On our last day in Moalboal, Cebu, we did something we haven’t tried before – scuba! We’ve snorkled and freedove on several beaches, but this is our first time to actually use scuba gear.
Main reason why we haven’t done scuba before is the cost. Whereas freediving costs include mainly transportation and bringing our freediving/snorkling gears (mask, snorkel and fins), scuba costs a lot more – gear rentals, instructors, boat to scuba site, certification, etc.
It was amazing! Depths we haven’t been down to (16 meters in my case) at longer times (about 45 mins compared to just minutes in freediving). At first, I felt claustrophobic being strapped to a tank, vest and others and just breathing under water but once I got to breathing normally, it was fun. Since this is a non-certification dive for beginner, each of us has a guide who takes care of the BCD and all we have to do is look and fin.
It has been several months since my last post here in my blog. As a return, I feature our latest underwater adventure in Moalboal,Cebu. Moalboal is one of the towns in the province (and island) of Cebu. It is very famous for its underwater marine life treasures. Lots of our people (particularly foreigners) come here to dive (freedive and scuba).
This was our second time in Moalboal. The first time we went there, only Elaine knew how to freedive. The rest of us were either wearing lifevests or are just floating on the surface. This time, fortunately, most of us know how to float and freedive.
Moalboal is really filled with beautiful underwater treasures. There is a huge group of sardines just swimming a few steps from the shore. There is a cliff drop just a few steps from the shore and perhaps from this feature allows nutrients from the bottom to rise providing food to the school of sardines.
There is also a marine turtle sanctuary. It is a place where sighting of sea turtles is almost always a guarantee. In both of our trips there, we were able to see several turtles swimming and sleeping and feeding. The turtle sanctuary also features a drop off. The top part (about 5-6 meters in most of the area) is filled with hard corals and lots of reef fishes. After this comes a cliff dropping off to probably 30 meters of more. The side of this cliff is also filled with marine wildlife.
Another diving destination in the town is Pescador Island. One side of the island has a small strip of shallow coral reefs (about 3-5 meters). After this is another cliff drop much deeper than that in marine turtle sanctuary. Most of the pictures here were taken from this side. The other side (we went there last time but not on this trip) is a much larger area of corals on shallow waters. The current, however, is much stronger, and people on lifevests are easy prey to being dragged with the current.
Another area for diving is Zaragosa Island but this is probably mostly for open-water scuba divers. We have not been to this place yet. The dive maps of Moalboal indicates that there are whale sharks, thresher sharks, manta rays and other sea creatures here.
The group includes myself, Eman, Oyet, Elaine, Myra and her sister Maji. Elaine’s friend, Bea, joined us there. Except for Myra and Maji, all of us are already comfortable in the sea and can make do without lifevests, just a mask, snorkel and fins. On our third and last day, Myra was finally able to snorkel without vests. A few more sea trips and she’ll be under the surface with us.
Moalboal is really a beautiful place and we were very very happy that we decided to come back here when we were able to appreciate more the things that the sea offers below its surface.
Time to learn another photo-related thing. This time, it’s compositing or blending two pictures. Here’s my first semi-successful trial.
The picture is a composite of two pictures both taken in Cebu (during our trip) – a day apart, using my infrared camera (Panny GX1). The background is on Moalboal on a sunny day with beautiful clouds. The foreground, taken a day earlier, was taken in the highest point in Cebu (Osmena Peak). It was very early in the morning and light is not that yet bright. ISO is 200 but the foreground had to be pushed several stops resulting in noise (GX1 has poor dynamic range). It was foggy so the sky is a uniform white (or pink in infrared).
Combined in Photoshop using layers (with magic wand defining the sky). Only semi-successful as the image quality of the foreground is noticeably different from the sky. Also, transition between the layers is too abrupt.
Only the first try so lots of improvement in the future.
One of our itinerary in Cebu is snorkeling in Moalboal to see lots of fishes and sea turtles. We were lucky that when we went snorkeling, we were able to see several sea turtles (Elaine went there before and didn’t see sea turtles). We were also fortunate enough to see dolphins swimming beside and around our boat!
Underneath the Sea
Here are some of the things we saw under the sea. The corals are not that colorful but there were lots and lots of colorful fish!
It was really a wonderful experience! One I’d like to try again soon but probably not in Cebu but in nearby provinces (Marinduque perhaps).