Since the island hopping tours have fallen short on Malapacao island, we still had to check out more islands in the archipelago. We decided that Tour C to Matinloc Island, Secret Beach and Helicopter Island would cover most of the islands that we haven’t seen yet.
It was quite bumpy on the sea and after a 30-min boat ride we stopped on Matinloc Island. All you see is a massive limestone cliff and a tiny hole in it. The swell is quite big and I wonder if all the 12 passengers are capable of swimming through a hole with sharp edges. Some people seem to panic slightly and kick around with their legs and feet. The water quality is really good this time and I can see about 5 or more meters down. I watch the fish watching us human beings making it through the tiny hole and on the other side I find a coral garden in very shallow water. I glide above it, trying not to touch anything. When I turn around I see everyone walking on the coral. This is tourism. Shouldn’t the guides educate the tourists? I’m disappointed and wonder if I should say anything. How do you explain a Philippino guy that they need to look after their precious natural wonder, when they litter their town and all their waste water is going right out to the ocean.
Secret beach is nice but it would be a lot more beautiful and secret without the crowds and if the coral was still intact.
We swim back through the tiny hole in the wall and the nervous tour guides are relieved that no-one has been hurt. The next stop is a snorkeling spot. Another coral cemetery! A bit sad really but there are lots of sea urchins in all different colours and beautiful fish. Logan seems to enjoy himself diving down deeper and further each time. I wonder if he will pursue the carrier of a skin diver?
For lunch we stop at a small beach and get served a whole fish with rice and soy sauce and some watermelon for desert. Watermelon appears to be a great environment for E-Coli, so I just reduce it to the fish and rice.
On the way back we stop at helicopter island and everyone jumps in the water. The swell is so big that it lifts up the boat under the breaking waves on the shore and our guide is getting swallowed by one of the waves when he tries to get to the beach. The anchor just wouldn’t stay in place and we left soon thereafter.
Back in El Nido we just grab a burger from a local place and disappear in the room to work on our footage and blog.