#1 travel report: the Philippines with Jonas Heeb
First stage of the #apneaworldtour: the Philippines
We are thrilled to announce the start of DAVOSA’s #apneaworldtour: Jonas Heeb, a 33 year-old, Swiss scuba diver trainer (MSTD) and cruise director of the Seven Seas, took our Apnea Diver with him from his current work location in Hurghada on a diving holiday to the Philippines.
He delivered an exciting travel report with many stopovers and numerous impressions of life underwater. Here is the in-depth travelogue from Jonas Heeb:
Nik Linder presented me with the Davosa Apnea Professional at the ‘Boot’ boat trade fair in Dusseldorf. While still at the fair, I immediately switched watches and plunged from one adventure into the next.
The watch and I were ready to set off on our big journey. A quick flight from Dusseldorf to Hurghada, winter clothes out of my suitcase and diving gear back in again, we then made a quick stop in Istanbul to visit the Hagia Sofia before stopping in Manila for one night. The journey continued the next morning via Guam (including a cross-examination) to Yap, where we were heartily welcomed.
I could hardly wait to dive into this diving paradise and finally test the watch underwater. And off we set to dive centre Yap Divers, fully equipped with diving equipment, a camera and of course the new watch. The highlight of the first dive were reef sharks at Vertigo. We had scarcely entered the water when we found ourselves surrounded by black-tipped reef sharks and grey reef sharks. Another highlight of the island is of course the Stammtisch dive site where you go to see the mantas – it’s always amazing to see these elegant giants in action.
We also wanted to see some culture, so we set off on a tour of the island – including obligatory visits to a wreck from World War Two, a stone money bank and a traditional men’s house. We also took in a stick dance. A minor travel injury I sustained meant a trip to the local hospital, which cost me a few days of my holiday. The trip continued with wheelchair and crutches, but in a good mood nonetheless. We still had three weeks in the Philippines before us, after all. Before leaving, I treated myself to a mandarin fish dive – something you have to do at least once in your life, these tiny fish are just so beautiful.
After 2 weeks on Yap, we were on our way back to Malapascua, once more via Guam, but this time we experienced engine problems, so we arrived late and missed our connecting flight in Manila. We booked a later flight to Cebu instead so we finally arrived in Malapascua late in the evening. Once there, nothing could hold us back from an early morning dive to the Monad Shoal site where we once again got lucky, getting to dive with some majestic thresher sharks. After that our dive guide provided us with all sorts of macro creatures: from tiger shrimps to frog fish, there was a little bit of everything to see.
We then went on to visit the island Catanduanes, where unfortunately there was not much diving to be had as the island had been hit by typhoon Nina shortly before our trip. But it was a very laid-back island, far away from the usual crowds of tourists. We continued by ferry to Legazpi for the last day of our trip, and since we were there, we thought we’d go on an ATV tour to the perfect volcano of Mount Mayon. A tour like this is always heaps of fun, although the weather wasn’t on our side this time.
From Legazpi, our journey continued on via Manila, Istanbul, then back to Hurghada, where it was back to work for me. Time for some diving – for a change! After five weeks of diving holiday, it was time to put on my dive guide hat, welcome the first of the season’s guests to the Seven Seas and show them the beauties of the Red Sea. Brothers Daedalus Elphinstone was the name of the route we took, where I was heartily welcomed back by my hammerhead sharks and mantas.
It was great fun taking your watch around the world with me! I’m quite sad I have to return it now, and exchange it once again for a diving computer on the wrist.
Many thanks and keep diving!