We at Sampaguita Resort would like to thank Mr. Rudy Whitworth, an Underwater Photographer/Journalist/Speaker, for this October 2015 trip report.
I would like to start by commending Sampaguita Resort for their excellent service and their staff for their ever glowing smiles. When we arrived at the Resort we were greeted by smiles and at every interface – more smiles and assistance. It was such a pleasure to work with the staff.
When you enter the gate to the resort you are treated to a garden-like atmosphere. The trees, shrubs, flowers and grass all portray the easy going, relaxing atmosphere at Sampaguita. A special touch of color, is the placement of orchids attached mid trunk to many of the palm trees.
As for diving the walls, slopes and reefs of Moalboal – what a treat. The day starts with two morning boat dives. Then after lunch, you can schedule an afternoon dive as well as a night dive.
Gangga Divers – Dive Boat
The House Reef dive is special as well. The House Reef dives are offered unlimited by Sampaguita. The House Reef offers a shallow reef with healthy and growing corals out to the wall where the exploratory opportunities happen. We found ornate ghost pipefish, a blue ring octopus, scorpionfish, sea kraits and many sleeping Hawksbill Turtles. One of the specialty dives on the House Reef is the Mandarin Dive. A mere 40 meters from the jetty, are the coral heads where a very healthy colony of Mandarins live. I feel blessed that on one dive, I was able to experience 8 spawning passes by the Mandarins.
Mandarinfish - Male
Moalboal has a resident school of sardines. The school moves but it stays in a local area in 10 meters of water. The school of sardines is huge – it must number in the millions of individual fish. If the tight school swims over you, it will black out the sun. We also found a unique blenny to the Philippines -appropriately named the "Philippines Blenny".
As we dove many different sites, it was interesting to note that we averaged 3 to 5 Green turtles per dive. Usually, they were resting or sleeping in the many grottoes, caves and undercuts that are located on the walls.
Green Sea Turtle
One of the northern most dive sites is a site called Garbage. It is known by that name because a long time ago, a number of big truck tires were dumped in the shallows. The special treat at this site is the wall is covered with life. Various colors of sea fans and gorgonians grow large there and are located one right after another on the wall from 10 to 30 meters down. On one of the fans we found two Denise’s Pygmy Seahorses. Crinoids were abundant across all the dive sites and the Gangga Dive Masters are adept at finding Crinoid Shrimp living in the crinoids.
Denise's Pygmy Seahorse
Three of the dive sites that Gangga Divers visit are located around a small uninhabited island off shore named Pescador. These dives sites are very fishy and are a must see during your visit. The highlights there are Giant Frogfish and three species of scorpionfish along with schools of fusiliers, anthias, butterflyfish and damselfish. One of the other special finds was Long Nosed Hawkfish located on or near sea fans.
Long Nosed Hawkfish
One of the special things to note for diving with Gangga Divers at Sampaguita is the ease and relaxing pace of the dives. There is very little current which makes the diving effortless and ultimately more enjoyable. I look forward to coming back to Sampaguita to dive and photograph these sites again.
Rudy Whitworth – Seahorse Productions, LLC
Whether you choose to relax in the lounge with your chilled drink at sunset or you unwind during a traditional massage... just enjoy yourstay!
"Sardines – such an amazing experience!" It begins with Gangga Divers PADI Dive Center, where our Dive Masters will make diving fun and safe for divers of all age and experience.
Bask in the sun or enjoy the sea breeze. Most of our bungalows are nestled into the idyllic nature of our tropical garden.