Today Atlantis has another adventure for us with an even earlier start. We return to Wuthering Heights in San Jose by jeepney for a departure by boat to Sumilon Island, near Cebu. We are riding on the Atlantis Titan a cat-type outrigger with a galley, large seating deck, and even a back landing with a grill. The seas were rough at times with water coming over the sides and up through the floorboards, but it was a beautiful bright day and we are all ready for another dive opportunity. Weather at the resort prevented us from boarding there although we are hopeful we can ride the Titan back to the resort after diving.
There is a “head” on board with a smart ventilation system. When Jess went to change, we saw that there was no ceiling. To flush, you pour water from the provided bucket in and recycle through the sea.
Emily and Tom are now part of our group and poor Tom has to dive with the divas. At least he has both Vernie and Marco diving with us so he is not quite so outnumbered. At the first dive site, Coconut Point, Marco found something special to show Emily and I that we could touch. Both she and I read “Sea Cucumber Pod” on his slate. On a second examination, it said Sea Cucumber Poo. I handed it off to Donna.
When we surfaced, Donna told me that she had saved Marco’s special gift in her wetsuit. She showed us the brown stain inside. Then I had to tell her what it was. I told Marco, no more “waste products” and he reminded me that technically sand was a waste product. Marco is a University-educated Marine Biologist and his training surfaces in his briefings, answers, and things he points out. Emily and I are still convinced that he changed the “d” in pod to an “o”, but he insists it is just his handwriting.
Jess announced live entertainment during the break and we were introduced to the Neal’s guitar playing and another “boat boy’s” wonderful vocals. Not to miss an opportunity to dance, I joined them in the Galley. We had adopted Dougie, a diver from Scotland and former drummer, and he joined the musicians as well. Jess had to shut us down at some point and remind us we were there to dive.
Conditions were better at Sumilon Island than we had near the resort and at San Jose. The second dive was at Cottage West (aka “the swimming pool”), a small wall dive and then a reef. I spotted an underwater basket with a small opening. I wondered if it was there to catch a particular kind of fish. Inside was something that looked like an eel with long whiskers and big eyes. I need to remember to ask Marco what it is. He pointed out a sailfin goby, which I read as grouper. So I am looking for a large fish while he is pointing out a small one. I am having slate reading issues today.
We were all hungry during the dive because they started the bar-b-gue just before we got off the boat for the second dive. When we surfaced, there was a fabulous spread for us including meats, fish, and tofu (for the vegetarians) that they had grilled right on the boat. In addition to the great dive sites and guides, the staff really went above and beyond to make this a special day of diving and entertainment.
The third dive was at Sandbar Pointwhere we saw a huge sea snake and then I spotted another later on the dive on my own. I also saw a comet, coral barnacles, a warted frogfish, and a thorny oyster as special finds. After the dive, we were able to sail directly back to the resort. It was a bit wet and rough at times, but we enjoyed the ride and the opportunity to see the city of Dumaguete from the water.