Snuggled against the reef, a "knit-striped" snake. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
Snuggled against the reef, a "knit-striped" snake. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, January 2008)

The small underwater fauna of Leyte in pictures

#Philippines

  Philippines: Visayas - February 2008

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


For lack of whale shark, in Sogod Bay (Leyte), I fell back on the little people of the reef... And there's plenty to do and observe!

I haven't written much since Leyte, where I started my trip to the Philippines (February 2008), due to the lack of an internet connection worthy of the name. But here I am now in Siquijor, where I write from Larena, the port and main city of the island. There is a relatively "high speed" internet center there that will allow me to send more pictures. Here are some pictures brought back from the reefs of Sogod Bay.

The reign of the "little one"

So I was on the island of Leyte, in Lungsodaan near the town of Padre Burgos, to dive into the bay of Sogod. On the spot, I opted for the nice little Sogod Bay Scuba Resort (SBSR)This is the first of a series of diving courses, created by two divers, an Englishman and an Australian, living in the Philippines: Ron Sparkes and Phil McGuire.

Update. Ron passed away in 2014, at the age of 66 or 67, as I found out years later when I visited the page "Our team" of the SBSR.

My hope, in Sogod Bay, was to meet whale sharks...supposed to frequent the bay at this time of year. I guess I was there a little too early, because they weren't there yet...

Fortunately, there were plenty of other creatures in abundance to console me.

A small family of clownfish. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
A small family of clownfish. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
Snuggled against the reef, a "knit-striped" snake. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
Snuggled against the reef, a "knit-striped" snake. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
This scorpion fish is watching me bubble, impassive. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
This scorpion fish is watching me bubble, impassive. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
An antenna or "toadfish" white, well on its fins in the middle of the coral. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
An antennae or "toadfish" white, well on its fins in the middle of the coral. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
A crinoid, clinging to a branch of coral. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
A crinoid, clinging to a branch of coral. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
It's not easy to photograph a pygmy seahorse... It's no bigger than the nail on my little finger. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, January-February 2008)
It's not easy to photograph a pygmy seahorse... It's no bigger than the nail on my little finger. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, January-February 2008)

On the "small" side, I also had a great time with nudibranchsThese small sea slugs are surprisingly colourful (they have their naked gills on their backs, hence their name).

Here, nudibranchs are numerous, and their variety is spectacular... I photographed them endlessly!

A beautiful flashy pink nudibranch! (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
A beautiful flashy pink nudibranch! (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
Horns forward! (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
Horns forward! (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
Another one! (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
Another one! (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)

The sites of Leyte are splendid, the coral is remarkably preserved. At the moment, the visibility is not very good, which obliges us to concentrate on the "small" more than the "big". According to Ron, you have to come in the summer, in July for example, to hope to have a 20-30 meter visibility. But at that time, there are no whale sharks to pass...

All the usual tropical wildlife is here in abundance. At Max Climates, the house-reef (the "house reef", i.e. the part of the reef just in front of the dive centre) is a real beauty. The site of Napantao, on the other side of the bay, just opposite, with two drop offs full of life, is my favourite, I think (sometimes the current is a bit treacherous, we are advised to be very careful, but the day I was there, nothing at all).

Dive sites in Sogod Bay. (Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
Dive sites in Sogod Bay. (Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)

Leyte, land side

I only stayed in Leyte for four days, and now I'm thinking that maybe I should have stayed a little longer. To do a few more dives and discover more of the surroundings.

I did not find the time to push until Padre Burgos in a tricycle. I did not see anything at all Malitbog, city located about fifteen kilometers from where I was, where there is, if I believe my Lonely Planetone of the oldest churches in the area, built from dead coral.

The wind blows on the dead coral beach of Sogod Bay Scuba Resort. (Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
The wind blows on the dead coral beach of Sogod Bay Scuba Resort. (Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
The road to Padre Burgos is very quiet. (Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
The road to Padre Burgos is very quiet. (Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)

At the end of the beach that the Sogod Bay Scuba Resort share with the Peter's Dive Center (the first diving center to have opened in this place, I think, at least the best known), there is a handful of shanties, half wood, half metal, and a few houses along the road, which make up the village of Lungsodaan.

The kids come home from school, schoolbag on the back, uniform with long checked skirt for the girls, some of them already playing ball in the dust of the road. Baskets and basketball courts are everywhere, obviously more popular than football here. The American influence? Many children (especially girls, not intimidated at all!) have approached me with the same eternal phrase, which they all had to learn in class: " Hello! What's your name? "

I apply myself to articulate well. Nothing works. "Corinne" always becomes "Cowine" or "Coquine". It works best when I claim to call myself "Corrina", as in the song ...

In short, a charming welcome everywhere, in this small town not much frequented by tourists.

