Like mentioned earlier, there was a Typhoon warning and that tail of it hit Dumaguete City with full force. When we reached the divesite big waves were rolling in and the visibility was less than one meter in shallow water. A strong surge was present and pushed us with each wave some meters to the left and pulled us back with the outgoing water. We rushed to get below 5 meter where the visibility was acceptable and no strong surge anymore. We rushed through the skills and headed down to 18 meter, the maximum of Open Water dive 3. With the “little” work out on our way out we reached quickly half tank and made our way back. Due to the decreasing visibility and increasing surge we surfaced quite a distance from the shore and the waves helped us to push us in.
During our surface interval the wind increased dramatically and out changing area was totally under water. This place is usually such a peaceful spot where locals meet to have a great BBQ and to chill out on a lovely beach. Not today…. The place was flooded and the ocean showed his force. I wanted to skip the dive but Mike told me he wanna finish even with a short 20 minute dive. So we geared up and try to enter the water. This was very clear against Neptun or Poseidons plan. A huge wave grabbed us and spitted us out back on the beach, or what was left of it.
Mike didn’t wanna give up and after 10 minutes of catching breath we gave it another try. I was counting the waves, height and strength the whole time and figured out a rhythm when it’s the best going through them. We helped each other through the breaking waves and swam out as far as necessary to descend into a brown soup. I could not see the end of my own arm and we were holding each other until we hit the ground. Again, we rushed to go deeper but even on 12 meters the visibility was below one meter. Deeper at 16 meters we had about 3 meters, enough to let each other go. The surge was still there and even the Clownfish were all over the place, but not in the Anemone, where they usually belong. The underwater navigation was even for a UPS Pilot a drama but finally done. We decided quickly to return and get back to shore. Somehow we managed to get out of the water… not without the help of some locals, thanks for that. We quickly disassembled and rinsed before we were heading back to Dumaguete for a hot shower and a cold beer. If somebody can dive in this condition he can dive everywhere. Great Job Mike !!!!
Typhoon Frank hit the Philippines badly and left huge damage and plenty of victims behind. We were lucky ones this time to “catch” only the tail of it. Everybody says that the Central Visayas and the area around Dumaguete is safe and very protected, but who does really know ??? If the nature wants you it will get you.
all the best