Dalawa – Thresher shark spotting
10th Dec 2010, Malapascua, Philippines
At 430am, we were up and about, getting ready for the pre-dawn dive, in order to catch a thresher shark sighting. The dive location is Monad Shoal, a sunken island, on whose plateau the trhresher sharks regularly hang out. They come out from the depths to this plateau to get cleaned by the cleaner fish, before going back down. It’s one of the few places to see threshers, characterised by their long dorsal tail fin that grows to almost half their entire body length.
We were hoping we’d get lucky. There’s a 55% chance of seeing one this time of year, according to the Evolution Dive owners, Matt and David. Our DMs were Jojo and Julius, both born and bred on Malapascua island. The conditions that morning at 5am were unfavourable. Morning torrents and choppy waters. We’d be cursing if we don’t see the threshers today; as it meant we’d have to go out again tomorrow morning in the cold rain to try again. We hear stories of divers who come here and dive for a week daily without ever spotting a thresher shark.
We weren’t disappointed. A huge 2m plus thresher was in the vicinity and swam round in circles, at one time turning towards me and coming within a few meters away. Stupidly, i forgot to bring down the underwater camera, and only had it passed to me later, by which time I only got fleeting shots of the shark. Ok, I’m content. Mission accomplished. Thresher shark spotted.
The next couple of dives saw us spotting various local stuff like a frogfish, pairs of banded boxer shrimps, lots of lionfish. Dive 2: Lapus Lapus. Dive 3: Bantingi.
In the evening after the dives, did a loop around the village that sits behind all the dive resorts. It’s my first Filipino village experience, and it delivers. Despite the resorts catering to the dive crowd, life in Malapascua remains simple. Children play in the sand, neighbours crowd outside a house, peeking in to watch the television in the household. Videokes abound too, you can hear the singing (wailing!) from the villagers belting local and foreign chart toppers. Malapascua’s changing though. More resorts are popping up, structures are being built as I was there, no doubt to capture the increasing tourist dollar. Come to Malapascua now, before it’s all gone in 10 years time =)
And the highlight, besides the sharks, here’s a video of the Malapascuan village kids dancing away, the last shot in the vid sees one kid pulling the other’s pants down =)
If you don’t see the Youtube video, go to the original source : http://furiouspanda.blogspot.com