koala

Location
Anilao, The Philippines

Anilao is known for its muck dives and macro finds. One afternoon I explored a dive site named Koala, and I didn’t expect to find anything larger than a crab there.

Halfway through the dive, my guide gave me the signal to look at the shallow reef. I dropped down a few metres and inspected the reef, wondering what he could’ve seen from so far away. I looked up, and he gave me the same signal. I looked around once more. Nothing.

Then, just as I looked up again, this turtle was there, right in front of me. That’s what my dive guide was trying to tell me to look at the whole time! The visibility wasn’t that great and it was pretty cloudy up above, but I still managed to get a shot of this incredibly curious guy. It was the only time I had to move away to get a proper shot of an animal because he kept inching closer towards me – he was actually trying to take a bite out of my bright green fins.

the sanctuary

Location
Southern Leyte, The Philippines

This was one of my first few decent wide-angle shots. I was on an expedition cruise with Solitude Liveaboards in 2016, and one of the dive spots we visited was the Napantao Fish Sanctuary in Southern Leyte. This protected marine area was teeming with little fish – I swear there were over 1,000 of them on every corner and wall of that long stretch of reef. I was truly blown away.