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Blackwater diving in Anilao


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Posted by Merry on June 25, 2022 at 14:07:26:

At Mike Bartick's Crystal Blue Resort, I experienced the most compelling, most captivating, most ethereal dives of my life in BLACKWATER, in the open ocean. It was an opportunity to experience the largest migration on Earth – diel vertical migration of plankton as they ascend from the depths to feed near the surface within the protection of darkness.

After an early dinner, we motor out at sunset to a spot where Mike and his crew predict might be the most prolific. They attach powerful Kraken lights at regular intervals to a 100ft downline, which hangs from a lighted buoy. The lights provide a welcome point of reference for depth. We wait on the boat for 15 min. or so while the line soaks, attracting plankton to the broad halo of light. Over time, predators are also attracted to the zooplankton, and it can become very busy down there.

Jhomer, our guide, flashed his torch when he spotted something interesting. I wouldn’t have seen many of the very small animals without his help. We thank the hard-working boatmen for staying up so late, night after night.


The pumpkin


Our boatmen, Roel and Degul.


Mike sends out enough boats for blackwater, so it isn't crowded on each boat and so that each boat gets a pumpkin. Richard Salas, Audrey Garbacik and Jhomer gearing up in back.


Our incredible and non-stop guide, Jhomer.


Pompano
Alectis ciliaris; African pompano


Juvenile flounder
Bothus sp, juvenile flounder


Juvenile moorish idol
Zanclus cornutus, juvenile Moorish Idol



Filefish










Female argonauts (paper nautilus)


Male argonaut in salp















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