Stunning Diving Trip to the Philippines
On Tuesday 9th July, a group of Prep and Senior School pupils left for the first ever College diving trip to the Philippines. During their 10 day adventure on Malapascua Island, pupils undertook several dives and saw a myriad of stunning marine life.
Some pupils spent the first couple of days completing their PADI Open Water or Advanced course, while others were already qualified and had just come for the diving.
Once courses were complete, it was diving for all. Sea snakes, sea horses - both normal and pygmy nudibranchs - were some of the highlights to see but the stars of the show were the Thresher sharks of Monal Shoal. The dive briefing told the students to drop down and stay behind the rope and the sharks would rise up out of their deep water home to the cleaning station where we could watch them. Nobody told the sharks, of course, to stay their side of the rope or to come one at a time! One group of students were lucky to have six of these graceful animals doing circuits around them while they were being cleaned. While the water was not great for photographs or video the visibility was more than good enough for all to get a good sighting. On their second visit to Monal shoal, the group even had one of the large ocean mantas cruse past.
With another very successful College dive trip completed, next year's trip is already in the planning stages - with one subtle change - the College is now a PADI Educational Facility and therefore all certification cards will now include have instructors' details as well as ‘Bishops Stortford College’ as the dive center.
The stunning photos are courtesy of Prep School pupil, Daniel P and instructor Vince Arrowsmith.