time to convert your non-diving friends into diving buddies than now!

If you’re planning to sign up for eLearning and want any help, advice or to make a reservation, contact us on our online contact form here or send us an email at: admin@asiadivers.com

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Advantages of Blackwater Diving in The Philippines

Blackwater diving philippines

As you scroll down The Atlantic’s result of the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest, there is a blackwater photo by Songda Cai of a transparent, bioluminescent conger eel coiling like a spring, darting its eyes upon a lone crustacean.

Some people may think that an underwater robot took this amazing photo at mysterious depths where divers can’t ever possibly go. But this photo was taken manually by a person. Underwater photographers such as Songda Cai can achieve this effect while blackwater diving in the Philippines.

What is Blackwater Diving?

Blackwater diving is similar to night diving. The only difference is that blackwater diving takes place over deep-sea channels or far from the coast, while night diving takes place on shallower water near coral reefs.

In the vast dark void, you can come across many beautiful sightings, often to many beginners’ surprise. As you dive in blackwater, you get to witness a daily vertical migration where pelagic planktons and larvae rise to shallower depths to feed on surface algae. This attracts larger creatures such as tunas, swordfish, cephalopods, and even whales.

What’s even more exciting is that the extremely limited amount of light allows you to spot a few bioluminescent creatures that are only detectable in the dark. This would give you plenty of challenges for underwater photography.

Where are some of the best spots for blackwater diving in the Philippines?

If you ask any seasoned blackwater diver, two locations in the Philippines come to mind: Anilao and Romblon. In these places, you get to see rare pelagic seahorses. Seahorses typically stay within the reef boundaries, but not these ones!

Asia Divers is quite close to another location offering an equally spectacular collection of nocturnal marine animals – The Verde Island Passage. Here you get to see the bioluminescent comb jellyfish, colonies of pyrosomes, and blanket octopuses. You don’t get to see these in the reefs directly in front of Asia Divers and El Galleon Dive Resort!

What are the advantages of blackwater diving?

Blackwater diving philippines asia divers

Photo by Beth Watson

1. You can test your courage of facing the unknown

Remember your first-night diving experience? We can imagine that it felt exhilarating; the feeling of conquering the underwater world at night adds to your personal list of things people wouldn’t do, but you can.

But blackwater diving is a completely different thing altogether. The reefs and colorful corals provide ample reference points for you, even as you navigate in the near dark. When you dive in blackwater for the first time, you will have an eerie feeling of sensory deprivation since you can’t find a reference point anywhere around you.

You’ll instantly feel the need to trust your dive group more than ever as they are one of the few reference lights that are comforting your eyes. Another source of light comes from a modified rope with a buoy that also attracts tiny organisms to swim towards it.

After a while, you will feel that comfort begins to settle into your mind as you feel safe even in such an environment. The transformation from fear to acceptance is something that is quite familiar to divers.

2. You’ll find sea creatures you’ve never seen before

Even if you cross paths with only familiar animals in the blackwater, you’ll notice something different about them.

Under a new light, their behavior will be unlike anything you’d expect. For instance, you might see cuttlefish taking advantage of their dark environment to rapidly change their pigments – making multicolored moving ribbon patterns across their body.

Pelagic squids seem to fly over you like in outer space and bioluminescent zooplankton becomes prey to fluorescent eels and sea snakes. Some vulnerable larval lobsters are translucent while bright-colored pufferfish and boxfish contrast against the pitch-black background.

3. You get to test your underwater photography skills

All these sea creatures look amazing and you definitely want to take photos to preserve them forever on film.

The challenges of underwater photography in blackwater are twofold. Firstly, you need to maintain neutral buoyancy while slowly approaching your subjects, being careful not to stir or push them away from you. Secondly, you need to know the precise camera settings for blackwater photography.

Underwater photographer Mike Bartick has a few suggestions to share. He advises higher ISO values (360-600 for DSLR), higher F-stops (f/18 – f/25), and a middle-low shutter speed of 1/200 sec.

