Set out below is an overview of some of the great Moalboal dive sites when diving with Turtle Bay Dive Resort on the island of Cebu.
Moalboal offers divers of all levels some great views of life under the sea. You get the opportunity of experiencing huge sardine bait balls, diving up close to giant turtles. If you are lucky you might get to dive with a 10m whale shark. Here are some details of the many dive sites around Moalboal from Turtle Bay House reef to Marine Sanctuary which is a mere 30 minutes boat ride away.
Pescador Island is mentioned as one dive spot but you can dive here at least four times; it’s a truly great dive site. The dives start mostly in the south where the boat is sheltered if there is an Amihan wind. Starting from here you can go two ways depending on the current. The slope in the south is 12m deep and then it becomes a straight drop off to the depth of 33m and then starts sloping down. The walls all around the island go very deep; please watch your buoyancy, depth gauge and no decompression limit.
Half way into the dive on the south-east side is a deep rocky slope; here you can see a school of Jacks, the Big Eye Trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus). At the north-east of the island at 7m is a platform with a great coral garden with an aquarium of fish; great for night diving. Spend most of the dive-time in this area, look in the corals for special things like shrimps, Nudibranchs etc. Going to the west side you will see at 25m the cathedral. Entering the cathedral and looking up into the light on a bright sunny day will give you a wonderful lighting effect just like the glowing light beams in a an ancient cathedral There are two smaller openings into the cathedral which you can dive through and ascend up to 9m. The cathedral is located on the north-west side of Pescador Island. Bring a dive torch to look inside the cave.
Pescador Island is now famous for the resident sardine bait balls. Diving amongst clouds of sardines is a truly unique experince which sould not be missed.
This dive site slopes from 5m to 18m and then drops to 45m. In this area you can see a forest of huge sea fans. This site is good for both wide angle and macro photography. Hard and soft corals, leaf fish and the unusual ghost pipe fish await you here. Tuna and White Tip Sharks can be spotted occasionally.
The dive starts with a deep descent to 17m along the mooring buoy rope to the sandy slope with beautiful Staghorn corals. The airplane is approximately 7m down the slope at the wall’s edge at 20m depth. The airplane was put there as a dive attraction in 1993. The plane is completely stripped of its parts, with only the body left intact. After you visit the plane you can go or in north-east direction or south. I recommend going north east towards the marine sanctuary. Both directions are good but the north-east is a bit better. The wall goes really deep and is not so interesting. It’s better to save your dive time for the coral slope. For people who go snorkeling, the diver’s entry point is too deep for them.
The slope is rocky with nice corals like table corals in the shallow, big sea fans and at 20-25m Staghorn corals. Look in the corals for the Ring-tailed Cardinalfish (Apogon aureus). Along the wall are some string corals the Delicate sea whip (Junceela fragilis). Not difficult to find is the black and white Damselfish and with luck and the alert eyes of the Spotted Eagle Ray Fusilier (Caesio cuning), Yellow Ribbon Sweetlip (Plectorhinchus polytaenia), Emperor (Centropyge bicolor and tibicen), Pufferfish (Tetraodontidae family) and Blue Finned Triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens). Also often seen are Turtles.
At the beginning you descend to 25m to a fish feeding area. Many Damselfish will welcome you for a piece of bread. Please don’t bring any bread for the fish; it’s not on their menu and they can find more than enough of their own food. In this area there are Big Brown Daisy Coral (Tubastraea micrantha) and Bucket Sponges (Xestospongia testudinaria). You will also see the Two-eyed Coral Fish (Caradion melanopus), Checkered Snapper (Lutjanus decessatus), Red Tooth Trigger (Epinephelus quoyanus) and Turtle (chelonia mydas agassizii).
The dive starts with a wall going to 25m where there is a sandy slope. Half way into the dive between 17m and 22m you will see many small caves, look in them as there is a very good chance to see a sleeping Turtle. Very special for this dive site are the wall canyons.
There are some very big colorful sea-fans and nice Black Coral (Antipathes) at 20m. Many reef fish can be seen here like Fusiliers (Caesionidae family), Damselfish (Pomacentridae family), Anthias fish (Serranidae family). Sometimes it is possible to see a Whitetip Shark (Triaenodon obesus), Turtle (Caretta caretta) and, if you are really lucky, a Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus).
The dive starts with a wall going down to 25m. At the bottom is a sandy slope; very special are the vertical wall canyons. There is a small cave at 27-30m; with an in-going current watch out for this as it can be hazardous. During low tide the reef is very shallow; watch out with your entry and exit. At the end of the dive swim on the surface with positive buoyancy away from the wall so that the boat can come and pick you up. For snorkeling be careful during low tides as you might hurt yourself on the sharp edges of the coral reefs.
Most likely you will see big Parrotfish, a school of Razorfish (Aeoliscus strigatus), Turtles and like all other dive sites, many Anthias fish (Serranidae Family).
The dive site is in front of two nice houses; the left one is yellow and the right one is white. The dive starts with a steep slope going down to 40m. Stay at 20m and come slowly up to 10m. Also on this dive site are many canyons and some small caves.
There are great hard corals on the top and in deep water many big Black Corals. Most likely you will see Turtle (chelonia mydas agassizii). In the month of May when the water is rich with plankton there is a good chance to see a Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus). Many Nudibranchs and big schools of Razorfish (Aeoliscus strigatus) should be seen.
The dive starts with a steep slope going down to 40m where there is a wall. Stay at 15m and come slowly up to 10m; there are some caves along the wall. This a great dive site for night diving as entries and exits are straight from the beach.
Most likely you will see thousands of sardines being hunted by Tunas and Jacks. You will see local fishermen in their small outrigger canoes fishing with hand lines or fishing nets. On the sandy platform right in front of the Seaquest Dive Shop you can see the special Twin Spot Goby (Signigobius biocellatus) or the poisonous Scorpionfish Demon Stinger (Inimicus didactylus). In the shallows are many Sergeant Majors, Moorish Idols, small Parrotfish, Pufferfish and Turtle. In the month of May when the water is rich with plankton there is chance to see Whale Sharks. Coral growth is decent with some Bucket sponges, wire corals and the Delicate Sea Whip (Junceela fragilis). During a night dive you will see for sure some Basket Stars (Astobao nuda).
The dive starts with a slope going to 13m; down there is a deep wall with a ledge at 35m. The wall has vertical canyons with wide deep slopes. The slope/wall profile keeps on changing all the time. Bring a diving torch to look in the small caves.
Most likely you will see schools of Batfish, Mackerel, Barracudas, Turtle and the Yellow Margin Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes flavimarginatus). In the shallow reef top look for Mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus). Ask a local dive master to show you this special fish. The corals are nice; especially the leather corals and elephant ears.
The dive starts and ends with a deep wall going to endless depths. Watch your no decompression time. Small caves can be explored all along this dive so bring a dive torch to look inside the caves. Some parts of the reef are exposed during low tide. Be careful with your entry; make sure it’s deep enough if you make the roll backwards.
There is a good chance to see a Turtle in the caves, juvenile Barracudas, Fusiliers, a school of Razorfish (Aeoliscus strigatus), Leaf fish (Taenianotus triacanthus), Harlequin Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus Paradoxus) and in the shallow and deep in between the corals, the famous Mandarin fish (Synchiropus splendidus). At the top of the reef you will find some very impressive Staghorn coral (Acropora sp.) – these are the builders of the reef.