Let's Take a Dive!

September 29 , 2007

caron de mars
Caron De Mars
Environment, Science, and Technology Officer
U.S. Embassy, Manila

Yesterday I picked up the National Geographic Television crew, Nick Caloyianis and Lee Coughron, at the Manila Airport. They were eager to find out if all their underwater camera equipment still worked after being shipped across the Pacific Ocean. I’m always up for a dive, so we contacted a dive operator to pick us up at 7 am on September 29 to take us scuba diving in Anilao, less than a three-hour drive south of Manila. Dr. Greg Stone, who will write the project’s article for National Geographic magazine, has logged over 5,000 dives and he was keen to join our spur-of-the-moment diving expedition.

We arrived at the dive resort in late morning, ready for two dives. A 30-minute boat ride took us to spectacular coral gardens filled with colorful reef fish. We spotted trigger fish spawning, a languishing frog fish, and playful clown anemone fish (think “Nemo”). We rinsed off our gear and prepared for a night dive. Night diving always finds different, voracious creatures, hunting for food in the dark. Unfortunately, a rambunctious storm blew out the lights at the resort and also fried Nick’s charger for his high-powered underwater video light. We gathered all of our technical know-how and diagnosed the damaged charger as having a blown 7-amp fuse. This event eliminated the possibility of the night dive, so after a good night’s sleep, we were on the road again back to Manila for an electronic shopping spree.