Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Abellinos
The prime diving sites in the Ticao Island/Donsol area are around the San Miguel Island and the other islands near it. This island is at the northern end of Ticao Island. This dive site ion Udok Island which is a bit further south and on the western side of the top of Ticao Island. The actual site is on the western side of Udok Island, near the southern end off a very sharp limestone outcrop.
|San Miguel Island is located at the top left of chart. Ticao Island Resort is near bottom right of island. ||An enlarged section of the chart at left. Dive site is off left side of Udok which is marked as Faltaban Island here.|
It is about 45 to 50 minutes run from Ticao Island Resort and probably an hour or so from Donsol in a large banca. You cut between Ticao Island and Bagababboy Island and go around the next smaller island. The reef here starts shallow next to the island and then drops away at about 45 degrees to a deeper and steeper wall. The bancas anchor in the shallows in about seven metres. You head west and drop over the wall and head down to the depth you want to achieve. We headed north and went to about 34 metres maximum before starting a gradual ascent.
The site is apparently named after the first dive master in the Ticao area.
|The very colourful wall at Abllinos||Glass shrimp in anemone|
The wall is very colourful, with lots of large gorgonias of all colours, sea whips and sponges. There are hundreds of feather stars of every imaginable colour. I looked over many of the gorgonias for pygmy sea horses, but none were seen. However, I did find some gobies on sea whips.
Gradually rising we see many anenomes, with clownfish, glass shrimp and even orangutan crabs in them. There are also dancing shrimp in some anenomes.
|Annes Chromodoris - Chromodoris annae - has very faint|
mustard coloured skirt unlike most exampes I have seen
|Black-rayed Phyllidia - Phyllidiapicta|
There is very good sponge life and on them and the surrounding coral there are many different species of nudibranchs. We even see a sea spider, fantastic.
There are a few separate walls, at least three. After 40 minutes or so we turn around and come back shallower across the top of the wall and then in the shallows. This area is also very interesting. We finish the dive back at the boat which has stayed anchored.
|Orangutan crab||Sea spider on soft coral|
For our second dive, we headed south. The terrain is similar but there are no gorgonias for some reason. Again we see orangutan crabs, glass shrimps and sea whip gobies. We also see firefish and some small eels. We end the dive on a slope from the island after over an hour's dive.
|Robust ghost pipefish in front of feather star||Porcelain crab in anenome|
This is another very nice dive site, with visibility of over 25 metres deeper and warm at around 25-26C in March.