I'd met a German instructor on leaving my Cebu hotel, Wolfie, who recommended the dive shop he works for. Dan's Dives is run by a wizened old diver called Dan (funnily enough), an American in his 60s. I liked him immediately; looked like he'd just got out of bed, and his shop was a tip. The gear was in good nick, though...so I didn't shop around, just booked 8 dives with his crew.
There was a dive booked that afternoon, so I tagged along. Having been used to checking gear with your buddy, and having a proper briefing, this dive made me a little nervous. The Divemaster and Kris, a Kiwi, were in the water immediately. I'd forgotten my mask, and the spare was a bad fit. This, coupled with my apprehension over my ribs, led me getting into a right fluster on the surface...the sea was pretty rough, too. Incorrectly weighted, I was struggling to descend, and almost aborted the dive. It's not pleasant when you're a little nervous.
Taking a moment to calm myself down, I eventually made my way to the bottom. And there we sat, at Monad Shoal, for 45 minutes. No Threshers turned up. In fact, I dived here three times and didn't see a single one.
I had more luck at Gato Island, a great dive spot with a swim-through tunnel. Three White-Tip Sharks were around that afternoon: two sleeping on the sea bed under rocks, and one in motion. Shy creatures, this one was off in an instant, with me in pursuit trying to film it. No chance, it was off away in the blink of an eye. It's odd; you expect to nervous when sharks turn up, but the fascination and awe wipes out any trace of nerves. If anything, it's they who are more skittish. Be different if it was a Tiger or a Great White, obviously. Wouldn't be me doing the chasing, I'd imagine.
These were the only sharks I was to see. Apparently that, and the shorter visibilty on some days, were the result of the full moon. Disappointing, but at least I'd had my first view of a shark on one dive. North Point and Lapus Lapus are another couple of dives I'd recommend if you're in the area.
All in all, good to be back in the water if nothing else. Ribs held up nicely, despite my terrors of some deep water chest collapse...