Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dolphin Watching, Island Hopping and Beach Bumming

We got on the boat 5:30AM today for our scheduled activity of dolphin watching and island hopping. It has to be early as dolphins appear only early in the morning just as the sun rises so we had to act early and fast if we wanted to see them.

sleepy head

Around 10-15 minutes from the shore, we slowed down on an area where they say dolphins usually appear. Honestly, it is a hit or miss activity as there really was no guarantee we can see one. After 10 minutes of waiting and circling around the area. We saw some fins starting to rise from the water, but they were quick to get away.

Moving further and minutes later, we saw another group of dolphins again, mostly their fins showing from the water.

Then another group showed again. It truly was a hit or miss activity. If you weren't looking at the right direction, you could have missed your chance already as they are quick.

Luckily, there were a lot of dolphin sightings this morning. It is hard to catch them on cam though as they seldom flip and if they do, they are very fast.
 more dolphin sightings!

are the dogs also looking for dolphins?

Just an hour since we sailed off, fewer dolphins show themselves until we can't see them anymore. For that, we went next to Balicasag island.

Balicasag island is home to a marine sanctuary and if you love snorkeling, this is where you can see a lot of colorful fishes and some corals on the protected area. 6 from our group took the snorkeling activity, paying PHP350 each for the guide and rental of snorkeling gears.

As for me, I was very hungry that I just stayed on the island. We haven't had our breakfast yet as we have to leave the apartelle early. I ordered some items for breakfast while chilling at a table being blown by the cool see breeze. Ethan was sleeping at that time.

As the sun went up, Ethan also awoke and again continued to play with the sand and water. He's very happy indeed throughout the trip so far!

Shayne and Ethan

Balicasag island, even if how lovely it was, is not that good for family swimming. The shore is mostly covered with rocks that may hurt your feet if you don't have the right gear. As such, I just stayed inland.

There are places to explore in the island however. Years back, I remember following a trail going to the lighthouse. I did the same today with some family members who chose to stay at the island than snorkel.

the lighthouses, new (left) and old (right) one

the lighthouses

The nearby chapel of Sr. Santiago Apostol was closed today.

We just spent the time taking pictures with the lighthouse under the fine weather this morning.

Then we went back to the tables and benches where we left our things (same place where I had breakfast). We're still waited for a few minutes before the snorkelers went back. We decided to have a more heavier meal (brunch) and stayed for a bit longer in the island. They were selling fresh seafood so we ordered some food and asked them to cook to our liking. It took awhile though for the food to be prepared and served.

Meanwhile, Ethan is mimicking a tarsier strapped into a tree again.

Ethan playing before we left Balicasag Island 

Our last stop was at Virgin island. I'm not sure if that's the official name of the place but that's how to locals and boatmen call it. It is actually a small inhabited island and if the tide is right, a stretch of sandbar appears leading to the island. It is indeed a very beautiful place, the sand is pure white and the water is so clear. The sun is up as it is lunch hour but we weren't bother as we were focused at the beauty of nature.

Ethan having fun at Virgin island
Ethan with Julie

having fun in the water

playing with my dad and my mom

Ethan and my mom


playing with the sand 
It was already mid-afternoon when we came back to Alona Beach in Panglao island. The rest of the day was spent resting in our room and checking out the shops nearby before we headed early to bed as we are checking out from the apartelle and flying back to Manila tomorrow.

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