Malapascua island diving
Technical Diving on Malapascua
Thresher Shark Divers, the pioneers of diving in Malapascua
There is a variety of technical dives to be done in Malapascua. For many of you tec aficionados, the first question is which wrecks you can dive or where to sink deep to find schooling hammerheads?
And there are a variety of other sites to satisfy those of you who are not complete metal-heads…
Depth 22-28m / Travel Distance 30 mins
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, but it is still recognizable as a vessel. There is an abundance of life on this wreck and it is covered in beautiful black coral, some bushes containing hundreds of almost invisible shrimp jumping around.
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. This is not a dive for the faint-hearted!
There are no areas for real penetration on this dive, this is great wreck to explore on twin tanks at 32% nitrox.
Dona Marilyn Wreck
Depth 18-32m / Travel Distance 90 mins
The Dona Marilyn was a passenger ferry that fell foul to 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, now lying on its starboard side, amazingly still all in one piece. Long lost fishing nets encrusted in coral are draped all over it, giving it quite a spooky feel!
Sadly, in 2018, the wreck was partially salvaged, before the Malapascua Dive Association found out and managed to stop it. It was a moment of immense sadness for the whole island, but she is still a magnificent wreck.
Penetration is possible, but be careful, only for qualified divers. There is lots to see inside as it has remained unsalvaged
We usually see whitetip sharks and/or marble rays lying under the bow, devil rays sometimes pass through.
This is a great dive for twins on 32%.
The "Pioneer" Wreck (Oakita Maru)
Depth 42-54m / Travel Distance 10 mins
The wreck 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, probably 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.
It is about 60m long, in the upright position and still mostly in one piece. There is a torpedo hit on the stern but the prop is still remaining. 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 wreck has more fish than anywhere else on Malapascua due to its depth, as well as sharks, rays, barracuda and groupers.
It can only be dived at certain times due to the strong currents so please check the tide chart prior to booking.
The actual Pioneer Wreck is in 100m of water, and so only possible for the most exeperienced of tec divers!
Depth 230m / Travel Distance 20 mins
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.
Depth 200+m / Travel Distance 60 mins
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.
Hammerheads, are around from January – April in the shallower parts, with schools of 100+, during later months, we have found that they do not leave, they just go deeper, ideal for technical diving.
The video of the school of 100+ that were with us for the whole month in April. shot by recreational divers at 30 meters.
Depth 1000+m / Travel Distance 90 mins
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.