Tour Report – 29th November, 2012

The plankton in Sogod Bay is still quite scarce, and the whale sharks are therefore widely spread around the bay hunting for it. We were therefore well aware from the outset that the chances of seeing whale sharks were not so good. But even without whale sharks it was a cracking good day out.With no established pattern to the whale sharks’ behaviour at the moment, we decided first to enjoy snorkeling at Limasawa Island with the benefit of the morning sunlight. So we made a prompt departure from the private beach of Padre Burgos Castle Resort at 7.30am, and immediately started our search for dolphins. We were more than amply rewarded when we found a large pod of maybe 50 pilot whales. These were the largest ones I have seen, with the biggest in the pod being about 5 metres long and with a girth to match. They were in no hurry to go anywhere and we could probably have stayed with them for hours, without any other boats even being in sight. But with plenty of things to do we said farewell to them after about 40 minutes.

After some snorkeling in the outstanding marine sanctuary at Limasawa Island, and a visit to the spot where Magellan held the first Christian mass in the Philippines in 1521, we headed across the bay to Pintuyan. Our chef, Jessica, cooked up a great barbecue lunch of sausages, chicken and a huge snapper topped with an excellent homemade sauce and accompanied by grilled sweet corn and fresh water melon.

After picking up the guide and spotters we first headed north towards San Francisco, before retracing our steps to the usual whale shark watching area at San Ricardo. Despite hunting until nearly 5pm, we were out of luck. A flat battery then delayed our departure out of Pintuyan, and we sailed back under a fabulous full moon to Padre Burgos Castle Resort, where a delicious spread of calamares, steamed crab with coconut sauce and mango float awaited us. What a day!

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