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

Summer has arrived!

March views from El Galleon aren’t too hard take! Looking for somewhere to spend your Easter holiday?? Contact us for your escape to paradise at [email protected]

Our beachfront resort in Puerto Galera offers convenient valet diving with dives sites only minutes away from the resort.  We have everything you need to get a good rest, relieve all of your stress and spend time with family and friends.  El Galleon resort has a seafront restaurant with an international menu that will keep you wanting to come back for more. You might even want to indulge in our soothing outdoor spa which offers massages and other spa services. Whether you want to relax all day by the pool, scuba dive or do some sightseeing El Galleon and Asia Divers in the Philippines can satisfy your holiday cravings.

On and Off the road again…

Here are a few photos from Allan and Tommy’s recent trip to Australia. Things didn’t quite turn out as planned and Allan is a bit delayed to come home due to a slight encounter with a tree. Some the photos here might look quite concerning, but don’t worry, he is doing very well now and should be back home very soon…..so he can get ready for his next adventure!!

The rescue team got together with him recently to give him a nice little reminder of their special time together. Notice how the motorcycle is sitting in the box and notice in the above photo of the way it’s positioned on the tree in the earlier photo.

Asia Divers & El Galleon: Your One Stop Dive Resort in Puerto Galera

Asia Divers Puerto Galera El Galleon Philippines

Are you planning your summer vacation in The Philippines? If you ask us, we recommend Mindoro Island, specifically the seaside town of Puerto Galera. Have a quick Google Image search and look at the first images – the beauty of the region is not exaggerated!

Of course, the next question would be, “Where should I stay?”

If you believe that luxury and diving adventure can be fused into a one of a kind summer vacation for you and your family, then you should check out El Galleon Dive Resort, the resort for Asia Divers.

 

What Exactly Can I Do at Asia Divers & El Galleon Dive Resort?

Convenient diving, getting a good rest and meeting all your holiday needs at once…

Diving can be miserable sometimes. We’ve had our fair share of bad weather, waiting in long queues for annual equipment maintenance, and getting hungry between dives.

Before El Galleon Dive Resort, our team of PADI Instructors and dive guides had to endure these bad days. But when the dive resort was completed, there was no reason to go on a sea adventure without a little bit of luxury and convenience.

 

How El Galleon Dive Resort Makes Diving More Enjoyable

PADI courses Asia Divers Philippines

What was missing back in the day was a modern dive facility close to the dive sites. Everything used to be delivered from Batangas, the closest big city, an hour away by boat.

Now that the dive facility is located near all the beautiful natural underwater features, it takes no time at all to set up, travels to the site, dive, comes back to rest, and repeat this cycle.

 

Unthinkable Inconveniences Now Eliminated

The world’s best divers don’t care about inconveniences. But most of us are not like them, and it helps to increase the enjoyment of diving when some pain points are eliminated.

  • Camera room for underwater photographers

A dedicated camera room is available at our facility. We understand that underwater photography requires practice and prompt feedback. Once your photos have been processed, you can quickly learn what to do differently on your next dive the following day.

  • Private dock

Getting on and off the boat is easy with a dock. No more carrying your equipment high above your waist as you tread the rocky shallows.

  • Brand new equipment

We have experienced the anxiety of using second-hand equipment at local dive shops. Fortunately, all the equipment at Asia Divers is new. How is that possible? Asia Divers is also a distributor, so you can dive in peace knowing that the equipment is still high quality.

  • And much more!

Learn more about what you will find in El Galleon by going to the dedicated webpage.

We can’t wait to show you around Puerto Galera, both on land and in the sea. It’s a wonderful holiday destination worthy of consideration. Check out all the cool sights to see and things to do by going to our recreations page.

Look who’s back

Andy Xie got a very nice video of our elusive friend the Paddleflap Rhinopia which we hope will be sticking around for a while. Check it out on our Facebook page. We haven’t seen it in a long time, but now we know where to find him….ish!

