Liveaboard Diving in Jessie Beazley Reef
What to expect on a Jessie Beazley Reef Liveaboard
Liveaboard diving to Jessie Beazley Reef means enjoying possibly some of the best diving in the Philippines. While the north and south atolls of Tubbataha were declared a marine park in 1988 and a World Heritage Site in 1993, it was the addition of Jessie Beazley Reef in 2009 that made Tubbataha the flagship national treasure of the Philippines The 2009 expansion of Tubbataha Reefs National Park tripled the size of the protected area to a whopping 96,828 hectares. By protecting Jessie Beazley and the life-rich waters between it and the atolls, park managers were able to stem the tide on Jessie Beazley's gradual degradation, which would have eventually affected the north and south atolls through ecosystem imbalance. Jessie Beazley liveaboards will definitely go to see guaranteed sharks, incredible corals, and some of the best fish life of the park, which lies 20 kilometers northwest of Tubbataha.
Jessie Beazley Underwater
Jessie Beazley is small compared to the north and south atolls, but its marine offerings are huge. Whilst liveaboard diving at Jessie Beazley Reef you will see the reef is famously shaped like a mushroom, with the plateau undercut on the bottom before the rest of the reef slopes down to about 12 meters, and then drops off beyond recreational diving depths. On the top, the corals are pristine; stands of porites and Acropora species vibrate with colorful reef life like parrotfish, triggerfish, batfish, rabbitfish, boxfish, clownfish, anthias, cornetfish and trumpetfish, frogfish, sweetlips, and snapper. And of course, myriad whitetip and blacktip reef sharks patrol their territory just above the corals.
Jessie Beazley also often hosts barracuda, schools of mackerel, tuna, and grouper. In the blue water, pelagic visitors to the reef include eagle and manta rays, hammerhead sharks, mako sharks, and thresher sharks. However, divers in Jessie Beazley should not forget the small stuff! As in the rest of the Philippines, diving without a camera for macro photography is a missed opportunity because coral triangle diversity of wild and wacky critters is sure to be found, especially in a pristine environment like Tubbataha. So spend at least some of your Jessie Beazley dives looking for nudibranchs, and you won't be disappointed.
Dive sites at Jessie Beazley include North End and South End, White Sand Cays, and Reef Shark Point. None of these areas are particularly sheltered. Indeed, your dive guide may save your Jessie Beazley liveaboard diving for the end of the trip when everyone onboard has already practiced good diving techniques for a week. This is because the surface conditions at Jessie Beazley can get a bit rough, and underwater, the currents are infamous for changing their speed and direction without warning. Some of these currents can even reach two knots! Make sure to follow the instructions of your dive guide to get the most out of your Jessie Beazley experience.
Philippines liveaboards visiting Tubbataha will usually stop at Jessie Beazley for one day or more within their 6, 7, or 11-night itineraries, which cost from 280 to 500 euros per night. While most liveaboards spend their whole itinerary within the park, there are two liveaboard.com trips that combine Jessie Beazley and Tubbataha with diving in other excellent locations, one on Seadoors, and another on M/V Discovery Palawan. Liveaboards in Jessie Beazley range from the super luxurious S/Y Siren with its billowing sails to refurbished merchant vessels and dedicated M/V diving yachts- all enjoy different degrees of luxury, but consistently offer great diving amenities.
The experience level required by Tubbataha liveaboards is usually Open Water, with a range of zero to 40 logged dives. Note that Tubbataha is as exposed as one can get in the Philippines. Its location in the middle of the sea will certainly subject it to some open water conditions in terms of waves and currents. You will depend on your dive guide to advise you of any particular challenges or experience requirements at a given site.
Puerto Princesa, Palawan's capital city, is the departure location for most Tubbataha liveaboards. Flights to Puerto Princesa run regularly from both Manila and Cebu City on Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. To get to Manila or Cebu City, direct flights are available from many Southeast Asian countries. International flights will usually transfer in the region before flying into the Philippines. For the one liveaboard itinerary connecting to Batangas, travelers will fly into Manila and transfer to the Batangas port on a bus.
Visitors with some extra time in Puerto Princesa can take their pick from premier land and sea activities near the city, including island-hopping, jungle explorations, and Palawanís other World Heritage Site- the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Puerto Princesa is only a van-ride away from many dive sites with 100% coral cover in areas like Port Barton and famous El Nido. Entry-level divers in Palawan can enjoy these sites, many of which are shallow reef slopes in protected bays.
Best time to travel
The Tubbataha diving season is only from March through June. This is when the seas and skies are at their calmest. Therefore, expect all Jessie Beazley liveaboards to run their trips during these months. At Jessie Beazley, the incredible visibility can reach 40 meters. Jessie Beazley's air temperature ranges from 27 to 30 C, and its water temperature from 26 to 28 C.
Jessie Beazley Reef Diving Reviews
- 9.0 Superb
- 9 Verified Reviews
This reef was the most diverse and colourful. Very nice hard corals!
Diving Jessie Beazley Reef in May on the Azalea
So-so. Not a lot to see that you can't see everywhere else. No big pelagics, except some gray reef sharks (by which point we had seen hundreds). Reef is only in fair condition.
Diving Jessie Beazley Reef in April on the Seadoors
Tubbataha diving was amazing. Turtles, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, barracudas, schools of fish and beautiful corals.
Diving Jessie Beazley Reef in April on the Seadoors
Cannot be better. We saw whaleshark here and get to 'play' with it for more than 40 mins.
Diving Jessie Beazley Reef in May on the Discovery Palawan
The reef top and corner at Jessie Beazley is world class, on a tier rarely seen. There is excellent coverage of soft and hard corals that are bright, colourful and healthy. Outstanding.
Diving Jessie Beazley Reef in April on the Discovery Palawan