Saturday, November 3, 2012
Philippines aboard Philippine Siren
I recently got back from the Philippines, aboard Worldwide Dive and Sail's live-aboard, Philippine Siren. This trip started in Dumaguete and ended in Cebu, offering a wide variety of both wide-angle and macro photo-opportunities. The whale sharks are from the village of Oslob, where local fishermen discovered the whale sharks would come to their pangas to eat handouts of shrimp. Now as many as eight whale sharks converge on the scene daily, and local tour operators and dive boats provide an opportunity to snorkel with these gentle behemoths. Which is not to say it is not without controversy. Some feel the whale shark interaction provides protection from slaughter, finning, or other barbaric and unconscionable activity. Others feel that habituating the whale sharks to being hand fed provides inappropriate diet, removes them from normal mating migrations, and most importantly teaches them to associate humans and food; thereby exposing them to the potential of propeller strikes. Like many marine/human interactions this one has evolved with some ambiguity attached. Overall, I found it to be a very diverse and productive itinerary - thanks Philippine Siren!