Div­ing for Trea­sure in Du­maguete

Asian Diver (English) - - Contents - By Brandi Mueller

Black sand dive sites, ar­ti­fi­cial reefs and sea­grass beds. Flam­boy­ant cut­tle­fish, sea­horses, frog­fish and nudi­branchs of all colours. Dive in with Brandi Mueller as she un­cov­ers the un­der­wa­ter trea­sures that make Du­maguete a ma­rine par­adise and an ideal lo­ca­tion for muck div­ing

There is noth­ing more sat­is­fy­ing than div­ing in black sand look­ing for trea­sure. Div­ing just sev­eral feet off the beach of At­lantis Re­sort at Du­maguete, in the Philip­pines, I find my eyes zoom­ing in on the sand to ex­am­ine in­di­vid­ual grains for some­thing that looks just slightly dif­fer­ent. My eyes scan around for some­thing fan­tas­tic, and then sud­denly, what was just sand a few sec­onds ago morphs into a sea­horse or a frog­fish or some other won­der of the muck.

Com­ing across a muck crea­ture like a flam­boy­ant cut­tle­fish, on your own, is re­ward­ing but it is usu­ally the ex­cep­tional dive guides that point out the one thing you’ve been search­ing for – like a teeny

Costasiella kuroshi­mae nudi­branch – and see­ing that gem is al­most as good as find­ing it your­self.

Some of the best muck div­ing is found within the Co­ral Tri­an­gle – a tri­an­glu­lar area shared be­tween the Philip­pines, the Solomon Is­lands and In­done­sia. Of­ten re­ferred to as the rain­for­est of the ocean, this “tri­an­gle” has the most bio­di­verse ma­rine life in the world. Du­maguete – lo­cated in Dauin on Ne­gros Is­land (part of the Visayas), the fourth largest is­land in the Philip­pines – falls within the area.

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