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Scuba Diving in Moalboal, Cebu, the Philippines
Dive Site: Pescador Island
Location: 9°55'25"N; 123°20'40"E (West of Moalboal)
Description: Shallow reef and deep wall
Depth: 8 - 10 metres in shallows (26 - 30 feet), wall drops away into the depths
Visibility: 15 metres (50 feet)
Pescador Island is rated as one of the top dive sites off the west coat of Cebu Island. Pescador Island itself is a small island about a 20 minute boat ride due west from Moalboal. It has a plateau which surrounds the island varying in width from a few metres to around 20 metres. On the northeast side of the reef plateau there are several large rocks and coral heads which break the surface. Here the reef plateau slopes down to around 8 - 10 metres where it then drops away vertically into the abyss. The entire circumference of Pescador is essentially a wall dive with overhangs and small caverns and holes in the reef wall where you can enter and exit carefully. The upper plateau has lovely acropora and stony hard corals which provide a colourful backdrop in the shallows. As you descend towards and beyond 30m there are prolific soft corals which require less light to thrive. Stonefish and white frogfish frequent the reef wall and the top 15 metres is quite literally teeming with life. Turtles are a common site swimming and feeding on the reef. Currents can be strong on Pescador so dives are normally "one way" with boat drops and pick-ups carried out at different spots on top of the reef plateau.
Pescador Island's southwest side is much the same in topography as the northeast side. The vertical wall drop off from around 10 metres is impressive. During our diving here we saw several turtles on the upper reef wall. At one point we found a large opening in the reef wall which allowed us to swim in and underneath a large overhanging cavern, ascending a few metres before exiting carefully from a different area. Here there was magnificent pink and blue soft coral. A friendly remora (pilot fish) joined us on the latter part of our dive and spent at least 20 minutes in varying positions attempting to attach itself to my buddy's cylinder, legs and other unmentionable regions.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
The overhanging cavern you refer to was called 'The Cathedral' by the locals I went diving with. An amazing place. Would kill to go back there soon.
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