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Coron & Apo Reef

November 24 to Dec 01, 2018 - recreational

October 21 to Oct 28, 2018 - technical

7 night / 6 diving days = U$1810+

Start & finish in Puerto Galera

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Apo Reef is one of the top diving destinations in the Philippines. As the second largest contiguous coral reef in the world, it is home to great coral, large reef fish and masses of turtles. If you have a group of divers and would like a custom made trip, check our last dates for 2018 and 2019 here and then email us your desired itinerary. If you are just 2 or 3 people, given enough lead time we can usually fill the extra required places for the tour to go ahead [minimum six divers].

reef

The Apo Reef Season season runs from October until June when the sea is calm and we are outside of the usual typhoon season. Apo is located to the west of Puerto Galera on the other side of Mindoro. We board MB Rags Two at 1700 in Puerto Galera and you will wake up ready for diving on Apo the next morning. For our two trips in October and November we will be finishing in Coron. You can arrange a direct flight Coron [Busuanga airport, code USU] to Manila on the last day.

 

wreckSince it is so close to Coron we are combining the wrecks of Coron and Apo Reef on our longer trips. Get the best of both worlds with world class wreck and reef diving all on one trip.On  both of our October [TECH] trip and November {recreational] trip  we will visit the Coron wrecks as well as Apo reef.

Our rates include twin share aircon accommodation on-board Rags II , diving, nitrox and drinks [including beer]. Just bring your dive gear [available for rent on-board] and c-card and we will take care of the rest

The minimum group size for all expeditions is 6, maximum 8 divers.

For tech trips divers can use either twins or sidemount. Tech trips have an extra charge for oxygen which is usually about $75 per person

Click on the menu below to jump to more information snorkel

 

apo

 

Apo Reef is located about 12 hours from Puerto Galera, off the west coast of Mindoro Island. It is widely regarded as being the equal of Tubbataha reef in the southern Philippines, but is a lot easier and cheaper to reach.

shark
whitetip reef shark with huge school of surgeonfish at
Bahura Cinco, Apo Reef South

 

 

Expect to see great corals, lots of turtles and reef sharks and often spectacular visibility. Dive are made around Apo Island with it's dramatic walls that fall away to 70m+. In some sections the wall actually overhangs. The walls are covered in fan corals and don't be surprised to see reef sharks swimming in the depths below you. In the shallows turtles are common and the hard corals are spectacular.

The diving suits all levels of divers. Beginners will still get to dive all of the sites as they all start as shallow as 6m. More experienced and technical divers can explore the deeper waters around the reef, where they are more likely to encounter larger pelagics.

Apo Reef Plus the Wrecks of Coron Bay

Apo Reef is also located half-way between Coron Bay and Puerto Galera. For that reason we offer a combination expedition of diving the wrecks of Coron and the Apo. For our early season tours in October through January we finish in Coron, so as to make an easy flight back to Manila. Later in the dry season [March through June/July] trips will start and finish in Puerto Galera

Coron Bay

Coron is home to some of the best wreck diving in Asia. During two attacks in the fall of 1944, up to 12 large ships were sunk in and around the Bay

Most of the wrecks are fairly shallow, with the deck or the hull laying between 12m to 20m. Coral is surprisingly good, with large lettuce and vase corals and large numbers of different nudibranches and flatworms. Like all the wrecks they have attracted huge schools of fish. Expect to see jackfish, huge lion and scorpionfish, crocodilefish and large snapper.

The shallower wrecks suit all levels of divers, with great diving on the outside and some easy swim-throughs. For qualified basic wreck divers there are some nice penetrations into the living quarters and open areas of the engine rooms

Coron is also home to one of the most amazing dives we have ever come across. Barracuda lake on Coron Island has a thermocline. What is unusual is that the temperature is 26C down to 23m, then climbs to 37C [that's 102F !!] as you go deeper. A truly amazing dive


Coron really does suit everyone from beginners on up. However, with the deeper wrecks and large interior spaces there are great opportunities for tech divers to explore. Using either twins, or sidemount we can enter the deeper wrecks such as Akistushima, Irako and Kyokozan maru. For the full penetration dives it is best to be qualified as an advanced wreck diver.