“I prefer higher ISO so that I can push my F-stop higher while using a lower strobe power. This allows my strobes to recycle faster for repeat exposures. If the subject is shiny, quickly increase your F-stop to reduce over-exposures. If the subject is a little further away, open your F-stop” – Mike Bartick.

For more insight related to underwater photography, visit his website at saltwaterphoto.com.

A few things to remember for safe blackwater diving

Remember to stay close to your group and follow your dive instructor. Pay attention to hand signals and how to deliver them with a flashlight. It’s best not to use a diver propulsion vehicle as the engine noise may scare away animals or disturb feeding behavior. Likewise, don’t bring any food to feed the animals.

Dive with Asia Divers

If you’re interested in blackwater diving with us, check out our dedicated blackwater diving page. Make sure that you’ve received basic formal training before taking our PADI specialty courses, which includes night diving and underwater photography.

The Amazing Beachfront Diving Resort in Puerto Galera

Dive Resort Puerto Galera

Are you looking for a beachfront diving resort in Puerto Galera? Have you looked into El Galeon yet? This short blog will guide you through the ins and outs of the beachfront dive resort that will fit your needs!

PADI Dive Courses and Curated Dive Tours

Enjoy dozens of spectacular dive spots around Puerto Galera. shipwrecks, sea walls, drop-offs, and coral gardens will be a few of the many amazing sights you will come across on our guided tours.

Our Recreational PADI Dive Courses are designed to help absolute beginners and experts to hone their skills and to increase the safety and joy of diving practices. If you’ve never tried diving before, the PADI Discover Scuba Diving will get you to explore the beautiful underwater world in just one day under the guidance of our certified instructors.

Junior divers, as young as 8 years old, can join for a PADI Bubble Maker course where they learn to breathe underwater for the first time using standard scuba diving gear in our training pool. Skin Diver (freediving) is perfect for athletic young divers who love the challenge of diving without gear.

If you’ve had some experiences with supervised diving and you want to dive independently, anywhere in the world, get yourself certified with our PADI Open Water course. The PADI Advanced Open Water course is also available for you to continue your dive training!

Advanced PADI Dive Courses

Once you’ve earned your PADI Advanced Open Water certificate, you are ready to explore the depths with a variety of skills. Upgrade your dive experience with Nitrox or learn how to plan your dives for a longer time.

The PADI Drift Diving course allows you to work with the currents, rather than against them. Once you’ve mastered neutral buoyancy, be sure to check out the Deep Diver specialty course for a daring dive of up to 40 meters below sea level.

Asia Divers and El Galleon pay particular attention to the marine and atmospheric environment. The PADI Underwater Naturalist and Dive Against Debris are our special programs that encourage responsible diving. The resort itself follows sustainable guidelines.

Environmental Responsibility of Asia Divers in Puerto Galera

beach resort seaview asia divers

Asia Divers and El Galeon dive resort are committed to conducting business in a sustainable way. Solar energy is used extensively in almost all the buildings; refillable water bottles and containers are used around the resort and dive center; the no-plastic-straw rule is strongly embedded in our pro-marine life culture and manifests itself in our restaurants and cafe. The Asia Divers dive center strictly prohibits any liquid discharge into the sea.

Comfort and Convenience of Asia Divers at El Galeon Dive Resort

Diving does not have to be met with inconveniences. Here at Asia Divers, we incorporate convenience and comfort in one place.

For underwater photographers, we have a dedicated photography room to process images with speedy feedback on your photography performance. You no longer need to look for film labs anywhere else, because Asia Divers has one just for you.

Divers can also enjoy various other conveniences, like not having to wait for boat taxis to take you to your desired dive sites (we own several boats).

We also own a private dock that adapts to the tides, allowing you to step off the boat onto a dry dock without having to tread over rocky low-tide beaches.

