Mactan Ferry (Maestre de Campo Island – Tablas Strait)
This is one of the most beautiful wreck dives in the Philippines, and the site is easily reached overnight from Puerto Galera.
In the year 1973 the Mactan Ferry was on it's regular passage from Cebu to Manila – fully loaded with passengers and cargo. High waves were battering her in the dark when a sudden freak wave broached her, making the ship impossible to manoeuver. Her fate was sealed. Fortunately for passengers and crew (and us divers today) the ship was very close to shore – near Maestre de Campo Island.
A line was quickly brought from the shore – and all souls on board were rescued to safety. We usually dive 'The Ferry' by attaching a line straight to the wreck making access quick and easy. The shallowest part of the wreck is the Bow – which is reached at only 20m, the Stern rests at 48m.
This wreck pleases recreational and technical divers alike, because it offers something for everybody!
She lies on her side, and because of the clear water recreational divers can enjoy the wreck from the outside and also make some safe (guided) swim-throughs, while true wreck aficionados can plan some serious penetration dives that lead through the entire ship.
There is a huge rock right behind the stern which leads even deeper and offers great marine life including pelagic species, but the entire wreck offers homes to all kind of fish and critters.
The great thing is the very good visibility which almost guarantees a fantastic dive. Some even deeper diveliveaboard philippiness that include the Rock, and debris searches in very deep waters can be executed as well. We also make use of our deco bar whenever possible – and deliver 100% Oxygen straight to the 6m and 3m stop for a comfortable decompression! We spend the night in the sheltered Harbour of Conception , where one can end the day on the wreck of a small, broken up Japanese gunboat.
This destination can be done as a short two day trip (weekends), or be built into a more extensive itinerary around the various sites the Tablas Strait has to offer.
The best diving weather here is between March and May