Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Dari Laut/Daryls Laut, Philippines
In August 2023 I did a three week long dive trip to the Philippines with my friend John. We spent the first week at Anilao staying at Buceo Anilao Dive Resort.
There are dozens of dive sites located within 20 minutes run from the resort.
Unfortunately we had a Super Typhoon hit the northern Philippines when we were there, so the Coast Guard banned all boats and diving. Later they permitted diving without boats.
This site was named as Dari Laut but the map also had it as Daryls Laut. Not sure what is correct as I never got an answer. It is located in about 20 minutes run to the west of the resort. It is on the western side of Caban Island between it and Maricaban Island. You get there via the passage between the islands. A GPS mark for the dive spot is 13Â° 40' 44.173" N 120Â° 50' 27.514" E (using WGS84 as the datum).
|A satellite photo from Google Earth that shows the location of the dive site where the three boats are located. The dive resort is off to the right out of view.
The dive consists of a wreck which is said to be an old abandoned floating casino. Either it sunk here or was scuttled after been burnt of the insurance. The wreck is on a sandy slope with the bottom of the deepest part in about 25 metres and the shallowest section towards the shore in 12 metres.
|A drawing of the dive site. It is not a real accurate representation of the site, but it gives some idea of what it looks like.
The boat anchors (as per the satellite photograph above) in four metres just off the shore. The bottom drops quickly just to the west to 14 metres and then slopes gently to 30 metres. We headed down to near this depth and then swam north towards the wreck. As mentioned, the bottom is mostly sand with lots of broken very old coral. As we dropped to 14 metres, there was an electric clam in a small overhang. I could not get a good photograph as it closed up and despite waiting for a while, it did not reopen.
|John McPherson with the hull section and main wreck behind
|The highest part of the deeper section
When you come to the wreck you will see that it is like a box frame with some other pieces nearby and hanging off it. On the northern side near the deepest section there is a piece of what appears to be hull. The structure has a huge amount of growth on it. There are sponges, gorgonias, featherstars and anemones all over it.
|Looking from the shallow section towards the deep
|This is the deepest part of the wreck looking north
Near the deepest part are normally a lot of batfish. These can move around the wreck, but mostly seem to be here. On the anemones there are clownfish, and some of these continually attacked my fingers, biting them when I was trying to take photographs. After the wreck we headed back shallowerr and towards the boat. There were more nudibranchs along the way as well as moray eels.
|Batfish on the deeper parts of the wreck
|A crocodilefish on the wreck top
All in all, this was a very good dive site. The visibility ranged between 18 and 22 metres. Water temperature was 30C.
|A striate chromodoris I think, Chromodoris striate
|Kunes chromodoris Chromodoris kunei I think
|I think this is the black-speckled elysia Elysia sp, very beautiful
|This flatworm dropped from a higher section of the wreck and was floating down
|A tiny bubble shell
|A tiny snail
|A tomato clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus) with a deformed mouth
|Another tomato clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus), but much brighter