MalaysianUnderwater.com (MUW) • View topic - Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

For trip reports, resort reviews and questions about international destinations.
NOT for selling trips. NOT for looking for buddies.

Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#1  Postby decimal86 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:24 am

DONSOL WHALESHARK INTERACTION APR 2011

Cebu Pacific does not have a direct flight from  overseas, you have to connect from Manila. We met our friends (DipBlu Divers) on board the flight from Manila, they had an arduos trip from KL overnight.

The flight took about an hour, we landed, collected our barang-barang and boarded 2 MPV’s for Vitton Beach resort, also about an hour’s ride away. The hilly terrain made for a dizzying ride, scenes of idyllic village living punctuated the rice crop scenery. Water buffaloes, dogs, pigs going on a one-way trip and children without a stitch of clothes on made me think of my childhood…

After an hour of death-defying turns and overtaking, we arrived at the resort. One word! Adequate….comes to mind. It had air-cond and hot water!! What more do you want when you are at the sea-side?

The first day was spent getting to know each other and how Filipino beer tastes like. Be careful of the Red Horse!! It does have a kick. Food was forgettable, we suspect a lot of MSG went into the cooking. Errr if you chug your beer from the bottle, you may want to re think that, it is rusty at the cap!! Even for soft drinks…yes, mosquitoes are by the squadrons…and there are dogs as well coming to beg for scraps at the dining table. Drinks are cheap at the bar but cheaper if you went to a small town nearby and hoard. The bakery in town was good so the girls told us, they were even brave enough to buy satay on the last day!! Good too. This is a Catholic community, so you will see pork being sold openly..

We were excited when Ah Boon told us that we were going out on the 1000 hrs boat!! All these months of planning and waiting, at last!! There were a lots of DON’T that were spelled out at the visitors’ center, one of which was ‘Don’t chase the whaleshark…’ so the video post was not by me….

The boats supposedly can take as many as 20 snorkelers but is limited to 6 in case of capsizing. Hmm you did see us wearing life-jackets right? Water and biscuits were provided, and the boat stays out for 3 hours maximum. One boat per whaleshark, another rule down the watery blue, 10 mins interaction per boat..so if you apply the don’t chase rule and one boat, you will soon find that it is not going to work…what happens is the boats form a herring bone pattern and drop their pax a few meters in front of the whaleshark and you are supposed to admire as it swims by..in theory, but even if you just came from Legaspi town you will be finning like mad to catch a video or a good shot of it. Never mind if you came from KL or Spore. 

Visibility was not great, but then if it were, this magnificent fish would not be here? Although the water was cold when we boarded the boat, when we actually jumped in, it was not cold-the excitement I guess. Towels were provided by the boatmen. We were lucky to have the services of one, Bombay Trinidad, a BIO (Butanding Interaction Officer ) oh did I mention Butanding is the local term for whaleshark? Anyways, he is very good with a video camera and he does not need to breath for at least 4 min 32 secs, as the video will attest. He also took a tour of the fishs’ mouth as the other video will attest ( maybe he aspires to be a dentist, just a guess) but he was amazing at pulling 3 ladies in our boat to keep up with the fish when he was not video-taping the fish!!! What a guy to have on a whaleshark trip ?? Needless to say we showed him our appreciation with some pesos, a lot of pesos.

The resort itself? No wireless….. internet at the office, sand flies..dogs..mosquitoes,rusty bottle caps, ooh I already mentioned that. Food? Breakfast was good if you call the clubhouse or tuna, of course the pineapple juice is genuine, coffee, better bring your favourite from home, I did not have a cup of good coffee in all the 2 weeks I was here!! They use coconut oil to cook everything, so if you are not into coconut oil, tough! Personally there was only once when I ate something worth mentioning and that would be the fried trevally, super shiok, everything was either too sweet or too saltish, again let me say that this is my opinion. Because my group asked for soya sauce.

And strangest thing, we asked for cut chili, they said none, when we went to their market, there were tons of it!! So if u want chili, padi or otherwise, stop in town first before check-in and stock up on those small nuclear devices!! But never say I did not tell you there is open selling of pork in the market, ok? And that bakery? Oh yeah u might as well stock up on tid-bits as well, you will save a couple of hundred pesos.

They give you a cert after the whaleshark interaction as a souvenir, I like that.

There are plenty of lines to hang your wet stuff, I like that a lot. Why is it that dive resorts do not have enough lines for drying clothes/stuff when they know we have lots of stuff that needs drying?  Saya tak faham…We stayed at the budget end of the resort but I was very happy with that. There is a seaview wing that could be yours for more pesos.

We went on a firefly watching trip as well but I guess you are not interested, as this is a scuba forum.

You have to ride the motorized tri-shaw into town, it’s a blast! You can sit in the basket at the back or india style on the roof, whatever turns you on man!

So how much to change? 30,000 pesos is more than enough for this awesome experience of seeing something this size between your legs, I swim with my legs open? So I saw the shark? What were you guys thing of?? Hahahaaa

I would go again, but I need to practice my finning and video taking whilst holding my breath. I saw 2 of natures most thrilling sights (the firefly?) and I met some pretty cool dudes in that DipBlu Divers group. Hoo Ker Chuan Chang!!!! March to May is the peak season, on weekends, the chart really peaks when even the locals come in to catch a glimpse of this gentle giant. Be prepared to get a fin or two in the face and ppl surfacing to breathe only to bump into your you-know-where! But hey don’t let any of this stop you from getting up close and personal with these wonders of nature.

The visitors center say that there are about 140 of them since they started tagging them from 1998, returning from Taiwan, each year, that is really great news when so many other pelagics are being decimated.