  Philippines: Visayas - February 2008

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  1. YES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a good camembert bread would not be so unpleasant as that ... ..My mine, I would prefer good Asian noodles!
    Your photos are beautiful! I would not have liked to face the snake ... Greg even less!
    I'm kissing you strongly!

  2. Extraordinary your photos, and this is a euphemism! Do you really see them underwater these inhabitants of the seabed, with these colors? (It's a question of candid, sorry, ...) In any case, not even afraid of the snake so it is beautiful! As for nudibranchs, just write the word, it's a pleasure, so when there are more photos that go with ...
    I do not know why, this article reminds me of Jules Verne!

    Well, back on earth, it's time for material contingencies and inevitable weekend, do not insist more.

    Not found the hippocampus, have however long looked.

    Mil needs, mam.

  3. Hello Philippine!

    I just linked the news of the deserted bay of whale sharks, the island to tourists, the quiet island ... Impression to have opened a book. Strongly following. (Without accents, it's even more exotic!)

    Pascale

  4. Well, come on, one last comment before I leave for Gap, just for the pleasure of imagining that you will read it thousands of miles from here ... Ah ... .The magic of the internet !!!!
    My bag is not ready ... ..NOT OK !!!!! Big lazy to prepare it! So I decided to put the alarm clock a little earlier and do it tomorrow .... Anyway, my clothes are not not yet dry ... pppfffffttttt !!
    Not much to teach you except Greg was 37 last Friday!
    Big kisses! I look forward to coming back Thursday to read you or see new pictures!

  5. Well, for the seahorse, I think that with the new image I posted, you should all finally see it... 😉

    A Mam: Yes, I really see them like that, these "seabed inhabitants" as you call them nicely, but not quite with the same colors. In fact, the water absorbs the light and the colors, the red disappears first, then, as one sinks, the whole spectrum of the colors passes there, so that at the end, everything seems blue ... In fact, during a dive, it is by the light of flash or torches that we discover the "real" colors of critters and corals, especially in the red-purple-orange ... When we cut ourselves under the water, it is strange, because we see bead at the end of the finger a strange liquid black-green ... which is none other than bright red blood!

    To Helene: with a little delay, happy birthday to Greg !!!

    🙂

  6. Great pictures. Thank you
    I just discovered your blog (following your comment on A World Elsewhere).
    It really takes a keen eye to find all that under the water.
    If you don't mind me asking, what do you use as equipment to get such good results (even if the equipment doesn't do everything 😉 ).

    Thank you again for your stories and pictures.
    François

  7. Hello Francois,

    I'm flattered by the comment... 😉

    But for the "warned eye" we must pay tribute to the guides, who accompany the teams under the water, and spot for divers all these charming little critters not necessarily easy to see. They have a lynx eye !!! Without them, I probably would not have found half, even if I have a slightly more exercised eye that my debut ...

    For hardware, mine is modest: I use a simple camera, the Canon Powershot A95, and its WP-DC50. For now, I have no additional lighting, only the built-in flash (which therefore restricts me especially above the underwater macro). It allows to travel light, but I find myself a little limited all the same for the pictures of atmosphere. That said, I am very satisfied with what we can do with so little money.

    I will soon put online all my underwater photos brought from the Philippines on my other site, Diving in South East Asia. And after your comment, I will probably add a page "material" to this blog, because you are not the first to ask me the question.

  8. Bravo for photos Corinne, they seem to me more worked than the previous ones, no? ...

    I love nudibranchs, this "girl thing" it seems, I do not get tired and the Philippines really seem to me (like Indonesia) to be THE destination for collecting ...

  9. Yes, Marie-Ange... I paid a lot more attention to the framing, thanks to your advice. And I see the difference! 🙂

    To tell you the truth, you've been on my mind underwater all the time... 😉
    Yes Yes!!! In front of each beast, I repeated to you constantly your indications: "The nudibranch dress, the nudibranch dress, fit at the height of the nudibranch dress ..." Same leitmotiv with the rest: "The eye of the fish, the eye of the fish ... at the level of the eye of the fish ..."

    I now have to "work" on my computer the colors and the light for those that I will put in my site Diving in South East Asiabecause I did not have editing software available in the internet cafes where I sent these images. But hey, I like the idea of delivering as and when in the blog my photos as they are, rough release form.

    Nudibranchs, I've seen a lot in Indonesia, but I almost feel that the quantity and variety is even greater in the Philippines ... No doubt I'm still under the spell of wonder. A "girls thing", the nudies? Not that ... I have seen quite a few gentlemen brooding on their faces with the same emotional eyes as me.
    😉

  10. Sorry to have disturbed your photo dives! ... :-)))

    But I think the result is worth it, I find them more dense like that.

    Nudis = "girl thing" is an expression of my dear and tender ... It does not prevent me from worshiping that!

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