Verde Island Diving, Drop offs, fantastic vis. and Spanish Galleon shipwrecks on the beach?
Verde Island Diving is pretty unique. There are not many places in the world where you can enjoy fantastic scuba diving and above water during the surface interval can wonder the beach and discover pieces of porcelain from a Spanish Galleon shipwrecked centuries before.
Where is Verde Island Philippines? Verde Island lies between Mindoro Island and the main island of Luzon. The actual passage way is called Verde Island Passage. Verde Island is part of Batangas Province.
For scuba divers access to the beautiful waters of Verde Island is best from either Puerto Galera or Anilao on Luzon. Verde Island diving is about a 45 minute to 1 hour banca trip from either place.
Verde Island diving is easiest from Puerto Galera, where you can easily make it a fantastic day trip. For information on how to get to Puerto Galera
have a look here.
Verde Island Diving The two standout dives on Verde Island Philippines are the Pinnacle and Washing Machine. Both these dives are extremely different.
The Pinnacle This dive is also known as the Drop Off.
a huge underwater reef that comes to the surface on the eastern side of Verde Island, the pinnacle is like a column that that starts in about 60m of water a rises, narrowing as it gets to the surface.
You have to watch the conditions here as the currents are ferocious with some down current. Your banca will drop you real close to the pinnacle in the lee of the current. The idea is to get as close to the pinnacle as possible and then descend to your agreed depth (with Dive master). The dive will then zig zag up the pinnacle exploring the fantastic corals and marine life that inhabit the pinnacle. If you look out onto the blue you can be rewarded with schools of pelagic fish which is always a bonus. With the current running fast you cannot circumnavigate the pinnacle as you will just get wash away with the current.
Take your time exploring the reef, there are some really healthy gorgonian fans and on occasion you can site sea snakes sleeping amongst the coral. This is a world class dive with brilliant visibility, if you diving in Puerto Galera make sure you request a day trip to Verde Island diving.
Surface Interval Usually surface intervals a pretty uninspiring, perhaps a bit of snorkeling or catching a few of the suns rays, but on Verde Island you will get to do something that not many people in the world have ever done or will probably never do.
In 1620 a Spanish Galleon hit the reefs on the southern side of the island in the Verde Island Passage, where she sank. Whilst there is not much left of her now, the remnants of her passing still show up on the beach. In the 1960’s the Spanish Galleon was heavily salvaged. What remains today is broken Chinese porcelain dating back to the late 1500 and early 1600’s. Whilst beachcombing you will regularly stumble across pieces of broken porcelain and after major storms you may even be lucky enough to find whole plates of bowls. The local villagers are always more than happy to help you scour the beaches, in fact they have quite a stash themselves.
Maybe this surface interval doesn’t excite you the way it does me, I suppose it brings out the adventurous spirit that you have discovered something that has been lost for centuries.
The Washing Machine Now the first thing you must know about the Washing Machine is that there are two ways of diving the location. The first is in slack water and the other is during the ebb tide where the current turns the location into the Washing Machine.
The site is a number of small canyons and swim through’s which do not get much deeper than 15m, the canyons are all interlocking. It is imperative that you have a good guide for this dive during the current. As the current runs through these passages and canyons the water rushes in from all directions and then due to the directions of the passages, the current runs into itself creating a washing machine effect. One second you are being pulled one direction the next the other, quite exhilarating and not for the inexperienced who would not enjoy this dive at all.
Make sure you wear a full wetsuit, long legs and arms as you may get the odd scrape.
Diving during slack water, you can enjoy the diversity of the coral life and fish. There are some great sea whips and fans that thrive in the currents.
Verde Island Diving is excellent, with warm water, 30m plus on average visibility and good fish and coral life all add up to a world class destination. I would recommend only a day trip here, which is more than enough time to enjoy the Verde Island Diving pleasures.