Siquijor Diving Pleasures

After a few weeks in Siquijor, I like the place more and more … the reefs are very healthy and diverse. The hard coral cover is quite complete, with only very occasional spots of anchor damage, certainly no dynamiting here ever or in a very long time. The reef impresses with a great number of different hard corals, and gaziallions of damselfishes hiding between their branches. The fish fauna is healthy, while I have not seen sharks, there are lots of larger parrot fish, snappers, emperors and groupers, especially in Maite and Paliton wall, two sanctuaries. I have also seen barracudas. In terms of small wrasses, puffer fish and other small fish, the reefs are a pleasure to watch. So, the coasts here are somewhat overfished, like almost all of the planet’s oceans in proximity to dense human populations, but much less so than in many other parts of the Philippines.

Kim and Coral

And the “macro life”, the presence of small and unusual coral reef animals, is as prolific here as in some of the more famous “macro photography” places in the Philippines. I have seen interesting nudibranchs, shrimps and crabs, especially this rare “ass crab”, a parasite living in sea urchin anal sacs (!):

Ass crab

Chromodoris magnifica

I have also seen, but not yet photographed, the mushroom coral pipefish, a really unusual seahorse-relative. And of course it’s pretty good here goby-wise. Check out this video of a Randall’s shrimp goby, doing an interesting performance with its impressive dorsal fin. As a bonus you get to see a time-lapse of a Siquijor sunset. These are always spectacular, probably partially because of the clouds captured by towering Negros island, across the ocean.