Category Archives: Diving

A Christmas reef clean up – making a difference

Here at Quo Vadis Dive Resort, we think that being a diver carries more responsibilities than just diving and looking at fish. As soon as you get certified as a diver, you don’t just learn about safe diving practices, but your instructor should also have taught you about the importance of being a responsible diver in regards to the environment.

The surface of the world as we know it right now consists of 71% water, and the oceans hold about 96.5% of all Earth’s water. Rain forests are responsible for roughly one-third of the Earth’s oxygen, but most of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by marine plants. The production of oxygen in the ocean is created by plants (phytoplankton, kelp and algal plankton) that live in the ocean. Same as plants on land, the marine plants produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. This process converts carbon dioxide and sunlight into sugars that the organisms use for energy. One specific type of phytoplankton (Prochlorococcus) releases vast amounts of oxygen into the Earth’s atmosphere. It is the most abundant photosynthetic organism on our planet.

Phytoplankton creates the base of the marine food chain. The health of all organisms in the ocean is directly related to the health of phytoplankton.

So how can we help to save our oxygen?

Save the phytoplankton!

How do we do this?

Decrease you impact on pollution by using less energy (go to work via public transportation or your old school bicycle), help protect habitats on land and in the ocean (donate to organizations that can make a difference or volunteer on land or in the ocean by doing clean ups), encourage others to stop over-harvesting ocean wildlife (talk about the negative effects in the ocean of consuming predatory fish and also the consistency of mercury in bigger predatory fish and personal health risks that are related to the consumption of a lot of fish).

Since you see what is going on as a snorkeler or a diver below the surface, you can personally help out by not only telling how amazing the marine life is, but also the changes that you might have seen already over the last few decades. Your pictures and stories can help others care as much as you about the ocean and their habitants, and hopefully through your stories you can educate others about the importance of protecting our oceans. You are a diver, snorkeler, and with it you are the most important ambassadors to help protect our oceans and oxygen.

Want to make a difference soon?

Come and join us on our Christmas reef clean up and by diving against debris we will donate 500 Php of the money you paid for the dive to PROJECT AWARE to help save our oceans. Find us on Facebook or simply e-mail and sign up! See you on the 22nd of December!

Christmas Reef Clean up - 22qnd of December 2017

Christmas Reef Clean up – 22nd of December 2017

Written by Inge Leys – Quo Vadis Dive Center Manager

What exactly is coral??

Coral reefs are formed by groups of marine invertebrates that live together.

Each individual is known as a polyp. Corals feed by sticking out their tentacles into the water and catching drifting plankton and when they’re inactive, corals protect themselves by withdrawing their tentacles.

Large coral colonies you see are formed over hundreds and even thousands of years as polyp growth rates are extremely slow – up to 1cm per year.

When a polyp dies naturally a new polyp will form over the top. Repeated over many years, this process eventually results in the massive coral formations you will see today. As sea levels rise and fall over geological time the ‘active’ area of the reef changes over time. The white sandy beaches you see around these islands are produced by dead coral broken up over time in to smaller particles of calcium carbonate.

Coral garden - Top Pescador Island

Coral garden – Top Pescador Island

How Does Coral Feed?

Only a fraction of a coral’s food is from what is caught by the tentacles.

Coral’s main food source comes from a symbiotic relationship (mutually beneficial partnership) with photosynthesising algae collectively known as zooxanthellae.

The algae provides a coral with it’s colour. Without any algae, all shallow water coral would be white. The relationship between coral and algae is incredibly efficient, providing the following benefits:

Benefits to coral

Benefits to zooxanthellae

supplied with up to 90% of energy requirements as well as oxygen and aids with waste removal

safe environment to grow

provided with glucose, glycerol and amino acids for production of sugars, fats and most importantly calcium carbonate for reef construction

provided with compounds required for photosynthesis

Written by Henry Collister

Dive Instructor – Quo Vadis Dive resort

“The Best House Reef in Moalboal”

So many people that come into our dive center have some form of prejudice towards the notion of diving our “house reef,” but actually the house reef we have in front of our resort is one of my personal favourite dive sites in Moalboal. Those snorkelers and divers willing to experience it for themselves will generally agree. One of the biggest appeals it has is that a lot of the time it is just your group there creating a rather unique experience; truly a gem “hidden in plain view” as the expression goes.

