Scuba Diving Around Moalboal on Cebu Island, Philippines
Moalboal is located in the heart of the Philippines on the southwest side of Cebu Island in front of the Tanon strait on the peninsula. There are over 30+ dive sites for beginners to technical divers and macro photography enthusiasts. Cebu Island has 167 islets and islands lined with white sandy beaches, clear waters, excellent dive facilities and services of competent dive masters and dive guides. Accommodation varies from luxury down to bare bones. Divers come to Cebu for its world renowned diving and are not disappointed according to the many divers we met and spoke to.
If basing yourself in one area isn’t enough, opt for one of the LIVEABOARD’s. Book one of the many tour offerings. “North Visaya” includes islands like Valapascua, Gato, Monad Shoal. “South Visaya” includes islands like Apo, Siquijor & Balicasag Island. Kasai Village Beach Resort keeps its diving groups small on its boats (maximum of six to eight divers), and attaches great importance on safety, service and the complete satisfaction of guests. Before the dive begins, they inform you about special conditions of the actual dive site, the underwater fauna and flora and the specific safety guidelines. Steve and I enjoyed looked at the huge dive boards posted at the dive center with all kinds of information; what dive guests signed up for including night dives, conditions, maps, and more. Naturally, PADI dive instruction is available.
Prefer to snorkel? Kasai Village Beach Resort was in the process of extending their pier for guests to walk further out on the reef. Or, put on mask and fins and just walk out from the beach. They schedule snorkel trips to Pescador Island, Bais bay, and Dolphin House with shallow waters. Borrow their top quality equipment (in all sizes) if you plan a snorkel trip with Kasai and spend a day at sea with tasty food and several coral reefs. The Tanon Strait features several species of corals, making this area one of the richest coral reefs in the world with both hard and soft corals. Parrotfish, Anemone fish, Angel fish, Blue spotted stingrays, Butterfly fish or maybe even a Hawksbill turtle or Green turtle.
The Philippines has one of the warmest seas in the world and there are so many different species of animals, and so many of each species, that it feels like swimming in an enormous aquarium.
Did you know…a starfish is not a fish? Call it a Sea Star. Sea Stars are echinoderms, related to sea urchins, and have no brains and no blood. Their nervous system is spread through their arms and their “blood” is actually filtered sea water. And, after an injury an arm can divide and grow into two arms.
We saw beautiful Sea Stars, brittle Sea Stars and Sea Urchins just walking on the reef each morning. I can’t imagine what really getting out there, on and under the sea, would bring. Must be incredible…
There were Sea Urchins all over the reef at low tide with long, sharp spines that protect it from predators. I had a very painful encounter with a sea urchin snorkeling in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula (what a place that is). Happily floating along with an occasional kick to propel me along, a spine went right through my running shoe into the top of my foot. Excruciating is too mild a word as I limped out of the Red Sea. There are lots of “to dos” with an urchin puncture wound, however, this group was on a remote beach. One “to do” is remove spine with tweezers. Spine was sticking out of the shoe. Forget that “to do.” The guide broke off the spine, took shoe off and that was that. She (the bitch) then told me, “Don’t act like a baby.” (All I was doing was sitting there repeating, “Oh my God, it’s so painful” over and over again. Trust me on this. A sea urchin puncture wound is agonizing. The piece of black urchin spine took months to dissolve under the skin.
Pescador Island is in the middle of the Tanon straight, a more than 300m/900′ deep channel between the islands of Cebu and Negros. Pescador Island is a rock that plummets up from the abyss. With bottomless drop-offs, dramatic over-hangs and caves, it is a classic dive in this area.