We just finished 9 days of diving with South Sea in Sabang Beach. We did 22 dives at various sites from 30m (100 ft) to 10m (30 ft). We saw turtles, frog fish, cuttlefish, mantis shrimp, eels, sea snakes and hundreds of varieties of fish. South Sea divemasters know the sites and go at a nice relaxed pace. The reefs off Sabang are very healthy with vibrant, diverse and colourful coral.
There are 4 divemasters at South Sea, two of whom are also instructors. Safety comes first with all of them but that is closely followed by service and satisfaction. We booked our accommodation through Cherry, the dive shop administrator/manager/ambassador and everything was perfect. More importantly we felt like family. We discussed everything you could think of with Sky, the owner and Paul, the co-manager. Sitting having a cup of tea or milo after a dive and talking with the staff or whoever happened to drop into the shop was a hi-light of our day.
We heard that diving in the Philippines was inexpensive but we didn't really anticipate the value we would get. Although the advertised price is 1200 php (24 USD) per dive we were offered a rate of 16,000 php (320 USD) for 18 dives. We ended up doing 22 dives at the same per dive rate, which worked out to 890 php (just under 18 USD) each. Nitrox and a larger tank were 200 php (4 USD) and 100 php (2 USD) extra. A two dive trip to Verde Island cost us only 1350 php (27 USD) extra for the banca rental even though we only had 4 divers on the boat. Setup, transport and rinsing of our heavy gear was included so we just had to worry about masks, computers, wetsuits and fins. We had a maximum of six divers to a divemaster, but often it was 3, 4 or just the two of us....no number was too small to not do a dive.
All in all great value, great fun and some new friendships.
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