Subic Bay Dive Sites

Lighthouse - (Reef - DSD/OW/AOW)

lighthouse dive site subic bayThis site is located just 10 minutes away from our Dive Center making it a easily accessible all around dive site. The site is fairly shallow with a wall that drops to about 20 meters, and is normally visited for night dives since most of the wreck sites are closed for this type of diving.

When diving at the Lighthouse site you’re likely to see different types of Coral Fish, Crabs, Banded Coral Shrimp, Cuttle Fish and a wide variety of Nudibranch. The site is commonly used for less experienced divers (used as a training site) but also accommodates the more advance diver. The site got its name from local fishermen who commonly mistake the marker light on the radio beacon tower for a light house.

Runway Reef - (Reef - (OW/AOW)

runway reef dive sites subic bayThis site is located right at the East end of the Runway and is one of the coral reef sites within Subic Bay. This dive site is commonly used as training ground for less experienced divers but also considered as a fun dive amongst more experienced divers. The site offers a drop-off wall starting at a depth of approximately 5 meters, and continues down below 20 meters, with the major part of the reef between 9-18 meters.

This reef is mostly made up of hard coral types with a frequent presence of both Sea Whips and Sea Anemones. The corals are home to a wide variety of Reef fish species. Bluespotted Stingrays and Pufferfish are very common at this site. Waters here are usually clear, making this dive site good for underwater photography and a regular dive spot for our Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver courses.

Nabasan Reef - (Reef - OW/AOW)

nabasan reef dive site subic bayThis dive site is considered as the second best coral reef site within Subic Bay. Nabasan Reef is located at the South-West part of Triboa Bay and is often used as a training ground for less experienced divers. The site offers a drop-off wall starting at a depth of approximately 4 meters, and continues down past 20 meters, with the major part of the reef between 6-17 meters.

This reef is mostly made up of hard coral types with a frequent presence of both Sea Whips and Sea Anemones. The corals are home to a wide variety of Reef fish species. Bluespotted Stingrays and Pufferfish are also common at this site. Waters here are usually clear, making this dive site good for underwater photography and a regular dive spot for our Discover Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver courses.

Canyons Reef - (Reef - OW/AOW)

canyons reef dive sites subic bayThe Canyons Reef is located just South-West of Grande Island. This dive site differs quite a lot from the regular wreck diving sites scattered throughout the bay, offering great visibility (up to 15 meters), lots of corals and beautiful rock formations to explore. The site can be compared with other reef sites in the Philippines and is a great dive site for the less experienced diver.

You don’t have to go far or deep before you come across stunning coral reefs scattered around the sea bed, often surrounded by different types of marine life. The most commonly spotted fish at this site are Clownfish, Nudibranch, Grouper, Lionfish, Pufferfish, Jackfish, Parrotfish, Pipefish, Batfish and Frogfish. Divers have occasionally reported to spot both schools of Cuttlefish, Octopus and Shark.

The reef has many fairly shallow spots, some as shallow as 15 feet, and is therefor commonly visited by less experienced divers or divers conducting their dive training. The Canyons Reef is a great site for snorkeling sessions depending on the tides. If you continue heading towards the Southern end, it gets deeper again. With the currents a bit stronger, this is ideal for a drift dive. As an experienced diver this change of pace will offer no problems, but those who are just starting out would do well to stick to the shallower parts and not go too deep. Even if you don’t go deep there are several fish species and clams to observe.

This is definitely a “must visit” site in case you’re diving with us here in Subic Bay, a nice break from the far more advanced wreck diving sites with lower visibility and less marine life.

Capones Island - ( Reef - OW/AOW)

capones island subic bayCapones Island is located about 3 km off the shores of Barangay Pundaquit. The island itself is not included on the map posted on our “Dive Sites” page since its located outside “the bay”. Just North-West of Capones Island you’ll find a smaller island called Camara Island, named after Antonio de la Camara who planned construction of the Faro de Punta Capones (Capones Lighthouse) in 1884. Although Camara Island seems to have another island next to it, the two are actually linked by a sandbar revealed during low tide.
Capones Island is located fairly far from most of the other dive sites in Subic Bay. To get here we usually arrange day trips (2 hours by boat from our dive shop) with overnight stay if requested.

There are several dive spots located around the Capones and Camara Islands. “The Wall” is located on the North side of the Capones Island. This site offers great visibility with lots of hard corals and a wide variety of Reef fish. As you entered the water you sometimes have up to 35 meters visibility in all directions!

