Into the Deep…

Tubbataha Reef Wall

How deep was that anyway?

The other evening we were sharing some of the highlights of our really memorable recent trip to the Tubbataha reefs in the Philippines with some non-diving buds, over beers at the local pub. The first question from an inquisitive friend was ‘How deep did you go?’. I teased him for not asking about what we saw/what made the diving so special/etc, but I get that non-divers are intrigued about what it’s like in the depths, and worry about how risky going deep might be. For me, I only go as deep as I need to try to capture a shot. (I’m not going to ‘fess up about a really deep {planned} dive, well below recreational limits – which is 130 ft – that I did with a bunch o’ adventurous divers in Cozumel quite a few years ago 😉). Generally, I’ll choose to max out at about 90 feet, unless there is a compelling reason to dive deeper, which is rare. Slow ascent and a long safety stop, as well as diving enhanced oxygen Nitrox instead of straight air, all contribute to keeping this pretty safe to do, even when doing multiple dives per day.

I captured this shot on the recent trip in the Philippines at about 90 feet, and it was the deepest I dove. I went down to try to capture the magic of a waterfall of these surgeonfish, which cascaded from the flat reef above – which itself was at about 50 feet. I like the moody blues, especially evocative on an early morning dive, before the sun is fully overhead. My photo can only hint at the awesome sight of hundreds of fish pouring off the reef above to dive into the depths, which, off the edge of the fringing reefs of the Tubbataha atolls, is thousands of feet deep! Truly, the abyss…

About Judy G Diver

Born and raised on the west coast of Canada, I have always felt a strong connection to the sea. But for many years, I stayed on the surface, afraid of what lurked down deep. When I was in my early 30's, with three young children (aka the P's), my husband (aka Mr G) signed us up for a SCUBA certification course, as a surprise. Although I had my fears, my stubbornness prevailed, and somehow I made it through four murky, frigid, cold water dives in Vancouver to successfully pass the course. Soon after we went diving off the west coast of Mexico, in the Sea of Cortez, where my eyes were opened to the beauty and other-worldliness of the life down under. And the rest, as they say, is history. I currently have well over 2000 dives under the belt, and I have been fortunate to travel and dive in Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Fiji, Palau, Philippines, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Hawaii, California, Egypt, Mexico, several islands in the Caribbean, and here in British Columbia. In addition to this blog and my personal website (, which is linked at the top of the blog, my stuff has been published in a variety of magazines and websites, including a regular monthly feature for Scubadiving Magazine for several years. All links to this work can be found in this blog.
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