PALAWAN Philippines…Part two on the Wilderness Kayak Tours by Lee Goldman…Palawan the PHILIPPINES best kept secret & NATURES Paradise…brought to YOU by The PHILIPPINE-MICRONESIA ALLIANCE, The Divers Choice
© Gunther Deichmann - Nature at its best...pristine Jungle in Palawan
main focus of the trip is the incredible area of northern Palawan;
El Nido and Bacuit Bay. This is easily one of the most beautiful
places I have ever been (and I worked in Palau, San Juan Islands
and Vancouver Island in the Pacific Northwest, Belize…) so I
have an idea what pretty is. We spent our time here snorkeling,
kayaking, and camping.
While it is hard to say what activity is best in El Nido, for me snorkeling ranks up there at the top. There are over 400 species of coral in Bacuit Bay and in a recent survey lead by the world famous ichthyologist, Dr. Gerald Allen, they recorded over 800 species of fish, including several new species and records of fish. What make it so special are the gigantic islands in the bay that provide protection from potentially large ocean swells that may damage coral. Fields (and I mean fields) of staghorn coral, table corals that measure 3 meters in diameter, un-imaginable colors radiating from all types of hard and soft corals, beautiful and rare fish and all this in 1-2 meters of water! On our trip we spotted hundreds of juvenile fish with some of the guests favorites being the Humphead grouper, Zebra lionfish, Helmut Gurnard, and Javanese Damselfish. I am a coral guy, so to see such healthy and diverse coral gardens was the ultimate treat for me.
While most of the bay can be accessed boat, kayaking is the only way to see this place. Picture perfect shallow lagoons, intimate stands of mangroves, and paddling next to a 300m vertical cliff face that erupts from the water is a pretty amazing experience. We conduct our kayaking with complete boat support, so we transport the kayaks to our designated area. We had great weather; calm seas and cloudless skies. Our daily excursions were designed to go to places that not many other tour groups go and because we are camping out in the heart of the islands, we could easily time our visits between other operators.
We are also the only outfitter that provides luxury camping in Bacuit Bay. Our campsite provides large walk-in tents with mattresses, fans, lights; a dining tent with sit-down meal service; a chef (who did a fantastic job preparing 3 – 4 course breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals for us); a generator to charge batteries (and make fresh fruit shakes or margaritas); a comfort room tent and shower tent and we also had a certified masseuse there to help with folks whose muscles were in need of attention after a day of snorkeling and kayaking. Arriving at camp in time for the sunset was a great way to end the day. Of course, waking up to a beautiful morning amongst the islands was a great way to start the day as well. For those wishing to get the most they can from El Nido, our expeditions should not be missed!
FISH Mystery solved...it gets to show you that the OCEAN still holding many secrets or surprises...
The FISH Mystery is solved...
© Photo Lee Goldman - Carpet Eel Blenny Dottyback!
the mystery is solved! I have identified the fish I photographed at Donsol. A very reclusive, cryptic fish that is not seen very often. It looks like an ell, but it's not. It looks like a blenny, but it's not. What is it? Of course, it's the Carpet Eel Blenny Dottyback! Dottyback? Aren't they the small cryptic reef fish that often have amazingly brilliant colors? Yes, that's them and this guy is the 'blacksheep' of the family. Not only is he very cryptic in their morphology, but at up to 45cm long, they are easily the largest. Well, another new one for me and happy to say that after almost 20 years of exploring the world's oceans, I can still be so easily entertained :)! ...and YOU are so right Lee
Earth Day 2008 at Asia Divers! Puerto Galera...your Resort & DIVE destination in the Philippines
© Gunther Deichmann - composite image
Global Warming & Save Our Planet.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Earth Day 2008 at Asia Divers! check this link http://asiadivers.blogspot.com/
Thanks so much to those who jumped in to “splash for trash” this past weekend. There was good and bad news for this year’s event. The bad was that the trash bags came back a wee bit empty; the good news was the trash bags came back a wee bit empty!! We hope this means that people are considering the environment more and throwing less into the water.
