MV dive resort had the pleasure of hosting some famous faces from the world of underwater photography this July. Jerome Kim organized the underwater dream tour in which photographers from all around the world came to help raise the profile of diving in the Philippines. After trips to Romblon and Anilao we welcomed the guys on the third leg of their trip
Jerome Kim is very well respected super macro photographer with an eye for marine life that is sometimes smaller than a grain of rice. Jerome is a guest speaker at many of the biggest dive shows around the world. He was joined by Nu Parnupong from Thailand, David Salvatori from Italy, Iyad Suleyman who is based in Dubai and Nicholas Samaras from Greece. These photographers have many thousands of fans so we were ready to show them what Puerto Galera has to offer.
We headed over to Anilao to pick up the group; the weather was perfect with calm seas as we made the journey across the Verde Island Passage. Once onboard the cameras were double checked, dive gear set up. We did a warm up dive on the South East corner of Maricaban Island were we saw some great shrimp and nudibranch action. Once back on board the guys enjoyed the fresh warm face towels and ginger tea. There is plenty of space on board to change camera lens, charge batteries and of course have a nice lie down in between the dives. Chef Omar prepared a great lunch of BBQ chicken and grilled calamari with all the trimmings. The afternoon was spent inside Secret Bay where the guys experienced the amazing macro marine life of PG. The Blue Ring Octopus made an appearance which made everyone’s day. We made it back to the resort and the guys had a first look at our camera room. We presented them with a souvenir personalized rash guard for the trip. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner at the El Patio restaurant before turning in for the night.
The next day began with a reef dive near Coral cove before heading back into the Secret Bay area for more macro magic. Jerome managed to get some great images of a Hairy Shrimp. It was another great afternoon for Octopus sightings with more Blue Ring action and even a Wonderpus showed up. There was also a sighting of a yellow Juvenile Hairy Frogfish and multiple Seahorses on the sandy bottom. Our dinner this time was down on the beach at Aqua Bar, it was a pleasant way to spend the evening listening to the waves hitting the beach while enjoying a great dinner. The first images were uploaded to social media and there were many great comments from around the world.
Day 3 was a trip to Verde Island, The Drop off is without a doubt one of the best dives you will see. Wide angle was the name of the game for the morning. We spent 2 dives getting some amazing images of the millions of Anthias mixed in with great subjects such as large sea fans, Barrel sponges and Blanket anemones. David had some great shots of a banded sea snake in the shallows. During our lunch Nu took to the skies with his drone and got some great shots of the guys and the beautiful Philippine scenery. We did a night dive out on White Beach, this was a spectacular dive and we didn’t want it to end. We saw many Coconut Octopus, Bobtail squid, Skeleton shrimp, Crinoid shrimps, Stargazer and many different types of nudibranch. We finally finished the dive close to 10pm. We had a late dinner before retiring for the night.
Day 4 was another wide angle morning with two of the best dives in Puerto Galera. We started at the wreck of Alma Jane; the guys got some great shots of the school of Batfish which were near the stern of the vessel. The inside of the wreck is full of Cardinal fish and Dancing shrimp, there was also a couple of Frogfish near the deck area. Next up was a drift dive at Canyons. We had large Moray eels, Hawksbill turtles, schools of Jacks and Batfish. The smart Sweetlips were hiding from the current. The pink, orange and purple soft corals make for great wide angle shooting. There were even a couple of Pygmy seahorses on a sea fan. Once everybody was back on board Big Beth we saw two Hawksbill turtles mating on the surface. After lunch we headed back into Secret Bay for another muck dive. This time we had a male and female Flamboyant cuttlefish swimming together, there was some Anemone fish which had just laid some fresh eggs.
The last day of the Dream tour was dedicated to muck diving; with sightings of the Blue ring octopus on every day of the tour we were delighted to add the Poison Ocellate or Mototi octopus to our list of great finds. Iyad also got a difficult shot of a Hairy goby on the last dive of the trip. We headed back to the resort for a final dinner at Aqua Bar. We had a nice surprise for Nicholas as we helped his celebrate his birthday with a little bit of karaoke. It took a little encouragement and some red wine but before long everybody had a sing song. Jerome did a great job singing in Tagalog and we would recommend he audition for the next series of Pop Idol.
So it was time to pack away the cameras and think about the final leg of the dream underwater tour down in Dauin. We had a final breakfast with the guys before they headed off with hundreds of amazing images and some great exposure for the underwater world in Puerto Galera.
MV dive resort would like to thank Jerome Kim for bringing the group to PG, we are always grateful for the work that you do in promoting diving in the Philippines. We also really learned a lot about what super macro really means. Also thanks to Iyad, Nu, David and Nicholas for coming to our resort. We hope you guys enjoyed the Marco Vincent experience and the warmth of our staff. We hope to see you again sometime.
For more information and images from the Underwater dream tour please follow these links.