The only way you haven’t heard of Lembeh is if you’ve been living under a rock – like many of the critters we found in Lembeh. Hailed as a mecca for divers seeking to uncover strange creatures, we decided to head over there and see what all the fuss was about. I think this is a case where the pictures do speak for themselves.
As I fin forward, the light around me takes on an eerie, inky hue. I crane my neck to either side, before realising that swimming above me are millions of sardines, their school so thick that they block out much of the ambient light…
Going to school in Moalboal
Every few metres, you see a new sardine ball drifting in the seas. It’s like school has let out and they’re just hanging around at the nearby mall 🙂
This was a really easy dive – the sardines just hang out around the shore of Panagsama beach which meant that we walked into the water from the beach in front of Savedra Dive Centre. It was an amazing sight to see – I’ve only seen huge schools like this in Sipadan, in the Tulamben wreck of Bali (schools of jacks) and during my LOB trip in the Similan Islands.
Somehow, the fishermen have avoided overfishing the sardines as it is a huge tourist draw to this Cebuan town.
I’ll still make it to the Great Sardine Run of Africa one day – but for now, seeing this huge balls of Sardines in the balmy tropical waters of Moalboal was simply breathtaking 🙂
- Recommended diving experience: Open Water Diver
- Great for: Sardine Ball, Airplane Wreck & others (We only had time to do the Sardine Shore dive & Pescador Island dive)
I kick and launch myself forward, swimming through vertical beams while trying to catch a glimpse of the sleeping big potato grouper. As I near the hull of the ship, the water turns freezing cold – the thermoclines here are hard at work. As am I.
The USAT Liberty was sunk during World War II and is one of the most popular wreck dives in Southeast Asia. Pro tip, if you want to dive the Liberty and want to see cool stuff like the sleeping grouper or the bumphead parrot fish, plan to overnight in Tulamben (a small, sleepy fishing town in Bali’s Northeast) and head to the wreck at 6 a.m. in the morning. Otherwise, it gets way too crowded with day trippers from 9 a.m. onwards.
A half days’ journey from Cebu, Malapascua is a small island that promised much and delivered as promised. The trip here was a bit of an ordeal, but the diving was top notch and world class. Never have I ever seen so many different things in a single dive trip compared to Malapascua. Of course, we went there for the famous and elegant Thresher Sharks (check out the bad boy pictured below!) but by the time we left, we had fallen in love with the island and its dive sites.