A First Look at Santander

Santander is in the very south of Cebu, about 4 hours by car from Cebu City. Cebu is a thin-elongated island, and we are right on it’s bottom tip. To our left we can see the magical island of Siquijor, and to our right the massive mountains of Negros. At night we see the lights of Sibulan and Dumaguete in Negros.


This is the sunset as seen from Santander. The background are Negros’ volcanic peaks. It’s a chill, peaceful place. The neighbors are coconut farmers. Coconuts don’t make noise. No karaoke. Yeah!

I have had some opportunities to explore our house reef, and I like what I see. Right in front of the resort is an extensive reef-top with lots of seagrass. Seagrass is our friend!!! It binds lots and lots of CO2. I’m curious what I’ll be able to see in the grassy area at night (sea horses?). So far, I have explored the slope which starts at 3 meters and goes down to 25, where the reef transitions into a barren plane.

I have combined that house reef exploration with testing of my new Olympus EM-1, which after a small scare with a minor leak, turns out to be an ace camera. The house reef has lots of nice anemones, with the usual anemone fish, and many interesting shrimp also living in-between the anemone’s tentacles. There is also a large variety of crinoids (feather-stars) with commensal shrimp and clingfish. I have seen the soft coral which is the home to pygmy seahorses, but not the seahorses yet – I assume they could be there, though! I also spotted a few unusual nudibranchs, and many nice gobies and blennies….

There are also schools of yellow snappers, surgeonfish (Naso minor, mating!) and lots of bannerfish. There are some titan trigerfish, and several species of angelfish. This place is not going to be boring anytime soon!

Check out some pictures I took in the last few days (click on the one you see to start a slide show):

Watersports House Reef

Happy diving! – Klaus