DuCOMi on my mind

Ali in Ducomi

It’s my single greatest dive for this year.
Dive Site: Dumaguete Coconut Oil Mill (DuCOMi)
Dive Time: 73 minutes
Dive Objective: find the frogfish (well, that was my objective anyway)
Depth: 56ft on the sandy sea floor (under the ledge where the big octopus pair was)

The main pier was huge, I have no idea how many pillars there were, but it was huge. Two ships were docked during the time we went. There was a mini pier (it might not even be a pier) with six pillars (not sure how many pillars exactly) just off the main pier. The dive begins at the mini pier and then you cross the sandy area as you fin your way to the big momma.

The visibility was not so great. It would have been astounding to see the whole pier so clearly. But that didn’t make it any less breathtaking. You think you know how to breathe properly with over two hundred dives behind you, but the colors and the shadows and the numerous critter surprises makes you forget to breathe.

The mini pier all dressed in corals, revealed nudibranchs and that frogfish. I got stuck on one of the pillars for a bit. I imagined the coral grasping me by the tank valve reminding me that I was not of their world. I truly wished I could be, even for a day, if only. Where can I get gillyweed?

chromodoris kuniei
painted frogfish

As we moved on to the main pier under the sand was a ledge and they found two octopus underneath. One of them came out (well, someone asked him to come out, yes I think it was a boy) in all of it’s huge glory. The head was as big as mine.



reef octopus

The main pier itself will make your head spin. Corals all over gives a whole new meaning to eye-candy. I did not know where to look. I was completely taken. Will I look at it from afar or should I attempt to go have a close look on each and every pillar there was? I wanted time to stop so I could go see all the pillars. They had that fish on the cover of my book at the bottom of one of the many pillars. Even the tiny fish among the extra long black sea urchins were so pretty. There were big and small lion fish, a small school of mamsa fish (each more than a foot long), nudibranchs in twos (sometimes group, was it mating season?) and corals in orange and pink and white and yellow.


school of razorfish


school of mutton snapper

There was simply so much to look at. And then the flamboyant cuttlefish presented itself. Oohs and aahs and flashbulbs going off. When the hubbub died down I went back to the edge of the pillars where the light was reaching into the shadows. I stood in the sand and watched the afternoon sunlight dance accompanied by the hissing and bubbling of my regulator. It felt like home.

flamboyant cuttlefish

img_3100 img_3101





The seventy minutes felt more like the blink of an eye. I wish I had a camera so I could show you what that blink of an eye meant. Words can only do so much.

It’s like a song that picks me up and puts me in a better mood. While almost every dive brings me closer to nirvana, there are dives that completely blows you away. Every once in a while an underwater experience rewards you with a memory that surpasses that of your first kiss. But it’s probably just me.

For the last several days I have found myself staring into space and seeing the pillars so clearly. You’d think it was dreary living diving under a pier. I saw some photos before hand and I thought it was gloomy. But it was far from gloomy. It was surreal. It was for me, the stuff dive dreams are made of. I’m in-love, completely, insanely, head over heels. Tell me what girl falls in love with a pier?

PHOTOGRAPHY: Paz Santos, Jean Yves Simon, Manuel Alvite



  1. […] tried to think about my beautiful pier of dive dreams but my mind […]

  2. Where are the pictures? 🙂

  3. Eto na ang mga pictures ng Ducomi.

  4. thanks nay. 🙂

  5. Great shots…

  6. Wow! Galing galing naman….

  7. GANDA!!!! ayaw kasi kami sama ni dave e….HEHEHE….

  8. Nice! I’m excited to dive here on independence day long weekend. 🙂

  9. …ducomi is one of those wonderful sites i got into, i never expected what ia pier can offer1 🙂

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