Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day TWO - 4D3N Coron Adventure - Dive/Snorkel/Swim with the Dugongs


Day TWO was scheduled for  a whole day affair with the dugongs.

We were deciding on either spending it at Calauit Safari with Culion Island Tour or SNORKEL WITH THE DUGONGS.

We did our research and most of the people we've talked to discouraged us from spending the day at Calauit Safari, mainly because there were very few animals left.
That was really a bummer because I was really looking forward to the CALAUIT SAFARI TOUR.
If ever you wish to go there, you should stay in Club Paradise or El Rio Y Mar Resort, which are the closest resorts to Calauit Safari.

Locals say that the animals are only out early in the morning and will be hiding by noontime.
So if you want to get up close and personal with a giraffe, be there by 6am.

The group had decided to SWIM WITH THE DUGONGS for our DAY TWO CORON ADVENTURE TRIP.

JJ, the driver, picked us up from the guesthouse and drove us all the way to MARICABAN VILLAGE, where we met the staffs of DUGONG DIVE CENTER.
The drive was about an hour to go there. JJ charged us Php 3,000 for the roundtrip.

On our way to MARICABAN VILLAGE, we drove thru the biggest ranch in Asia again, the YULO-KING RANCH. It's about 30,000 hectares of land and was previously owned by the MARCOSes.
BIG thanks to the Marcoses for developing Coron. 
They were responsible for importing the animals from Africa to Calauit. (I just wish the government will take better care of the animals).
The Marcoses also imported AUSTRALIAN grass for the WHOLE YULO-KING RANCH!!!! Yes, all 30,000 hectares of it is covered with AUSTRALIAN GRASS.
So that's why you feel like you're in another country while passing the ranch!
"YUMMMEEE," said the cattle

From Maricaban Village was another 1.5 to 2 hours by boat going to CLUB PARADISE.
Why did we go there? Because that is where the office of DUGONG DIVE CENTER is!!!

Beside the office is a display of the GIANT CLAM.


We're so lucky to be able to go to CLUB PARADISE because it is literally a CLUB PARADISE.
That's JJ, our van driver, guy on the left wearing a brown T-shirt. He went with us in our DUGONG ADVENTURE. It's his first time too!!! And he got in for FREE!

Fruit bats are plentiful in CLUB PARADISE. Don't freak out. They're harmless.

OMAR LINSANGAN, our guide, told us that if you want to swim around the CLUB PARADISE island, the resort charges Php 500/pax entrance fee. That's the most expensive entrance fee in Coron, but it's worth every cent!
This is OMAR LINSANGAN, an awesome underwater photographer!!
He is the brother of AL LINSANGAN, a professional photographer, who also operates Coron tours.
Omar's underwater shots were jaw-dropping!!!
You should ask for his album when you meet him.

After signing our waivers and paying the fee of Php 2,700/ pax for the DUGONG WATCHING, Omar prepared our gears which we will be using for the day trip.
We're already late so we were just given CDs for us to watch as introduction :)

Before all these, we were warned that Dugongs are easily distracted with the noise and tend to swim away when they see boats or divers, so we have to be really quiet and calm on water.
Also, it would be possible for us NOT TO SPOT any dugong for the day.
So we're all hoping for the best!
Our boat was huge! This was where we hanged out while looking for Dugongs, and at the middle was a "changing room" where we can change clothes. There was also a covered toilet room. Yes, there was a toilet bowl too!!!
On the other end of the boat was a big table and a stove.
That's KAREN CLAIRE, our boat, together with MINI KAREN CLAIRE, which was also riding the boat :)
Also, a small motor boat was in tow, which we used when we snorkeled around the islands.

Okay, we love this boat, really!
It made island hopping and dugong watching so relaxed and fascinating.
It even has its own double deck for a more comfortable trip. Yes!!! It's like travelling FIRST CLASS :p
Mattresses were available for sunbathing on the side of the boat too :)
Awesome right?

Enough with the boat...

Time to focus on the trip now.

We stopped by this island for a few minutes to check if there was a dugong in the area. Dugongs usually come up the water to breathe every 5-8 minutes so it's hard not to spot any if there is one in the area.
After many many minutes, we still had no luck in spotting one.

Off to the next feeding ground...

Still no luck :(

We had lunch at our beautiful boat and snorkeled our sadness away.

It seems that Coron has no unpleasant sites. Everywhere we go was just breathtaking.
I loved the blue corals and blue starfishes :) 
I am glad I was able to visit Coron while it is not yet commercialized like Boracay.
While waiting for the Dugongs, three sea turtles decided to swim with us. We weren't able to snap a photo of the first turtle though, because it was in a hurry.
I think maybe it's a sign!
Our next destination was along the Calauit Island.


THERE IT IS!!!

The dugongs were traveling as a family! There were three of them when we reached the island.

We hurriedly put on our gears and swam as quietly as possible.

Unfortunately, the dugongs swam away :(

That was our one and only snapshot of a real dugong during our adventure.
Oh well! At least we got to see them.

Here are some pictures of DUGONGS grabbed from the internet:


Dugongs are harmless, endangered species and are protected by the people of Coron.
Some hunt them for their meat, which is awful because that's the reason why Dugongs tend to swim away when they see boats coming.

It's so sad to know that there are still fishermen out there hunting for them :(

"Dugongs bear one calf at a time after an approximately 13-month gestation. The calf nurses for two years and reaches sexual maturity between the ages of 8-18, longer than in most other mammals. Despite the longevity of the Dugong, which may live for fifty years or more, females give birth only a few times during their life and invest considerable parental care in their young." - WIKIPEDIA


Let's all help keep Busuanga clean, green and a safe place for all living things.


Dirk - 0920-951-9100
Bryan - 0920-202-8202


Day ONE - 4D3N Coron Adventure - Calumboyan Island Tour


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JoTan is a Foodie, Travel Enthusiast & she lives her everyday life as if it was the last.

 "IT'S FOR THE EXPERIENCE" -- this is what she always tell people when she wants to do something FUN like Mountain Climbing, Rappelling on a Hanging Bridge (which was not determined if it was in good condition since it was a really old PNR Bridge), Eating Beef Liver SASHIMI (yes, the raw one) and even Jumping off the Plane at 15,000 feet.

She also loves to share the new things she learned, her adventures and other personal encounters through this blog :) 

Send me a message:♥ jotan23@yahoo.com