Sol is taking her PADI open water course with my favorite dive shop, CamiguinAction. She studied theory (DVD and book) for several days and then took her basic exercises, exam and qualifying open water dives in the last four days.
I went diving with them on dive #1 (Tangub bay) and dives #2 (Old Volcano) and #3 (Tangub bay again).
I missed dive #2 since I was sick that day (something I ate didn't agree with me).
All the dives were great. I don't think I've dived Camiguin this late in the year before (I lost my dive log around when I had my latest and most serious motorcycle accident, I need to find that, it's got to be around somewhere), and the diving is surprisingly good.
Of course, these are qualifying dives, so it's not like I was sightseeing. I was keeping an eye on sol and her classmate all the while, and dive #1 was only to 12 meters. Dive #1 was pretty good, even though only at a maximum of 12 meters. Tangub bay is great even at shallow depths. And while they were doing some buoyancy control exercises I was looking at four nudibranchs, all less than a centimeter long, but walking along the sea floor as if they owned it.
Dive #3, Old Volcano, is always great. There are pillars and canyons from the last volcano eruption, and the sea life is very rich (I saw my first turtle there, during one of *my* qualifying dives in May 2003). I saw a lionfish immediately, and there were large triggerfish, a tuna (in the depths, diggi and dodong saw it, but sol and i didn't), several different kinds of sweetlips, batfish, and lots of other fish which make camiguin diving incredibly beautiful. It's commonplace at all camiguin divesites (incredibly electric blue fish, brilliantly electric violet/purple fish, clownfish, nudibranchs, everything else) but it never palls.
Sol was a bit tense since I mentioned a current. But she calmed down (diggi is a really great instructor, divemaster, and knowing that i'd be around, that diggi was guiding, and that we've got trained boatmen who keep a watch out for us helps a beginning diver's confidence a lot) and we had a great dive.
Dive #4, Tangub bay again, was more interesting than the first dive since we went deeper (18m) and further out. There were still exercises (additional buoyancy exercise, swimming without mask, etc), but they didn't take too long. There was a flutefish much like this one. I thought it changed color to match the color of something it moved close to when we approached it. But sol didn't see that, so maybe I was imagining things. We need to get an underwater case for the digicam :).
There were also incredible nudibranchs, and all the standard fish, lots of triggerfish and it might have been that this was where we saw the batfish and not Old Volcano :).
Incredibly fun dives all around. The last dive at Tangub bay was pretty cold, but it was worth it.
Hay, I hope we can dive in May :).