Being guided out to the reef wall by mooring lines in the shallows, you end up reaching the drop off for our incredible reef. The reef itself is packed with some of the most beautiful, healthy hard corals and anemones the area has to offer. Though through descending deeper you can see a vast array of colorful soft coral, big barrel sponges and gorgonian sea fans that are potentially home to some very special creatures such as: hairy squat lobsters, ornate ghost pipefish, robust ghost pipefish, giant frogfish, painted frogfish, sexy squat shrimps, peacock mantis shrimp, candy crabs, orangutan crabs and so on…

Ornate Ghostpipefish

Ornate Ghost Pipefish

Sexy Squat Shrimp

Sexy Squat Shrimp

Blue-ringed Octopus

Blue-ringed Octopus

Orangutan Crab

Orangutan Crab

Hairy Squat Lobster

Hairy Squat Lobster

During the dive, you will likely be greeted by sea turtles which can be either green turtles or hawksbill turtles. Keep your eyes peeled as you’re surfacing or even if you’re already on the surface, during the day time when there is sargassum seaweed or coconut shells floating around, you might be able to spot the amazing sargassum frogfish looking for shelter near the surface.

To top it all off… As the sun sets over the horizon our house reef inhabits some of the famous mandarin fish that come and display the spectacle of their mating ritual for us, there really aren’t much better ways to start a night dive. Even blue-ringed octopus, and leafy scorpion fish tend to surprise us on night dives pretty regularly in addition to many other marine species that come alive after dusk.

So, let’s be rid of this negative connotation when you hear ‘house reef’… Quo Vadis House reef… Snorkel it, dive it, and be amazed!

 

Written by, Inge

Instructor and Dive Center Manager

Quo Vadis Dive Resort

Pictures: Inge Leys & Pernilla Sjöö

Divemaster Training is more fun at Quo Vadis Dive Resort!

You know you like diving. Every holiday you do involves at least a few days of diving if not every day in a new country you visit. As soon as you think about your next diving trip, you feel your eyes light up and you dream away about the things you still have on your marine creature list you haven’t seen yet.

You find yourself asking the Divemasters that take you diving how it is like to be a full time Divemaster working in and around the ocean every day. All of them answer exactly what you want to hear: ‘Best choice I ever made in life, you only live once and you should try and do in life what makes you happy.’

Guiding

If diving makes you happy, this can be your career change. Change your uniform or suit at your current job into a wetsuit. Take people diving and show them the treasures only you know where to find. Help other divers overcome their fear for certain things, and replace it with joy.

In Quo Vadis Dive resort we make your training not only one that you will learn a lot more from than expected from the PADI Divemaster Program, but we also make sure we adapt to your personal needs and see which areas need more work than others. It involves knowledge development lessons and diving workshops that prepare you to become a professional diver. After your training you will be able to look after certified divers, assist on courses and also know more about marine life and how to protect our oceans better in general.

Assisting on courses

The duration of the course is 3-5 weeks depending on your personal needs. We will help you with finding a room to stay for the time you are in training.

To be able to start you will also have to buy a PADI crew Pack for your studies which also includes your certification fee to PADI and the first year of being a PADI Pro member.

Check out the Quo Vadis website and see if you can picture yourself in Moalboal for your Divemaster Training. Also feel free to drop us an e-mail if you have any questions regarding your Divemaster program divecenter@quovadisresort.com

 

PROJECT AWARE Reef Clean Up: Making ‘White Beach’ clean again!

