Scuba Dive site Gato Island: Malapascua Island - Philippines

Dive boat at Thresher CoveDive site Gato Island with Thresher Cove Resort - Home of the Thresher Shark

A June day scuba diving with the team at Thresher Cove Resort and Dive Centre on Malapascua Island in the Philippines, home of the Thresher shark. Heading out today to see white tip sharks at Gato Island which is a marine reserve and I am told a paradise for photographers. I left the Thresher Cove Dive centre, boarding directly from the resorts beach onto the local dive boat via a ramp and we headed off to dive site Gato island for 2 dives. This is about a 45min boat trip. I was offered Tea, coffee and water on board. When we booked the dive the day before we were asked to choose a sandwich or salad, I opted for Tuna salad.

My Aqualung and Apex dive Kit was assembled and waiting for me on board. Vic my Dive Master and guide introduced him-self and made me aware of the safety gear, drinks and loo extra. It was a very brief briefing but I am sure a much more in-depth briefing would have been given for a less experienced diver. A good start to the day.

Gato Island Dive MapI am looking forward to diving Gato Island as it sounds fun, especially the tunnel! My DM made sure I had a torch and said I would need it! Conditions are good, 32c. Slightly lumpy sea conditions in open sea and these traditional local out rigger boats are not the most stable and definitely not dry lol as spray surprised me once or twice. Good job I am water proof.

Arriving at Gato Island, we jumped in for the first dive dropping down to 20m for a 45min dive. Viz about 10 to 15m and a bit milky as the weather has not been great for the previous day.

Lots of Nudibranch, Cuttle Fish, Puffer Fish, Sea Snakes, Moray Eels and more.

Surfaced close to the island and then swam out a few mins for the boat to pick us up, the usual ladder that drops down between the boats side floats and the hull.

Removed fins and walked up the steps in full kit. Crew lending a hand though you do not really need the help – it was more like walking up steps than a ladder.

During an hour surface interval with lunch I had a really nice Tuna salad sandwich I had chosen before the dive (very fresh and tasty). Had a coffee and a chat with Vic, dive master / guide who has worked for Thresher for about 4 years since they started. He has many years’ experience with other local dive centres before joining Thresher Cove Resort.

white-tip reef shark Malapascua Island Thrashed Cove

Vic’s a really nice Filipino who speaks very good English, the rest of the crew were helpful and did all the re tanking and putting together kit before and between dives... Just sit back and enjoy the day.

The second dive was through a tunnel that runs right through the island, from one side to the other, about 30m I guess. Saw a great big lobster and some White Sea Horses which were awesome. Unfortunately the current was strong, so we could not go see the Black or Yellow Sea Horses. I did see some really interesting friendly Cuttle Fish, White Sharks, Lion Fish, Nudibranch, Puffer Fish and much more! We then swam around the island and back to the boat... A really pleasant dive that I enjoyed. Viz on this dive about 5 to 10m but much better in the tunnel. I could easily have spent another half hour in the tunnel and would like to dive it again and explore more.

Back on the boat to Thresher Cove, to be dropped off and enjoy the rest of the day. We left about 10am and arrived back around 14:30. The crew again unloaded all the kit and washed it, before hanging it all to dry. I watched them throughout the day and they took great care of every ones kit, better than a lot of boats I have been on. A really great team.

Dawn at Thresher CoveTomorrow it's a 4:30am start to go see Thrasher Sharks at the cleaning station.... I cannot wait!

why not join us... check out our holiday pages...

Trevor - TAL Scuba


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