Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - The Canyons, Philippines
In August and September 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 and the next two weeks at Sabang (Puerto Galera). We stayed at Capt'n Greggs and dived with them as well.
There are a dozen or more dive sites located within 10 minutes run from the resort.
Unfortunately we had a Super Typhoon hit the northern Philippines when we were at Anilao and lost some days diving there. We were also delayed a day in getting to Sabang.
The Canyons is located about one kilometre to the east of the resort. A GPS mark for the starting spot for the dive site is 13Â° 31' 24.265"N 120Â° 59' 31.700"E (using WGS84 as the datum).
|A satellite photo from Google Earth that shows the location of Hole in the Wall. This is just to the south of The Canyons. Sabang is off to the left of the photo
The site is to the north-east of a headland that is locally known as Lighthouse Head. All dives at Sabang are done as live drops and pickups. This site is prone to currents, and the actual drop site is normally to the west of the dive site. Both dives I did here had relatively strong currents from the west in the top 20 metres.
|The jacks were everywhere!
|Another shot of the huge school of jacks
We drop to the bottom at about 22 metres, although the actual depth will depend on where you start the dive. We head east in the quite strong current and soon we come across a huge school of jacks. We see these a number of times during the dive.
After five minutes we come to the first canyon. The top is 24 metres and inside the canyonias 26 metres. There is no current here. This is a very colourful area and the jacks are seen again. After a few minutes we go over a ridge at 21 metres into a deeper canyon at 27 metres. We end up spending eight minutes in this area.
|A barrel sponge and small gorgonia
|Colourful wall and lots of small fish
After this we go over another ridge at 24 metres into the final canyon at 29 metres. There is a huge number of jacks swirling all around and over us. We spend six minutes here (21 minutes gone by now) before we go around the next ridge to the other side where there is a very large and old Admiralty anchor. We spend a few minutes here and then drift off to the south-east in the current as we ascend. We end up surfacing about 500 metres away and get picked up by our boat.
This was a very good dive. In the days before we dived here and again a few days later, people saw a whale shark on this dive! Water temperature was 29C in September and the visibility varied from 15 to 20 metres.
|A nice barrel sponge in one of the canyons
|A large nembrotha
|The Admiralty anchor
|Another shot of the anchor