Posted by: Jill | August 12, 2008

Diving in Bohol

Here are some of my favorite photos from the dives on Balicasag Island near Bohol.  There was great visibility, almost no current, and really healthy corals and fish populations.  These photos are here especially for my sister, to keep her satisfied until her next dive trip.

With amateur equipment, it’s difficult to adequately capture the abundance of life on coral reefs-  the water filters the light and obscures vivid colors and teeming schools of fish.  This picture, though, begins to describe what it was like at Balicasag Island.

Anna took some great macro shots:

Soft corals

Soft corals

Anemone mouth!

Anemone mouth!

One of the things that amazes me about SCUBA diving is that it’s one of the only chances we get to be among lots of wild animals in their natural habitat.  On land, we can see flocks of birds, and my Alaska friends see bears and moose (from a distance); safaris in Africa let people observe herds of animals too – from inside a Jeep.  Try walking among flock of birds, and they’ll fly away.

When we dive, though, for a short time we are lucky enough to be among fish in their natural habitat – they mostly ignore divers and get on with their business.  On a recent dive, I waited while Anna and our dive guide swam under an overhang to get a better look.  I thought to myself, “Okay, I’ll just wait here in this school of fish.”  And then I realized – oh, I’m in the middle of a school of fish! And they were just swimming along, beautifully, ignoring my awakward fins and stream of bubbles.

This is one of the things that I love about the ocean.  Humans have trampled, replanted, and domesticated so much of the flora and fauna on land that there are very few truly wild places left.  In contrast, the sea is beyond our grasp.  We have a hard time pasturing schools of fish and planting coral reefs in tidy rows.



  1. THANK YOU for the photos! The Balicasag reef is bee-yoo-tiful.
    I am totally impressed with Anna’s macro shots–what kind of camera does she have?
    xx Janna

  2. She has my kind of camera! My little rockstar Canon. She’s just a good photographer.

  3. These are exquisite! What a phenomenal series of experiences!!!

  4. Hi,

    I’m Yuen Wei Chen, from the Philippines, I loved the picture that you took in the middle of the school of milkfish and I am wondering if you could let me use it as the backdrop in our booth for an exhibit on aquaculture in Thailand (Vivasia2009).

    Our company is called Green Era Biotech Corporation, we are promoting the use of fermented soya bean meal instead of fihsmeal.

    We originally we have another picture, but your photo’s quality is a lot better, so I was wondering you would mind letting me use it.

  5. Hi –
    I’d be happy to let you use my photograph for your exhibit. If you’d like a full-size copy of the image, just send me your email address.

    Good luck with the exhibit. Can you send me a photograph of the booth, please?

  6. Hi!

    Thank you, could you send the full size photo to

    This is our first international exhibit, and we are so glad to have found a pic that is apt for our theme, “Methods of Environment friendly aquaculture”

    I’ll send you a photo of our exhibit =^^= afterwards, btw what name should I use to credit you in the design?

    And in case you drop by the Philippines again drop me a note =^^= we live in Metro Manila.

    Thanks again!

    Winnie Chen

  7. […] an effort to save you from underwater photo fatigue, I’ll put some of my favorites pictures in a separate post. This is what surface intervals look like on Balicasag Island Post-dive and extremely […]

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