On-board Rags II

rags

Rags II is a purpose built dive boat that has been operating out of Puerto Galera for 10 years. For the past 9 seasons it has been the number one liveaboard operator to Apo Reef. It is our favourite boat for a number of reasons. Keeping the group size at 8 divers is a lot more fun ; the boat manager is both an experienced mariner and also a technical instructor - this means that he knows what divers are after and is flexible in choosing dive sites. Finally - the price is just right and it's great value for money. We love this boat and our divers always have a great time, however if you are looking for a 5-star luxury boat for $600+ a day then it's maybe not for you.

Cabins

cabinThere are four air-con cabins with twin bunks. All cabins have AC, fan and 240 volt outlets for charging lights and cameras

Showers and toilets

There are two hot shower and toilet cabins on the main deck

Diving

The main dive platform comfortably can support much more than 8 divers. Divers are made directly from Rags II and are led by the experienced guides on board. The daily rate includes free recreational nitrox [so if you not already certified contact us today to sign up for the SDI eLearning course]. The experienced on-board blender can provide both nitrox and trimix for technical divers. The boat also operates on 240 volt for charging. Usually there are a maximum of four dives a day, or three tech dives a day. Equipment rental is not included in the cost of the liveaboard so please let us know if you require equipment, with your size.

For tech divers there are twins, sidemount tanks and 6L deco tanks available.

Meals

Meals are taken in the large upstairs saloon. The cook provides great food and he knows that divers get hungry, so meals tend to be on the big side. Meals are not buffets. You can order from an a-la-carte menu. Unusually for a liveaboard, all drinks are included in the daily rate, except for tonic water. So if you love a G&T in the evening just bring along some tonic.
Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.

Safety

The boat carries all required safety equipment such as oxygen, first aid, marine radios, radar, life rafts and a comprehensive emergency plan.

Courses on Board

We offer a range of courses on-board. Study can be done online using eLearning prior to boarding, so pre-dive discussions are brief and the emphasis is on having fun. All divers will benefit from having an advanced open water rating as well as nitrox. These two courses can be combined and can be completed in just two days. Other courses are DEEP, WRECK and for technical divers ADVANCED WRECK. Contact us for more information about completing courses on-board.

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Technical Expeditions

Both Apo and Coron offer great opportunities for extended range, trimix and advanced wreck divers. Usually we spend longer on the Coron wrecks. Minimum certification is TDI ANDP, Tech 45 or equivalent. For wreck penetration you will need a minimum basic wreck cert, or advanced wreck license if planning full penetration

tech diver

Apo is home to legendary deep walls that can be dove at almost any depth. Air, nitrox and trimix all all available on aboard. Many reef sharks and the occasional hammerhead hang-out on the deeper dives. .

Coron of course has wrecks. But, on a liveaboard we will be moored on the wrecks and so it is possible to do three deco dives in the day, with large surface intervals between each dive

 

aki

The first four storage tanks of O2 per trip are free, so on a four or five day safari the only extra charge would be about $75 per person for oxygen.

Tech courses - we offer basic and advanced Wreck courses on-board. All courses will require at least two days of training in Puerto Galera before departure. Contact us for prices and availability

 

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2018 Tours dates and sample itineraries

All expeditions start with boarding Rags II at 1600 in Puerto Galera. We can arrange for transport for Manila, as well as diving, courses and accommodation in Puerto Galera both before and after your trip. On the final day of the October through February season we finish in Coron and you can fly out that day to Manila For trips from March onwards we will return to PG between 0600 and 1330. Later arrivals may be necessary if the weather is slightly rough, as we do not round northern Mindoro at night in rough weather.