On 11th of October 2017, all buddy teams were set up and given bags to collect rubbish and our boat crew of the ‘Smiling Star’ lifted the mooring line and we headed towards White Beach, approximately a 10-minute boat ride away from our resort. We chose this site since a lot of people visit White Beach and unfortunately don’t take their rubbish away with them and so it ultimately ends up in the ocean.

Despite the main objective being to clear up as much rubbish as we could, there was ample time to enjoy the beautiful array of marine life. Being just past the full moon, we had a pleasant current allowing us to calmly drift along the reef. It was apparent on the dive that White Beach was in dire need of a clean, especially to preserve the flourishing corals housing some of people’s favorite creatures, such as pygmy sea horses and ornate ghost pipefish.

CK and Dee picking up trash

Every buddy team took a different maximum depth in order to increase our scope and efficiency on picking up the rubbish.

As we surfaced, we all realised everyone had done a brilliant job since there was not one empty bag. Even our boat crew managed to grab 3 bags of rubbish that was floating on the surface. Surprisingly enough, we found one of our favorite creatures hanging onto the floating rubbish: the famous Sargassum Frogfish!

White beach reef clean up

Sargassum Frogfish

Our second dive was a fun dive at Pescador Island, One of Moalboal’s most famous sites for its beautiful reef, caves and overhangs. As it is protected from fishing, this dive site is covered with schooling fish like Trevallies, Fuseliers and the adorable, colorful Anthiadinae.

Meanwhile the staff that only joined for the reef clean, returned to land and started the Project AWARE count of the rubbish, which weighed in at 55kgs! The most common items were plastic bags and food wrappers, but we also picked up some nappies and even bicycle and motorbike tyres. Sadly, the wind is not to blame for such items being in the sea…

PROJEVT AWARE garbage count

At the end of the day our winners were announced, with the heaviest bag going to Dindo Paquitbot. He managed to pick up 8kg of trash all on his own. Our other winner, Nils Toussaint, claimed the largest item with a bike tyre.

One thing we will all remember from this day, is that less plastic is better, because a lot of it does end up in the ocean. To help prevent it, bring your own reusable carry bag when shopping and choose your groceries wisely with minimal plastic wrapping as possible. Hopefully one day there will no longer be a need to do clean ups such as this.

Check out the website for Project AWARE below and see how you can make a difference! Merely signing one of their petitions is a significant contribution you can make in the comfort of your own home.

https://www.projectaware.org/

PROJECT AWARE Reef Clean up

On Wednesday the 11th of October 2017, Quo Vadis Dive Resort organized a Project AWARE reef clean- up consisting of staff and guests alike.

We had 9 guests and 9 members of staff from all over the world joining us: France, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, USA, Canada, Philippines, Spain, China and Denmark. As if all of us were representing their own country for the reef clean.

Everyone arrived at 8:15am to prepare and listen to the special reef clean briefing, which had to include a few extra things such as carrying extra weight, not dragging the rubbish bag over the reef, extra care to buoyancy and of course don’t take anything that has got life in or on it.

To try and make it more interesting and motivational, we turned the event into a small competition: Prizes were awarded to those who brought back the heaviest bag and the largest object.

On top of this all, for every diver that signed up Quo Vadis pledged to donate 950PHP to Project AWARE. All together we collected 8550PHP (150US $) for the day prior to the clean-up.

Dive the airplane in Moalboal

Some dive center call this dive site Airplane or Airport, we choose the name Umbrella for this particular dive site. If you take a look at the shore line before entering the water you might spot the reason behind the name of this dive site. It’s due to some very interesting rock formations which have a similar shape to that of an umbrella. 

The air plane wreck in all it's glory. Photo credit Tanakit YamMo Suwanyangyaun

The airplane wreck in all it’s glory. Photo credit Tanakit YamMo Suwanyangyaun

Around 22 meter below the surface you will find a propeller airplane on the sandy bottom, just before the wall drops down to 50 meters. It was donated from around 16 years ago to fill the purpose as a artificial reef and a pretty awesome dive site. They drove the airplane from Cebu city to Moalboal, it was to large to transport so they had to cut of the wings for the journey.

