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 DIVING 潛水資訊


WRECK and SCUBA DIVING Sites in Coron Bay, Palawan

 

(1) Okikawa Maru

(16) Apo Reef



Irako Maru


IRAKO MARU
 Japanese refrigeration ship, 147 m. long & 9,570 tons displacement, Location: At the mouth of Coron Bay Probably the best wreck dive in the Philippines. The Irako is quite intact and because of the good visibility you know you are on a big shipwreck. Big groupers, schools of tuna and yellow fin, lion fish and scorpion fish live around this wreck. Two sea turtles live in the crumpled and folded metal of the superstructure. There is a beautiful deep penetration through the engine room for trained, experienced and properly equipped divers.
Irako usually has the best visibility of all the wrecks in Coron Bay.


No longer valid:

This dive is best made at deck level while breathing 32% Nitrox for a 50% increase in allowable bottom time. Penetration of the interior would require 30% or 28% Nitrox depending on which deck level you wish to swim through. 

Max depth: 43 meters on the bottom, deck level at 28 to 35 meters. Recommended certification level: Advanced Open Water Diver, Deep Diver Specialty, Wreck Diver Specialty.

Okikawa Maru


OKIKAWA MARU
 Japanese tanker, 160 m long. Location: Busuanga Island , 2 miles south of Conception. In length, width, and volume the largest of the Coron wrecks. At this depth you may be able to make an hour-long dive. If the Irako isn't the best wreck dive in the Philippines then the Okikawa Maru certainly is! This wreck is totally covered with beautiful corals and offers a large variety of marine-life. The deck is between 10m and 16m and is good for wreck dive beginners.


There are many penetration possibilities for advanced wreck divers including penetrating up the propeller shaft from the outside of the ship all the way into the engine room. Strong tidal currents often affect this wreck. Diving in strong currents lets you see the most fish. At the bow you can see the resident three legged turtle and a school of snappers holding position into a slight current. Large fish shelter out of the current behind crumpled metal and inside of the deck houses .There is also a large resident grouper near the bottom.

No longer valid:
This dive is best when made while breathing 36% or 38% Nitrox for a 75% increase in allowable bottom time. 

Dives in excess of one hour are common on the Okikawa Maru. Max depth: 26 meters on the bottom, 10 to 16 meters on the deck. Recommended certification level: 
1. Diving outside the deck without a current. Open Water Diver 
2. Diving with a current. Advanced Open Water Diver 
3. Diving with a strong current. Experienced Advanced Open Water Diver 
4. Penetration dive. Wreck Diver Specialty

Akitsushima Maru


AKITSUSHIMA
 Japanese Seaplane Tender 150 m long. Gross Tonnage: 4,650 Location: Between Culion & Busuanga Islands, near Manglet Island. The Akitsushima is a very big warship that lies on her port side. She was hit near the stern where the flying boat rested on the metal tracks and sank immediately. The ship was almost torn into two pieces. The flying boat disappeared.


Only half of the metal on the starboard side and half of the metal on the bottom of the ship kept the stern from separating from the rest of the ship. The internal damage is impressive. The crane used for lifting the seaplane out of the water is intact. The crane is lying on the sandy bottom and attracts schools of giant batfish and barracudas. One mounting of a 3-barreled AA (antiaircraft) gun is still present at the front of the flying boat tracks. This is a fascinating dive where you can see giant groupers, schools of barracuda hiding under the bow, and yellow fin tuna.
Due to depth and metal hazards within, no swim-through's are allowed without wreck diver certification. Wreck divers can make an impressive penetration into the engine room to see the four engines.

No longer valid:
This dive is best made while breathing 31% or 32% Nitrox for a 50% increase in allowable bottom time. 

Max depth: 36 or 38 meters, average depth about 26 to 28 meters. Recommended certification level: Advanced Open water Diver. For penetration: PADI Wreck Diver specialty.

Kogyo Maru


KOGYO MARU
 A Japanese freighter carrying construction materials for building a runway for the Japanese war effort in the Pacific. Kogyo Maru was built in 1938 and is 158 m long with a displacement of 6,353 tons. Lying on her starboard side in 36 meters of water, the Kogyo Maru offers swim through's into all six holds and through the engine room and bridge area. 


Kogyo Maru's second hold contains an incline of cement bags which tumbled as the ship sank. A small bulldozer draws your attention as you swim into the hold. Complete but encrusted, you can imagine the operator sitting in the seat and working the control levers to carve a runway out of a tropical island. Engrossed in the bull dover you might fail to look up the incline of cement sacks and so miss the tractor and air compressor perched above it. Take the time to swim up and look at both pieces and see how many of the engine parts you can identify. It's complete. Check out the metal wheels on the tractor. Coming out of the hold swim up the front mast, now horizontal, and on your left side. At the top of the mast look at the crow's nest and imagine what a lookout would experience when perched 30 meters above the water in a Japanese winter storm. Swim back over the deck to the bridge and engine room below it. Enter both from the stern side for easier access. Swim through the cavernous engine room and look at the hardware then out through the bridge. If air is low go up to the port side of the bridge and look at the soft corals growing there and the fish life living on this artificial coral reef at 22 meters. If you have enough air continue below deck level to the stern looking at all of the deck hardware for moving cargo and working the ship. Pass around the stern and then go forward over the port side to return to the mooring line. You pass over hard and soft corals covering the side of the ship. On this dive keep your head and eyes moving like a fighter pilot's to see the school of barracuda which will swim by. If you only look at the Kogyo Maru you will miss the barracuda. 

