Thresher Shark Divers is based on Bounty Beach, Malapascua Island, just off the north tip of Cebu in the Philippines. It is located right in the middle of this picture perfect white sandy beach at the old Baadsman Resort. The tall, white building with a big blue shark logo will be one of the first things you see as you approach Malapascua by boat.
Among the favourite diving destinations around Malapascua are the two Philippine and three Japanese wrecks, the submerged island of Monad, Lapus-Lapus Island and the tiny little Gato Island. The latter offers something quite unusual for divers: underwater caves with swarms of sea snakes. Another attraction which draws in lots of divers are the rare Thresher Sharks which there's a good chance of observing near the submerged island of Monad, 20 minutes by boat from Malapascua.
A dive costs P1300, diving courses cost P11,000 for 2 days and P16,000 for 4 days. Nitrox diving is available (also courses).
The Sunsplash belonging to Matthias, a German, offers European and Asian food as well as videos, billiard and music. If the weather's right and there are enough people interested, his Floating Bar is hooked onto a tow-line and then pulled around the island at a leisurely pace - a popular event and a lot of fun.
Gato Island is one place you can see big, fat, lazy whitetip reef sharks shelter in the caves or beneath rocks and couldn't care less if you keep taking photos of them. My two dives at Gato Island on both directions starting from the big cave are rewarded with many big, fat whitetip, nudibranches, frogfish and of cause array for soft/hard corals and countless anemone fishes.
We read about dynamite fishing around Maya/Malapascua area and we actually heard the big blasts twice and some of us thought that our tanks go busted or equipments failed. We were panic for short minute (we think slower underwater) before we concluded that was a dynamite fishing blast. Well, at 23 meters level you really don't want to have your dive gears fail on you alright.
I only covered 3 dive sites during my stay at Malapascua Island. Beside the thresher sharks at Monad Shoal and whitetips at Gato, we also see mantis shrimp, painted anglerfish (Antennarius pictus), scorpion fishes, seahorses, cuttlefish and many more.
We also get to see some beautiful seafans and sea squirts and they are actually some of the best photographic subjects. As for the lionfishes and anemone fishes, we almost overdosed of all that.
Warning: Mantis shrimps may appear to be very shy, in actual fact they are very aggressive large crustaceans.
Called "sea locusts" by ancient Assyrians, and now sometimes referred to as "thumb splitters" by modern divers - because of the relative ease the creature has in mutilating small appendages - mantis shrimp sport powerful claws, formed like jackknives, that they use to attack and kill prey by spearing, stunning or dismemberment. Some pet mantis shrimp have managed to break through their double-paned aquarium glass with a single strike from this weapon. (fact from Wikipedia)
Thresher shark sighting is really the reason for the island. I mean nobody will want to visit a small island 3 hours road journey that cost between USD40-60 one way transfer unless you use local bus transportation (longer hours, but very cheap). Further more, its closest competition is a beautiful Bantayan island.
How lucky can one be if you sighted the thresher sharks on you very first dive after 2 months diving break? I do have the privilege to do so, only because i switch dive shop last minute and dive with Malapascua Exotic Island Dive and Beach Resort who runs the first dive shop on the island.
I have "warning" tips on which dive shop you must not dive with, do click into that.
Synchiropus splendidus or commonly known as mandarinfish is probably one of the most beautiful fishes in the world. Unfortunately, the extreme beauty also end them to be the most preferred aquarium fishes and lots of illegal harvesting of mandarinfishes worldwide to fill in the great demand of the fish.
For that reason, i am not going to disclose full details (where, when, how) on sighting of the fish. All i can tell you is i saw them and they are extremely beautiful. Its now for you to travel to Malapascua to spot the mandarinfishes in their natural habitats and i do hope that you'll appreciate existence of such beautiful fish and do not purchase one from your nearest aquarium. Just let them be in they natural habitats.
Mandarinfishes have they right to be beautiful and live in their natural habitats, we have no right to rob their freedom and kept them in the tank/aquarium.
Since we don't dive, snorkelling is the next best thing. But in Malapascua, I am a bit worried about the corals since the boatmen just drop their anchor anywhere (even in the middle of a nice coral garden). It's really painful for me to see them so unconcerned. In the the first place these corals are important for their livelihood. If you want to snorkel don't hire a boat, go from the beach.
We hired a boat to give us a tour and snorkel around the island. They showed us the japanese ship wreck, beach front area of some resorts, beautiful corals and some other corals. I think it only lasted for an hour and half..yeah, that's how small Malapascua is. One of the locals told us that you can go around the island by walking in 3 hours..
One of the dive shops to choose from in Malapascua Island. A dive costs P1300, diving courses cost P11,000 for 2 days and P16,000 for 4 days. Nitrox diving is available (also courses).
I roamed around and found myself gazing at the beautiful Logon Bay. It has beautiful view especially at sunset.
Malapascua Island has plenty of starfishes on the water. We had fun taking them out of the water and playing with them. After a while, we put them back to the sea.
I spotted this brilliantly colored rooster perched proudly on a tree log during my walk and decided to take a shot of it.
Enjoy the Happy Hour - buy one take one drinks. Starts at 5-7pm. Enjoy the sunset while finishing your drink.
Php500.00 for a boat trip around the island and snorkelling...
you can hire your snorkelling gear for Php100.00....