Air plane wreck

After a lot of hard work it was time for the ceremony to sink the plane to the bottom of the sea. But an unexpected problem occurred. The plane didn’t sink.  So they placed concrete in the wings before putting them back and if you take a look inside the plane you will find a few old diving tanks at the front used in order to weigh the plane down.

Our own Captain Sunny can tell you all about how he and several others helped to take the plane to its final resting place.

Dive description:

The dive site has a shallow, pretty reef starting at three meters reaching down to ten meters. The reef then transitions into a sandy slope that stretches all the way down to twenty-two meters. At this depth you can find a wall that creeps well beyond most divers certifications, though it still hosts a variety of marine life open to those of adequate qualification.

What to find?

If you want to find weird creatures and tiny critters this is one of our best sites. Here we can find: Ornate ghost pipe fish, Robust ghost pipe fish, garden eels, snake eels, nudibranch, shrimps, crabs, frog fish, devil- & bearded scorpion fish, sea moth and with luck, even weirder creatures! Once we even saw a whale shark cruising just above the airplane, but that was a very rare sighting.

peacock mantis shrimp

peacock mantis shrimp

How to enjoy this dive at the most?

If you don’t have it already we recommend you take your Nitrox licence in order to spend most of this dive at the deeper and more beautiful wall where you can look for the array of small critters.

Pegasus sea moth

Pegasus sea moth

To be able to properly enjoy the airplane you will need to take either your PADI Advanced Open Water or do a Deep Adventure dive, which you easily can do at Quo Vadis Dive Resort.

If you’re bringing a camera make sure to make a plan for both macro and wide angle pictures in addition to good buoyancy.

Entrance: Reached by a 20 minute boat ride in a northly direction from Quo Vadis Dive Resort. We enter via a giant stride entry from the bow of the boat.

Conditions: Dependent on the strength/direction of the wind, potentially flat to moderate waves. Medium to strong current depending on the tides.

Depth: 0 to 50 Meters.

Visibility:  approximately 10 to 25 Meters.

Quo Vadis Dive Resort

After rain comes... Rainbow!

After rain comes… Rainbow!

Sleep in, go up early, relax, dive, laugh, make new friends, learn something about the ocean you didn’t know before and feel like a part of our Quo Vadis Family.

Quo vadis garden

We have the ocean just in front, and the ocean, that’s what makes our hearts beat. You can dip your toes in the salty water only a few minutes after you checked in. Rent snorkel equipment and go out in the blue, swim out to the edge of the reef and watch the turtles waking up in the morning. The reef is patched in colors beyond imagination and covered in fish to pretty to eat. You don’t know how to dive or you want to advance your dive knowledge? No problem, we’ll teach you! Walk into the dive center an early morning for a chat with our friendly staff, they will help you with everything from arranging your diving to answer questions about, how to best go to Kawasan falls or what’s the most tasty local food.

Our lovley group, Never Dry from Thailand knows how to relax with friends.

Our lovley group, Never Dry from Thailand knows how to relax with friends.

pool barEnjoy our pool a warm day and don’t hesitate to use the pool bar to order an ice cold mango shake. Relax in the lush garden surrounded by tropical trees and flowers, get a massage in the shade. Lay down in our hammocks and watch the sea between the pages in that book you never had time to read when you were home. Eat. A lot. It’s okay you are on vacation. Try the Filipino kitchen from our restaurant menu or dig in on our international dishes. Grab a beer with new friends after your dive in our sea view bar. Book a trip to watch the mighty but soft giants in Oslob, one of few places where you can watch whale sharks on a daily basis. Watch them gracefully move past you as you lose your breath watching them.

oslob_20120923_feeding

Swim with millions of sardines, buddy up with a turtle, watch the tiny pregnant pygmy sea horse, dive into the deep of the cathedral, watch the mandarin fish do their mating dance when the sun goes down and witness the pulsating electric clams. Just to mention a few things.

