Want to try helmet diving in Boracay? 5 things you need to know
Boracay is a paradise in the Philippines not just for its stunning, world-class beaches but also for the wide array of water activities on offer. You can go for a swim and chill out on the beach, go island hopping, snorkelling and diving.
However, for the less experienced divers who still want to go underwater and enjoy the marine life, going helmet diving in Boracay is not a bad option.
The whole premise sounds kind of funny when you look up the photographs and see people laughing underwater with what looks like a huge fish bowl or enlarged space helmet strapped over their head. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of silly fun but helmet diving also allows you to walk on the bottom of the ocean and get an intimate glimpse at the colourful fish swimming around you.
Here are 5 things you need to know if you are planning on going helmet diving in Boracay:
Boracay is an island of choices and as such, you will need to do some shopping around before deciding on an appropriate package that suits you. If you are travelling as a couple or with a family or group of friends, you may have some more leverage to negotiate a good price but usually you can expect to pay anywhere from $15 USD up to $40 USD. Prices are inflated during peak season so keep that in mind.
Packages often include a boat ride to get to the diving spot, a PADI certified dive instructor, equipment hire and underwater photos.
2/ Bring your own Camera
Most of the instructors who take tourists out for helmet diving excursions will offer underwater photos as part of the tour package. While this may seem convenient, you’re not always guaranteed to have an instructor with the best camera. Instead, if you have a camera that does better underwater shots, arrange to bring your own camera and have your instructor take the photographs. It’s not often you get to go helmet diving in the Philippines so you might as well take advantage and get a few memorable snaps.
3/ Learn the hand signals well
Before you go under water, your instructor will teach you some crucial hand signals. Depending on the season and how busy they are, sometimes this step is done much too fast and people can forget the signals. Before you strap on your helmet, take a few minutes to refresh all the signals with your travel companion or instructor. Do this especially if you are new to going to the ocean floor. Helmet diving is a very safe activity but you want to be prepared just in case.
Okay, this is one of those tips that seems like common sense but people still forget it because of how simple it is. Relaxing may seem obvious to you as you read this but new helmet divers always seem to forget this rule as the feeling of walking around underwater with a ten kilo helmet over your head does feel weird. As long as you have a good instructor and you have taken precautions to learn the hand signals, you will be fine. Just relax and enjoy it.
5/ Bring food for the fish
Usually your dive instructor will have some bread to attract all the beautiful fishes but during peak season, they can often forget. If you want to guarantee a close viewing of all the great fish, bring some bread to feed them. You will be surprised at how many come swimming out of nowhere at just a hint of food!
Have you done helmet diving before? If there are any tips we may have missed, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.