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We welcomed some of our old Fun & Sun friends from Malaysia to our new branch in Coron Palawan. Last May 1-5, all of us were in for a long and unforgettable weekend.
What a beautiful sunny day to welcome our friends to Coron. All flights were delayed and the plane with two of our friends cancelled its flight. Despite the minor setback, it didn’t stop us from embarking on the adventure that lies ahead.
Yesterday’s disappointment was short-lived. Relief struck us as our two friends arrived at Coron safely. What a great way to start the day! All of us were already stoked and ready to get wrecked.
We began our adventure by looking for Akitsushima- the first of many treasure hunts as the buoy line was missing in action. After searching for a while we headed to Okikawa Maru which is the biggest wreck in Coron at about 160 meters long. An interesting wreck with a cool backstory too. Amazingly, it was on fire for three weeks straight and still managed to stay afloat!
Next up was the Morazan Maru which is some of our staff’s personal favorite and now we know why. At 93 meters long, it’s the baby of the big wrecks but has the most shallow depth at 14 to 25 meters deep. You can do a beautiful diving profile of the inside and the outside in one dive. The positioning of the wreck has made it easy for a reef of cabbage patch corals to grow on top and is no surprise that it houses different kinds of marine life.
It was time for lunch and our guest really enjoyed the freshly-prepared dishes made by our cook. The hearty feast was also a good start to our afternoon at our last stop, the Teru Kaze Maru. The Teru Kaze Maru was our last dive for the day. Although it’s quite small at being only 35 eters, the positioning of the wreck is unique. It rises from the sandy bottom at an angle which reminds us of some Garden Eel peeking out of the sand. It was a good way to end our first day of diving and the latecomers of our group needed time to catch up on sleep.
It was a bit cloudy on our second day but it didn’t stand in our way for another great dive day. We started at Kogyo Maru- at 135 meters long and between 18 to 34 meters deep this is an ideal place to start a day of exploring the deep blue. The Kogyo Maru was an auxiliary supply ship that was going to build an airstrip. Inside the wreck there’s a bulldozer, barbed wire and cement bags. The outside of the wreck is home to a large amount of lionfish and other soft coral fish as well as schools of jacks and yellowtail barracuda. Our next stop was at Olympia Maru. The hatches to this wreck is huge as it was a freight used by the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Our last dive for the day was at Lusong Gun Boat. This is a wonderful site for a last dive because the wreck is small at only 30 meters long and yet it boasts of a beautiful reef growing to the side. This beauty is also a haven for Sea Turtles. On our way back to Coron town we had some rain but this didn’t wipe the smile of our friend’s faces. We we’re becoming closer and with some jokes about the weather while being huddled together because of the cold on the way home, our second day came to an end.
Yay! We were greeted a very good morning by the good weather, clear skies and calm seas today.
Hearing that the buoy line at Akitsushima is back up we headed there for another try at the aircraft carrier. Unfortunately, our search was to no avail. So now we are off to Irako for our deepest dive of the trip. At 147 meters long and the depth ranging from 29 to 42 meters, this wreck isn’t friendly towards beginners. The Irako was a refrigerated supply ship that was able to supply food for 25,000 personnel for two weeks. That’s a lot of food!
Next up is Coral Garden- the name says it all. This reef houses loads of macro life and bigger fish as well as Sea Turtles. Coming up from the dive our friends we’re hungry and hoped that the Irako was nearby. Luckily our lunch on board was more than enough to satisfy the group of 11 hungry friends and in true Filipino style, unlimited rice is always a necessity.
Our last dive site today is Arnie’s reef. Arriving at the site our group made jokes about the depth being at 4 meters or so but were surprised to realize that the reef goes down to 18 meters in the opposite direction. What amazing luck they had, seeing a Harlequin Ghost Pipefish! Getting back to port at Coron town, everyone’s still talking about the great day we had and the amazing Ghost Pipefish.
We’re sad that it’s the last day for our Malaysian friends but the conditions couldn’t been better. It was a perfect last day with regards to the weather and its mirror-like calmness.We are finally on our way to Cathedral Cave! This is the pinnacle of some of the group’s trip. The boat ride there had everyone taking pictures and just admiring the beauty that surrounded us.
Our second dive site was Barracuda Lake. With an exceptional twist, this lake is something you have to do during any trip to Coron. The water temperature is normal when you get in but at 12 noon there’s an instant thermocline rising to between 39 to 42C. This calls for a once in a lifetime experience. While the divers are at Barracuda Lake, we rushed to get their last feast with us ready.
The menu had whole-grilled chickens, pork kebabs grilled on board, rice, veggies, salad and a beautiful swan centerpiece made with cucumber. Pretty, huh?
Our last dive for the trip is Atan Reef which is our secret reef. It’s
a huge rock formation rising from 3 to 5 meters. Macro-marine life thrives here as the slight current on the one side keeps predator fish at bay. Our friend Kuan luckily found one of our pointing sticks that got lost at the site the day before. Yay!
It was already time to say goodbye as our friends’ stay here in Coron came to an end. We had seafood pizza on our boat named “Malambing”. It’s a Filipino word for affectionate, by the way. The pizza-slash-boat party was a roaring success and we made the most out of the limited time left to swap stories with our newly-found friends.
We’d like to give a shout out and a big THANK YOU to Tan Lea Meng, Yvonne Chong, Evelyn Foo, Sue-Lyn Koay, Flora Foo, Danny Ong, Pang Kuan Shiong, Ong Boo Soon, Aaron Suah Jake Sean, Woon Wai Keen and Nizam Shariff. It was a pleasure diving with you at Coron. It was surely an unforgettable and exciting experience. ‘Till next time!
Fun & Sun Coron Staff.