The Rhinopia is apparently is quite site specific, remaining in the same area, or even spot, for long periods of time (e.g., weeks or even months). These fish rarely swim, but move about by crutching along the bottom on their pectoral and pelvic fins. When hunting they remain motionless and wait for their prey to approach within striking distance or they slowly stalk their quarry. When they get close enough to their prey the Rhinopias will lunge forward and suck in its victim. Although the mouth does not look very capacious, they can ingest relatively large prey items. Rhinopias will also rock forward and backward in order to mimic a piece of debris sitting on the bottom. This species is known to shed its cuticle, or the outer epidermal layer (skin). This is a normal process that helps rid the animal’s body of algae, parasites or encrusting organisms.

 Travel

YAP WITH YAP DIVERS, MICRONESIA

We have space booked for 6 divers at Manta Ray Bay Resort in Yap for a week of some big stuff diving including Sharks and of course the Mantas rays. Manta Ray Bay Resort is a very comfortable and relaxed place at the waterfront of the wonderful island of Yap. With the dive centre located in the resort diving is as easy as the diving at El Galleon and Asia Divers. The dates are July 18-24 and we will arrive Saturday night on the United flights from Guam and returning Friday night back home. Sunday to Thursday we will do the best dive sites of Yap.

Yap are of course famous for the Manta Ray dives but have also have some spectacular Shark dives, Schools of Barracudas, Eagle Rays, Humphead Parrot fish just to mention some. The price for the week will be $1728.00 per person. Included in the price is transfer from Yap airport return, share accommodation with breakfast in Manta Ray Bay Resort, we have 3 dives a day in Yap with pack lunch for 5 days. Flight to Yap is not included but we can give assistance with this.

Please contact Tommy at [email protected] if you are interested to join the trip.

 

Maldives on Ocean Divine

Tommy has been with a group to the Maldives, again on the very nice live-aboard yacht Ocean Divine and here is his report. This is the third time Asia Divers have a week trip on Ocean Divine around the Ari atoll. The idea with the trip was the celebrate Kenneth Svennerlind’s upcoming 50th birthday like with did with his 40th 10 years back in Fiji.

Gorgeous mantas by Emma Mconnell

As usual Maldives kept up to the expectation with great diving from the start of the check-up dive until the last dive on the famous Fish Head site. Xanath and Pablo, our guides took well care of Kenneth Svennerlind & Ali Pockett, Johan & Maria Lyrevik, Suzi Denton, Emma McConnell, BJ Schaap, Micke Andersson, Jan-Ove Svennerlind, Chris Stephenson and Kevin Wills.

 

Lots of good diving with a few really great highlights, the Nurse shark dive at Alinatha Jetty, the two shark dives at Delana and Miyaru with lots of Grey Reef sharks up close in the strong current. The Manta dives at Moofushi where the Manta’s was swimming around the cleaning station for two entire dives. The first Manta dive started with a Great Hammerhead hunting a Whitetip shark but aborted when it almost swam into Emma who never saw the shark. It passed by close to me with quite some speed it still had from the hunt. Nothing else than impressive. None of the many Whitetip sharks went back to rest on the bottom, all stayed closed to us at the cleaning station, guess we were considered less treat than the 3 meter Hammerhead. Finished the trip at Fish Head site where you can see everything all in one dive site, brilliant.

Types of Scuba Diving Certifications and What You Can Do with Them

Scuba Diving Certifications

You’ve probably heard of scuba diving certifications before, whether or not you’re aware of their purpose or not. Those certifications aren’t just for show. They’re used as a way to measure the capacity of an individual, and whether or not they can safely control themselves to certain depths as dictated on the certification.

With that said, there are many scuba diving certifications out there, each one serving a different purpose and measuring different water skills for the divers who take them. In this article, we’ll briefly cover what those scuba diving certifications entail and what you can do with them.

Open Water Diver

The Open Water Diver certification by PADI is one of the most common and popular scuba diving certifications for recreational purposes. It is an essential course that opens the path to other more advanced courses for divers. The Open Water Diver course teaches the fundamentals of how to safely manage yourself, as well as your equipment underwater. With this certification, you will be allowed to dive in open waters up to a depth of 18 meters.

Advanced Open Water Diver

Advanced Open Water Diver is a course that takes the previous certification to the next level. Participants will need to have taken the Open Water Diver first as a prerequisite to taking this course. Once completed, divers will have their depth limit increased from 18 meters as certified by the Open Water Diver to a deeper 30 meters. This course will again include theory learning as well as practical training, that will both be subject to assessment by the dive instructor.

Rescue Diver

The Rescue Diver course educates divers about essential emergency rescue protocols, safety skills and how to manage a crisis situation underwater. This is another essential certification that many divers opt to take due to the valuable, lifelong skills that are offered in this course.

Divemaster

Divemaster is the course where divers refine and hone in their water skills to a professional standard. In fact, for many diving associations such as PADI and SSI, the Divemaster is considered to be the first professional rating. This course also puts an emphasis on building the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to lead and supervise a diving team. Participants of Divemaster courses often intend to become professional divers or are on the way to become dive instructors.

These are just some of the most common scuba diving certifications out there. Some of these serve as the foundation of all scuba divers such as the Open Water Diver and are mandatory to take before advancing into more technical water skills.

Do these scuba diving certifications sound familiar to you? If you’re a frequent diver, it would be wise to invest in yourself and learn the water skills and knowledge offered in these courses. Not only will they increase your confidence as a diver, you’ll also have more opportunities to access dive sites that are deeper and more exotic in the future!

Learn more about scuba diving courses with us at Asia Divers.

Benefits of Freediving for Your Health

Benefits Freediving

Freediving is a sport that opens a pathway to many abilities that elevate our mind and body. It’s a sport that plunges us into the very depths of the ocean with nothing but our mind and body. Immersing ourselves in an environment that is not in our element allows our bodies to adapt in ways that benefit our health and overall wellbeing.

Relieves Stress

A skill that all freedivers must master is being able to dedicate their focus and attention to slow down their heart rate and manage their breathing. By focusing on the present situation, your anxieties and problems seemingly dissolve – you might even discover new ways to see those problems, from a different perspective, quite literally.

More Aware of Our Wellbeing

Freediving involves carefully managing your energy, your mind, and your body. Every small movement matters when you’re underwater. Therefore, you develop a sensitivity and awareness of your mind and body, as well as knowing what your body is truly capable of. Additionally, you’ll also develop confidence in yourself and increase mental clarity as you focus only on your body and surroundings, melting away all your worries.

Opportunity to See Marine Life

With freediving, you’ll be able to witness marine life truly in their natural habitats. Since it’s just you, without any scuba diving equipment, the experience will be more intimate and genuine. Marine life will also be less likely to get startled since you’ll blend right in with the environment.

Enhances Blood Oxygen Management

The human body is incredibly adept at making changes to our environment. The more frequent you freedive, the more efficient your body will become at using oxygen. Freedivers are taught a natural reflex found in all mammals known as the mammalian dive reflex. This reflex is a physiological response that engages when our bodies are submerged underwater. Three changes occur, first it slows the heart rate down by 10%-30%, then narrows the blood vessels to ensure vital organs receive enough oxygen, and during deeper dives, the spleen also releases extra blood cells to protect the body from the increased water pressure surrounding our bodies.

To conclude, what did you think of the health benefits of freediving? As you can tell, there are real tangible benefits for freedivers. Are you ready to take the plunge? Reach out to us at Asia Divers, and we’ll help you take the first step on your journey to dive and explore the ocean.

Double birthday celebrations!

It’s been quite the weekend for birthday celebrations around here, starting off with Chuck Dreyfus hash run on Saturday to celebrate his 65th birthday. Chuck had a large turnout including many of us from El Gal and Asia Divers who rarely venture out on these events. Happening the same evening was a family birthday dinner in the resort for Malcolm Ward who is here for his 60th birthday, than on Sunday Malcolm and Amy hosted a cozy birthday party in the Point. On Monday, Chuck had his official birthday party on the platform. It was so nice to have everyone together including some of Chuck’s friends who came from overseas, many of the staff from here, lots of his hash friends and several other folks who live here or are on their holiday here. The party included lots of fun, booze, fantastic food from our kitchen, a very big roasted pig and a live band to keep everyone entertained. Thank you to Chuck and Malcolm for a weekend full of fun and frolicking!

If you would like to book your birthday party, wedding reception or any special event here please contact us so we can fill you in on all of the details. We have a wonderful beachfront resort to host your special event.

Chucks very cool Hash shirts were given out to everyone who participated on the run.

Many well wishers at the “On On” for Chucks birthday Hash Run.

