Lakies04

Lakies04

My Dive Map

Reviews (2)

Anilao

4
3
4
3

I was only able to dive for three days in Anilao. The resort I stayed at was good, the staff was wonderful, the food was great, and rooms and grounds were clean. I like that they had a separate camera room for camera gear. The resort I was at in Anilao was very quiet, I was not near the "town". I was just on the side of a hill with the ocean in front of me. Weather was hot and dry with minimal breeze while I was there. The one thing that is concerning is the built up of villages along the coast. There was a lot of trash near the shore in some places. If that continues the dive sites may deteriorate there which will be very sad.

The dives guides were very good finding many small creatures, such as rhino shrimp, harlequin shrimp, frog fish, and lots of nudies. I liked the Darllout, twin rocks, and the pier was good for night diving. Snorkeling was good at Bethlehem. I liked that Anilao had lots of small stuff and you could just putter around looking. There were no big critters like in Australia (e.g. sharks) which can be good or bad depending on what you are looking for. I was not looking for that so it was perfect for my needs. In many ways I thought the sea life was better than Thailand.

Diving was fairly easy and great for taking photos.

Visited on 03/2014 - Submitted on 06/14/2014
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MV Spoilsport (Mike Ball Dive Expeditions)

5
5
4
5

Mike Ball Deep Reef liveaboard was fantastic. Mike Ball has a variety of trips available. I ended up on the Deep Reef which to be honest when I booked I didn't exactly know what that meant, the trip just fit my time period so I signed up. In hindsight I'm really glad I ended up on that one as we went far out on the reef to the reefs not accessible on a day trip. As a result we ran into no other dive boats while out on the reef and reefs were in decent shape.

There were a number of room options to choose from depending on budget, I chose shared room with bathroom inside it. The room was comfortable and clean. The variety of food served was impressive, there were always snacks available between dives, as well as coffee, tea, and water. The meals had vegetarian and meat options, and we even had a BBQ on the last night. Dive deck was well laid out, and the boat overall had lots of open space, some inside areas you could hang out as well as outside.

The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. Passenger safety was of the utmost importance. All divers had a GPS unit put in their BCD, there were spotters on the top deck every time divers were in the water, the dingy could be signaled to come and get you if you were too far away to swim back. I tested the dingy service on two occasions and it was perfect. All divers had to check in and out for each dive to ensure all divers were accounted for and if you weren't diving during a non-open deck time you had to tell the Dive Coordinator. I felt completely safe during the trip. We did a shark feed at the beginning of one dive. The Dive Coordinator made the instructions 100% clear as to what the expectations of divers were and if anyone deviated from that they would abort the dive. All dive sites had a dive brief that clearly indicated what was expected in terms of conditions, and potential wildlife to be seen. There was only one occasion that the information was a little off and that was in terms of the strength of a current running through a site. Otherwise information was appropriate.

I liked the set up of the diving, two dives in morning, open deck in afternoon where you could do up to two dives and then a night dive. Dive masters were available but not required to go with you. We were allowed to go out with our dive buddies or in groups. They tried to match divers of relatively equal skill for buddies. All the dive sites except one which happened to have a lot of current at the time we were there were very easy dives, nearly no current or very mild.

The animal life was varied some sites were really good, and others middle of the road. My favourite site I believe was called Pixie Pinnacle, loads of small animal life, we just went round and round the pinnacle finding more cool stuff every time. Steve's Bommie was also very cool.

Some of the animal life I saw was as follows: humphead wrasse, angel fish, gray reef share, white tip reef shark, unicorn fish, trigger fish, eels, grouper, scalloped hammerhead shark, parrot fish, potato grouper, lobster, crab, brittle star fish, tile fish, lion fish, garden eels, pipe fish, butterfly fish, hermit crab, scorpion fish, stone fish, wobbegong, walking fans, anemones, clown fish and leafy scorpion fish.

This was my first live-aboard experience but I loved it! I liked the get up gear up and jump in, no lengthy transport getting from land to dive site. I don't think that I could have chosen a better company to go with. The staff couldn't have been better and there was a really great group of divers on board. I've since done one other live-aboard and Mike Ball is still hands down better.

Visited on 11/2012 - Submitted on 02/13/2014
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