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Dinagat Island - a side trip

Discussion in 'Dive-O-Rama' started by clgsamson, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. clgsamson

    clgsamson Koya Kap

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    13,069
    63
    48
    This was a side trip to our annual Sogod Bay dive vacation. One of the divers in our group suggested that we go over to Dinagat Island for a 2 dive trip (3rd dive to be made in Panaon Island). The requested trip, which is so dependent on the weather, was finalized after weather reports/forecasts signified it was going to be sunny and calm. This trip would take all of three (3) hours to complete one leg (Padre Burgos to Dinagat Island).

    We started at around 7 am sharp under a small of cloud of rain. Fog was still rolling down thru the hills of Panaon island

    [​IMG]


    After about an hour, we passed through the port town of Liloan in Panaon Island.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    We also saw Mount Cabalian, a dormant volcano they say.

    [​IMG]


    closer view
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    nothing to do on the way to Dinagat but to sleep and relax -
    [​IMG]


    After about another 2 hours, we caught a glimpse of where we were diving for the day. These pinnacles juts out of the sea like mushrooms. Someone remarked that it looked like that famous Palau advertisement, the one with several small islands pic.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Our DM, Pedro, no sooner had us ready and got us in the water in record time. We dove the outermost pinnacle -

    Dive 1
    My dive log:
    Depth – 114ft
    Dive time 56 minutes (14 minutes between 110 ft and 114 ft)
    Ave. Depth 56ft
    Temp 82 f

    Dinagat island - pinnacle

    The first thing that you’ll notice is the incredible viz. I’m no expert in measurements but viz was like gin tonic. Descending and looking at the first level of the pinnacle, you’ll see undamaged and healthy hard and soft corals ( an American in the group said it was world class). From the first level on, you fin over a view deck like terrace and descend parallel a wall to deeper and dark waters (it was so dark down there that I didn't see the ocean floor. I need to ask the Russian who went deeper; yes he’s alive, thank God).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    There were lots of long whip corals, Myra saw a yellow blade shrimp and 3 xeno crab on the nearby whip coral, all these at 114 ft. Lots of big fan corals.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    yes, thats the russian dude down there (I was vertical and shooting down at 114 ft).
    [​IMG]


    The whole place was really beautiful but something was wrong. There was no fish activity in the area!

    We tried to get to the other side of the pinnacle but the current was running.I had a chance to hang onto rock and view the other side. Still no fish. We surmised, after the first dive and comparing notes, that this place has long been overfished. The fishermen that we saw and talked too were actually using small hooks to catch even the smallest ones in the area. These fishermen were from a nearby community with nothing to eat but fish.

    To continue, we didn't see nudis in the first dive. As mentioned earlier, current was strong on the other side (east side) of the pinnacle so we ended up circling only the west side of the pinnacle. We saw the largest stonefish ever while a banded sea snake was spotted wriggling about near the end of the dive. My dive computer gave me a 7 minute safety stop.


    Dive 2 –
    My dive log:
    Depth – 97ft
    Dive time 57 minutes (12 minutes between 84ft and 97ft)
    Ave. Depth 45ft
    Temp 82 f

    We were supposed to do the east side of the pinnacle but due to the same strong current we ended doing the west side again. We saw a banded sea snake, probably the same one as the first dive with its head inside a coral most likely looking for prey and didn't want to be disturbed, and finally saw a green and red nudi. Not much fish activity. Dive comp gave me an 11 minute deco stop plus a mandatory 3 mins safety stop on this dive :rofl3:.

    Some pix from the 2nd dive
    [​IMG]



    yeah saw some of these too
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    usual nudi stuff
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    on the way back via southern tip of Panaon Island, we saw this passenger ship wreck (it sank last October) in the San Ricardo jetty area.
    [​IMG]



    will I go back to dive Dinagat island? you bet I will. Life is good...
    [​IMG]


    more pics in the set Dinagat Island - a set on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  2. shugar

    shugar Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    9,377
    14
    38
    great report! viz was amazing!

    Jag
     
  3. chip104

    chip104 Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Toronto
    5,359
    35
    48
    sweet pics koya. Thanks for sharing. Viz looks beautiful. My next trip in the PI 2011 will be to Surigao/Siargao for some diving, surfing, and beach-going.. :)
     
  4. jigo

    jigo Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    2,420
    13
    0
    nice pics koya. specially love the first shrimp. pics of the xeno pls! saw my first one yesterday!
     
  5. iris_ice

    iris_ice Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: singapore
    3,551
    2
    38
    vis like no other. haylabit! :D
     
  6. clgsamson

    clgsamson Koya Kap

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    13,069
    63
    48
    its a big island with superb hard and soft corals formation, but things may turn out differently in 2010 onwards....

    Nickel miner allowed to start operations on Dinagat Island


    The Environment department’s Mines bureau has approved the mining plan of listed Century Peak Metals Holdings Corp., allowing the miner to start putting up a nickel mine in northeastern Mindanao. In an order dated Dec. 23, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau said:

    “Century Peak is henceforth authorized to proceed to the development and operating periods ... including the extraction and commercial disposition of nickel ore and associated minerals within the contract area.”

    In the first stage of operation that will begin this year, the miner will produce 5,000-10,000 metric tons (MT) of nickel per year from its 4,000-hectare nickel property in the province of Dinagat Island. It will be doubled to 20,000 MT per year under full-scale operations.

    The miner will invest P2 billion and $150 million for the first and second phases, respectively.

    In November, the miner signed a deal for United Kingdom-based Gem Global Yield Fund, Ltd. and Global Emerging Markets Investment Advisors, Inc. to put in as much as P2.9 billion.

    In April last year, Century Peak filed the declaration of mining project feasibility, which required an environmental compliance certificate, the final exploration report, an environmental protection program, a final mine rehabilitation and decommissioning plan, and a social development program.

    An 86-hectare area has total resources of 11.900 million wet MT of nickel ore, enough to sustain the company’s operations for at least 10 years.

    Aside from nickel mining, Century Peak will put up a processing plant with Century Hua Guang Smelting, Inc., where the miner has a 55% stake. -- Neil Jerome C. Morales
     
  7. shugar

    shugar Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    9,377
    14
    38
    there goes the neighborhood =(

    Jag
     
  8. jigo

    jigo Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    2,420
    13
    0
    forwarded link to writer of the article.
     
  9. clgsamson

    clgsamson Koya Kap

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    13,069
    63
    48
    I did some more researched and it turns out that Dinagat Island has been declared a mining reserve a long long time ago. It has Chromite and Copper reservations in the Southern part of the island. Small time mining is present and now it's time for the big boys eh.

    yes there goes the neighborhood.

    I'll try to dive/visit the place again late this year.

    ps - I hope they don't thrash the place.....you think its better than a coal fired power station?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  10. jigo

    jigo Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    2,420
    13
    0
    DOR? can we go, stay and dive there and skip sogod?
     

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