Day 3: Bohol Sea Tour (Dolphin Watching and Balicasag Island)

Published on September 19, 2011

A resort staff came knocking at our door to wake us up for our sea tour. The staff told us that the sea tour can last up to 8 hours. But we couldn’t afford to stay that long since we have a 1:55pm flight to Manila that day.

We went out at 5 in the morning to grab some breakfast. Nothing beats eating with the sight of the beach and the sun rising at the background.

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We rested for a while and went ahead to our assigned boat where we were grouped with a family of four. This I have to say. It was the worst boat ride ever! The sea was calm and our boat wasn’t overloaded. The problem was there were only 5 life vests for 6 passengers! Boyet wasn’t wearing a life vest which made me really furious and paranoid. I know that the odds for our boat to sink were really low. But I hope they realize that the tourists’ safety should be their first priority. When we were in Palawan, our tour guide told us that any bangkero who will be caught with a passenger not wearing a life jacket will be suspended for 1 week.

The first part of the tour was dolphin watching. After seeing the number of boats in the area, I already knew that we would not be seeing a lot of dolphins. There were 30-40 motorized boats circling the area. So the dolphins probably got scared with the crowd and the noise of the boats. We got a glimpse of a pod of dolphins but they were only visible for a few seconds.

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We waited for a few more minutes but there wasn’t another sighting. So we proceeded to the Balicasag Island.

I’ve already mentioned countless of times in my previous post that Bohol was really crowded when we were there. And the island wasn’t spared by the crowd. Our boat was going in circles because our tour guide kept on looking for a spot to park his boat.

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Another bangkero welcomed us. He asked us if we want to go snorkeling. He charged us PHP150 per person for the snorkeling gear. He also suggested that we rent the snorkeling shoes to protect our feet from the corals. That’s another PHP150 per person.

A smaller boat brought us to the fish sanctuary. As soon as we got the go signal from the bangkero, I jumped out of the boat. And then I felt that I was sinking. My life vest started to unzip all by itself. I felt like I was being strangled by something I was wearing which should be protecting me in the first place. The jacket’s zipper was defective. And there wasn’t a strap which should go around my body to make the jacket tighter. I held on to the boat with all my might. Good thing though that Boyet asked me to step on a big stone (I guess it’s a coral) while the bangkero is fixing my jacket. After he’s done’ with me, Boyet’s life vest also malfunctioned.

As soon as we were already confident that we’d float, we started snorkeling. It was definitely an unforgettable sight. It was as if I was brought to another world. The bangkero waved and told us to follow his lead to a deeper area. But then my vest started to loosen again. I tried to climb back to the boat but I couldn’t. So I ended up walking back to the shore since it was easier. Then Boyet and I just walked back to our cottage instead of riding a boat.

I know how to swim and I know that there was a very slim chance of drowning given that there a lot of people snorkeling and swimming at that time. But I just didn’t like the paranoia it gave me. I hope they implement stricter measures to ensure everybody's safety.

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