Story and Photos by Lynn Funkhouser
With a population of 100 million people and over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is one of the most expansive tourist destinations. Anilao, about a 3-hour drive south of Manila, is one of numerous dive-site favorites. Diving in Anilao, offers a hotbed for a variety of species, especially nudibranchs and colorful fish.
My “love affair” with the Philippines all started in 1975. I was diving in Guam, as I often did, because as a TWA air hostess (nowadays, called flight attendant), I could fly there for $56 and for $1 more, could fly to Hong Kong and shop—thus indulging in two of my favorite pastimes. Anilao is most noted for the incredible abundance of species of nudibranchs. There is also a vast number of species of crinoids, fish, crabs, shrimp, octopus, cuttlefish, corals, mollusks and sponges. There are dive sites almost anywhere you drop into the water, along the coasts. Anilao has four Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): Cathedral, Twin Rocks, Arthurs and Dive & Trek, all of which are thriving.
Story and Photos by Wayne. B. Brown
Palau (historically Belau or Pelew), officially the Republic of Palau, is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. The country’s population of around 21,000, is spread across 250 islands, which form the western chain of islands in Micronesia. The most populous of these is Koror, our starting point for this adventure.
The Rock Islands of Palau are made up of 300 limestone and coral uprises that violently surfaced to form islands in Palau’s Southern Lagoon, between Koror and Peleliu. The 47 by 18-square-mile area was named a World Heritage site in 2012. The Rock Islands and the surrounding reefs make up Palau’s most popular dive sites such as Blue Corner, German Channel and the famed Jellyfish Lake.
The British Virgin Islands
Story and Photos by Solomon Baksh
A collection of semi-arid, mostly hilly islands are scattered in the Caribbean Sea, with a topography naturally designed for sailing and perfect anchorages. Minimal curr
ents with exquisite reefs and wrecks, also make the diving here world-class. Rumored as being named after a 17th-century Dutch pirate, who used the island’s harbor as his hideout, Jost Van Dyke is located to the west of Tortola and is the smallest of the four main islands of The British Virgin Islands. Its area is approximately 3 square miles. The island is mountainous and rocky, with exquisite white-sand beaches and dramatic dive sites.