You can make a difference throughout the year by doing 2 simple things:
1) Consider your actions every day to minimize your eco footprint on our ocean planet.
2) Always inspire other divers to be responsible eco tourists.
It is our world, our water, our choice – thanks for getting involved.
Can YOU identify this Fish? Wilderness travel...Snorkeling in Palawan & Whale Sharks in Donsol... by Lee Goldman
This is Lee…Lee Goldman that is… I thought you might like this article and read about my recent experience in the Philippines...
Hi Lee, Gunther here…of course you always welcome and we are very happy to publish your real life stories, thanks Lee please keep it up, we appreciate your input very much.
See below the story which I have just received, thanks again to Lee Goldman, Marine Biologist, who always finds the time and supplying us with some interesting articles.
Identify this Fish? Please help...
Photo © Lee Goldman, image taken in the Philippines
Islands of Palawan. Okay, so the title sounds like we spent the
entire time in Palawan, but our first 2 days of the expedition were
snorkeling with Whale sharks in Donsol. Come ‘on, how can I
invite guests to the Philippines and not expose them to one of the
best big animal encounters a snorkeler can have!
This entry will be a quick one because how can I describe the experience? Amazing, exhilarating, sometimes exhausting. Because visibility often does not exceed 12 m, when you see a whale shark, it is an up close and personal encounter! The guides put you right near them and as they swim by, you are sometimes only a few feet from them. My guests all commented on how amazing it was that they actually had to swim away from the sharks rather than having to chase them down. Needless to say, our experience with the whale sharks in Donsol was exactly as it has always been promoted; come and swim with lots of whale sharks. We swam with no less than eight. We also had a chance to snorkel in the area. Due to proximity of the rivers, visibility was not optimal, but we didn’t miss a beat. Many varieties of fish and coral exist there and for most of my guests, new species of fish were checked off in their fish identification books. For one guest, an avid admirer of nudibranchs, a new species of Phyllidia was her treat for the day. As a guide who spent many years in the Philippines and Palau, you may think I had seen it all. No way, that’s what I love about the Philippines; new species of fish I may know but not seen, or in my case in Donsol a new species of fish I had no idea existed.
Even some of the better ichthyologists could not help me with the identification. I intend to pursue this one and will keep everyone updated as I know more. Anyone out there with a suggestion?
Our Philippine-Micronesia Alliance
partner in Palawan Philippines is Club Paradise & Dugong Dive
Center for all your travel arrangements and
for Lee Goldman's Wilderness travel contact our partner in
Great NEWS...BUSUANGA AIRPORT in PALAWAN Philippines extended... now more flights,comfort...plus several Whaleshark sightings in the Coron Island area
NATURE is a lot closer now....
BUSUANGA AIRPORT Palawan Philippines...
Busuanga Airport, landing point for CLUB PARADISE, EL RIO Y MAR and the DUGONG DIVE CENTER now has a 1500 meter concrete runway plus a 400 meter gravel extension.
This gives a new dimension to tourism in the islands of the Calamianes. Whereas before only 19 seater planes were able to land, Busuanga airport is now being served by the super fast 32-seater Do 28 (needs only 35 minutes to get there from Manila) and the 50 seater Dash-7.
Starting next week, May 17, 2008 the service of a 72 seater plane from Phil Airlines will begin daily flights. This will bring the total seat capacity per year to about 100.000 seats yearly. New hotels, lodging houses and resorts are under construction and on the planning board. Present room capacity of 400 rooms will be double within an year.
© Gunther Deichmann - the spectacular marine life in Palawan
The Government has decided to pave the road from Coron to Busuanga Airport to modernize the road system and create more comfort for all travelers. Guests of the Philippine-Micronesia Alliance and CLUB PARADISE, EL RIO Y MAR and DUGONG DIVE CENTER will get to their destination a lot faster and more comfortably now.
