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Travel

Published: 12/27/2007

Author: Fredy Brauchli

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Geographic data

Latitude: 9.22167 / N 9° 13.3'
Longitude: 123.286003 / E 123° 17.16'

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Sehr selten und winzig klein: der Flammensepia Metasepia pfefferi.


Ein dorniges Seepferdchen hält sich an einem Schwamm.


Vorzüglich getarnt und dennoch entdeckt: der Sepia.


Klein und wehrhaft: der Zebra-Zwergfeuerfisch.


Selbst mit geübtem Blick kaum zu entdecken: der wunderbar getarnte Riesen-Anglerfisch.


Mit Weichkorallen und Schwämmen üppig bewachsener Pfeiler.


Ein Röhrenwurm hat sich inmitten von Schwämmen eingenistet.


Ein brauner Anglerfisch verharrt regungslos im Riff. Im Vordergrund eine Nacktschnecke Nembrotha kubaryana.


Ein prächtig getarnter Rundflecken-Anglerfisch inmitten von Schwämmen und Peitschenkorallen.


Fadenschnecke Phyllodesmium kabiranum.

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The “Big” Pier

The “Big” Pier

Bacon Pier

The pier of Bacon is situated near Dauin, in the heart of the Visayas region. Throughout the years, the pillars of the pier have become covered with a rich diversity of marine organisms.

The port facility is used by a local company from the municipality of Bacong, south of Duamaguete, the capital of Negros Oriental, which produces coconut oil. From the comfortable Pura Vida Resort in Dauin it takes us only 10 minutes by boat to get there. It is only possible to dive the pier when there are no container ships being loaded or unloaded, and you need to notify the manager in advance who will have to authorize the dive. Divers must possess at least an Advanced or T** certificate in order to ensure utmost care around this incredible diversity of living organisms.

Correct Buoyancy is Essential

At the beginning of July 2005, the sea is quiet and has a temperature of around 30 C° (86 F°). A breeze is blowing; visibility is better than 20 meters (65.6 feet) - optimum conditions to dive the pier. The manager granted his authorization on the condition that he would accompany us to observe that we took utmost care around this incredible diversity of living organisms. The dive is organized in small teams, grouped according to diving experience, with the manager accompanying the divers who have the least experience. After entering the mystical scenery some meters later, we understand why correct buoyancy is of such an importance here. Each of the uncountable pillars is covered from the bottom to the top with a delicate, somehow bizarre coral growth. There seems to be no place left for new life.

Rarities in the Seaweed

Mike, one of our diving guides, had recommended to start the dive in the seaweed around the actual pillars, as there were always rarities to discover - seahorses or Pfeffer’s Flamboyant Cuttlefish, for example. We should start our expedition of the „small“ and the „big“ pier only after 10 minutes time. And really, our guide with his trained eye immediately spots a tiny Flamboyant Cuttlefish and a big black seahorse at around 23 meters (75 feet) depth.

Time Passes by so Quickly,…

that our guide must remind us of moving on to the actual pier now. What we see is beyond our boldest expectations. Cuttlefish are cruising around, trying to hide between the pillars. A Snowflake Moray Eel looks out of its cave and we are overwhelmed by the ravishing beauty of the coral growth on each of the pillars. Very slowly, we dive around the pillars – always keeping the necessary distance – and swim slowly alongside towards the top. We spot some anglerfish - one grey, one orange and a black one - between the wonderful, mostly red soft corals and sponges. We feel like in a magic world! Between the pillars that are suffused with light, spadefish are patrolling and speckled shrimpfish are gliding through the open waters. But where shall we direct our eyes first? A well-exposed sea slug attracts us from the coral-covered pillars again. Amidst a bouquet of yellow Gorgonian Corals, some blowfish are cavorting, observing the bubbling creatures from above. A glance at the instruments tells us that we have to hurry to get up to the 10m range of the pillars. The increasing daylight allows us to see the bright, true colors of the corals and the sponges without artificial illumination.

We are all looking forward to our next dive!

One hour later, breathing fresh air again, the divers who came here for the first time are almost euphoric. Others are dreaming, lost in thought. On our trip back to the resort, we have another thankful, almost incredulous review of our last dive. All of us wish to come back to the pier again some time.