|Albay Gulf gets you a scenic view of Mayon Volcano with an ocean view perspective. Whalesharks dropped by once during the 2015 summer season|
Pacific Blue Dive center is ready for operation but haven't fully launched yet. The Japanese owner George Nakano, his staff and the local bantay dagat have already mapped out 15 divesites for tourists and has already an ongoing coral replantation project. (George is also the owner of one of Anilao's pioneering high end dive resort Pacifico Azul- 20 years+ and still going strong).
|My Parents taking a touristy adventure...view from Embarcadero,|
three blocks away from Pacific Blue Dive
Read: Lady of the Lake, Lake Mapanuepe
|Reef scene, Albay Gulf|
I loved talking with George...every sentence he makes ends with 'Easy'. His tagalog was very good and was kind enough to show me around and explore the sites they have mapped out for several months now. Out of five dives, my favorite site would be 'Maslog Out', a complete divesite where one can enjoy the lovely fans and soft corals at around 20M down to probably 40M and at the end of the dive, the sandy portion yields an abundance of macro subjects. (found, no macro lens at the time...cuttlefish eggs, crab eye goby, pipehorses-lots, clownfish were everywhere, usual commensal shrimps, nudibranch, flatworms and many more. While at the 'Maslog In' dive site, there were fields of sargassum and was supercool to find two sargassum frogfish in one patch, times when you wish you had your macro lens on.
|Sargassum aboud, saw two sargassum frogfish, no macro lens at the time|
It doesn't take a scuba nerd to figure out the area is quite prolific. For starters, Mayon Volcano is but a stones throw away. The gulf is connected to many freshwater streams where the intersects have been proven the world over to be the breeding ground for strange sea critters. By Feb to June, when waters are flat, Whalesharks have been documented, just this mid year (2015), there was a media frenzy of the gentle giants playing along the shoreline of Albay Gulf.
|will definitely be here for the 2016 season (Mid Feb- early June)|
To summarize my dives, Albay Gulf has huge potential to be an alternative dive spot for underwater tourists. Pacific Blue Dive Center's house reef at the time I went there was murky due to Amihan (prevailing wind from the east) but I am pretty sure this will be clear by February as the winds change, as George shares..."entry...Easy!". Will definitely come back this Summer and probably stay a month or two here. If you get a chance to dive Albay Gulf, grab it...it holds more delightful surprises for sure.
|cool corals at Maslog out|
|Bantay Dagat Ato poses for the camera|