Diving Coron Shipwrecks 19/11/11

 

Signing one’s life away, first thing in the morning is a little strange. Logan and I are very excited though to go diving and see the shipwrecks today, for Logan it will be his first dive. Our dive instructor is Gerd, he is German and an absolutely dedicated diver and treasure hunter. He came to Busuanga 11 years ago because of the 20 shipwrecks and good diving. There are also two Brits, Peter and Jack, and Gerd’s wife and three kids on board.

We got about half an hour until our dive and Gerd asks us, whether we would like to know a bit more about our equipment and diving. We are all keen on learning, so he explains the diving regulator, weights, buoyancy control, the pressure gauge and much more. We are then allowed to attach the vest to the oxygen tank, open the valve and fit ourselves. It’s really not that hard but I cannot say that about keeping balance on the boat once I got about 10 kilos of equipment on me. I feel like an overweight whale on dry land! In the water it’s a lot easier to move around. Since Logan and Jack have never been diving before, we are doing the required exercises in shallow water of how to control buoyancy, take out the breathing apparatus and put it back in, share the emergency breathing apparatus with a buddy and clear out the mask in case water runs in. It also puts me at ease to repeat these exercises that I have last done 3 years ago.

Out of the dark blue appears the silhouette of a big sunken Japanese warship. It’s Tangat. We swim over and around it, there is lots of coral attached to the wreck and fish are going on with their everyday life. While they seem to fight over their territory, I’m fighting with my buoyancy level as I seem to keep floating upwards. I released all of the air in my vest and Logan has to help me stay down the bottom and drags me along with him. It annoys me a bit, I never had problems with that but maybe 4 kilo weights weren’t quite enough. For Logan the experience of diving is overwhelming. I watch him swim like a fish in its element, I knew he would love it and I think now he’s hooked.

After the dive, we enjoy the water for a little longer and then head off to Luzon, another shipwreck. I attach another kilo onto my belt and stumble towards the edge of the banka. It’s a deep water entry this time. I jump in and love the feeling of weightlessness! Logan, Gerd and I slowly release the air of our vests and it looks like I can enjoy my dive this time! I sink! Woohoo! The visibility around the wreck is a lot better, there is a lot more coral and so many more fish around! We love it! A big cuttlefish, that Logan and I mistook for an octopus at first, is trying to escape from us and nervously changes its colour. We swim through the shipwreck, it’s quite tight to fit through with the oxygen tank on the back but I try to stay calm and swim through very slowly and carefully. My emergency breathing apparatus is getting caught up at the wreck, lucky I’m so slow, avoiding any damage. At one point there is this huge 1 meter plus parrotfish overtaking us like we are on a highway. I can see Gerd’s excitement under water. Later he tells us, he’s never seen a parrot fish of this size before. 40 minutes pass like 10 minutes and at the bottom of the wreck Gerd discovers a crocodile fish and signals me to come closer to have a look. Oh oh! I see myself getting further away. Further and further and… splash, my head pops up at the surface. I just rose over 10 meters to the surface, totally out of my control. I have no idea how on earth this happened so suddenly after 40 minutes. I’m a little angry and decide I had enough. Logan and Gerd follow me 10 minutes later and we talk about the great experience. Gerd is absolutely amazed about how well we both dive but especially about Logan as it’s his first dive. He says, he has never seen anything like it in his career. “Logan swims like a fish! Better than many experienced divers.”

We get handed a beer and make our way back to Coron port. It’s about an hour journey and we enjoy the setting sun, beautiful island vistas and warm wind blowing around us. Back at the port, we catch a tricycle to Rocksteady Dive Centre to receive our dive certificate and say goodbye to everyone. Now we are looking forward to a good German meal at Kokosnuss Resort. Tomorrow we are off to El Nido…

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