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Sogod Bay-South Leyte island 07/07/2011

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Sogod Bay-South Leyte island 07/07/2011

Post Number:#1  Postby decimal86 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:50 am


What attracted us was the reputation of whaleshark encounters in crystal blue waters but we knew we were much too late in the year to see any. But we were not too disappointed.

We took Silkair from Singapore to Cebu (via Davao, some days it goes thru Davao). Took about 4 hrs in all. Landed in Cebu and hopped into a taxi to catch the Supercat to Ormoc. Taxi took about 25 mins in light to medium traffic. You have to be aware that the drop-off point is very far downstream from the ticketing office of Supercat. We had to walk back a fair bit to get our tickets. We bought Biz class ( like real…) that afforded us more leg room and also---charging points for your electrical gizmo. The holding room downstairs has proper food stalls than upstairs, but there is a stall selling WiFi for a small sum of pesos upstairs—unlimited for all you skeptics. Be careful that you do not engage the porterage service inadvertently, it cost a bomb if you did not haggle over the price earlier on. There are no signs to challenge them.

The ferry came and departed on time, shocking to me after the ferry schedules that I have had to put up with. (hint hint). Comfortable seats, aircond, charging points, latest movies, and one of the smoothest sea journeys ever!! Good value for money. The journey took 2hrs30mins. Toilets were cleaned regularly and there was no sign of overloading. There was a safety video. And life-vests were clearly in view. They came around to sell food and drinks. But they also serve a round of orange juice, peanuts and fudge bar dengan percuma!! Tak payah bayar, lebih enak!!

There is disembarkation from both decks when we got to Ormoc none the worse for wear…

The van from Peter’s Dive Resort (PDR) was waiting for us. It was 1930 hrs when we arrived, and it was going to be a 3 hrs drive to Luangsodaan where the resort was located. And all the way he sounded his horn at every single living thing beside the road!!when we are about to overtake…when he is beside the traffic and after he has overtaken…WTF??? How to sleep?We stopped along the way at Bay-Bay for late dinner (my ears needed a rest) and I recomm Mang Inasal fast food rest. We had it on the way back as well and it was just as good. More about food later.

We arrived at PDR at 2200 hrs. Everything was dark. Picked up the keys to our room and all we knew was that it was right at the waters’ edge..fantastic! then all of a sudden I collapsed in bed..aircond was running water was hot enough and the lapping of the gentle waves was very calming.

Woke up with a fright the next morning and realized that it was already 1045 hrs and I am not in my polyurethane yet!!! Why ???

So we got ourselves sorted out with the house rules and filled out the customary disclaimer. Early lunch and hooray…diving time.

Only my wife and I so they took the whaler, it was to be a check-out dive, but I took my camera along. House reef not too far away, crystal clear water and clam seas. Warm waters and light current. The corals here are growing well and the fishes are thriving. A few signs of bleaching though. Plenty of mantis shrimp, nudis and gobies. The gobies in this part of the world are not shy. First time I caught a goby with its shrimp partner with an ordinary lens.

Now that the DM trusted us, his name is JUN, he was ready to show us the jewel of the Sogod Bay. ( No-lah I told you already the whalesharks all have gone home) the wall dives are spectacular !! It is just as spectacular as Sipadan, honest!! The current may not be as strong but you don’t have to do the superman pose? But they do not have bumpheads and barracudas swimming in a cyclone. Everything else they have here in Sogod Bay.

For dives that are further away they use a bigger and more comfortable boat complete with a toilet. A camera dunking pool and coffe and tea was served during the surface intervals. Oh yeah, for some reason, coffee is not very sought after here in the Philippines. So they use Nescafe everywhere. And some crackers were also provided.

Did somebody ask about whaleshark interaction? Well, we did not go on one but according to the DM, what they do is separate the two, if you are going diving then you cannot jump in with the tanks. It is a separate package. And the rules are pretty much the same as those at Donsal. Seems it is a federal law. In 2009, they had 2 whalesharks to themselves outside their resort right up to July, lucky fellow. Saw the video and it was way better than Donsal….coming here next year for whaleshark watching. But as usual, no gurantees. Seems March and on is the best time to come swim with these leviathan beauties.