Malcolm is preparing for his birthday dinner…

Family and friends celebrating with Malcolm….Thanks for a great party!

Dwight, Sue and Chuck…party time!

What’s been happening this week

Lars and Betsy Nagel proudly showed off their AOW certifications after completing PADI Open Water course and Advanced courses with Arthur. Lars and Betsy had done eLearning at home prior to their arrival so that they could spend more time in the ocean enjoying all the colorful reefs and exquisite marine life that Puerto Galera has to offer. You can join us here in Puerto Galera to get your PADI certification in a beautiful location in the Philippines.

Katja is back again after a 6 year break. Katja did her Divemaster course with us in 1999 and has been back a few times since then, but her last visit was in 2014. This time she spent time with Sam at Tech Asia doing Trimix course. The wonderful thing about scuba diving is the people that you can meet from all over the world who share the same passion as yourself.

Love is in the air!

The guys in the dive shop got into the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Wedding plans for Maria and Jamie are well underway now for the March wedding.

Valentine’s Day dinner at El Gal was very yummy and romantic with over 25 people joining it. El Galleon’s restaurant has been keeping tummies happy for more than 30 years. With our killer waterfront view you can’t ask for a better location to enjoy a meal.

Top Reasons to Try Diving in Puerto Galera, Philippines

Recognized for some of the best reef diving in the world, Puerto Galera in the Philippines is known as a spectacular scuba diving haven by divers worldwide.

The fish variety exceeds the fish found in the Red Sea and boasts to consist both of more hard and soft coral variety than the Great Barrier Reef.

The water in Puerto Galera offers excellent visibility all year round with an average water temperature of around 29’C. Colorful and vibrant reef dominates the waters along with an abundance of sea life making the reefs their home. Most of the dive sites of Puerto Galera are suitable for divers with Open Water qualification, but there are still plenty of sites technical divers will enjoy.

Here are the top dive sites in Puerto Galera that should be on your list:

Sabang Wrecks

Sabang Wreck DivePhoto by Beth Watson

Two wooden wrecks and one steel hull yacht are part of the Sabang Wrecks. It’s an excellent dive experience, especially for beginning divers with a max depth of 21m. Be prepared to meet a school of batfish once you reach the first wreck at about 11m. The three wrecks are surrounded by all kinds of marine life.

Monkey Beach, West Escarceo and Dugong Wall

Puerto Galera Underwater
Photo by Beth Watson

A great diversity of marine species and colorful corals are found within these three dive sites as part of the continuous coral garden within easy reach from 5 to 25 meters. This spot is a favorite among marine photographers with the wreck of a small sailboat found in the area.

The Canyons

Puerto GaleraPhoto by Beth Watson

For a more thrilling and adrenaline-pumping time in the depths, the Canyon consists of 3 canyons with a maximum depth of 32m. Diving in these strong currents is only for advanced divers. You’ll get to watch schools of trevally tuna and even barracudas effortlessly drifting in the currents.

Here are some of the popular dive sites that made Puerto Galera a worldwide diving phenomenon. Other locations include caves, muck dives, other shallow coral fields, and drift dives. Planned to visit Puerto Galera on your next diving trip? Contact Asia Divers for unforgettable diving tours in Asia including the Philippines.

Why go scuba diving in Verde Island Passage in the Philippines

Have you heard about the amazing scuba diving in the Philippines? Have you read about Puerto Galera and the world-renowned Verde Island Passage? Read on to find out why diving in the Verde Island Passage needs to be on the bucket list of places to dive for every discerning and adventurous scuba diving. This impressive area, location, situated at the heart of the Coral Triangle (the epicenter of marine biodiversity on the planet), will take your breath away and keep you mesmerized for dive after dive!

Diving Verde Puerto Galera
Our beautiful base in Puerto Galera is ideally located for diving Verde

Where is the Verde Island Passage?

The Verde Passage is a Strait which separates the islands of Luzon and Mindoro in the Batangas province of the Philippines. The strait connects the South China Sea with Tayabas Bay and the Sibuan Sea beyond.

The passage is known as both the Verde Passage and the Verde Island Passage – with Verde Island positioned in the center of the Strait. The 1.14 million hectare passage is extremely rich in marine biodiversity, in fact, it’s among the richest areas in the entire Coral Triangle and one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. These waters continue to yield new species to science, further underscoring its global biological significance.

