The trek from the exit of the cave to the foot of the mountain was a challenging one but since I had already gone through a lot inside the cave, it was chicken. We then went back to the resort to shower and have breakfast.
After an overflow of scallops the night before, we were expecting scallops again for breakfast. But I think that was too much to ask. We were served the usual Filipino breakfast – rice, egg, corned beef and dried fish.
We started our second island hopping tour around 8:30am. We were on a smaller boat this time but that didn’t make any difference – I just wanted to mention it.
Our first stop was the Sandbar. I think it has no other name. They call it simply the Sandbar. Unlike most other islands of Gigantes that are privately owned, this one was owned by the government.
It was here where Manong Jofer was approached by a local tourist who asked how much we paid for our package. The man then told Nong Jofer that they paid P8000 (the pumpboat operator initially asked for P10000) for the boat alone. That’s already what we paid for our package that already included a lot of things and TWO island hopping tours. The lesson here kids is that it is really important to contact Mr. Joel Decano first. See Part 1 of this series.
Nong Jofer said that the shape of this island changes depending on how strong the current is. Also, just like in Cabugao Island, the corals washed up on shore after the typhoon last year that caused the beach to be rougher.
The water is crystal and clean here too. Nong Jofer brought us snorkeling gear (P50 rental per gear) so I was able to practice my swimming and snorkeling a little bit. I didn’t realize I was going to actually snorkel on the next island. Despite the clean waters, however, sea life was almost barren here. I saw two fishes and that was it.
Then off we went to the next stop – Antonia Island. To me, it looked like a bigger version of Cabugao Island with the rock formations being very similar. I heard someone said Cabugao Gamay and Cabugao Dako, so they must have been referring to these two islands.
Then we started snorkeling. I started panicking when it started getting deep. I was wearing a life jacket and I clung on to it like a needy person to a fed-up friend. It was my first time to go swimming in deep water without holding on to a boat. Raisa was really patient with me. She was pulling me and was making sure I was moving my feet. I’m not a good swimmer so I got to learn how to swim. Thanks to Raisa!
There were a lot of fishes this time. It was a pity that we did not have a GoPro or any waterproof camera. Now that I know how to swim a little bit, I really need a GoPro. We saw a couple of clownfish and other types of fishes too. We also saw huge sea urchins. The corals were mostly dead so I got to step on to them to compose myself while in the deep.
It took me a while to go back to the boat. I was getting impatient with myself because I was swimming really slow. I already wanted to swim fast. Ha! I was really happy when we got back to the boat. I accomplished something that day that I haven’t done before. I guess I’m now up for more adventure.