Dive Site: Saddle, Anilao, Philippines

Colourful terrain diving saddle at anilao the philippines diveplanit banner

Site Overview

Site Type: Coral garden and coral wall
Depth: Top: 8MBottom: 20M
Location: At the northern end of Caban Island

Description

Strong currents rip around the top end of Caban Island and are the reason that the Saddle is an incredible dive site. The guides schedule dives at the Saddle so the currents aren’t too vicious, so divers can explore the reef and marvel at the corals and fish.

barrel sponges diving saddle at Anilao The Philippines by Diveplanit 1121

We started our dive at the Saddle by dropping in a sheltered bay at the northern tip of the island. Following our guide we then descended down the rocky reef. I was quickly impressed by the corals and sponges, seeing large barrel sponges, beautiful soft corals and tubastra corals. Even more impressive was the number of featherstars, thousands of them in every colour imaginable and clinging to every available outcrop.

featherstars diving saddle at Anilao The Philippines by Diveplanit 1122

A strong current prevented us from venturing too far out onto the Saddle, so we stopped at 20m and watched the fish. In the current were swarms of basslets and damsels. Schools of pelagic fish are common here, but not today. Our guide decided not to fight the current and instead we drifted across the pretty reef terrain.

basslets diving saddle at Anilao The Philippines by Diveplanit 1123

Exploring the nooks and crannies we soon found nudibranchs, mantis shrimps, moray eels and pufferfish. A pair of squid darted around us, but were far too quick for my camera. But a well-camouflaged giant frogfish was much easier to photograph.

frogfish diving saddle at Anilao The Philippines by Diveplanit 1125

Drifting along we also found jawfish in the rubble and a pretty longnose hawkfish sitting in a black coral tree. A shy hawksbill turtle avoided us, but we got to follow a banded sea snake into the shallows where we ended the diving admiring all the lovely nudibranchs.

pufferfish diving saddle at Anilao The Philippines by Diveplanit 1124