This will increase their time to enjoy all the exciting dive sites to see the Turtles, Dugongs, WWII Wrecks, a whole fleet was sunk in this area and of course beautiful reefs in this area.
Another great NEWS is, several Whale-sharks have been in sighted in the Coron, Palawan area, a good reason for planning your next trip to PALAWAN...the Philippines best kept secret...NATURE at its best.
© Gunther Deichmann - the WWII Wrecks of Palawan
© Gunther Deichmann - the WWII Wrecks of Palawan
PALAUTOURS.COM updated today May 7th 2008...including the FSM...Federated States of Micronesia...plus a lot more very soon.
Before you make all our travel arrangements check it out...why not stop over in the Philippines for a few extra days and Dive some of the best Bio diversity in
the world. Plan your trip as a combination Philippines - Micronesia then you have the very best of both worlds.
Think about it.
PalauTours.com Now... Welcome to Micronesia!
The colors of the Pacific...
(FSM - The Federated States of Micronesia)
Chuuk (Truk Lagoon) - Yap - Kosrae & Pohnpei
Click the image or the link below
As promised... we have just updated the
palautours.com site changes and NEW additions are as follow;
Micronesia section is updated see the screenshot on this blog - a Palau and Regional map has been added -
in the Photo Gallery we have now provided caption on all the images for easy identification - Getting here is
been updated - some pages have additional text - plus we have changed some photos in various categories.
More to come by this weekend and an incredible update is in progress for the Dive sites of Palau, we will feature
most of the dive sites and not only the popular ones, a big undertaking but I am sure you enjoy it once that is done.
We try very hard to have our first listings up also by Sunday, please stay tuned or start subscribing.
Your Palau Tours Team
A NEW Website on PALAU Micronesia...bringing the Philippines and Micronesia closer? Travel News from the Pacific...
a very interesting NEW site which promise to be a huge source of information, I guess they still sorting out some issues but from what I have seen so far WOW.
If this site goes the way it looks already then what else do you need for your information on Palau and Micronesia.
The Philippine-Micronesia Alliance is keeping an eye on this one and we try to link up with them sooner than later.
Have a good browse, even it is not quiet finished but it is certainly very impressive.
Your Tour Guide to Palau and Micronesia
© Gunther Deichmann - Kayaks in the Rock Islands, Palau
click the image and go to our Gallery @
PALAUTOURS.COM is a unique and very informative site for
all Your requirements before traveling to Palau in Micronesia.
The site is fully up and running but we have to fix some minor glitches
and add some more exciting pages for you.
By this coming weekend we should have everything just about in place.
The interesting part is, not only Palau will be represented but we include
islands like Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae in due time.
Just stay tuned or subscribe to our RSS feed for the latest developments.
With these addition we bring you a lot closer to this amazing part of the world, You dont get any closer to Nature...above and below the waves.
To some extend these islands are still unexplored in parts hence the recent discovery of some unusual inhabitants (see our last blog) the scientist are still debating who and where these small people came from. PalauTours.com is trying to keep you well informed from this part of the World, not only on leisure activities, but news on Marine life, Science projects, discoveries and of course environmental related issues. If you have any interesting stories please dont hold back, send it to us, we love to publish it.
© Gunther Deichmann - Hotel, Resorts, Restaurant and Bar
on Palau...click the image and go to Palautours.com
© Gunther Deichmann - Duty Free & Retail stores, Tour Operators
Government offices, Conservation & Medical services
plus a lot more...click the image and go to Palautours.com
© Gunther Deichmann - the World famous Blue Hole and
Blue Corner, Palau, plus many more different dive sites in our
Dive section including Dive Centers & Dive Resorts...
click the image and go to Palautours.com
We like YOU to use Palau Tours as your Resort, Hotel, Restaurant, Dive & Tour guide... YOU be amazed how beautiful this part of the world really is.