Happy homecoming

Ive long said, “special subjects require special lighting” and the past dive season in Anilao certainly dished up some special critters.
Upon my return to the resort in October of 2021, we immediately geared up and started diving. We dove 25 days straight, night and day, looking for critters, enjoying the water and drifting in the bay at night doing blackwater dives and working on my soon to be released book.

October is an interesting part of the year to dive in Anilao. The main portion of the rainy season is behind us, the water is warm and for the most part, glassy calm. Critters are a bit deeper due to the inclement weather and water temps being so warm, yet there are still a lot of things to see, particularly in the water column. 

Our first larval fish drop of the season occurs during this time frame, so blackwater dives are also great! 

Tongue sole

Once back to the resort, the first dives were of course, BW and this stunning Tonguefish was one of the first blackwater subjects we found that night. Only a few MM in length with long connected filaments and transparent body.

Vibrant Beatriz reef

Exploring the reefs by day and drifting by night, after the long hiatus of being away, the return to Anilao was and is always intoxicating.

Male Argonaut hians on a Jellyfish

The male Argo uses his 7th arm to reproduce, the bulge in the photo is that arm (hectocotylus) all charged up and ready to fire. 

Female Argonaut hians, carrying a stick

Surprisingly, we also had male and female Argonauts on the first few nights. The males were at their largest and the females were looking for mates. This stunning female was still fast despite her carrying this giant stick, crazy argo!

Glad and a turtle on Crystal Blue's House reef

Backlit Harlequin Ghostpipefish

Coconut was also rebounding from the typhoon that occurred 4 years ago, its nice to see some of our prime dive sites coming back online for guests to enjoy. Subjects like these Ghostpipefish make great photo ops for guests and with a little special backlighting, they glow!

A very small Nembrotha

Of course what post would be complete without at least 1 (or 2) slug shots from the Nudibranch capitol of the world. 

Caprelid dancing on stage

Although this shot was taken much further into the dive season, I couldn't resist posting.

All shots taken with my:
Nikon D850 | 105mm for macro, 60mm for blackwater and 15mm sigma for wide angle | 2 YSD2 mark II strobes or Retro pro strobes and Backscatter mini flash and snoot.

Diving in Anilao is great nearly year round, come out and enjoy the Anilao area and let us show you around. You can come alone, with friends or join workshop to learn new photo techniques or to work on some old ones. Our Critterfest workshops have opening in January 2023. send me. note or an e-mail for more information .