One of the main reasons we added the Philippines to our adventures was so that Max could become a Dive Master and I could learn how to dive and take part in other island sports. One of the lovely things about diving is that you can do it all over the world, just you and your boyfriend or husband, exploring the ocean. I think that’s a cool idea and what a beautiful place to learn!
Prior to arriving, Max arranged for us to dive with New Wave Divers, a company owned by an American lady he met on a plane whilst travelling to Boracay in 2012. We have been welcomed with open arms into this professional and friendly dive shop and we have been made to feel very much at home.
I am training with Dutch David, who is a super teacher, he’s very patient with me. I did some theory before entering the water for some skills training not far from shore. My first few breaths underwater felt unnatural and forced but once I started having to focus on practising different skills whilst being underwater, I forgot about breathing and I settled into it. A few hours later, we got on a boat and sailed for 10 minutes to my first dive site for my Discovery Dive. Max joined us too armed with our Go-Pro.
I loved it! We went down to 11 metres and saw a lots of fish amongst the beautiful coral. The reef is in ‘ok’ condition although there is evidence of dynamite fishing, which still happens here unfortunately. Whilst on this dive, I had to repeat lots of the skills I had learnt just off shore. Obviously it’s completely different when you are 11 metres down, you must stay calm at all times as there is no room for getting flustered and coming above water because you made an error.
Look at me go Mum and Dad!
These were my favourite fish we saw and luckily Max got a good picture, although I think we need a different filter to get the best out of underwater filming. They were really inquisitive and almost kept trying to touch the camera!
After completing this dive, we went back to the dive shop and filled in our Dive Log Books, noting some of the different species we saw, the area, the depth, temperature of water, visibility and time under water. I think my first experience went well and I felt very comfortable in the deeper water, probably more comfortable than I thought I would.
The sun began to set and we enjoyed some beach volleyball.
As our stomachs began calling, we hoped on a tricycle back to Diniwid to buy some fruit and veg from the locals on our street. We picked up fresh mangos, bananas, a few aubergines and some oranges. All for about £1.50.
It was on the way back from this fateful shopping expo that we passed something I couldn’t turn a blind eye too. In the middle of the street, in the 90% humidity with tricycles passing and people going about their evening rituals, a little kitten, barely able to stand, was being played with by two dogs. They were not being aggressive towards the kitten, these dogs live amongst street cats, but they were overly interested in this very weak, tiny creature. I picked it up and asked some locals if they knew where its mum was, hoping I just needed to return it to behind a shack or something. Their response didn’t surprise me. ‘We don’t know, take it!’. To add to this, earlier that day as we left the flat for our dive, there was a dead kitten on the side of the street of the same colouring and the same size. No one had moved it. No one blinked at the fact it was there. I think it was probably a less fortunate sibling of this one! Max agreed that we couldn’t just leave this fragile thing down there, it would have been dead within hours, so we took it back to the flat. A few messages to mother Wemyss, a little googling and an inspection of its teeth lead me to the conclusion it was probably nearly 3/4 weeks old. Too tiny to be without a mum. So its got a new mumma, ME! More about her/him in my next post!
Pretty scabby looking isn’t it!