For scuba divers, the easiest access to the beautiful waters of the Verde Passage is from Puerto Galera – which is why we chose this beautiful town as our base!

Mantis shrimp
(Mantis shrimp) From schooling fish to macro critters, Puerto Galera and Verde have something for everyone

Why Dive Puerto Galera and Verde Passage?

Ask anyone who’s dived here! From beginners through to seasoned professionals, scuba diving Puerto Galera and Verde offers a range of dive sites for all levels, stunning coral reefs, diverse marine life and incredible visibility. Our warm tropical waters are simply bursting with a kaleidoscope of colors and teeming with life. From passing pelagics through to schooling fish and even macro critters, there is something for everyone. If you are an underwater photography enthusiast, both wide-angle and macro opportunities abound, and no matter what your experience level, with over 30 dives sites to choose from, you’re literally spoiled for choice.

For those who have an interest in maritime history, the wreckage of a Spanish galleon that sunk in 1620 was found in the southern part of the Verde Passage. Most of the ancient cargo was salvaged from the wreckage in the late seventies and again in the early 80s but some remnants of her bounty still show up on the beach. Whilst beachcombing it’s sometimes still possible to stumble across pieces of broken porcelain, which date back to the late 1500 and early 1600s!

Canyons
Vibrant, healthy corals and a kaleidoscope of colours in Puerto Galera

Conservation and the Verde Passage

In 2006, a team of marine conservationists declared the Philippines a “Center of Marine Biodiversity” in the world and Verde Island Passage as the “Center of the Center of Marine Shorefish Biodiversity”.

Many threatened species, which include sea turtles like hawksbills, olive ridleys, and green turtles; humphead wrasses, giant groupers, giant clams and the rare red fin wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubripinnis) are present in the Verde Island Passage.

There is a complete moratorium of all types of fishing in the Batangas Bays and around Mindoro island. The fish sold in the markets of Puerto Galera come from distant places such as Romblon. This is a very healthy sign for the development of marine diversity – there is more work to be done but Verde Passage continues to thrive.

Dive in Puerto Galera at Asia Divers

Ready to go Scuba Diving in Puerto Galera?

At Asia Divers, we have over 30 years of experience and our friendly team of professional PADI Instructors and Divemasters are experts in our region. We operate flexible schedules so that you can make as many (or as few) dives as you like, including night dives and blackwater diving. We have a spacious camera room and dedicated rinse tanks for photography equipment for underwater photographers. And we keep our dive groups small so you get the personal service you deserve! Our comfortable, purpose-built speedboat makes day trips to Verde Island easy to arrange without unnecessary lengthy time on the boat.

For more information, or to make a confirmed booking, email us at [email protected], or fill in our online contact form and we will get right back to you.

We look forward to scuba diving Puerto Galera and the Verde Island Passage with you soon!

Shipwrecks in Puerto Galera (Near Our Beach Resort!)

Shipwreck Dive Sites Philippines

If you are looking for one location with one of the greatest concentrations of shipwrecks, look no further than Puerto Galera, particularly the Sabang Bay area.

In fact, we love Sabang Bay so much, our beach resort El Galleon Dive Resort sits right on the hotspot for wreck divers and reef snorkeling lovers! Check out these three wreck sites that are ridiculously close by our beach resort.

The M/V Alma Jane

This shipwreck is just off the end of our very own pier!

At 30 meters deep, the M/V Alma Jane was sunk perfectly in front of our resort and is so diver friendly that it practically becomes our own playground for beginner dive sessions. It’s also a perfect training ground for various dive courses.

The ship was once mixed steel and wooden cargo vessel and was sunk in March 2003 by the Puerto Galera Dive Association (PGDA). This purposeful sinking was to create a reef habitat to counter the receding coral reefs due to the unregulated tourism of the late 90s in Puerto Galera.

The ship has had all hazardous items removed to prepare it as a wreck dive site, so it is possible to get inside the ship! You will discover moray eels in their hiding spots and hard and soft corals such as the gorgonian sea fan and sea whip making the interior their home.

The exterior of the ship is also spectacular – perfect for wide-angle photography. PGDA has left the main mast of M/V Alma Jane intact.

