We travelled from El Nido to Coron and arrived at about 11 am. We were happy to be there in the morning to plan our next couple days checking out some islands, sleeping on one and maybe doing some scuba diving. It was a pleasant surprise that we met a woman named Maria at the Coral Bay store front. She informed us that we could stay on Popototan Island, for 3000 php we would have a bungalow on the beach, all food, water and coffee included. Plus use of kayaks and a boat ride there and back with transport to airport, dock or city proper.
It was a little expensive but our options were limited and we wanted to sleep on a remote island. Coron was not the most pleasant city either. It seemed to be a fishing town so the shore is littered with boats and pollution. And there really isnt a shore at all. In the main town some houses were situated above the water on stilt like constructions.
The one night we spent there was in a small place located beside the marketplace, through an alley of local dwellings and set above the water facing the market on one side and other housing on the other. It was over the water and although especially hot and stuffy it was worth the 600php. We had a deck at the back that overlooked the water, a washroom with a decent shower and viewing hole of the cloudy water below and a fan that worked hard to circulate the air in our plywood box room.
We agreed to spend 2 nights at Coral Bay. I could do some dives and we could use this as our small splurge we'd been saving for.
Its said to have some world class wreck diving there.
Many Japanese WWII ships were sunk in the bay. Not all of them are very deep and most are intact... Mostly.
First we drove an hour by bus to the boat port and another hour on a banca to Coral Bay.
We arrived at Dusk. It was incredible. Like our own private island. There were only 2 other couples there. We checked in at reception, a small shelter at the end of the pier, and went to our hut. Our bags were waiting for us there, along with fresh towels and cold bottles of water.
We arrived in our own little paradise. A clean washroom decorated with shells and beach trinkets, a large comfortable bed with mosquito netting and two wooden chairs. Stepping outside onto our veranda you could decide to lye in the wicker hammock to look out into the water or step down onto the sandy beach.
This place is worth the extra money. The food alone was worth it!! Every evening we would have a buffet dinner. It varied by night but some examples of the exquisite culinary treats were cordon bleu, crab cakes, fried chicken/pork, pork roast, grilled fish, scalloped potatoes and a different soup every night. Breakfast was Filipino or American and lunch was always a nice sitdown surprise.
The staff were very patient and kind. They would often pull out your chair as you sat down and stayed a distance from you until your plate was ready to be cleared.
The first dinner we had we were greeted by the owner Monica who offered us a welcome margarita. She was a Danish woman with long braided hair, blue eyes and an extroverted personality. After dinner that night we sat out on a couple of hammocks to drink our coffee and take in the newest home we were at. It wasn't long before we were interrupted by our diving guides and newest friends. Mark, who was a 40 yr old man from the east coast of Canada living with Claudia at Coral Bay, had just been hired 2 weeks ago. Steve, a British 30 something year old with sun bleached hair and blue eyes, had been working there for 6 months. They introduced themselves and proposed we dive tomorrow, me as open water, Carl as discover scuba. Afterward, we could decide if we wanted to continue the courses for certification.
You all know what we decided. After our first dive, meg on a wreck and Carl on the beautiful coral of Black Island, we knew we wanted more. So Carl began his Open Water that day and Meghan began her advanced O.W.