Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Agahuta, 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 in the week. This dive site was one we visited on the fourth day.
Agahuta is located about five kilometres east-south-south from the resort across Maricaban Passage. A GPS mark for the dive spot is 13Â° 40' 07.018" N 120Â° 51' 26.852" E (using WGS84 as the datum). It is located to the east of Olympic Resort and around the point. It is usually done as a second dive after the first one being done north of here.
|A satellite photo from Google Earth that shows the location of the dive site. Olympic Point is the red marker and this site is to the right and just around the point. Buceo Anilao Resort at top right.
The dive boat anchors a short distance off the shore to the south-east of the point in about five metres of water. To the east the bottom drops then slopes to an unknown depth. The bottom is sand with lots of very old broken coral pieces. There are also some large outcrops of newer and live coral. We headed to 12 metres and then north for a while before dropping slowly down the slop heading north-east.
|The first of the giant anglerfish
|Another giant anglerfish
The bottom has thousands of featherstars and some have shrimps on them. We also see two giant anglerfish (see photographs). We saw two of these on our first dive of the trip but as my camera battery was dead then, I am glad we have been able to see more. There are also thousands of the Redtoothed triggerfish (Odonus niger), also called blue triggerfish. We have been seeing them on a lot of dives but they are hard to get a photograph of as they move so quickly.
|A redtoothed triggerfish
|Black spotted pufferfish I think
As we go along we see literally a dozen or more species of nudibranch, many anemones with clownfish, moray eels, a juvenile ribbon eel, pufferfish and much more. We end up going to 24 metres and then headed back to the boat. We spent a bit of time near the boat and there are many more nudibranchs in this area.
|Lumpy chromodoris - Chromodoris hintantuensis I think
|Siboga glossodoris - Glossodoris sibogae
This was a really good dive. Water temperature was 29 to 30C in August and the visibility was varied as there was a bit of sand about and also many thermoclines. It probably averaged about 15 metres.
|Strigate chromodoris - Chromodoris strigata
|Ornate cadlinella - Cadlinella ornatissima
|I am not sure what nudibranch this is
|Another Strigate chromodoris - Chromodoris strigata
|An anemone shrimp
|Another anemone shrimp
|Ornate elysia - Elysia ornata
|I think this is a real clown anemonefish
|A hairy squat lobster