In January 2020, I went on a dive trip to Dumaguete, Philippines. I think I had barely heard of COVID-19 at the time. By the end of the trip, there was lots on the news about this new virus in China in the airport on my way home. I remember thinking, "wow, this must be serious" when the US Border Patrol folks were wearing masks.
A lot has happened in my life since this trip. I’ve been meaning to get to these photos for a long time. I took over 1,600 photos on this trip, so narrowing them down took some time. Since I’m headed to Mexico this week for more diving, I figured it was time to finally finish these.
This trip was my first time in Asia. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see much besides the resort and underwater while I was there. Definitely need to go back.
Most of the diving I’ve done has been in the Caribbean. The wildlife was so different in The Philippines. I absolutely loved seeing all of the diversity across the world.
Macro & Muck Diving
This trip was the first time I had heard of muck diving. It’s diving on mostly sand and looking for little creatures. Normally, you wouldn’t dive sandy spots since there’s usually nothing there. Here, the sand was so full of life. I bought a macro lens (Sony 90mm) for this trip. Really enjoyed shooting all of the little creatures.
An hour or so boat ride from the place we were starting was Apo Island. It was totally different. Apo had tons of huge coral formations kinda like the Caribbean. So cool to see the contrast between the sand and all of the formations.
Black Water Diving
Blue water diving is when you dive in the water column. Usually is super, super deep (like thousands of feet). All you can see in every direction is blue. Definitely a little intense since it’s hard to gauge your depth since there’s no references. The appeal is you can sometimes see big ocean creatures out there.
Black water diving is the same, but at night. It’s pretty nuts to see black in every direction. Very intense. The boat hung a giant “ladder” made out of PVC and ropes that was 60 feet tall and had a 3 or 4 “rungs”. Each rung had lights on it to attract the open water creatures.
This was some of the most wild things I’ve ever seen diving. Look at these things! Tons of weird, tiny, see through creatures. I had such a good time on this dive.
This was another night dive. Some of the creatures in the sandy areas are ultraviolet at night. I dove with a UV filter on my mask, a filter in front of my camera lens, and a blacklight flashlight. It so neat to see the different colors glowing at night.
Such an amazing trip. The ocean’s beauty is truly magnificent.