I wish to thank the ppl of Donsol for their courtesy and their kind-heartedness in preserving these behemoth of the oceans, so that we from so far away can come eye to eye with these magnificent creatures. Malaming Selamat Po! 
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
decimal86
Master Scuba Diver
Master Scuba Diver
 
Topic author
Posts: 871
Topics: 25
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:52 am
Location: south of the border, not mexico
Gender: None specified

Re: Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#2  Postby decimal86 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:24 am

pictures and video to come......tukaran hadapan!
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
decimal86
Master Scuba Diver
Master Scuba Diver
 
Topic author
Posts: 871
Topics: 25
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:52 am
Location: south of the border, not mexico
Gender: None specified

Re: Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#3  Postby justjim » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:11 am

decimal86,

Really enjoyed your report... Well written and informative, keep up the good work!! We really need more report like yours in this forum instead of pages filled with peddlers.

Anyway, mind to share if the 30k pesos cover the KL-Manila-Legazpi return flight?
[img width=465 height=120]http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r182/justjim123/IMG_1272SS.jpg[/img]
justjim
Diver
Diver
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:22 pm
Gender: None specified

Re: Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#4  Postby Ketam » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:43 pm

Another informative report from bro Decimal... makes me envy....hehehehe :D :D :D
Ketam
Master Scuba Diver
Master Scuba Diver
 
Posts: 814
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:11 pm
Location: Mesia
Gender: None specified

Re: Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#5  Postby decimal86 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:34 pm

justjim wrote:decimal86,

Really enjoyed your report... Well written and informative, keep up the good work!! We really need more report like yours in this forum instead of pages filled with peddlers.

Anyway, mind to share if the 30k pesos cover the KL-Manila-Legazpi return flight?


no bro, it does not. only what we paid when we arrived at Vitton ( a local name for the sea almond tree that is so common in malaysia) beach resort and the expenses incurred before we left. ahem, we spent a lot on san miguel!!

my wife and i work in spore, we are malaysians. the bunch of cool dudes from penang and KL took cebu pacific to MNL..i caught up with them in MNL. i am going again next year, everyone who has a heart for the creatures of the sea, MUST swim with these behemoth once! to experience a natural high!! season only from Mar to May....water is cold but once you start to fin after them, it gets very warm. water is also murky, so you have to get real close to see them. one of them is used to humans in close proximity so he keeps his depth constant, the other fish, very suspicious, dives real deep.
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
decimal86
Master Scuba Diver
Master Scuba Diver
 
Topic author
Posts: 871
Topics: 25
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:52 am
Location: south of the border, not mexico
Gender: None specified

Re: Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#6  Postby decimal86 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:41 pm

ok you tube video,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPEmEXBjNOQ

this is exactly the moment by moment experience with the giants, first you don't see them, then all of a sudden, epiphany!
Last edited by decimal86 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
decimal86
Master Scuba Diver
Master Scuba Diver
 
Topic author
Posts: 871
Topics: 25
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:52 am
Location: south of the border, not mexico
Gender: None specified

Re: Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#7  Postby xkirkie » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:48 pm

OMG, you dont seem knowing what to do with the camera but you have a very close up with the giant,,,  wow... saw some scar on the face of the Shark... n those very big eye...
wow, can't wait to arrange a trip there...

question, were you brief before the visit? like what distant one should keep from the Giant, hand off the fish n other info from the resort or operator?

Oh yes, good info. for us who never been there... Thanks for the post...  B-) B-)
xkirkie
Diver
Diver
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:22 am
Gender: None specified

Re: Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#8  Postby decimal86 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:16 am

xkirkie wrote:OMG, you dont seem knowing what to do with the camera but you have a very close up with the giant,,,  wow... saw some scar on the face of the Shark... n those very big eye...
wow, can't wait to arrange a trip there...

question, were you brief before the visit? like what distant one should keep from the Giant, hand off the fish n other info from the resort or operator?

Oh yes, good info. for us who never been there... Thanks for the post...  B-) B-)


actually the BIO did the video...we were not sure what to expect and i had to make sure my wife was ok? i have another video where the BIO held his breath for 4min 23 secs, awesome dude! whilst finning hard to keep up with the fish...

yeah there was a detailed briefing where you can see the fish clearly?? well if we can see the fish clearly that means the waters do not have plankton, that also means the fish will not come. i understand the video was touched up.and right after the briefing? all the boats broke about 3 of the 6 rules...

we who love the oceans and respect its residents MUST snorkel with these gentle giants once in your life! shioka dooo
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
decimal86
Master Scuba Diver
Master Scuba Diver
 
Topic author
Posts: 871
Topics: 25
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:52 am
Location: south of the border, not mexico
Gender: None specified

Re: Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#9  Postby mart1njo3 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:20 am

Awesome man. Thank you for sharing.
mart1njo3
Advanced Diver
Advanced Diver
 
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Shah Alam
Gender: None specified

Re: Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#10  Postby ApeQ » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:09 am

share some picture from Donsol...20.03.2011

Image
Untitled by cyberok, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by cyberok, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by cyberok, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by cyberok, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by cyberok, on Flickr
ApeQ
Sport Diver
Sport Diver
 
Posts: 163
Topics: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:36 pm
Location: PJ
Gender: Male

Re: Donsol Whaleshark Interaction April 7th thru 10th 2011

Post Number:#11  Postby decimal86 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:51 pm

wow, those were great shots. where you guys stay?
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
decimal86
Master Scuba Diver
Master Scuba Diver
 
Topic author
Posts: 871
Topics: 25
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:52 am
Location: south of the border, not mexico
Gender: None specified


Return to International Destinations

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron