In late December 2015, the folks at Siren Fleet invited a writer, videographer and I to dive onboard S/Y Philippine Siren. The 130-foot (40 m) luxury liveaboard features eight comfortable cabins, a large outdoor dining area with family-style seating, and a spacious dive deck. As an avid photographer, I was especially interested in the photo facilities. There are designated indoor and outdoor workstations for charging and preparing your gear, as well as roomy storage drawers for your odds and ends.
Photography onboard the Philippine Siren
I didn’t bring my regular set up with me. Instead, I brought a point-and-shoot video set up, and was still able to capture great images. The diving off the Philippine Siren was nothing short of spectacular. We dove mainly around Dauin, which meant lots of muck diving, as well as a visit to the hard-coral paradise of Apo Island. Finally, we participated in the somewhat controversial whale-shark snorkel experience in Oslob. A trip onboard the Philippine Siren is perfect for all sorts of divers and photographers, from novice to pro. Here’s a quick gallery to showcase some of what we saw — and what you could too — onboard the Philippine Siren.
The comfortable S/Y Philippine Siren offers a stylish way for divers to visit sites all over the country. There are a variety of itineraries — we chose the Visayas, including Dauin and Apo Island.
Here I am with a very mellow turtle. Turtle encounters in Dauin and Apo Island were fantastic, as the animals don’t seem to be bothered by divers as they busily munch away on seagrass.
An aerial view of Apo Island. A protected area, the hard coral here is simply stunning. Expect lots of turtles, sea snakes and reef fish. This spot is best for wide-angle photography.
Another aerial shot of Apo Island
Eels are common as well all over the Philippines. We saw these two companionable specimens off Dauin.
Frogfish are everywhere in Dauin, from tiny ones the size of your fingernail to gigantic ones like this one — one of the biggest I’ve ever seen.
We love cephalopods, and spotted this coconut octopus on one of our night dives. Although they’re a pretty common sighting in the area, nonetheless it’s always a treat to see these clever creatures using a coconut (or other object) for shelter.
Seahorses of all types are common when you’re muck diving off Dauin. We spotted this one just north of Dauin, near Dumaguete.