No longer valid:
This dive is best when made while breathing 31% or 32% Nitrox for a 50% increase in allowable bottom time. If you dive the Kogyo Maru with a 100 cubic foot tank of Nitrox 32 you have enough gas mixture and a long enough.

No Decompression Limit to cover the whole ship on one dive. 
Max depth: 34 m, average 24-26m Recommended certification level: Advanced Open Water Diver, Wreck Diver Specialty.

Olympia Maru


OLYMPIA MARU

A Japanese Freighter sitting upright with a length of 122 meters. Location: Coron Bay . A very good dive spot with a variety of marine life. Large shoals of banana fish, giant bat fish and giant puffer fish, especially around the mast, bow and stern. Easy penetration at the cargo rooms. It offers a good opportunity to discover wreck diving.


No longer valid:
This dive is best when made while breathing 36% Nitrox for a 75% increase in allowable bottom time.
 

Max depth: 28-30 meters, deck level 18-24 meters. Recommended certification level: Advanced Open Water Diver, Wreck Diver Specialty.

East Tangat Gunboat


EAST TANGAT GUNBOAT 
A small gunboat or submarine hunter 40 meters long.
Location: Inclined on the coral reef on the east side of Tangat Island .
This dive site is good for wreck diving beginners and underwater photographers.


It is also a lovely dive between deeper wreck sites. The wreck starts at only 3 meters down so even snorkelers can see the shape and explore the bow of the ship. 

No longer valid:
This dive is best when made while breathing 36% or 38% Nitrox for a 75% increase in allowable bottom time.

Max depth: 22 metres / length: 20 metres. Recommended certification level: Skin Diver, Open Water Diver.

Lusong Island Wreck


LUSONG ISLAND WRECK
 This wreck was also a gunboat or submarine hunter. The stern breaks the surface at low tide.

Location: In front of the east side of Lusong Island. This wreck is great for snorkeling. It is nicely covered with hard corals and offers a nice variety of fish life. 


There are good opportunities for wreck diving photographers. The dive is good as a "dive between dives." Max depth: 11 meters.

Recommended certification level: Skin Diver, Open Water Diver

Skeleton Wreck


SKELETON WRECK 

This wreck is the keel, ribs and stringers of a steel-hulled boat about 25 meters long.

Location: Northwest corner of Coron Island.

This wreck was beached with the bow a dozen meters from Coron Island. The stern points directly away from the island.

Kyokuzan Maru


KYOKUZAN MARU
 Japanese freighter approximately 160-180 meters long.
Location: Northeast of Busuanga Island. Due to it's distance from Coron, this wreck is dived by a one hour jeepney ride to the north end of Busuanga and transferring to a rented dive boat. This is done as an all-day trip for two dives on the Kyokuzan Maru.


This is a beautiful wreck dive experience. More or less intact, this huge sunken ship usually offers good visibility of about 20 meters and ideal diving conditions. Japanese staff cars and trucks can be found in the cargo rooms. 

No longer valid:
This dive is best when made while breathing 36% Nitrox for a 75% increase in allowable bottom time. 

Max depth: 40 meters on the bottom. The deck level lies between 22 and 28 meters. Recommended certification level: Advanced Open Water Diver, Wreck Diver Specialty, Deep Diver Specialty.


BLACK ISLAND WRECK

A Philippines Fishing Boat

Location: The east side of Malajon Island. 
The wreck is just off the beach, in front of a stranded vessel on the shore.

Access to the dive site: 3-5 hrs. by banca. 
Experience grade: Experienced 
Recommended certification level: Advanced Open Water Diver, Wreck Diver Specialty


Conditions: Normally calm with little current but this area, out in the South China Sea, does not have protection like Coron Bay, so conditions can get rough with fierce currents. You would not normally make this journey during bad weather conations.
Visibility can reach to 65 ft./19 m. Average depth: 65 ft./19 m. Maximum depth: 104 ft./31 m.

Hektor (Tangat Wreck)


HEKTOR (TANGAT WRECK)
 - 4 stars
Location: West of the southwest end of Tangat Island.
Access: 1 hr west by banca 
Conditions: Normally calm, with light currents that can become very strong at spring tides. Visibility: 25 to 50 ft.
Average depth: 24 m. or 80 ft.
Maximum depth: 30 m. or 100 ft.


