I heard quite a lot of different opinions on dive guides. Some people don’t want them around, seeing them as policemen watching them. Others don’t care about them or worse ignore them. Others again want them around to show them the way back to the boat. Sometimes people are surprised when I tell them that the guide makes the dive. Of course it depends on the person. How can you define a dive guide? The answer is simple : Pamping! He dives in Bohol (Philippines). When you meet him at the shop he seems a bit shy, but he is always smiling. You discover his real personality once you’re underwater. He loves diving and he loves people. It’s as simple as that. What a feeling to dive with someone who knows every single feather star, sponge or elephant ear! No, never you get the feeling he’s bored . He’s searching for treasures which he offers you as a present. I don’t know how many critters I encountered, watched for a while and photographed only because he “offered” them to me with his smiling eyes as if it was the first time ever he encountered that special creature!
hairy squat lobster on sponge
imperator shrimp on sea cucumber
But that’s not all. I’ve seen many guides on my trips who want to please especially photographers by “presenting” them critters by all means. Digging out on octopus, pulling a lobster, replacing a nudibranch, teasing a peacock mantis shrimp or feeding a muray… who hasn’t already seen that?
Pamping did none of all the above. I always watched him when he spread delicately a feather star’s arms, checking a gorgonian fan, without touching it in search of pygmy seahorses.
Would I ever have found this wonderful nudibranch and all other critters above all by myself? I have some doubts.
Now some of you might think that this perfect dive guide only exists in my dreams. No, he’s real and you’ll find him on Bohol, Alona beach. My stay in Alona would never have been so rewarding without his presence.
Thank you, Pamping 🙂
Pamping, me and Chris
all photos HERE