After fighting with technology and ultimately surrendering, I’m finally back to blogging. I have tons of photos just waiting for my video to cooperate so I could post about our adventure swimming with sardines. Yes, that’s right, sardines. Those fish that make every kid scowl in disgust at the thought of opening a can for dinner. Scrumptious!
We heard from our hostess at the B&B that millions of sardines were camped out in an area of ocean nearby and that we should ask our tour guide Wolfgang if he would take us. The sardines were supposedly there for a limited time, but Wolfgang mentioned that this school of sardines has seemed to make a permanent residence in this particular area of Cebu island and no one is really sure why they aren’t eaten by other fish, which would be typical of sardines.
With a day of experience freediving under our belts, we were excited at this idea, but more so probably because the sun had finally (somewhat) come out and when we got there the water actually looked pleasant! We were out on the water with Wolfgang’s partner Gadie for not more than two minutes before she was already critiquing our swimming styles. Did I mention she runs a mermaid business? I guess not. And typing that out now, I realize that requires explanation.
Apparently, Gadie is in the business of making people (mostly small girls) into mermaids for a day (or more). You can even go to mermaid camp! This involves learning to swim with a monofin and subsequently being dressed like a mermaid from head to toe, with a sequined cover for your legs and even underwater makeup for your underwater photoshoot! Don’t take this stuff lightly – Gadie has won freediving competitions in the Philippines, so she does know what she’s doing when it comes to swimming in the ocean elegantly. And let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve seen a more graceful swimmer in real life.
Back to reality – once Gadie gave us some tips to help us conserve our energy, we swam out a bit to see all the sardines. The only thought I had before we went was the scene from Finding Nemo where the school of fish makes different shapes! To be honest, the whole thing wasn’t far from it! When we dove down through the water they were just everywhere! You could swim toward them and it was like parting the Red Sea! Forgive my analogy. It was incredible.
It was next to impossible to get a close up shot of any of them because the minute you got close, you ended up with a swarm of them circling you at least four feet away. There was no way to truly get near them.
The photos and videos don’t show it, but one of my favorite moments from the day was when Sara popped out of the water and said “HEY! I JUST FOUND NEMO!” and I said “Where?! Where?!”. We then proceeded to chase after the fish like a pair of 5-year-olds, but loved every second of it. I also saw at least one Dory and Sara spotted a starfish as well! I never imagined feeling like I was in the movieo, but this was truly a spectacle. The only thing missing was a Squirt sighting! The sea turtles were my favorite characters, after all.
We really enjoyed the symphony of fish underwater and probably could have spent hours down there. We even had to take a break for a bit so we could have enough energy to go out for a little longer.
We were also very lucky that Gadie had a really nice underwater camera and was doing a great job photographing the three of us. Someone *coughJMarcough* had quite the hold on the GoPro so Sara and I gave up on getting his attention after a while to take our picture and had fun floating around while Gadie coached us where to go and how to swim. Thinking back on it, her mermaid skills really came in handy! Not only that, but she was raving over all of our shots when we reviewed them together after the dive. She was incredibly sweet and complimentary, and a great photographer.
After a long day of swimming, whale shark-ing and canyoning, we were definitely beat, so back to the B&B it was. Our final day in the Philippines was really all the adventure that we could have (safely) asked for. And as far as trips around here go, it was pretty affordable too. The view of the sunset wasn’t half bad either.
Check out our video!!
It was an awesome trip with our dear friend Sara, and I was definitely bummed to see her go. And scared because I literally got stuck (wedged) in the train door trying to see her off. My shoulder was the only thing keeping the door open. Have you ever been smashed by a giant electric door? It’s really great, I highly recommended it. I started yelling “Ohmygosh ohmygosh lemmeout lemmeout lemmeout Ican’tgotoSeoul pleaselemmeout” like a complete fool, but no one heard me because I was by myself on the last train car. Luckily, but painfully, I defiantly squirmed my way back on to the platform and lived to tell the story, without an unnecessary trip to Daegu. Clearly, this is entire adventure is one we won’t forget soon.