Has anyone been to Anilao/PG in October? Good conditions? Terrifying currents?

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NurseNomad

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Hey Scubaboard folks,

This is a long one...

We are trying to choose a location for great diving in October. We have about 2.5 weeks. Budget, thinking $4000 max, $3000 would be better, this would be total for 2 divers. We've never been to the Philippines, but saw the article in an old Dan magazine about Anilao and thought, yes please! However, it looks like February-March is considered the *best* time of year- that's a double-edged sword because high season usually means high crowds too and I absolutely, positively hate crowds. Of course, balancing that with good weather and wildlife viewing conditions is the trick.

On a side note, although we each have nearly 70 dives in the logbook, these have mostly been places with very easy diving: Key Largo, Bonaire, Curacao, and, guided, in Rarotonga and Aitutaki. You have to be trying hard to get hurt diving in Key Largo in August (no storm, obviously) where the max depth is often like 20-25 feet and the currents are zilch. Two years ago we spent ALL the money and went to Wakatobi in September (yes, it was in fact amazing). We thought we would do 5 dives every day...turned out we (really, me) found the currents terrifying. I had my first experience with a down-sucking current that yanked me out and down about 25 feet in a few seconds before I could fight free and nobody, including the guide or my dive buddy spouse, even noticed except for the OTHER guy in the group who also got caught in it. (He was one of those twats with $10 million of camera equipment who would literally tear up the reef trying to get his shots and not even notice or care, that isn't really relevant but god I hate those people). The currents didn't stop us doing the guided boat dives but we gave up on any unguided shore diving except at the heart of slack tide. Clearly, a lot of this is basically having no skill whatsoever with currents, but yeah, this is a long way to ask, how are the currents? How deep is most of the diving? Because Wakatobi advertises itself as "easy diving," which I'm sure it is compared to someplace like Komodo, but it was anything but easy for me. (I know the strong currents are exactly what make the life thrive so at the best dive sites in the world. I just can't handle them!)

If you wouldn't recommend Anilao/PG for good October weather/wildlife/lack of crowds/easy diving without strong currents, I would love to hear any suggestions. (Warm water only until I can someday afford a drysuit, I'm a wuss). We considered the Caribbean, mostly seemed way too chancy with the hurricane season getting worse and worse every year, and the safer bets for hurricane season, Bonaire and Curacao, we dove last year. We considered Australia, the South Pacific, too expensive. Red Sea, my impression is that it would be very crowded that time of year. Thought about Indonesia, worried about not being able to handle strong currents. Obviously, in each of the big categories we may be overlooking somewhere specific that would actually be perfect. We're really hoping Anilao/PG will fit the bill, but are hoping for wise words from the community first. Thanks in advance!
 

MaxBottomtime

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Destination Anilao, Philippines - Underwater Journal
It sounds like October would be fine. I've only been to Anilao in April, but if a couple dozen divers is too big of a crowd, go elsewhere. The boats only carry a handful of divers each so it is never really crowded. Crystal Blue Resort has the best ratings. We stayed at Club-O. Never again. Our room had termites, insect droppings in the bed every night, no shower for eleven days and all meals were outdoors in the heat and humidity.
 

Jay

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Here's some specific dive site info re Anilao. I've never had an issue with crowds in October. I think the current info on the pic is a little conservative from what I've experienced.

IMG_1593.jpg
 

Cali_diver

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If you want critter diving ie. Anilao, then you might want to consider Lembeh, Indonesia. I experienced more extreme current in Anilao then I have anytime in Lembeh but that is not saying there is no current. It is the ocean so obviously there can always be current. You might consider a place like NAD-Lembeh that has a 2-1 guide ratio, that way you can avoid others and limit your diving to your ability or preferences. They really try to avoid currents (often changing sites on the spot) and Lembeh limits how many divers are allowed on one site. There are a handful of other resorts there as well if that one doesn't float your boat.

The other nice thing about Lembeh is you can fly Singapore Airlines straight to Manado and avoid all domestic flights.

Otherwise Anilao is fun and filled with lots of critters. Both are worth a visit!
 

StefinSB

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October is the tail end of Taifun season so you may have rain for a few days. Currents are generally very mild and if you tell your guide he should avoid the two or three spots that have current.
 

Freewillow

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Anilao is easy diving. But this is macro diving for a large part. So you better master buyancy. I have never seen a lot of divers on any site, even in Jan-feb.
 

Centrals

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Weather has gone crazy over last few yrs. I don't think there were much typhoons making landfall in Philippines last yr but
plenty of storms and heavy rain.
I will look at Lembeh in Oct or Anilao in Mar/Apr.
 

Efka76

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I dived in PG in October. it as wonderful weather and amazing diving. oh, I remember that during my 7 day stay there it was raining in the evening for 15 min.
 

JonnieB

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October is the tail end of Taifun season so you may have rain for a few days. Currents are generally very mild and if you tell your guide he should avoid the two or three spots that have current.
Typhoon season is barely getting started by October and runs through December. That being said, typhoons come and go and hit different areas so one can still have a great dive trip during this time if there isn't one while you're there.
 
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