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

Coastal Water Dive at Asia Divers

Diving the Verde Island Passage with Asia Divers

One happy Coastal Water Dive group enjoying the diving in Puerto Galera with Asia Divers

Coastal Water Dive is owned by Torry and Tiffany Goodall and located in Bunbury, Western Australia. They have been in business since 1999 and are the largest regional dive store in Western Australia. We have had the pleasure of having them here this week for the very first time and hopefully we’ll be seeing more of them in the future. Torry met Allan and Tommy while they were on their charity ride around Australia raising funds for street children and Project Aware and got inspired by them to get a group together to come over here…and were sure glad they did! The group consisted of 17 from ages 18 to 51. “ We have enjoyed our stay and the dive team and staff have been flawless!”
http://www.coastalwaterdive.com.au/

Allan Nash

Allan is touring around Europe in a couple of fancy cars with Adrian, Bonny and Peter at the moment. We’re getting all sorts of photos of fine wine, great food and fantastic scenery sent daily from him…enough is enough! Ha ha

Allan Nash of Asia Divers fame driving across France
The most up market jeepneys I ever saw.

Mark Mitchel’s keen eye found this.

Another first find in Puerto Galera

Mark Mitchell has some shot some pretty amazing photos and this week he and Jamie found this Spiny Tiger Shrimp (Phyllognatia ceratophthalmus), also called the Bongo Shrimp, or Horned Bumblebee Shrimp. None of us have ever seen this before so we were all quite excited to see the photos that Mark got. They belong to the same family as the Harlequin Shrimps and are relatively small in size – they grow to a maximum of 2 cm but are often smaller. They live cryptic and are usually hidden in sponges, rubble, Algae or broken coral – mostly in an encrusted mix of them. Often in pairs – sometimes even in little groups or families. Characteristics are their beautiful coloration, their spikes and their wave like movements. Cool huh?!! Check out more of Mark’s photos on the link below:

http://mbmitchellphotography.com/

 

Asia Divers cleans-up.

Cleaning the ocean off Puerto Galera
You are going to need a mch bigger bin than that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asia Divers participated in an under water clean up dive organised by the Sabang Barangay. It was an afternoon of cleaning above and below the water to help encourage everyone to have a good think about what they are throwing away and keep Puerto Galera beautiful. Lots of folks from our community turned out to get in on the fun and also to get a new t-shirt and snacks. Thanks to Troy, Ruben, Kjell and Mazi, who “splashed for trash”!

Cleaning up Sabang waters and beach 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocos Island on Wind Dancer April 28-08 May, 2012.

Liveaboard trip - Cocos Island on Wind Dancer April 28-08 May, 2012.
Group enjoying the Cocos Island trip on the Wind Dancer liveaboard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the trip was from the left back row: Mark, Andreas, Wolfgang, Tommy, Ulf, Luc, Mikael and Rudy left middle row: Allan, Fitri, Dave, Rosina, Maria, Leen, Suzi, Brian, Kenneth and Ali and in the front John and Johan, missing on the picture is Andre, guess he had a nap.

Half of the team who went for the Cocos Island trip started with 3 days of Whitewater rafting and some other activities but that is another story.

We all got picked up for the 1 1/2h bus ride down the port town Puntarenas and once onboard the Wind Dancer we didn’t waste any time. The 34h hour crossing to Cocos Island went very smooth and we quickly got in the water soon after breakfast. 

We had 7 days of world class diving with more fish then you want as the small ones often got in the way while you tried to spot the Hammerhead sharks in the distance! The wallpaper of Scalloped Hammerhead sharks was what Cocos Island is known for, but due to the very warm water 29-30 degrees we didn’t see as many Hammerheads as expected. They were still there in number but obviously the great amount was down deeper in cooler water. However we got some compensation for this in a approx. 4 meter Tiger shark who was spotted on number of dives, very cool!! Add lots of Whitetip Reef sharks, quite a few Silky sharks as well as Galalagos sharks and some hunting Blacktip sharks on the surface, so we got some action.

It’s raining Rhinopias…

“Just seen the article in the newsletter about rhinopias – didn’t realise that they were so rare or such a big deal to spot. I saw a pair of them last year in November. I didn’t have my camera with me but Hugh Moore did. Only 1 of the photos is clear & in focus but I’ve sent the others so that you can see the pair of the fish.”

Rhinopia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But…the plot thickens! We went out there again and this time we found the second one. So now it’s confirmed that there are two in the area…BUT……IT GETS EVEN BETTER. Pete found another one at a completely different dive site!! So now there are at least three!! Peter Webster from Vision Divers, Melbourne Australia took the photo below. He caught it at just the right moment!

