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Thread: 2008 Coron CCR Wreck Extravaganza

  1. #1
    RBW Member Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545's Avatar
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    2008 Coron CCR Wreck Extravaganza

    Attachment 11676
    The group from left to right John Katernchuk, Carl Magnuson, Max Berent, Lance Robb, Dave Woodward, Zoe Woodward & Stuey Shaw


    I first visited Coron in October 2007 on an organized tour of open circuit divers and had such a fantastic time I decided I would try to get a dedicated CCR trip off the ground so I could share the experience of diving, so many WW2 Japanese wrecks all in close proximity to each other and all within close proximity to the Island Resort of Sangat Island, with closed circuit rebreathers.

    I posted some pictures of my previous visit and details up on rebreather world forum and before long I had a group wanting to go and explore the wrecks of Coron Bay. In what seemed like no time at all it was time to pack the dive gear and fly off to the Philippines and join the other members of the group.

    It was decided we would all make our own way to a central meeting point in Manila due to so many of the divers coming from different parts of the world and arriving at different times and with different airlines. We met at the Cherry Blossoms Hotel at Ermita, Manila, a 3 star Hotel which was very clean and comfortable and directly across the road from Robinson’s Mall where we all went for a great meal and changed some money for the local currency, the Philippine Peso.

    We had an early flight to Busuanga the following morning so we decided to retire early and get a good night sleep for the next days travelling. The Hotel had arranged an early breakfast for us and they had also arranged transport for us and all our dive gear to the airport. Unfortunately Matt decided to leave us and head back to his home in Phuket due to family matters and we dropped him off at the International terminal on our way to the domestic terminal.

    Before long we had our trolleys loaded to the max and were lined up waiting to book ourselves and our mountain of luggage in for the flight. Fortunately PAL Express were now flying a Dash8 aircraft to Busuanga and had plenty of space for us and our luggage although we all had to pay excess baggage and the PAL Sports Plus extra baggage allowance wasn’t accepted.

    After a short 45 minute flight we touched down at Busuanga Airport and we were loading our bags onto a Jeepnee bus for the 1 hour ride to the port of Coron where we were to meet up with the boat for the remainder of our trek to Sangat Island. The boat boys had the big heavy bags of dive gear and rebreathers aboard and stowed and we were on our way. It was a leisurely smooth boat ride to the Island which took around another hour.

    Attachment 11679

    Upon arriving we were greeted by the Sangat Island locals and before long we were sitting drinking a fresh coconut drink. It was decided we would put our bags in our rooms and then start assembling the rebreathers, pack the scrubbers and boost gas in preparation for the first dive, directly out the front of the Resort that afternoon to check everything was working properly. Lance brought a booster pump which he left on the Island which was used to fill the Oxygen tanks to 200bar and after a short briefing the local gas blender was busy pumping our tanks. Unfortunately for Dave and Zoe, someone left a pair of Kiss counterlungs behind and they were forced to rotate from the one complete CCR to open circuit diving for the duration of the trip. Both are experienced OC divers and I don’t think it really bothered them too much but I am sure they were pleased when it was their turn on the rebreather.

    The morning of the first dive was upon us and we all keen to get into the water and dive on the Tangat Wreck, a cargo ship which sits upright in 27 meters of water. Our bailout tanks were loaded onto the same big boat we had travelled to the island on the day before, by the boat crew and we geared up at the new dive shop and walked onto the boat for the short ride to the wreck site. We were guided by JoJo the local dive guide and instructor who has been diving these wrecks for 5 years and knows them inside out. Everyone enjoyed the dive and headed back to the Island for a break and some lunch before the second dive of the day to the Kogyo Maru which lies in 31 meters of water on her starboard side.

    Attachment 11678

    Over the 4 diving days we were on Sangat Island we started the morning with a buffet breakfast and then it was off to the newly constructed and rebreather friendly dive shop to prepare the rebreathers and ourselves for the first dive of the day. Most of the wrecks are within an easy 10 minute boat ride with the exception of the Akitsushima and the Taiei Maru which are both around 20 mins by boat. After the dive we returned to the Island and relaxed until lunch and a half hour break before we were kitting up for the afternoon dive.

    Attachment 11677

    Upon returning we would then remove our tanks for filling and repack the scrubbers and wash everything down and leave it to dry for the next days diving.

    We dived the larger of the wrecks in the bay being the Olympia Maru, Kogyo Maru, Taiei Maru, Akitsushima, Tangat Wreck and the Irako. For the last day of diving it was decided to return to the Irako, a refrigeration ship standing upright and lying in 43m of water and for the last dive of the trip, the Akitsushima, a sea plane tender lying in 36m of water on her port side.

    Attachment 11680

    The accommodation is grass roofed bamboo huts spread out along behind the beach. Each has an ensuite, double and single bed and a verandah and a hammock slung between a couple of trees to help pass the time. There is mains power which is supplied by a generator that runs between the hours of 6.00pm until 6.00am. The main building houses the office with wireless internet, restaurant and bar.

    As you can imagine the Island is extremely well equipped for divers with their own compressors and a membrane system supplying up to Nitrox 36. There are ample supplies of Oxygen and a booster to pump rebreather O2 tanks to 200bar and sorb.

    The 2008 rebreather group consisted of Lance Robb (Organizer) (Meg), Dave and Zoe Woodward (Sport KISS), Carl Magnuson (Meg), Max Berent (Meg), John Katernchuk (Meg) and Stuey Shaw (Inspiration) and his wife Fah Shaw.

    You can view Sangat Island Reserve on the net at http://www.sangat.com.ph/start_e.htm and can be contacted at andy@sangat.com.ph and Lance can be found at http://www.closedcircuitdivers.com.au/id4.html and contacted at lance@closedcircuitdivers.com.au

    Photos by Lance Robb & Stuey Shaw
    Last edited by Lancer4545; 21st December 2008 at 02:21.

  2. #2
    Explorers Exodus Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing has a brilliant future Hanssing's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 Coron CCR Wreck Extravaganza

    Nice report.

    Its good reading about some of thoose wrecks, that got me hooked on diving.
    Albeit it was as green newbie AOW with very short dives
    Can only imagine how it woudl be to dive them todag with an CCR.

    From memory the bad vis is mostly due to pearl-farms, and if you want clear water when in the area you should treat yourself to Apo-reef. I've only dived the inside, but the outside of the reef should be even better.

    Nicolai

  3. #3
    RBW Member pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 Coron CCR Wreck Extravaganza

    What a great trip report! I can hear the wind whispering through the thatched hut roof now and it takes me back to Micronesia.

    Thanks.

    Paul

  4. #4
    Randy Thornton Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 Coron CCR Wreck Extravaganza

    Thanks for taking the time to write up the excellent report and posting the pictures. Sounds like it was a blast!

    Regards,
    Randy

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