Ok are you seated? Ready for a quick Q and A?  Where on Earth  can you find a better night dive than Lembeh Straits?

No where out of your mind?

But seriously, Padre Bourgos (Bogus father?) jetty is one of the most thrilling dive sites I have been to. All the usual suspects—seahorse, ornate ghostpipe, banded cleaner shrimp—huge fellas! Stargazers and nudis galore. One tank does not seem enough! Oh yeah important to note, the jetty is only available to divers on Mon, Wed and Fridays. Governor’s orders. So keep that on a sticky somewhere. Other nights it is jammed with fishing boats. The pillars are also crawling with juvenile lionfish so you may want to wear thicker gloves? Hahaha so becareful eh. The coral here is also special. With all the diesel and gunk everywhere, they seem to thrive !! strange. There are also anglers top-side so beware of one getting between your teeth ? If you stay with the other resorts, they will drive you here, and there are very very steep steps wanting for you! If the tide is low as was our case, we saw them coming down and it was a miracle nobody got hurt. We came by boat. It was like Lembeh-Jahir II-lightning underwater. Try to get there early or else they will churn up the water. Not to be missed!! Jangan lupa.

Definitely my best memory of the whole trip!

We did another night dive, at Malitbog. Not nearly as exciting as the jetty dive but it had its usual share of night crawlers. The wreck is 7 years old. Can just barely make it out to be a wreck. Again calm fact it was warm waters. We were suspecting that it could be some thermals around the wreck. It is a shore dive starting with a van ride of all things. 15 mins later we ended up infront of a banana plantation, where a quick brief on how to goreng pisang was given, hahaha no-lah, I was thinking about food again, more about food later. No he was telling us about the site of the wreck and how easy it was getting there and back. And what we could expect along the way. Ornate ghostpipe, banded ghostpipe, plenty of crabs, and snake eel. We were not disappointed.

Ok did I tell you that there were 2 things I look forward to when I go on a diving holiday?

Diving and good food. Well unfortunately this time I lost weight. I just could not find anything to eat there—yes, it could be just me and my wife—but everything tasted too saltish or sourish. We had salad most of the time. The meats were tough like anything and the fried rice was salty. The half-boiled eggs were hard boiled. I want to say again, that it could be just me…but the prices were more than reasonable, even the beers. To be fair. But we just could not eat what was on the menu…and I was hungry some more. This is a definite first time for me that I lost weight after a dive trip.

The dive center itself is spacious and well-lit. Yes there were only 2 of us. The Wi-Fi is a bit slow and it is not 24/7..only during office hours. There is a big bottle of water for refills in the dining hall. It is the off season and things are running a bit slow, so this may not be their best performance.

We took a small room but they have other spacious accommodations all air-cond with water heaters. All sea-facing and crystal clear waters for the non-divers to snorkel.

There was a big gecko hiding in the rafters above the dining hall, very loud.

It was amazing that the 4 days that we were there, the waters were so calm…like a lake. Only rained once. The evenings are filled with smoke from burning coconut husks and that is why there are no mozzies!! Maybe I should suggest that to NAD in Lembeh.

No other restaurants for miles around except the 2 dive centers further down the road. Tough luck for me…

Most dives are if you are the lazy, easy, not-into photos kind of diver, this is the place for you!! Calm waters above and below. Good visibility and warm temperatures.

But the travel time there is really teruk-lah! And the pak cik driver will make you pekak man…we wil go back and scout around the other dive centers when its whaleshark season next year cuz Donsol is only for whaleshark interaction and not for diving. At least you can dive here and the water is really clear to take a million photos.

One of the least expensive dives I have been on but if only the food was better.
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: Sogod Bay-South Leyte island 07/07/2011

Post Number:#2  Postby mamakpenang » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:03 pm

wow...very nice & lengthy write up..... :D  thanks you bro.
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Re: Sogod Bay-South Leyte island 07/07/2011

Post Number:#3  Postby run » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:14 pm

reading your dive trip ..made me tired and hungry. I am after a dive gets really hungry. Hope to go there oneday. Your info really helps alot.  Thanks.
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