Wiped Out, New Life

In a span of just a few months, a once lively jetty was obliterated by selfish locals

I was quite excited to go back to Wuthering Heights Dumaguete to try out shooting its magnificent sea fans with my DSLR, (last time I went, I was using a compact)..Shocked, I was greeted with a very sad scene

My first time visiting Wuthering Heights was in February of 2012. I was with a group of divers which mainly did a trip to Oslob to shoot some Whalesharks. After about two dives, it became pretty redundant so everyone was looking for other places to shoot & Wuthering heights came up as an idea, which was around a Two (2) hour, Php12k boat to reach the area.

Upon getting there, it didn't look like much topside, it was just a beat up old hotel which casted echoes of the excessive partying done by the fashionable/ trendy 80's set just by virtue of the name of the hotel and its withering architectural design. Donning our gear and diving in, it was opposite of what we saw topside, it bore one of the most visually stunning scenes a diver can ever hope for in their lifetime.     

This magnificent scene has captivated me and was one of the reasons I wanted to go back to Dumaguete. Fast forward August 2012, just barely six months later, such a heartbreaking moment to see such wonder wiped out. 

There are actually two giant sea fans left barely surviving the two of the thirty six columns of the Wuthering heights jetty (Yes I counted). From the size of the sea fans, it took them probably more than two to three decades to flourish to those sizes

At first glance, it appeared the sea fans withered due to natural causes but upon closer inspection, it became apparent these grandiose overhangs were manhandled. I felt quite guilty as the locals might have only known of their existence by their curiosity on why much divers frequent such a desolate place. We can only speculate probable accessorizing the house as the main reason why some people would plunder such wonder 

Snoopy finds lots of skeleton shrimps
Like any fairy tale, every story must come to a close & a new one unfolds. After our first dive, Snoopy shared he saw lots of new macro life around the area, still with a heavy heart, I changed my wide angle lens and shifted to macro & I'm glad I did. Inspecting the area more closely, there are multitudes of nudibranch and fish eggs around the area. In one dive, I saw three nudibranches laying eggs. On the withering seafans and hanging hydroids, we've managed to observe a host of skeleton shrimps, they were quite entertaining as you can see such tiny critters having a boxing match, some having kids happily riding mom's back, they were actually kind of huge compared to other Skeleton Shrimps I've seen in other dive sites. Snoopy actually saw some new nudibranch species to add to his collection. Given the number of eggs and nudibranches we saw plus a growing sardine population (was almost half during my first visit in February), Wuthering heights still has a lot to offer to the avid underwater photo enthusiast. A change in perspective, a new lease in life is what Wuthering heights holds under it's jetty.
 new life, egg laying nudis

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2 Komentar

Sad scene, also happening from inside. Thought this could only be done by intruders from West Philippine Sea :-(