Underwater Photo of a Scuba Diver at Apo Island, Philippines

Perfect Conditions at Apo Island’s Coconut Point



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After two great dives in the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary, Kris and Kristen wanted to compare it with Apo Island. They had heard a lot about Apo, but hadn’t had a chance to visit there yet. As it turned out their friend Emily from college was in the Philippines too, so we all went out for an overnight at Liberty’s and got in two dives on Apo at Cogon and Coconut Points. Pam from our Peace Corps batch and Alex from the batch that arrived a year ahead of us were also on Apo with Pam’s mom and sister, so we had a great group.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    When you go snorkeling in Apo's sanctuary you'll find this coral wall dropoff just to the right of the entrance area.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    Between dive trips around the island there are sometimes impromptu jam sessions in the dive shop.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    On our first dive with Kris, Kristen and Emily on Apo, we went to Cogon Pt. with Welmer as our dive guide.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    Here's our group (from left): Kris, Kristen, Emily, me.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    After a short ride on the pump boat we were set to jump overboard.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    The visibility was about as clear as I've ever experienced on Apo--probably 30 meters!

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    Unfortunately I didn't take enough precautions to get rid of the humidity in my underwater camera case, so my lens fogged up just as we came across the same old hawksbill turtle that was so photogenic for the Apo Island Post Card project.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    Before long we saw a second hawksbill, this was turning out to be a really great dive.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    The turtle had plans of its own and after a short time of swimming along with it, the hawksbill disappeared over the coral outcropping.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    Pam and Alex joined us on the second dive at Apo's Coconut Point. I can't remember what Emily was talking about in this photo, but it was definitely funny.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    Here's the coconut point dive team.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    The tiny yellow sea cucumbers were swarming over some sponges just as they were when Preston came to visit in February and we dived Coconut Point.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    Typically on Coconut Point you can see large schools of fish and the generally larger predatory fish that eat them.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    Also turtles like this hawksbill.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    I swam with the turtle for a little while before it disappeared into the blue.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    We got a quick glimpse of these large bumphead parrotfish cruising at about 30 meters (90 feet) below the surface.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    The little detachable flash that I picked up comes in handy to bring out the color of the corals when it's too deep for all the colors of the spectrum to be seen.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    Without the flash at depths of over 20 meters everything appears in shades of blue.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    Here's another otherworldly nudibranch from Apo.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    I thought this little fellow looked pretty funny skittering along this sandy flat. I need to look up what kind of fish this is, it has a small antler like an undersea deer.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    It seems pretty obvious why these two are called lizardfish.

  • Apo Island - May 2005

    Apo Island - May 2005
    After about 70 minutes underwater, it was time to climb up the ladder and head back to Apo to dry off.