The Oryoku Maru Dive Site in Subic Bay - Philippines
Of the many attractions in Subic, the Oryoku Maru dive site is one that both beginners and experts will enjoy exploring, offering as it does views of the vessel and also beautiful marine life.
According to the records the ship was bombed and gunned down by the American fighter planes as it was making its return to Japan coming from Zambales. The ship, which was sunk on December 15, 1944, also carried some 1,600 American and British POWs aside from the Japanese. As it sank beneath the ocean the ship was heavily damaged and its remains can be seen today.
The Oryoku Maru dive site contains the remnants of the vessel, and while few components, from the hull, bow, stern, etc remain visible, masses of iron and metal can still be seen along the bottom. Moreover, the whole structure has turned into a breeding and feeding ground for some of the most varied marine life in Subic Bay. There are numerous colorful corals and also several types of clownfish, barracuda and others.
The visibility from the bottom is also good, and this should not be surprising given that it is only 18 meters deep. If you know how to take underwater photography, the coral reefs and assorted fish that regularly ply the route will make for some very interesting images. The iron parts that lie scattered about is something that history buffs or lovers of ship wrecks will also enjoy exploring.
The Oryoku Maru dive site in Subic is one of the nine major wreck spots in the bay and near the Alava Pier. The cost of the dive commences at $100 and this will include the basic skills you will need to dive here. If you want to learn other skills like taking photographs or know how to do technical diving, the cost will be anywhere between $200 to $800.
There are also some shops that offer courses for those who want to be instructors too. Because it is only 18 meters (some 60 ft) deep, beginners will have no problem using it. Those who have basic training will have no problems navigating this area of water, but those who are just starting out should always make the dive with a qualified guide or veteran scuba diver.
The Oryoku Maru dive site gives you the opportunity to not just explore ancient relics but also the diverse marine life that has grown around it, once again highlighting the beauty inherent in Subic Bay.