We passed the time at the close by diving board held down with lumps of marble and checking out the quarry’s where the marble is chipped out by hand and sculptured in to everything imaginable.
After about 3 days when the weather settled we managed to get in a dive at the Blue Hole (see notes below) on the northeast side of Tablas. The film crew from the Filipino TV show ‘Born To Be Wild’ was also filming at the same time so we are going to be on TV sometime around the middle of February. Their host who is also a star of their survivor series filmed in Thailand. Lucky they were not filming in NZ as there is no way they would have survived, they thought the water was cold!
Our basin was to take 3 days to make but after a week we decided to move on and made plans for it to be shipped to the next Island, Sibuyan. Marc and Renate after spending 3 weeks aboard ventured into the mountains for a 2 day climb of Mount Gunting Gunting. Pretty much as soon as they would have started their hike the heavens opened up for the first time since we have been in the Philippines and it rained …and rained. We were thinking of you guys. Before the rains started we managed to visit some of the local attractions a waterfall and river.
Next stop the cows (and maybe beef) of Masbate.
The Blue Hole
Is a vertical tunnel or chimney which you can enter at about 5m. It’s about 6m in diameter and you can descend into the hole until you exit onto the reef via a cave entrance at about 27m. It’s a great spot to dive as the visibility within the hole is good allowing you to explore the marine life within the crevices. From the mouth at the bottom you can sit and watch large pelagics and turtles swim by. We saw large dog tooth tuna and green turtle. A few days earlier a shark was seen at the cave entrance. We did the dive with the 3P’s – Ducks Diving who we found to be incredibly relaxed and friendly. The film crew of Born to Be Wild were also incredibly welcoming and fun to be out with. A few days before we dived some geologists were taking samples and confirmed it is not volcanic, but formed during the last ice age similar to a blow hole which over time has hollowed out enough to let us enjoy diving through it!