The location of Asia Divers’ beachfront resort is itself the ultimate convenience. Directly in front is the world-famous Sabang Beach, where shipwrecks and rich coral flora can be found.

Stay with us at El Galeon

Book a room at El Galeon and enjoy all the facilities whenever you are not diving! For reservations, click here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

Thresher Shark Diving in Puerto Galera

Did you know that we see thresher sharks in Puerto Galera? How much do you know about threshers sharks and do you know why a sighting of a thresher shark is so special?

Of course, diving with thresher sharks is on most divers’ bucket lists but we guarantee you’ll have an even better underwater experience if you know a little bit about these amazing sharks before you dive with them – read on to find out more!

 

Thresher shark
Thresher shark: free swimming

 

How to Identify a Thresher Shark?

Thresher sharks are also known as fox sharks and they are easily recognizable by their long and highly distinctive thresher-like tails which can be just as long as the shark’s body. Thresher sharks also have unusually large eyes in order to help them to see in deep water where less light is available. When in shallow water however, their eyes become sensitive from too much light which is why they usually remain deep and are rarely seen by divers on a regular basis. The sightings we have of thresher sharks, at recreational diving depths, at Puerto Galera’s dive sites are very unusual and this is why a sighting is very special!

Thresher sharks can grow up to 6 meters long, including their tails and they feed on a diet of schooling fish and squid. Their long tails are not just for decoration – the sharks use them to stun their prey. Thresher sharks circle smaller fish and ‘herd’ them with their tails into a tight, ball formation, which they will then attack with a powerful swipe of their tail – stunning some of the fish which the shark will then feed on.

 

Thresher shark
Dive with thresher sharks in Puerto Galera

 

Thresher Sharks and Depth

Thresher sharks are generally a deeper dwelling species of shark that spend most of their time below 40 meters. So why then, do they come to the shallower water and dive sites around Puerto Galera? Because of the fish – and not to eat them! Thresher sharks carry parasites on their skin and around their eyes and gills. These parasites do not harm the thresher shark if they are kept in check, however, if they are not regularly cleaned away, the number of parasites will increase and the shark will become unhealthy. Thresher sharks rely on the small reef fish to help them out by ‘cleaning’ them. When the threshers come to the shallow water, the reef fish will feed on the parasites – a free meal for the reef fish in return for some personal grooming for the shark! Because the cleaning process is vital to the health of the sharks it is extremely important that divers do not interrupt this process (see below).

Diving with Thresher Sharks

We hope that we will be seeing thresher sharks in the waters around Puerto Galera for many years to come so it important that they are not scared away by divers. If you see a thresher shark during your dive, please observe the following guidelines!

  • Stay calm and control your buoyancy. Try to avoid sudden movements.
  • Please do not ‘chase’ the sharks.
  • Please do not try to touch the sharks.
  • Please do not direct camera flashes or strobes into the thresher sharks eyes – they are extremely sensitive!
  • Please always respect our reefs and do not touch, kick or break and corals.
  • Leave the dive site as you found it. Please leave behind only bubbles and take away only photos.
  • For your own safety, always be aware of your no-decompression time and do not exceed the planned depth or time of your dive.

 

Thresher shark
A small thresher shark swimming in Puerto Galera

 

Diving in Puerto Galera

While thresher sharks are a definite highlight of diving in Puerto Galera they are not our only highlight! Our reefs are packed with some of the rarest and most unusual critters in the Coral Triangle – if you are a macro underwater photographer, then diving Puerto Galera is for you!

For those who want to learn to dive in Puerto Galera or take an advanced, tech diving or professional level course, we offer the full range of PADI scuba diving courses from beginner to Instructor!

Are you excited to come and join us for scuba diving in the Philippines? Our friendly team are as passionate about diving as you are and there’s nothing we love more than sharing our reefs and marine life with like-minded divers from around the world!

For more information or to make a reservation, fill in our online contact form or email us at: admin@asiadivers.com and we’ll get right back to you.

We look forward to scuba diving in the Philippines with you soon!