Another Japanese freighter 122 m. or 400 ft. long, 5000 gross tons, this was sunk on 24 September 1944 by US aircraft. It sits almost upright with perhaps a 15 degrees list to port, pointing 170 degrees (compass bearing) in 100 ft of water; the main deck is at 60-80 ft. The site provides a good introduction to wreck diving for novices, with easy penetration of the cargo holds and a good variety of fish life. There are several large puffer fish, lots of large lionfish and scorpion fish, a lone bumper head parrotfish, schools of batfish, snappers and sweepers, six-ban dad angelfish and innumerable sponges. In good visibility this is an excellent wreck for photographers.

Taiei Maru


TAIEI MARU

An Oil Tanker of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Sunk on 9 October 1944 by US aircraft. The Taiei Maru is, 170 m (557ft) long and have 10,045 gross tons. It sits almost level, with a slight list to port, pointing 330 degrees (compass bearing), with the bow broken off in 26m. (86ft.) of water. The main deck is at 16m (53ft). A good wreck for penetration and wreck-diving courses, the Taiei Maru has everything. It is well covered with good corals, particularly very large lettuce corals, sponges and shoals of fish including fusiliers, snappers and batfish, plus the ubiquitous lionfish and scorpionfish.

Cayangan Lake

CAYANGAN LAKE 100ft inland from the centre of the northwest face of Coron Island. 45 min south-southeast by banca to a cove of limestone cliffs midway between Limaa Point and Balolo Point on the northwest face of Coron Island. In the centre of the cove the cliffs have a gap at sea level. You climb through this gap for 10 ft, turn right and climb easily up sharp limestone pinnacles for 25 ft, traverse to the right 13 ft then turn left to descend continuing across two small channels to the entrance of the lake. The climb is not difficult but the rock is sharp, so you will need to wear bootees or sandals, and a head for heights is useful. It is a bit difficult carrying all your equipment, including cylinder and weight belt, so some people would do this as two journeys.


The short climb is worth it for the scenery alone. Calm lake surrounded by high walls, sheltered on all sides. Visibility varies with the mixing of hot and cold water, being 100 ft near the surface by hazy where the water mixes. This is a unique dive. The turquoise freshwater lake, surrounded by spectacular limestone pinnacles, is served by a hot spring. As you move out from the walls and descend, the water gets hotter and hotter. At 100 ft , temperature is 40 degrees centigrade and deeper down would even be higher. There is little to see in the very hot water, but when you get back to the walls of the lake, a lone habituated barracuda, nearly 40 inches long will be waiting to be hand-fed.
There is obviously interaction between fresh and salt water around the seaward side, as you can find seawater species there. As well as the barracuda there is a shoal of golden rabbit fish, some snappers, catfish, several species of shrimp and shellfish.
 

Barracuda Lake


BARRACUDA LAKE
 
"The craziest dive site in the Philippines." 
This spectacular dive starts with some challenging mountain climbing in full diving equipment over sharp limestone cliffs. We do wear tennis shoes or sandals and carry our fins strapped to our tank. We use 53 cubic foot tanks for this dive as they are more than 4 kilograms lighter than the usual aluminium 80. The climb only takes 10-15 minutes and the exertion is worth it. The scenery around the lake is spectacular and the under water terrain has been likened to flying over the surface of the moon. The top 4 meters is warm fresh water. Below 4 meters the water is salt. There are dynamic changes of water temperature in the lake with temperatures ranging from 28 to 40 Degrees Celsius. Recommended certification level: Open Water Diver

Cathedral Cave

CATHEDRAL CAVE is a beautiful dive spot. It starts 6 meters deep at a hole in the bottom of the sea next to the sheer rock wall of Coron Island. You enter a tunnel and descend to 12 meters. If you take the time to look, you see the antenna of juvenile lobsters waving from holes in the tunnel above and out from under the rocks below and cowry shells clinging to the ceiling of the tunnel. Then you pass out of the tunnel and see a shaft of daylight penetrates the interior of a cave. The roof of the cave has collapsed sending down a full sized tree. The skeletal trunk and main branches of the tree rest on top of the sand mound in the middle of the cave. You follow the light and surface inside a big under- ground cathedral. You pass over the sand dune and continue ahead and left to another passage that leads to a chamber with an air pocket above ocean level. Back through the tunnel into the open sea and you dive among beautiful corals with 20 to 30 meter visibility.
A dive you should not miss!
Maximum depth: 10 meters inside the cave. Recommended certification level: Advanced Open Water Diver, Cavern Diver Specialty.
Weather Advisory: Cathedral Cave MUST ONLY BE ATTEMPTED in calm weather with slight waves. It would be physically dangerous to attempt to enter the tunnel in the surge generated from large waves.

   
 

Apo Island & Reef


APO REEF
 This National Marine Sanctuary is making a come-back and is as good as if not better than the Tubbataha Reefs, albeit a much smaller park. Excellent coral growth, schools of jacks and barracudas as well as lots of white tip and grey reef sharks and turtles.

 

   

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