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watboy

Tubbataha - Will i regret not bringing macro?

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Going to Tubbataha first week in June. Hope weather isn't too bad. I'm really trying to get my gear to as small as possible and thinking of not bringing the macro kit. From my research, seems like all the daytime dives you'll want to bring wide angle. Would i want macro for the night dives? My current thinking is to not bring the camera during the night dives (and thus don't need macro). But I'm slowing down - I used to do every dive possible, but on the last few trips I started skipping the night dives if there was nothing special.

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In my experience, no, you won't miss your macro lens. Tubbataha is all drift diving. If there are night dives on top of the reef then you can use macro, but to be honest, I did not find those dives very interesting and skipped after the first one.

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Just spent a week diving Tubbataha aboard the Azores. Never touched macro setup. W/A is the way to go. With a manta ray touching my dome port at Black Rock cleaning station I did not miss the 60 or the 105...:-). Enjoy this fabulous diving.

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We've been to Tubbataha in April. You will love it. All about sharks (countless), giant trevallys, mantas, whale sharks (we had three on a single dive!!). You can savely leave macro gear at home and go all WA. Enjoy!

Edited by bubffm

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Thanks everyone. Have an Oly EM1 and will bring just the 7-14 (14-28 equiv) and fisheye lens.

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Tubbataha has great drift dives. Go with a wide angle setup.

 

Elmer

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Just returned from Tubataha .......

There is some macro at night, but you have to 'dig it out'!

Used a 10 - 17 Tokino , but a mid range zoom for reef fish would have been handy!

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Been keeping an eye on the local developments. As there is a history of hostage taking in the sulu sea / palawan area, how safe is Tubbataha? Various sites say its patrolled by military and there's a army ranger station there. But is it really patrolled or is it just a few park rangers checking permits and chasing poachers... more fish and game personnel than counter insurgency. Normally I wouldn't care, but this trip I'm bringing my loved one.

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It is no more likely to be hit by Islamic terror over there than it is in Paris, Berlin, London or Manchester. So you will have to judge for yourself.

Edited by bubffm

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Then thats pretty bad. In Paris, you are one out of five million potential victims. In Tubbataha, you are 1 in a 500 maybe. So given an equal likely hood of an event, you are 10,000x more likely to get involved.

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Then thats pretty bad. In Paris, you are one out of five million potential victims. In Tubbataha, you are 1 in a 500 maybe. So given an equal likely hood of an event, you are 10,000x more likely to get involved.

Thats not quite how statistics work - but anyway. Your judgement.... btw there wont be anywhere near 500 people in Tubbataha. 50 is more likely. So maybe you should go to Paris

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If it helps, the pain au raisin is better in Paris.

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I should have expected the answer of X is just as dangerous as Y. But that really isn't my question, nor are these answers very useful. I'm not asking about broad geographical regions. We're talking about the Sulu sea. I don't think anyone would say that Jolo is just as safe as Paris to visit. Paris, Manila, Palawan, Tubbataha, Jolo, they are all different places (some more broad than others) with different risk profiles. Pretty much all western Embassy's have placed travel warnings for the Sulu Archipelageo, some have expanded that to include the Sulu sea, the US's warning includes kidnapping warnings for Palawan. Anyways, if people are interested, I have checked with some security consultants that I work with. I would summarize their advice as, Sulu Archipelageo - DO NOT GO, Palawan - if you already planned a trip, don't need to cancel, but if you haven't made plans, don't put down non-refundable deposit. They are checking where Tubbataha lies between those two.

Edited by watboy

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Yeah the Travel Advice pages of the US, UK and Dutch foreign ministries are usually a good guide. Worth checking too the Australian Travel Advice.

 

Really useful that you have access to local security consultants.

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The Australian one is pretty good to.

"There is a persistent threat of kidnapping in southern Philippines, including coastal and island resorts and dive sites, particularly in remote locations in the Sulu Sea. The situation in the southern Philippines also creates an ongoing risk of kidnapping in the coastal region of eastern Sabah in Malaysia, which is highest in the area between the towns of Sandakan and Tawau and particularly at outlying resorts."

 

The US has this to say

"Terrorist and insurgent groups based in the Sulu Archipelago continue to kidnap foreigners in the Eastern Sabah province of Malaysia and the southern Sulu Sea area. This area stretches from the southern tip of Palawan, along the coast of Sabah, Malaysia and the islands of the Sulu Archipelago, up to Zamboanga City, Mindanao."

 

Tubbataha seems to be just north of this area.

 

My friends in security checked with their local contacts. They were less concerned about Palawan as the military always is more alert since the Dos Palams Kidnapping. My question to them is whether or not the military is really alert at Tubbataha.

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"My question to them is whether or not the military is really alert at Tubbataha."

 

I doubt it. There's hardly any reason for them to be out there, and the military has so few patrol boats that they are unlikely to prioritize a constant lookout 200km from shore when there are other places that are known to be higher risk. And with the major flare up in Mindanao this past week, I'd guess even more resources are being diverted that direction.

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Very nice video, exactly as I remember my visit there, thanks for sharing!

  • Like 1

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How's the weather in early June for the most part? Looks to be hot and wet...?

Edited by JackConnick

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It is hot, for sure. Currently in the mid to high 30s with high humidity. Whether it will be wet is hit and miss. There are not usually big storms in June but we can get rainy afternoons.

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