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Discovery Fleet MV Discovery Palawan Tubbataha Trip Report, April 19-April 25, 2018

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by outofofficebrb, May 26, 2018.

  1. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    3,189
    2,529
    113
    I still think it’s worth going. It’s good diving. You get to see whale sharks! It’s difficult to dive anything and expect the same after Raja if that’s your gold standard but I am still glad I went. Since you will appreciate this, I am also returning to Raja in April. My first time there was Oct 2017!
     
    Lisamay4 likes this.
  2. Lisamay4

    Lisamay4 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: United States
    15
    5
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    Oh that's awesome! Where are you going in Raja? I am going back to the Misool Eco Resort for the second time. Other than that I have stayed at homestays so I've done both ends of the spectrum in price!
    I was just reading about Tubbataha and that it might be better to go a little later in the season like April or May versus March? When did you go? The review said that since March is the very beginning of the season the sea might still be rough and colder water temperatures.
     
  3. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    3,189
    2,529
    113
    I will be doing south (Misool) to central to north on a liveaboard. I’m an addict, as you can see. :)

    Yes, I would avoid March and early April. In speaking with the boat crew, they experienced rougher seas and conditions during the earlier trips. I can’t speak to the later trips in June, though. If you are susceptible to motion issues, I definitely suggest a larger ship and/or a steel hull. Both is ideal for that purpose.
     
    Lisamay4 likes this.
  4. xtraspicy

    xtraspicy Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Malaysia
    12
    4
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    Hi outofofficebrb, what about moonphase in Tubbataha? Did you by any chance enquire if a full moon/new moon situation affects the diving there? Im booked on M/Y Resolute next april 25, but its supposed to be half moon.. I hope the diving will still be great.
     
    Lisamay4 likes this.
  5. Lisamay4

    Lisamay4 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: United States
    15
    5
    3

    Yes...I'm a bit of an addict now too...it's pretty amazing under there! I got certified four years ago at 52 and have been able to log 125 dives so far primarily in Indonesia. It's quite the hobby!!! :)
     
    outofofficebrb likes this.
  6. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    3,189
    2,529
    113
    Hi, there. Here's a link to the historical moon data from when I was there April 18-25. Moon Phases Calendar for April 2018 - Calendar-12.com

    It looks like it was waxing crescent to waxing gibbous. We saw the rays and many whale sharks towards the latter half of the week which would be closer to a full moon. I guess that makes sense as that does attract more of the food that they eat towards the surface. Your diving is scheduled for a waning moon instead of a waxing moon. Nothing is ever 100% but I think you will still enjoy the diving either way. :)
     
  7. moorish8idol

    moorish8idol Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada
    109
    131
    43
    I also agree that beginning (and end for that matter) of the season should be avoided. I went on the third week of the season and my boat and some other liveaboards had serious issues the first 2 weeks. Granted, the wet season in the Philippines this year went very very late.. there were still typhoons and lots of rain well into April (not typical) - I was in Western Australia back in October and their "wet" had arrived 5 weeks early. Global warning etc. But I do think you run a better chance of avoiding the worst of the weather by going in mid-April-early May. My liveaboard had to turn back from their crossing in week 1 (they eventually made it but a day late) and we heard reports of another liveaboard leaving Tubbataha early because the weather was getting a bit rough and the boat was careening quite violently from side to side while they were moored. Important to keep in mind that Tubbataha has very limited mooring balls and no land to protect it from incoming weather/winds. Add up the liveaboards and private boats, one side of the atolls being rougher, and you can end up competing for balls or having to leave! (we didn't have this problem fortunately but it was quite windy and choppy at times)

    I am not sure that moon cycles make much of a difference in Tubbataha. The park appears to be well protected and cared for - the reefs are thriving and I suspect there is a lot of marine life that is permanently camped out there throughout the moon cycle! From April 8-13 (last quarter of the moon cycle), we saw the "big guys" on all but 2 dives at all dive sites (I was very fond of the east side of the atolls, notably Shark Airport, Amos Rock and Delsan Wreck (this is where the hammers hang out). A good dive master will help - ours knew when and where to go (weather dependent of course) and he was spot on (for example, he told us the hammers would be around 36 m at Delsan and after 5 minutes 6 of them showed up to check us out, knew where to find rays etc). We saw whale sharks every single day at all different spots (morning, afternoon and dusk dives!), several mantas, eagle rays, lots of turtles and literally hundreds of reefies. The other dive group on our boat wasn't as lucky (they were less experienced so weren't hitting the depths like us and thus missed the hammers) and I know someone that was on the Stella Maris the same week as I was and saw whale sharks but not as often as us (and no mantas or hammers). Nobody saw any tigers that week (which I was fine with!) I want to say it involves a lot of luck but a tuned-in DM (knows how to read the currents, where to drop in, experienced enough to know where he usually sees certain species) can also be a huge asset.
     
  8. Lisamay4

    Lisamay4 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: United States
    15
    5
    3
    Thank you so much for the detailed report. I have never seen a whale shark and that is one of my goals although I know I could also not see one!
    am now looking at a boat that goes out April 14 - 20. That's about as late as I can go this year unless I push the trip out to the next year on a boat called 'The Infinity.' I didn't even consider the experience of the DM's so thank you!
     

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