I've always wanted to scuba dive, but have not had the chance to even go for an Intro Dive. Two weeks ago, I got my chance to finally cross that one thing off my list! We were picked up from the beachfront of Microtel Puerto Princesa and took a 15-minute boat ride to the open waters in front of Pristine Beach.
We were several eager beavers, one of us was already a certified diver, and another one already experienced it twice. I was a bit nervous, as it was my first time to wear the gear, and I had no idea what would happen.
I motioned upward and attempted to postpone my adventure for the next time.... several times. Finally, the lead instructor showed me how to CALMLY breathe rhythmically and lightly, and before I knew it, he was slowly deflating my BCD, and I was going deeper and deeper. I was getting the hang of it, and happily distracted by the colorful gardens..... and was brave enough to touch them! The brown coral below felt like one of those hard, felt-covered wires that are used for arts and crafts. But they were as soft as feathers.
The classic blue starfish, whose kind is so abundant in the islands of Palawan, was right there, resting at the bottom.
And then the highlight of my dive ---- a clownfish swam towards me, stopped a few inches from my face, and just stared at me with its black beady eyes! I could not contain myself, that I poked it on its side. It just flinched and stared at me again. Oh wow. I kept on poking it till it swam away.
A few meters ahead, I figured out why that little Nemo was so aggressive. It was guarding its home. Pretty awesome photo, for a point-and-shoot 12-megapixel underwater camera, with no photo editing! I was not brave enough to touch the white tips of the anemone, but one of the divers said that it felt like little suction cups.
Our instructor, Kuya Julius, playfully put one of these little creatures in his mask! Nice!
I only went 25 feet deep below the surface. Some of the others went deeper and explored a sea wall where lots of corals were attached to it. I hope to see that before the year ends.
*The Front Desk at Microtel Puerto Princesa can book your dive for you, with a convenient pick up and drop off right at their beachfront.