Colourful Rhinopia in water off Puerto Galera
Colourful Rhinopia in water off Puerto Galera

Alli couldn’t believe her eyes as she saw this little tuft of fluff moving along the bottom. With magnifying glass and camera in hand and a bunch of other divers with her, they got to see the extremely rare hairy octopus. It’s a small octopus, reddish brown in colour, covered with long and branching skin filaments, mimicking a tuft of Algae about 2 cm. Supposedly it’s only known to be found in North Sulawesi, but surprise surprise they are here in Puerto Galera too!! It’s been an amazing month for new critter findings in the area. Stuff that is only supposed to be in Lembeh is actually here too.

Hairy octapus a new discovery at Puerto Galera by Asia Divers
Hairy octapus found at Puerto Galera with Asia Divers

 

 

Our 25th Anniversary Party is coming up soon

Asia Divers and El Galleon in the early days
Has it really been 25 years?

Please mark this on your Calendar and book in for what will be a fantastic and very special weekend here. We’re hoping we can get a good crowd of many of our friends who have been part of Asia Divers over the past 25 years to come over and help us celebrate. All perhaps a bit older and a perhaps a wee bit wiser…ha ha ha

The Point Bar party.
Partying in the Point Bar

 Event: Asia Divers 25th Anniversary Party

Date: Friday November 2nd to Monday November 5th

Activities Planned (so far!):  We will have a special dinner at El Galleon on Friday night. Saturday, Verdi Island trip and our local dives. Saturday night will be the big party on the The Platform. The theme will be “60’s Night” then from there we’ll continue on to the Point to carry on the party. We’ll be announcing the winners of the Photo contest and also the raffle that night. Sunday will include a couple of options of golfing, diving and perhaps a sunset cruise. We’re still putting the plans together, but it is already shaping up to be a great weekend. Please contact us soon and let us know if you can make it.

Another great week at Asia Divers for CCD dive club.

CCD Dive club
The CCD Dive Club in Puerto Galera with Asia Divers.

A big welcome back to the CCD dive club in their tenth anniversary year! CCD has members from Britain, Germany, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia. Pictured here are Eamonn, Esther, Otti, Ulli, Pete, Brian, Gordon and Justin as well as Asia Divers and CCD member Pete. This will be their eighth trip to Asia Divers & El Galleon resort and they’ve had a fantastic time once again, diving all our favourite spots including a great trip to Verde Island with BBQ, plenty of massages in La Palm spa, some great evenings out and nearly broken the Point Bar Bell several times. Now that’s a good time!

Lembeh Seadragon in Puerto Galera

These are shots of the Lembeh Sea Dragon which is only found in Lembeh supposedly, but we found it right here! YES…HERE!! Thanks to Rogger Won for his keen eye in spotting it and getting these pretty little pics of something that we have never seen here before. COOL!!

Lembeh sea dragon found in Puerto Galera
Lembeh sea dragon found in Puerto Galera

The Lembeh Seadragon (Lembeh Pygmy Pipedragon, Kyonemichthys rumengani) is a recently discovered species that has been seen for the first time in Lembeh Strait in 2006. It belongs to the Family of seahorses and pipefishes and is closer related to them than to the actual seadragons that are known from Australia. But the Lembeh Seadragons got their name because of their special way of swimming, which reminds much of the Australian Seadragons.

Lembeh sea dragon discovered in Puerto Galera

 

Lembeh Seadragons live in pairs (sometimes up to 10 pairs in one area) and are usually hanging with their tails attached to overhanging walls and crevices. Before Sunset they can be seen free swimming and courting. They are extremely thin (about 1mm) and grow to about 3-4 cm in length.

New shipment of Underwater Kinetics light have just arrived from USA.

Underwater lights
Latest in eLED bright lights

All are the eLED type, bright and with long burning time. Depth rating

is 500ft/150m for all lights, manufactured in USA.

 

The C4 are powered by 4 C Alkaline batteries that burn for 8h if you run

the light on high and almost 16h on low. The light output has increased

significant from previous model to 275 lumens on high.

 

SL4 runs by 4 C Alkaline as well but burns for 10h. The light output have

more then tripled to 400 lumens comparing to last years model.

 

The rental favorite SL3 has an increased light output from 98 to 125 lumens

and the 3 C Alkaline batteries gives you 32h burning time. With this burning

time the SL3 is perfect for rental use as well as personal use. Don’t need to

carry spare battery for your weeks diving holiday !!

 

Mini Q40 is a great little back-up light or for day dives to light up holes and

under overhang. Gives you 77 lumens and burn for 4-5h powered by 4 AA

Alkaline batteries.