On the South-East end of Capones Island the coralscape is a bit different, almost like hills sloping into the deep. This part is rich on marine life and its common for divers to spot both different kinds of Moray Eels and Octopus.

The Barges - (Wreck - DSD/OW/AOW)

the barges dive site subic bayThe “Barges” is one of the easier and more relaxed dive sites within the Subic Bay area, located just outside the north-west shore of Grande Island. The name of the dive site derives from the large number of pontoons that were put here by the American Forces. The barges and pontoons are scattered around the area divided into sections.

The site offers diving for both beginners and advanced divers, with fairly good visibility for being Subic Bay and plenty of marine life. Some of the most common fish types you will see at this site are the Garden eels, Pipefish, Lionfish, Nudibranch, Sea cucumbers, Bluespotted Stingrays, Grouper’s, Clownfish and Pufferfish. The flow of the aquatic life forms are continuous so most of the times there are several of each species to behold. Sometimes divers have spotted schools of Tunafish at the site but in general this is not very common.

The actual barges sections are separated and set apart with the first section about 40 meters north of Grande Island’s west end, at a depth of about 6 meters. The next section is about 20 meters away and sits at approximately 10 meters of water. The site forms a rough letter “T” with the right portion of the “T” dropping off to 32 meters and the left part at a depth of 18 meters. The dive site is considered as a “good all around site” offering plenty of marine life combined with easy and fun penetration possibilities.

We recommend this site for Photography dives, Discovery dives and Night diving. The site is often used for dive training due to its diverse characteristics. The shallowness makes it easy to swim in so its a great training ground for beginners. If you take diving lessons or if you’re interested in a Discovery Scuba session this is likely to be one of the places you will visit to familiarize yourself with the underwater world. Its also a great place for you who hasn’t been diving for a while in order to freshen up on your skills.

San Quentin - (Wreck - DSD/OW/AOW)

san quentin wreck subic bayDiving Information:

Located at the eastern entrance of Subic Bay Philippines ( southeast of Chiquita Island and Grande island), is the historic wreck of the Spanish Gun Boat, the San Quentin (aka The Sunken Tin). The fascinating San Quentin Subic wreck rests in 16 meters of water, allowing divers of all levels to explore what still remains of a ship that was scuttled in 1898 to block access to the bay from the invading American Navy.

Visibility is usually around 15-20 meters depending on the tides, making this site excellent for photography. The marine life at the site is diverse and your likely to see Moray Eel, Lobster, Bluespotted Stingray, Batfish, up to 20 different types of Nudibranch, Octopus, Jackfish, Giant Clam, plenty of Corals and Sponges. Further North of the wreck is a shallow reef about 6 to 10 meters deep. The relative shallowness of the San Quentin wreck makes this a great dive site for beginners.

Wreck History:

This vessel is situated in Triboa Bay close to the end of the runway, lies on the edge of a reef with its starboard side lower. Depth is 10-21 meters (35-75 feet) with visibility from 10-16 meters (30-50 feet). It was used during second world war for transport of heavy hardware and infantry. The reason and the date of sinking are unknown.

The Giant Clams found at this site were introduced by the University of the Philippines through a special project conducted back in 1999.

LCU (Landing Craft Utility) - (Wreck - DSD/OW/AOW)

lcu wreck subic bayDiving Information:

The port side of the LCU is about 10 meters deep and offers a nice dive for all divers. The wreck has large open areas .Diving is very relaxed with good fish life. The small rooms on the deck are a great introduction to wreck diving., easy to navigate and possible even without specialized equipment or training. This is a great dive for the underwater photographer and used by some dive centers for wreck specialty training.

The wreck is now home to a collection of different Lionfish species, along with schools of Jackfish and various Reef fish. There are two gun platforms at the mid-section and several rooms that offer short penetrations towards the rear. The vessel is intact and it is easy to gain a comprehensive appreciation of her features in a single dive.

Visibility varies from 10-25 meters depending on season, tides and currents. This site is a great dive for the underwater photographer but also used for recreational and wreck penetration diving. The dive site is suitable for both beginners and more advance divers.

Wreck History:

This vessel is situated in Triboa Bay close to the end of the runway, lies on the edge of a reef with its starboard side lower. Depth is 10-21 meters (35-75 feet) with visibility from 10-16 meters (30-50 feet). It was used during second world war for transport of heavy hardware and infantry. The reason and the date of sinking are unknown.