Watch the most magical sunset from Quo Vadis Dive Resort. The sun goes down over Negros island, coloring the sky with powder soft colors of pink, red and orange. Feel good, feel the calm and feel the nature.  We are looking forward to you staying with us!

sunset yoga

Cool facts about the Nudibranch

Being part of the rich Coral Triangle is what makes the Philippines an excellent, world-class diving destination. Philippines is famous for its never ending variety of the little beautiful nudibranch. Working for Quo Vadis Dive Resort we see these wonders of the ocean every day.

Did you know…

  • Nudibranchs, once like snails lost their shells over countless years of evolution. Today you can find many different chemical defenses among them; some can store cells within their body capable of stinging. Others can secrete acid which they release when danger presents itself. Though there is currently only one known species of nudibranch that can be harmful to humans as it eats the infamous “Portuguese man-of-war” jellyfish.

    Nudibranch

    Chromodoris annea. Photo Credit: Yannick Van Meirhaege. Moalboal

  • Nudibranchs are commonly referred to as sea slugs. Although this is true, not all sea slugs are nudibranchs.
  • Nudibranchs obtain their stunning colors as a result of the colorful food they eat. Due to each species being extremely picky eaters they will generally only consume one type of food leading to a plethora of color variations over the 3000+ species.
  • Some nudibranchs such as the “blue dragon” are capable of creating their own food through photosynthesis.
  • Following the Darwinian principle of natural selection or “survival of the fittest” some nudibranchs are known to be cannibalistic, generally eating the smaller of its species.

    Chromodoris Willani

    Chromodoris Willani. Moalboal

  • Generally they have very short life spans. Some may live up to a year, other merely a few weeks.
  • Nudibranchs are hermaphrodites meaning they are both male and female simultaneously, possessing sexual organs of each gender.

If you want to take a closer look at nudibranchs check out our Instagram @Quovadisdiveresort.

