Punta Verde, Philippines

Underwater at the Pinnacle at Verde Island, Philippines
©Jean Janssen

Today after an early breakfast we ventured out to Punta Verde, a small island about a 45-minute boat ride from Sabang beach.   We went out on a larger boat from which we did a giant stride entry.   We rode directly to the first dive site at the pinnacle just off the island.  There was a lot of current at the beginning, but then things calmed down and we were able to enjoy this aquarium dive.  The resort had offered a lecture the night before where they told us that the Smithsonian had selected Verde Island as the spot in the world representing the most variety of marine life.

view from the dive camp at Verde Island, Philippines
©Jean Janssen

After the dive, we docked at the dive camp on the island.  Docked on this trip means pulling up to shore as close as possible.  We reach land by walking across a plank to the shore.  They are always lots of helpful men to assist with the landing.  The resort rents this spot as needed.  We were directed to the “restroom” where the toilet was not connected to anything.  There was a large barrel of water and a bucket inside.  The dive camp consisted of an outdoor cooking area and several covered seating areas on multiple terraces.

Eric, our lunch host at the resort, was in charge of meal preparation at the dive camp.
©Jean Janssen

Eric, the lunch host from the resort, was there to cook for us and we enjoyed the wonderful jam rolls during the surface interval.  As usually happens, the resort guests end up in one area and the dive staff in another.  After my jam roll, I broke ranks and sat down with the boys who were eager to talk.  Most of them are married with multiple children.  The dive master with the most children had no wife but several “previous relationships”; I thought it was interesting that he used this terminology.  He said he “started early”.

Hanging with the boys at the dive camp, Thax and my dive guide Cris.

Our second dive out proved to be most of my most frightening.  The current was very strong, not only across but up and down.  We rounded the pinnacle at one point and I was caught in a down current.  In spite of kicking at full strength, I was slowly losing ground.  Cris saw it in my eyes and reached down for me.  He pulled me up and I held on until my breathing and heart rate slowed.  We experienced serious current throughout the dive.

I think this green nudibranch, about the size of a finger, looks like a mini dragon.
©Jean Janssen

At this point I seriously doubted my participation in the final Verde Island dive to the washing machine.  Current is a given for this dive as you are pulled through a series of canyons.  There was the lunch break at the dive camp to think it over.  I had the camera and thought a leisurely reef dive was more my speed after the issues with current of the second dive.  The decision was taken out of my hands when the dive staff determined that the washing machine was just too treacherous that day.

another colorful nudibranch spotted at the Pinnacle
©Jean Janssen

We enjoyed Eric’s nice lunch on resort plates with a bamboo “placemat” on each.  I had seen them heating the “placemats” as they called them (which sat on the plate rather than under them) on the open fire during the morning surface interval when I was sitting with the boys.  After lunch we went back to the first dive site that we had all enjoyed.  Cris kept us on the side with a light current and we loved the dive.

We rode back on the large boat, transferred to a smaller one to navigate the harbor, and landed back at the dive shop.  I was tired and decided that a nice swim after cleaning my equipment was just the thing.  The pool was beautiful with a waterfall and marble bottom.  The other dive princesses decided to join me.  I got in a little Internet time (availability is very limited and sporadic) and then went to the lecture on seahorses.  Dinner was sizzling pork with rice and then off to my facial as today’s spa treatment.  I downloaded pictures until I was tired and then off to bed.


About travelbynatasha

I am a retired attorney who loves to travel. Several years ago I began working on a Century Club membership achieved by traveling to 100 "foreign" countries. Today, at 49 years of age the count is at 82. Many were visited on land based trips. Some were cruise ports. Some were dive sites. Most have been fascinating.
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