El Capitan - (Wreck- DSD/OW/AOW)

USS Majaba el capitan dive site subic bay

Diving Information:

At a depth of slightly over 18 meters the outside of the wreck provides an excellent site for divers. The forward hole is wide-open allowing entry by even novice divers. The top side (starboard side) is at 5 meters, which eliminates the need for an additional safety stop. This area is alive with a wide variety of fish. From the forward hole, additional areas of the ship may be accessed. One route takes you to the accommodation area and on to rear cargo hold.

She is approximately 3,000 t., 80 meters long and structurally intact. Divers can enjoy swimming inside her massive forward and rear holds and if properly trained and equipped, enjoy comparatively safe penetration into her cavernous boiler room. The combination of good visibility, shallow depth, no current and intact structure makes this wreck an ideal starting point for the novice wreck diver.
Wreck History:

Normally referred to as the El Capitan the USS Majaba (AG 43) was built as SS Meriden by Albina Engine & Machine Works, Portland, Oreg., in 1919; acquired by the Navy under charter as SS El Capitan from her owner, E. K. Wood Lumber Co., of San Francisco, Calif., 23 April 1942; renamed Majaba and commissioned the same day. She was placed out of service 14 March 1946 at Subic Bay.

Japanese Patrol Boat (Wreck - AOW)

japanese patrol boat wreck subic bayDiving Information:

This vessel is situated in a depth of 18 - 25 meters (60-75 feet). Sitting upright. The wreck is a great dive with average visibility from 7-13 meters (20-40 feet). Plenty of marine life is located around the whole wreck. The compartments provide shelter for many schools for juvenile fish. Buoy attached at the bow.

Part of the attraction there now, besides the wreckage, include the various corals that have sprung up, adding color and vibrancy to the scene. There are also several kinds of fish such as Jackfish, Trout and different types of Lionfish. The currents are not very strong in the area but do appear at times, and can reduce the visibility dramatically. Beginners who wish to explore this dive site should have an experienced Divemaster to accompany them at all times.

Wreck History:

Generally called the Japanese patrol boat this ship has not been fully identified as to name or even type. About 105 feet long and 18 feet wide, a trawler style vessel, possibly a 150-ton tugboat or a Submarine chaser. It sank 1944 or 1945 most likely because of fire after explosion onboard. Details about the reason of the explosion are unknown.

 

LST (Landing Ship Tank) - (Wreck - AOW)

lst landing ship tank wreck subic bay

Diving Information:

This wreck is often used in dive training for deep and wreck diving. At about 34 meters to the bottom of the wreck it a good area to test Nitrogen narcosis reaction. As a tool for wreck training the ship offers an overhead environment free of entanglements and unobstructed view of the exits. After a brief tour of the hold, divers can explore the deck area. There is also a school of barracudas living permanently next to the wreck. Many Divers claim to have seen bull sharks in the vicinity.

Wreck History:

The LST, for "Landing Ship, Tank" was created during World War II to support amphibious operations by carrying significant quantities of vehicles, cargo, and troops directly onto an unimproved shore. Over 50 LST’s were sold for scrape or for commercial use at Subic. As many as 10 may have been used for target practice or just sunk at Subic Bay perimeter. It is impossible to say which ships where brought to Subic, once a ship was stricken from the roles or decommissioned it was no longer tracked by its hull number.

USS New York (Wreck - AOW/Wreck/AdvWreck)

uss new york wreck subic bay

Diving Information:

Located at the eastern entrance of Subic Bay Philippines ( southeast of Chiquita Island and Grande island), is the historic wreck of the Spanish Gun Boat, the San Quentin (aka The Sunken Tin). The fascinating San Quentin Subic wreck rests in 16 meters of water, allowing divers of all levels to explore what still remains of a ship that was scuttled in 1898 to block access to the bay from the invading American Navy.

Experienced/Advanced Divers – More advanced divers can explore the propeller, conning tower and deck areas. The mess deck has an interesting swim of 60 meters (197 ft.) with portholes above allowing light to enter the spaces, but no exit.

Wreck Divers – There are some other areas for the experienced wreck diver. The boiler room can be explored on a single tank. We offer both Wreck Diver Courses and Advanced Wreck Diver Courses conducted on all of the wrecks within Subic Bay. The courses are held on a one-to-one basis but can also be done in groups of two students and one instructor.

Advanced Wreck Divers – Those who can dive beyond recreational limits can access the engine room and machinery spaces. These are in excellent condition, with huge pipes, machinery and valve wheels. Penetration is generally made on twin tanks, with reel and advanced wreck diver training. Both engine room entrances are posted with notices warning of the dangers to the untrained.