Nudibranch

Photo credit Yannick Van Meirhaghe. Phyllidia Ocellata. Moalboal

10 Top attraction Moalboal

  1.  Diving
    The most popular Moalboal attractions are all under water. Being part of the rich Coral Triangle is what makes the Philippines an excellent, world-class diving destination. With a great variety of underwater scenery and fish species you rarely find elsewhere. Most diving around Moalboal is drop-off diving with a mild current. The sea is deep and the mild current ensures a flow of fresh and nutritious water that makes the corals to flourish. The corals is a wonderful mix of lobed pore-, brain-, soft,- funnel-, table-, tube-, whip-, mushroom-, bubble-, maze-, staghorn- and green cup corals, just to mention a few. The reef is in excellent condition surrounded by a lot of colourful fishes. We call it our turtle paradise and it’s not rare you see more turtles on one dive than fingers on your hand. Here you can set your eyes on many mysterious creatures like giant frog fish, leaf scorpion fish, clown trigger fish, ornate ghost pipe fish, sea moths, leaf- and devil scorpion fish and many more. Look into our web page for more information. 
    Coral reef Moalboal
  2.  The Sardine run
    This is the major reason that ten thousands of divers, snorkelers and free diver are making their pilgrims journey to Moalboal every year. Here you can watch millions of sardines congregate together in tropical water with a spectacular wall as a backdrop, just a few meters offshore and the best thing is, you can witness this phenomenon all year around! To dive into the never-ending school of small, dancing silvery fish and let them immerse you is a breath-taking experience even for the most well-travelled diver.
    Sardine run Moalboal
  3. Oslob Whale shark watching
    Quo Vadis offers package trips to Oslob for divers (minimun 3 people,)  Oslob is located only 1.5 hour drive from our resort in Pangasama. It’s 99% guaranteed to see these magnificent giants when you are snorkelling or diving and most of the times you will see more than a few. Whale shark watching in Cebu started last September 2011 and it became popular all over the world when the news hit in the internet last November 2011. By December 2011, local fishermen’s interact with the whale sharks by feeding them and large numbers of tourists began arriving in Oslob not just to see the whale sharks being fed but also to snorkel or dive with them. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean. The typical whale shark size is 4-12 meters. Oslob is home to schools of these amazing creatures and they can be seen by divers and non-divers, swimmers and non-swimmers, the old and the young alike.Oslob Whale shark watching
  4. Pescador Island
    Pescador island suits everyone. Diving, snorkeling, free diving or just to sit on the boat to witness the pretty little island and its clear water. But underwater, that’s where the fun begins. The wall is going down to 50 meters and is filled with spectacular crevasses, over hangs and caves. The sloping wall is dressed in big hard corals where you often can see schools of inquisitive violet fusiliers and many other reef fishes. Here you can set your eyes on many mysterious creatures like giant frog fish, leaf scorpion fish, clown trigger fish, sea moths, leaf scorpion fish and many more. Don’t forget to look out in the blue and you can see small schools of sardines, butterfly fish, jack fish, mackerel and red tooth trigger fish.pescador island Moalboal
  5. Canyoneering
    You can make canyoneering at a few different waterfalls from beautiful Kawasan Falls being a fun adventure for everyone to a bit more challenging Tison Falls being a more challenging experience. Canyoneering involves travelling down creeks or streams within a canyon by a variety of means including walking, jumping, swimming, climbing and abseiling (Tison falls). Suitable for anyone looking for a wet, fun and active full day in pristine condition.
    kanyoing Kawasan falls
  6. Mantayupan falls
    It is the main natural attraction in Barili. With its 98 meters it is also one of Cebu’s tallest waterfalls. Mantayupan Falls, also known by the locals as Ambakan Falls, has two levels. The first level are three waterfalls with the height of 14 meters and the second level is a waterfall which is 98 meters high. Being a little bit further away from Moalboal (50 min by car or bike) it’s not as touristy as Kawasan falls and if you go there on a weekday you can be all alone with this pretty view.
    mayanuppan falls
  7. Osmania Peak
    the highest mountain in Cebu that is a favourite among hikers for its picturesque view of the countryside. Most known as O’ Peak, it offers a breath-taking view of the sunrise, sunset and the white coastline hugging the coral blue sea and jagged hills with lush grass and patches of flowers. Osmena Peak rises 1,013 meters above sea level and is nestled between the southern towns of Dalaguete and Badian. Its about an 2 hour drive up the mountins from Moalboal, but the road leading to the top is an adventure itself, seeing the  flora and fauna change.

    Osmania Peak is the highest point of Cebu

    Osmania Peak is the highest point of Cebu

  8. Kawasan Falls
    Only a 30 minute drive, located 17 km south of Moalboal, Kawasan Falls comprise a series of three waterfalls; the largest cascades 20m into a massive, crystal blue swimming hole. The second and third waterfalls are more peaceful, and you can even scramble beyond these to more secluded spots. This is a beautiful sight and makes beautiful photos. If possible try to avoid weekends when it tends to be very busy.
    kawasan falls Moalboal
  9. Lambug beach
    Lambuk beach located a 40 minutes South of Moalboal is still somewhat a secret unknown to many. It’s a 30-40 minute drive from Panagsama, but it’s worth it, the sand here is whiter than White beach and weekdays you can almost find yourself alone here. There is some really nice corals where the sand slopes down in the water so bring a mask and snorkel!
    lambug beach
  10. White beach
    Located 6 km North or a 20 min drive from the dive centre white beach is a popular beach among tourist and locals. On the weekends small eateries and seats can be hired. Sometimes you can see turtles just offshore and the corals here a bit farther out are pristine.

    White beach