Sea Slug and Plane Wreck :Diving Journal in Bohol (Part 3)

In our previous conversation, we talked about the rich marine ecosystem on Bohol. When diving there, you have a chance to witness incredible barracuda storms, jackfish storms, small sharks, and sea turtles. But there’s more to explore than just these magnificent creatures. Divers can also visit dive sites where they can explore sunken ships and the remnants of underwater airplanes.

Exploring different dive sites offers divers a variety of diving experiences with different underwater terrains. In the quest to find marine life, it requires not only keen observation skills but also a bit of luck. As they say, “Finding big things is easier, but finding smaller creatures is more challenging.” One of the favorites among divers is the adorable “sea bunny,” also known as a sea slug.

Divers love to keep their eyes wide open while diving, searching among the corals for these cute little Sea Slug with their various shapes and colors. Sea Slug are soft-bodied marine animals that inhabit the intertidal and subtidal zones. They belong to the order Anaspidea and the family Aplysiidae, making them part of the sea hare family. There are currently around 37 recorded species of Sea Slug worldwide.

In Hong Kong, most Sea Slug have small tail-like appendages, which may even be tinier. They typically have two long and slender “ears” resembling those of a rabbit. However, in the Philippines, a region known for its rich marine biodiversity, Sea Slug are relatively larger and plumper, making them easier to spot. There is also a greater variety of species, making them incredibly adorable. If, like me, you find it challenging to find Sea Slug in Hong Kong, diving in the Philippines will certainly give you a sense of achievement, almost like collecting creatures in a real-life Pokémon encyclopedia! Let’s take a closer look at the Sea Slug I successfully “collected” during my trip to Bohol.

There are many unique Sea Slug here, and many of them have appearances that I’ve never seen before. One of my personal favorites is this super chubby and vibrant red sea bunny, which even has a tuft of “tail” that resembles a nine-tailed fox.

One of the most common Sea Slug is scientifically known as Chromodoris dianae. They have varying black stripes and spots on their bodies. Their exposed gills and rhinophores are mostly yellow, with a black dot or line between the rhinophores.

The Sunkane Plane in Bohol 

The Sunkane Plane is a dive site where you can explore the wreckage of a small propeller plane that sank at a depth of approximately 8 to 10 meters at the Sirena diving spot. The plane measures about 6 meters long and 7 meters wide, and the site was intentionally created for divers and is suitable for open water divers. The plane’s exterior shows signs of age, and inside, you’ll find some adorable fish that have made it their home. At the front of the plane, there’s a stone monument with the word “SIRENA” inscribed on it, making it a great spot for taking photos with the plane.

Let’s zoom in on the lionfish, but be cautious not to come into contact with it. While they are visually stunning, lionfish are considered harmful marine creatures. They measure between 25 to 40 centimeters in length and belong to the Scorpaenidae family. One distinctive feature is their large, fan-like pectoral fins. They primarily feed on crustaceans and tend to inhabit reefs and coral clusters, including some found in deeper waters.

Lionfish pose a significant threat not only to smaller fish but also to humans. Their dorsal fins possess highly venomous spines. When threatened, they will instinctively charge their opponents with these spines. The spines contain venom glands, causing severe pain, difficulty breathing, and even potential fainting if a person is stung.

During a diving trip, approximately 70% of your time is spent at sea. So, what do you do during the remaining time? Treat yourself to a massage! Massages are much more affordable than in Hong Kong, typically costing around 70 HKD per hour. In addition to visiting massage shops, some resorts offer in-room massages, allowing you to indulge in relaxation without leaving your accommodation.

Special Features of Bohol Tourism

When it comes to dining, we enjoyed a buffet-style breakfast at Mayfair Resort, offering a simple selection of Western breakfast items such as scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, as well as refreshing beverages like juice and coffee. For lunch, we usually had meals onboard the dive boat to replenish our energy. Despite feeling tired after diving, the curry rice and meat sauce spaghetti were particularly delicious.

Dinner provides more flexibility and variety. Due to early tourism development, the food scene in Bohol has become quite commercialized. You’ll find numerous cafes with a trendy “bohemian” style that appeals to Hong Kong’s younger crowd. Additionally, there are restaurants run by foreigners and Koreans serving dishes like pizza and Korean barbecue.

Speaking of pizza, I highly recommend Toto e Peppino. They specialize in traditional stone oven-baked pizzas that are made to order and cooked right on the spot. The crust is delightfully crispy on the edges and wonderfully chewy in the middle, making it a truly mouth watering experience.

Looking for a dessert after your meal? How about heading to another ice cream shop for a cup of authentic and refreshing mango ice cream or shaved ice? The portions are huge, so you won’t be disappointed!

Overall, Bohol offers fantastic diving spots, accommodations, and culinary delights. Even if you’re walking alone on the streets, there’s no need to worry too much as there are usually plenty of fellow tourists around. Most of the time, the streets are bustling with visitors from all over, creating a lively and safe atmosphere. However, for female travelers who may have concerns, it’s advisable not to stay out too late at night and ensure you get enough rest to fully enjoy the next day’s diving adventures.

Moreover, this trip has unlocked many exciting “first-time achievements” and provided unforgettable experiences. I hope that more people can indulge in the joy of diving beyond Bohol, exploring the endlessly surprising underwater world, and continuously challenging themselves.

See you next time.

Photo Source: Michelle Chan、 IG@plinkqlee、IG@ycwing0v0、IG@leonard.yuen、IG@@9tra.vel、FB@Toto e Peppino

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