More quality underwater lights

Photo corner.

We have many photographers coming to Asia Divers because of the great photo opportunities here. They can get shots of many weird and wonderful creatures, along with of course all the beautiful corals and fishes. Thanks to Stewart Clarke from Dubai for sending us these two fantastic photos and a good write up on them. I suspect Stewart will be eager to enter our 25th Anniversary Photo Competition! Details for that will be out real soon.

Blue ring octopus at Asia Divers in the Philipines
Blue ring octopus

 

The Blue Ring

This shot was taken on at The Boatyard, a relatively new dive site that we had been informed had great potential for critters due the muck diving nature of it. We had already found two giant frogfish on the main wreck there and had decided to have a search around the reef that fringed the dive site. After finding numerous shrimps, nudibranch and crabs we were getting to the point where the dive was almost finished then out of the corner of my eye I saw a slight flash of blue on top of a small coral head. Looking closer I found this little fella perched on top of a yellow and blue sponge. Then came the decision of either informing my fellow photographer buddy or being selfish and taking my own shots with the chance that the Blue Ringed Octopus could disappear in a second. I chose the former and the next five minutes were spent in the joyous company of this amazing creature, it was only when he started getting a little bit feisty that we called it a day and returned to the boat with beaming smiles and full memory cards.

 

Bug Eyed Shrimp

The Bug Eyed Squat lobster – Munida olivarae

This shot was taken on another dive at The Boatyard (quickly becoming a personal favourite site). We had decided to concentrate more on the reef this time hoping to bump into our friend from the previous day, instead we were treated to a wide array of shrimps, nudibranch, tiny lionfish and of course this wee critter. I had stuck my head under a small rock overhang to take a closer look at a small lionfish when the lobster decided to stick his head out to see what all the fuss was. I love the eyes on this guy and he reminded me of Marty Feldman, a comedian from the 1970s (think Igor in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein movie). It just goes to show that the closer you look at what is around you the more chance you have of finding some truly amazing little critters with Asia Divers.

My introduction to the underwater world, by Kathleen Grey

Scuba diver in Puerto Galera
Diving Puerto Galera with Asia Divers

I’ve always loved the Ocean.  Growing up in Australia I was spoilt for clean beaches and loved our childhood summers swimming in the surf. Having won a competition in 2010 for two open water courses with Asia Divers, it was the perfect opportunity to get together with my brother and sister and enjoy some time together while doing something we’d always wanted to do. Unfortunately, injury struck and I was sidelined in a plaster cast, while they could dive I could not.  Watching from the sidelines was more reward than I expected. You observe the effect diving can have on people.   A sense of calm wonder as the underwater world is opened up to someone for the first time. Watching people relax as they are allowed to escape from the world they live in with a complete change of focus.  That realisation that there is something much bigger than concrete skyscrapers and noisy TV programs about other people’s lives.   The bond that grows between diving partners, not only for a unique shared experience, but increase respect you have for someone you’ve had to trust.   And, a personal sense of achievement after each dive. Something new learned. Something new seen.   It’s taken me 12 months to find my opportunity to complete the open water course – and I’m hooked!  Not only for diving itself, but the opportunity I now have to explore the world in a new way with the people I’ve known all my life and love.  I would like to thank our instructor Allison.  Good instruction from the start builds confidence in anything.  We all felt very lucky to have a teacher who is as passionate as she is professional. And to have found a place like PG where you can dive on so many levels and see so much.   I’m looking forward to keeping her up to date with my ambition of diving the top 10 sites in the world, and working on an environmental clean up once a year.

Travel

 

The Palau Siren  Liveaboard scuba expeditions
Scuba diving liveaboard.

We have the Palau Siren booked for a 10-day trip November 20-30, 2012. For you that have been there before on one of our 7-day cruises with Palau  Aggressor you’ll find that we get an opportunity to see other areas of Palau. We’ll dive far north for some big Pelagic, not to mention any as we might have bad luck. Some may have tips on the fins but they are not white !!! Also some may look like very big birds !!! Do the “usual” Palau dives and then go all the way down to Angaur south of Peleliu.  The boat will move and we will anchor in different places almost every night and therefore get the opportunity to dive in different areas all the time. Talking about the boat, for you who joined our Komodo trip 2011, will be very familiar on the Palau Siren as its a copy of the Indo Siren we spent the trip on. If you are interested please let me know and I will reserve a spot for you. The price for the trip is €2,995. The dates fits with the Manila-Koror flight so no need for overnight in Koror, straight to and from the boat to the airport. 11 spots left ! Contact [email protected] if your interested.