Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Boulders, 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). A t Sabang, 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 Capt'n Greggs.
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.
Boulders is located about four kilometres from the resort, perhaps the longest run of any dive site I did at Sabang. It is south-east of the resort but you have to travel to the east and then about 1.5 kilometres south of the lighhouse headland. A GPS mark for the starting spot for the dive is 13Â° 30' 43.182"N 120Â° 58' 59.794"E (using WGS84 as the datum).
|A satellite photo from Google Earth of Sabang area. Boulders is the red mark. Sbang town is top left, lighthouse headland top right.
The site is off a small bay in a largish headland. We drop into four metres and then head to the south, dropping down a steep slope to 24 metres and then to 30 metres. There are some very large boulders here (hence the name of the site) and we see a large gorgonia and on it I find two tiny pygmy sea horses and the guide another one.
|The gorgonia that had three pygmy sea horses on it
|One of the pygmy sea horses
After eight minutes, we start a slow ascent back to the shallows. At 24 metres there are some more large boulders. There are lots of featherstars here and there is a plaque to a Korean diver who apparently died here. We see a few nudibranchs, a sea whip with a goby, seastars with shrimps and a colourful sea cucumber that looks like a nudibranch.
|A starfish shrimp
|I think this is a lined nembrotha - Nembrotha lineolata
|Perhaps Baba's phyllidia - Phyllidia babai
We continue ascending and there are more boulders, no wonder this site got its name! In the shallows we see more interesting things, including some razorfish, a blue-spotted stingray as well as anemones and clownfish.
|The plaque for the dead Korean diver
|I am pretty sure this is a small sea cucumber, not a nudibranch
This was a very good dive site, with lots of interesting terrain and the pygmy sea horses. Water temperature was 28C in September and the visibility was about 20 metres.
|I think this is Chamberlain's nembrotha - Nembrotha chamberlaini
|A siboga trinchesia I think - Trinchesia sibogae
|A sea whip goby