For the 2018 season we have chartered Rags 2 for the following dates and will be on-board to personal guide. We also can book you on other dates through the 2019 season

 

  • Oct 21 to 28 - Tech - Coron & Apo Reef seven night / six diving days - 6 places remaining
  • Nov 24 to Dec 1  - Coron & Apo Reef - recreational / Open

SEASON we do not schedule trips during the main typhoon season which is from July to September.  Please note that bad weather can occur throughout the year. For safety we may need to cancel a trip at the last minute. In such cases there is a full refund less any money transfer expenses. If a tour starts and is cut short due to bad weather there is no refund. We highly recommend that you have full travel insurance to cover cancelled trips and any alternative arrangements. While cancellations are rare, we do try to re-book diving and accommodation in Puerto Galera

For Groups of 6 or more people we can arrange an expedition to start and finish on any dates (minimum 7 night, 6 diving days). The maximum number of divers per trip is 8. Please contact us for more information.

 2018  Schedule
Dates Destination Availability
October 21 to 28

Coron and Apo Reef

6 places

November 24 to
01 December

Coron and Apo Reef

OPEN

7 night/ 6 diving day Itinerary - U$1810 per person

  • Day 1 Board boat 1630 in Puerto Galera
  • Day 2, 3 & 4 - Dive the Wrecks of Coron
  • Day 5, 6 & 7 - Dive Apo Reef
  • Day 8 - Arrive PG between 0600 and 1230

 

 

7 night/ 6 diving day TECHNICAL Itinerary - U$1810 per person , + OXYGEN AND HELIUM.[Full dive insurance required]

  • Day 1 -Board boat 1700 in Puerto Galera
  • Day 2 - Dive Apo
  • Day 3 - Coron Bay wreck diving - Nanshin maru and Okikawa Maru
  • Day 4 - Coron Bay wreck diving - Irako and Akitsushima
  • Day 5 - Coron Bay wreck diving - Kogyo and Olympia Maru
  • Day 6 - Coron Bay wreck diving - Irako and Ekkai maru
  • Day 7 - Transfer to Busuaga airport for flight to Manila

Minimum certification level is TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures, or equivalent from another agency. TDI Advanced Wreck is required for technical wreck penetration ~ training will be available on-board. Twin tanks, sidemount tanks and deco tanks are included. Tech equipment available for rent only if booked in advance. 

 

 

 

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Inclusions,exclusions and what to bring

 

Inclusions

  1. Twin share AC accommodation on board
  2. Daily four dives [no-deco diving]
  3. Tanks and weights - Twin tanks available on all trips
  4. All Nitrox for recreational divers
  5. Meals - please contact us if you have a special diet
  6. Drinks [except tonic water]
  7. Tech Tours: The first 4 oxygen delivery tanks per tech trip are free
  8. Guide
  9. Very limited WIFI is available in parts of Coron Bay. There is no wifi or mobile phone coverage on Apo Reef.

Extras

  1. Equipment rental - please contact us in advance with sizes
  2. Flashlight for night dives plus we highly recommend every diver has a surface marker balloon and whistle
  3. Insurance - all divers are required to have insurance that covers for diving, recompression and evacuation
  4. Apo Reef Marine Park Fee
  5. Oxygen and helium for tech trips - contact us for latest price list
  6. One week full dive insurance is +U$59 [Philippines only], or U$129 for one year world-wide cover. Unlimited depth, rebreathers and mixed gas included.

Click the logo to sign up for insurance. It take just a few minutes

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What to Bring

Life on-board is very relaxed, so keep the bag small and light

For the boat

  • Light rain jacket
  • Full dive gear including surface marker balloon and whistle
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • UW camera
  • Informal Dress

  • Land camera for all those great sunsets !
  • Money - tips and massage on-board [P500 an hour]
  • Toiletries
  • Books

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Dive Insurance


We are an agent for DiveAssure - the largest primary dive insurance in the world. We can offer the following primary insurance cover for all of our trips

Primary insurance cover means that Dave Assure will cover the entire claim and will not need to liase with other insurance cover that you may have. Initial bills are covered by you and Dive Assure reimburses the claim.


 

 

Coron & Apo Reef
Nov 24 to Dec 01, 2018
U$1810+
Inclusions

Coron & Apo Reef
Nov 24 to Dec 01  2018
U$1810+
Inclusions

Includes
7 night twin share AC accommodation
6 days full meals
all Drinks included
6 days no-deco diving at Apo reef & Coron
Recreational nitrox fills included
Excludes
Transfer Manila to PG
Airfare Coron to Manila

Equipment rental

Dive insurance

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