Scuba diving in Subic Bay
Subic Bay is located about 120 kilometers north-west of Metro Manila. It is well known for wreck diving; there are a number of Japanese cargo vessel and some smaller ships from the remains of the WWII. Most of the wrecks are located in about 5-15 minutes by boat. You will enjoy some reef and drift diving. The marine life is diverse; you can see lots of tropical fish including wrasses, gobies, spotted sweetlips, lobsters, crabs and clownfish just to name a few.
Always dive according to your level of training.
Never enter the water without checking with Subic Bay diving centers for safety, additional information, level required for each dive site and without being accompanied by a professional.
All the information provided is purely informative for our readers and shouldn't be used as is to plan your immersion.
Average annual temperature: 26°C (80° F).
Average Water surface temperature: From 27°C (81°F to 86°F).
Average visibility: 16 to 131 feet (5 to 40 meters).
Best time to dive from November to May.
Possible to dive all year round.
During the WWII the American Navy destroyed many Japanese vessels. Some of these vessels are lying now in Subic Bay water. Japanese cargo vessels, freighter and a historical steam gunboat from the 19th century are lying in a depth ranging from 16 to 88 feet (5 to 27 meters). These huge vessels are nearly 3,000 tonnes and about 130m long. Some of them are still intact and some others are not fully explored yet.
One of the most visited wrecks is the USS New York; it has a great historical background as it was built in 1891 and served in 3 wars; the Philippine-American war, the Chinese revolution and WW1. Now it lies in 88 feet (27 meters) of water; it suits advanced and open water divers. Most of the ship is still intact and easy to swim through; but there still undiscovered parts of the wreck. It is home to home to barracuda, lionfish, spotted sweetlips, groupers, lobsters and makes a beautiful photographic environment. Another wreck sites that is shallower at a depth of 16 to 59 feet (5 to18 meters) is El Capitan. This old freighter is 3,000 tonnes and 130 meters long. It lies on the sloping bottom near the inner channel marker of Ilanin Bay. The wreck s a very popular dive, has become home to an array of tropical fish and there is a good opportunity for underwater photography.
There are all levels of dive sites so whatever your level of expertise you will find something suitable; see the Subic Bay diving map for location and depths. Some wrecks are in shallow depths and can be accessed easily; and others are in deeper waters requiring more advanced skills to dive them. The wrecks became home to a variety of colorful fishlife including clown fish, angelfish, spotted sweetlips, lobster and schools of barracuda. Be on the look out as lionfish, and scorpionfish are also commonly seen around wrecks. Turtles and rays have been seen occasionally and few sharks just outside the bay. It is believed that there are more undiscovered wrecks lies in the Bay.
Subic Bay also has some great reef diving especially around the Grande Island. The most impressive part of the reef is called the Canyon, it is at a depth of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4 meters) and great for snorkeling. To have a deeper dive you should go out towards the reef where the Canyon gets deeper and the the current makes a good opportunity for a drift dive. You can see lots of marine life and coral. However the bay is exposed to the South China Sea, therefore bear in mind that it's a less protected area.
There are also great artificial reefs in the area. A passenger ship sank by an American aircraft formed a beautiful artificial reef. It is at a depth ranging from 32 to 65 feet (10 to 20 meters). Other beautiful coral reefs and canyons are available at Subic Bay. These reefs suit all levels of expertise it starts at a depth of 32 feet (10 meters). Enjoy the variety of tropical sea life such as lobster, spotted sweetlips, clown fish and angelfish as well as colorful corals and sponges.