St. Christopher

At a depth of 24 meters, this wreck was truly devastated by the elements – also because of the fact that it is almost entirely made of wood.

The St. Christopher has a rather unique history. Way before it was sunk in 1995, it was a cargo vessel originally owned by local traders. It meandered its way around the calm Batangas Bay, Marikaban, and the north-east of Mindoro in its active days.

The cargo vessel was then converted into a diving live-aboard ship, serving an entirely different purpose and was refurbished. Unfortunately, the service didn’t last long. The last owner failed to settle a dispute – we are not sure about the details, but we do know that it ended with the ship’s untimely demise to the bottom of the sea in Sabang Bay.

Sabang Wrecks

There is not just one shipwreck on this site, but three! Three shipwrecks triple the biota that makes the shipwrecks their home, and this is what makes the visit worth it. Visiting the site itself won’t take too long either. It takes just two minutes from El Galleon by our local Bangka (outrigger) speed boat.

The three wrecks are at various stages of decay. Two are old wooden Chinese fishing junks and are decaying much faster than the steel yacht. However, the three wrecks still retain the shape from their better days. You can explore all three of them in one dive session. Swimming between them should not take more than a few minutes.

The area is perfect for both daylight and night diving. In the afternoon, the shallow 18 meter wrecks can be fully visible, featuring your favorite local critters: the batfish, large surgeonfish, lionfish, damsels, and trumpets. The elusive stonefish and flounder are attracted to the area because of the sandy surroundings. And don’t miss the ghost pipefish and mantis shrimps crawling among the wrecks!

Asia Divers’ El Galleon Resort is located on Small La Laguna Beach, Puerto Galera. Asia Divers offers PADI courses from entry-level to instructor level. Daily diving includes five scheduled daily dives: 8:00, 10:30, 13:30, 16:00 and 18:00 (night) with a choice of dive sites at each time. Join us on your next dive holiday adventures!

School donations from Australia

Special thanks go to Mr. Geoff Down, Past President and member of the Rotary Club of Subiaco, District 9455 in Western Australia. They again helped to cover some of the transportation and freight costs, and they also donated a fantastic quantity of used primary school reading books that were very well received by the schools and the teachers. Thanks to all the Subiaco Rotarians, we simply couldn’t have done it without your invaluable support.

Greg Barraclough and Craig Broderick from United Office Choice in Australia have again very generously donated a lot of assorted school supplies and consumables that are always very much appreciated by the lucky schools that receive them. This is the second year that United Office Choice have supported our efforts to help these very needy schools. Thanks again for your incredible generosity.

This past week El Galleon visited two schools in our area with the above donations along with rice and painting supplies which were funded by Larry and Kris Birds wedding gift donations from their guests.

If you, or anyone you know, would like to join in with us and help support our charity efforts with these Mangyan schools on our beautiful island here, just contact [email protected]. We will keep you fully informed of everything we do to help these desperately poor schools.

Australia Day Bush Fire Appeal

El Galleon/Asia Divers made a donation to the Australia Day Bush Fire Appeal. A great day was had by all they raised 172,005.00 pesos which will be sent to the NSW Fire Service.

Travel

 Truk Lagoon Liveaboard – MV Odyssey Sept 26th 2020

Tech Asia has another liveaboard trip organized aboard the Odyssey spanning the October 1st holiday this year. Truk offers beautiful diving, unmatched in the world of Wreck dives, and pretty hard to beat also for big fish and sharks swimming around as well. Add warm and clear water, not a lot of current, and a vessel Captained by one of our former guests and students who couldn’t be more helpful, and you have all the right boxes ticked for a fantastic trip!

What are we going to see? Over thirty Japanese shipwrecks lie here in a large sheltered Pacific lagoon, all sunk by an American Carrier strike in February 1944. The wrecks are almost unsalvaged, many hadn’t yet been unloaded when they sank, and therefore full of things to see from torpedoes to aircraft parts to crates and crates of Saki. And covered in tropical reef. Fantastic!

The dives will be kept mainly in the nitrox diving range, very suitable for comfortable recreational divers. Double tanks, sidemount and rebreather support are available for tech divers who want to spend longer on the bottom or go wriggling around in engine rooms. A few places are still free, you can lean more by emailing [email protected] or have a look at this link