Technical Diving on Malapascua
There are a variety of sites to dive in Malapascua. For many of you tec aficionados, the first question is what wreck do you have????
Pioneer WWII Wreck, 55 meters
This sits lies between 40 and 55 meters and is located very close to Malapascua.
The real identity of the "Pioneer" is not actually known, but it is a Japanese WWII vessel, possibly the Oakita Maru. Luckily the boat is all in one piece and it is pretty good shape. 2 out of 3 of the prop blades are still intact.
The wreck is about 50 meters long and is covered in coral and marine life. We usually see large pelagics on it although they can be skittish. There are opportunities for penetration but as it has not been very well explored; penetration is for very experienced wreck divers only.
The Pioneer can only be dived at certain times due to the strong currents so please check the tide chart prior to booking.
Dona Marilyn Wreck, 34 meters
The Dona Marilyn was a passenger ferry that fell foul of a typhoon in 1988. She is lying on on her port side, the top is at 18 meters, the bottom at a maximum of 34 meters. The wreck is all in one piece and is about 100 meters long.
Penetration is possible, but be careful.
We usually see whitetip sharks and/or marble rays lying under the bow.
This is a great dive for twins on 32%.
Tapilon WWII Wreck, 29 meters
This was a WWII Japanese cargo vessel, named for for the nearby town on the Cebu mainland. It was torpedoed and so is in several pieces. Sadly last year there were repeated salvage attempts, but they did not take too much, and it uncovered bombs, bullets and bones as well as other items from the boat including a couple of jeeps.
There are no areas for real penetration on this dive.
Marine life is variable depending on the season and the fishermen, but it can be home to massive schools of barracuda at certain times of the year. Mating cuttlefish, nudis and massive scorpionfish are common. The wreck is also home to some beautiful black coral bushes.
Again this is great on twin tanks at 32% nitrox.
There are a variety of other sites to satisfy those of you who are not complete metal-heads...
Malapascua's most famous dive site is ideal for technical diving. Its walls drop off to around 230 meters so you can go as deep as... Monad is home to thresher sharks and we also have sightings of whitetip sharks, hammerhead sharks, grey reef sharks and large rays.
Monad is a sunken island, whose edges drop off at around 25 meters. The walls below are covered in healthy growths. Once you reach 40 meters, don't forget to look up as the topography above is stunning, and there is always the chance that you will get a shark or ray circling overhead. There are always unexpected surprises when we go over the wall at Monad possibly because it is located in the massive trench between Cebu and Leyte and is a main highway for pelagics. In the past we have seen whale sharks, a mola mola, massive schools of tuna, and much more.
Kimud is the main site for hammerheads. It is another sunken island, but this time we swim out into the blue to find the sharks. The hammers are curious and come up to our divers at around 30-35 meters. However the technical divers always get the best encounters when they go deeper or stay longer. They often come up very close once they get used to your presence.
2009 was a great year for hammerheads, and they were around for the usual January - April season. April was an exceptional month with a reliable school of 100+. Previously hammerhead season has been from January to April, but due to our technical diving during later months, we have found that they do not leave, they just go deeper...
Below is a video of the school of 100+ that were with us for the whole month in April 2009, shot by recreational divers at 30 meters.
Calanggaman Island is located in the same trench as Monad and Kimud and it goes down deeper than one kilometer. It has some amazing walls and they go down as deep as you are are able to go. So just go diving and see what you can see!
How does the diving work?
Safety is our main priority so before any technical diving we will require that you start out with a check out dive with your guide. This will be at an easy dive site and will be a shallow no-deco dive where you will review various technical skills and communication to make sure you understand each other before you do the deco dives together. We hope you understand that this is in the interest of everyone's safety and is not a comment on your ability as a technical diver.
Please book all technical diving in advance to ensure we have what you need available.
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