Wreck History:

This vessel is situated in Triboa Bay close to the end of the runway, lies on the edge of a reef with its starboard side lower. Depth is 10-21 meters (35-75 feet) with visibility from 10-16 meters (30-50 feet). It was used during second world war for transport of heavy hardware and infantry. The reason and the date of sinking are unknown.

 

F-4 Phantom - (Wreck - Tec45)

f4 phantom wreck subic bayThis F-4 Phantom Supersonic Fighter-Jet most likely served with the U.S. Navy and is probably an F-4B, J or N model. The Phantom’s intact condition and various missing components suggest it didn’t crash or ditch. During the Vietnam War it wasn’t uncommon for badly damaged aircrafts to be stripped for parts and, in some cases, even pushed overboard to free up space.

The F-4 Phantom Jet dive site is located just outside the mouth, South of Subic Bay. The site contains the remains (basically only the airframe) of the aircraft, and its believed that the plane was stripped of all mechanical and electrical parts before being pushed off a US aircraft carrier sometime during the Vietnam War. This wreck is located at a depth of 44-45 meters so you’re required to hold at least Tec-45 before conducting a dive with us at this site.

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the U.S. Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. Proving highly adaptable, it became a major part of the air wings of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. It was used extensively by all three of these services during the Vietnam War, serving as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force, as well as being important in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles by the close of U.S. involvement in the war.

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable, it was also adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force, and by the mid-1960s had become a major part of their respective air wings. The Phantom is a large fighter with a top speed of over Mach 2.2. It can carry over 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons on nine external hard-points, including air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. The F-4, like other interceptors of its time, was designed without an internal cannon, but later models incorporated a M61 Vulcan rotary cannon. Beginning in 1959, it set 15 world records, including an absolute speed record, and an absolute altitude record.

The F-4 was used extensively during the Vietnam War, serving as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force, as well as being important in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles by the close of U.S. involvement in the war. The Phantom has the distinction of being the last U.S. fighter flown to attain ace status in the 20th century. During the Vietnam War, the USAF had one pilot and two weapon systems officers (WSOs), and the US Navy one pilot and one radar intercept officer (RIO), achieve five aerial kills against other enemy fighter aircraft and become aces in air-to-air combat. The F-4 continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 in the U.S. Air Force; the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy; and the F/A-18 in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Banshu Maru - (Wreck - Advanced Tech)

nikko maru wreck subic bayThe Nikko Maru is resting at a depth of 54 meters in the channel just West of Grande Island. This vessel is fairly small (only 50 meters long) compared to most other wrecks within the bay, nevertheless a very interesting dive site. The Japanese Patrol/Gun boat was sunk in a battle with a US Submarine (USS Harder). The marine life at this site is abundant and the coral growth pretty astonishing. To explore the hidden wonders of this dive site we require you to be at least an Advance Open Water Diver.

During the several hours long battle between the Nikko Maru and US Submarine several torpedos were fired, yet the 6,000-ton Nikko Maru stubbornly refused to sink. A brave, but doomed enemy crew kept the ship afloat until USS Harder had expended all torpedoes, many of which ran erratically. Rough weather the next day finally sank the damaged Nikko Maru. USS Harder returned to Pearl Harbor 30 November 1943, then sailed to Mare Island for overhaul.

USS Lanikai - (Wreck - Tec40)

uss lanikai wreck subic bay

Diving Information:

The wreck is lying at 31 meters depth you have to closely monitor your gauges as to bottom time and your air consumption. It is not possible to penetrate the wreck but may enjoy the exterior and the bounty of fishes residence in the wreck.

Wreck History:

A movie star, a spy and a war hero all rolled into one. The USS Lanikai was purchase by the US Navy just days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hastily fitted with a Spanish American war gun, a WWI Lewis machine-gun and assigned a Naval officer she met the definition of a Navy warship. Her then secret orders were to go follow the Japanese Navy off the coast of Thailand. Historians believe that the intent of this seemly unmilitary craft’s mission was to get the Japanese to sink an American Warship to hasten the US entry into the war. Much like the battleship Maine during the events leading to the Spanish American war. The attack on Pearl Harbor aborted her mission. In her pre-war days she was the star in a movie titled “The Hurricane”. She sank in 1945 during a typhoon (a pacific hurricane) while waiting for repairs.

Today the remaining of the USS Lanikai lies scattered at a depth of approximately 34-36 meters. Some parts of the structure still remain yet most of it has been claimed by the sea. The site accommodates a wide variety of marine life but due to the depth its rarely visited by the local diving community.