Duke’s Dive Memoirs

Weeks before the official end of the summer, I was fortunate to do my check out dive in Anilao, Batangas. That weekend was the official start of my underwater escapades. Charley, Chiky and I brave the rocky waters to perform the exercise we have learned during the pool sessions. Surprisingly it was relatively calm underwater with occasional surges and visibility was quite clear.

During the first dive, we stayed somewhere close to the shore of Mainit where currents where minimal. After all, this is our first dive in the open seas. Sir Dave made us practice our mask clearing and regulator recovery techniques and then our buoyancy. When we were done with the exercises, we explored the surrounding area where we had the chance to see a lionfish (nice to look at but dangerous to hold) and play with a pin cushion star fish (it was like having an underwater frisbee). When we surfaced we headed to a hut near boatman Poly’s house to have a nice lunch (Green Mango Salsa, Roast Chicken with Hoisin sauce, Grilled Tilapia, and Sinigang na Hipon that will really wake up your senses and remind you that you are in Batangas – “ala-e maanghang”).

For the second dive, the group went to “Bubbles”. The place is like being in a mild Jacuzzi where bubbles are coming out of the sand (caused by water being heated by lava – the source is Taal Volcano according to DM Elmer). The temperature underwater was quite warm, contradictory to the temperature at the surface which was windy and cold, so the warm water was a blessing. During the dive, Sir Dave started to signal and point something. After a brief moment of confusion the group finally understood that he was pointing to a rare visitor… “Crush”. A sea turtle decided to spend some time with us. So the group tried to keep their distance and let “Crush” go on with his business.

I finally got to see a green sea turtle…Yahoo!!!!!!!

It was already late in the afternoon when we surfaced and headed back to the resort. While waiting for dinner time, I had the chance to meet the other members of the group who are just doing their fun dives and filling their dive log books namely, Doc Mark & Minnie, Mike & Kay, Tata – who happens to be the boss of a friend at HSBC, Albert aka.“Paparazzi Angel”, Jomy and Anton. I decided to retire early after dinner in order to prepare for the next day, plus I had to catch up on sleep because of the busy week that just passed.

The following day was a little better; however the water in front of the resort was still rough so we had to go back to Mainit on the “dive truck” to complete the check out dive.

For the third dive, the group went to Mainit point which was situated near the tip of the cove. It was my first time to experience “drift” diving. It was an unforgettable experience. It was like flying and cruising at the same time, you need not exert effort to move around – just hover and ride the current… another Nemo experience for me… While we were riding the current, Sir Dave pointed to something and I tried to look to the direction where he was pointing to but all I see was black murky green area. When we surfaced, Sir Dave asked me if I saw the Black Tip Shark. Then I realized it was what he was point at during the dive. Too bad “almost saw “is not included in dive log books. Darn! Better luck next time. However, I still have a sea turtle in my log book.

After yet another sumptuous lunch in the hut (Spicy Shrimp Salad, Grilled Liempo, Kalderetang Spareribs and Bulalo) the group went to Aphol’s for our last dive for the weekend.… uhhhh…. There was a slight current but not strong enough for a drift.

I was fortunate to see again my best friends, the lion and stone fish, a small puffed puffer fish and nice to look but painful to hold, fire urchin. All the dives, except for the first one, we had to do a safety stops, so it was a good time to practice suspending in mid water techniques and I am getting there. When we finally surfaced, it signaled the official end of my practical test in scuba diving.

I would like to thank Sir Dave aka. “Tatay Dave, for the knowledge and wisdom he imparted; Ms. Paz who became the bridge to my underwater adventure life; Albert, Mike & Kay, Mark & Minnie, Tata, Jomy, Anton, etc. for the camaraderie and support during the weekend. To my classmates, Charley and Chiky, hoping to dive with you again maybe somewhere in the PI or Down Under.

So till the next dive dudes!

– Joseph Duke Real




  1. Congratulations Duke!!! Hope to dive with you soon!!

  2. ROOMMATE!!! Congratulations Duke, Chicky and Charley. It’s always nice to see new divers enjoy the life down under. Hope to see you either topside or down under.


  3. Panalo ang memoirs! 🙂 🙂 Thanks for posting the pics Paz & Dave.

  4. Duke! You’ve finally convinced me and Vina. Let’s go for an intro to scuba this july!!! We’ll still convince Dette because as of now she just wants to go snorkling. Haha I’ll invite Lexie and Kat as well. I’m excited!!!

  5. Hi Divebuddies,

    I’m back in Oz now and wish to extend my gratitude for these pictures.

    Dive on,


  6. Hi Charlie. Keep on visiting our blog and keep in touch. I’m sure you’ll be back in the Philippines in no time :0

  7. Hay Mate.
    Hows the weather down under? Just keep us posted. So till your next visit to the island, Take care dude !

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