Dona Marilyn Wreck dive: Malapascua Philippines

Dona Marilyn Wreck dive

Diving from Malapascua Philippines with Thresher Shark Resort

Off we go from Thresher Shark resort again loading directly from the beech via a gang plank, just so easy.
I had a awesome Thresher Shark dawn dive getting back around 7am this morning check out my blog on that Dawn Thresher Shark dive 
Then I had a nice brewed coffee and a great breakfast and chilled for couple of hours then at 9:30am it's time to head out to the wreck of the Dona Marilyn sitting in 32m. She was a inter-island ferry that sank on 24th October 1988 while sailing from Manila to Tacloban City.
looks like a big wreck.
Dona Marilyn Wreck dive Dive map of the Dona Marilyn Wreck
Looking forward to this dive. Should take us about 90mins to get there.
My Filipino dive master guide Vic has checked I have everything I need and he completed the boat briefing and now it is time to sit back enjoy my coffee and chill as we head to the dive site.
I will be diving 32 Nitrox EAN on the first dive then air for the second.
The dive boat is a traditional Filipino out rigger design with a friendly crew I met earlier in the week. One of the crew used to live in York... it's a small world.
I would recommend a dry bag for your dry gear though as these boat are not very dry, water seems to come from every direction, including through the deck lol catching you out every now and then!!
Sea conditions look good and it's a nice 32 Dec C.
A very pleasant cruise out to the dive site watching a few of the smaller 7000 Filipino islands on the horizon.
I have to say I am having a good time here at Thresher Cove Resort on Malapascua island. It was worth the 3 hour drive from Cebu to Maya Port and 1 hour crossing from Maya Port to Malapascua island. This is my last day diving and I wish I was staying longer. I have met some very friendly people during my stay. But I will be back as we are planning a TAL Scuba Divers club trip / holiday.
We arrived on time and spent 10..15mins dragging with an anchor and using visual reference points of islands in the distance to find the wreck.... real old school as No one on the island seems to use GPS.
Once the wreck was secured we descended down the line with a very strong current hand over hand..
The wreck sits on the bottom at 32m rising up to about 18m from the surface.
Vic my Filipino dive master and guide kept a careful eye on me as I penetrated through this large 100m wreck.
Dona Marilyn Wreck
She was caught in typhoon Unsang and sank leaving 389 dead, there were only 147 survivors.
The Doña Marilyn was the sister ship to the Doña Paz which was the deadliest every none wartime maritime disaster.
She is 100m long and sits on the bottom lying on her starboard side. Covered in encrusted coral and old fishing nets she has a bit of a spooky feel.
We enter the wreck and made our way through her to the other end staying at around 25..30m for most of the penetration. Interesting Wreck but she is starting to break up so this is an advanced penetration and I would recommendation that most divers stay on the out side.
When we reached the end of the wreck and turned Vic pointed out a shark hiding under a plate, though I can not remember what he said it was called, anyone know the name of this shark?
Shark found hiding on Dona Marilyn Wreck
We also saw a few large rays before leading me back along the shallow side of the wreck showing me several more interesting nudibranch on the way back to the shot line.
Dona Marilyn Wreck Nudibranch Dona Marilyn Wreck Nudibranch
Viz was about 15m and diving on 32 EAN we just managed to stay out of Deco during our 34m 33min dive.
We ascended up the line in strong current to do our stops before exiting the water up the ladder or rather stairs between the out riggers and hull.
Filipino Dive Boat Steps
For the second dive we are going to do he 30m long tunnel on Cato island.. Another good dive see my blog on Cato island.
All in all a good dive and worth the trip
If you would like to join us on one of our holidays check out our trip page... or join our dive club... TAL Divers  check out our holiday pages...
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