day ninety-six: january 3, 2016
As part of our second day of island hopping, we snorkeled at two wrecks then spent the rest our time on Pass Island.
There are eleven WWII wrecks dating back to September 1944 when American bombers attacked a Japanese convoy anchored in Coron Bay. Many of the wrecks are shallow enough to snorkel, but also make for great wreck diving and snorkeling.
Our first stop was Sangat gunboat. Not many other tours stop here, so we were the only ones snorkeling the wreck. There were some divers below us in and around the wreck, but we could only see their air bubbles surfacing thru openings in the wreck.
Our next stop was Lusong gunboat, another WWII wreck. The tip of the boat was actually above the surface of the water, making it easy to spot. The shallow depth also made it easier to explore a little bit around the wreck rather than just looking at it from above.
Next we headed to our main stop of the day, Pass Island. We enjoyed a relaxed BBQ lunch and had some down time on the beach. Since the beach was so beautiful and peaceful, we decided to pass on the next snorkeling spot to stay on the island longer.
Later that evening we made a last minute decision to visit Maquinit Hot Springs, just outside the small town of Coron. We aren't quite sure if the springs are natural, but they were relaxing nonetheless. The stars were out in full force as well, so we spent some time just floating on our backs staring up at the stars.
day ninety-seven: january 4, 2016
Today was mainly island hopping with very little snorkeling. It was, honestly, a good change of pace. Our first stop was Malcupuya Island. We were the first group to arrive on the island, so the entire beach area felt deserted and something we could enjoy all to ourselves.
Next stop, Banana Island and lunch! Banana Island was the best island stop of all three days, and no, the island didn't have any bananas. It got its name from its shape, which is supposedly like a banana. We were able to snag a two floor hut right on the beach with plenty of shade and a great view. After hanging out here, we wished we had planned to spend the night there. Every island hopping tour included an awesome lunch prepared by the boat crew, usually consisted of what you see below: grilled fish, fried fish, seaweed, grilled squid, rice, grilled pork belly, and fruit. The menu would really depend on what they were able to buy from the market that morning.
After seeing other groups doing jumping pictures, we decided to give it a try. Yes, my dad's wearing a woman's hat...and yes, he might be wearing women's shorts. And no, he didn't get any air.
We didn't want to leave, but we had to since we were about an hour plus away from Coron Town. Just across the way was Bulog Dos Island. Part of the island is a private resort, but a small sandbar connects to a public area great for photos, so that's what we did, took a bunch of group photos! Why are Marc, Jamie, and Erwin pointing? Because it's a "smart pose"...says Erwin, whatever that's supposed to mean.