A Travellerspoint blog

Reflection

storm 28 °C

So unfortunately, a final day blog was unachievable having only barely survived a category 3 typhoon which nearly washed away Vascos restaurant, came crashing up through my lounge room floor and left a blue swimmer crab to contemplate his unexpected relocation into my bedroom. It left me with the warm and fuzzies when I considered Manila airport had cancelled all flights in and out of the Philippines.... and my visa expired THAT day. Lucky for me, Clark was the last airport left operating and I managed to escape, leaving the carnage behind me.... For future reference, I highly recommend investing in travel insurance for situations such as this.

During my amazing time living in Subic, I have:

  • Spent four months living in a boat
  • Attained my dive master qualification
  • Seen my first turtle in the wild
  • Dived a famous WW2 battleship
  • Fallen in love
  • Survived a category 3 typhoon
  • Seen the most unbelievable waterfall
  • Gone on an epic road trip
  • Trekked through the last virgin rainforest in the country

Truthfully, Subic has been a melting pot for an eclectic bunch of oddballs and in my experience, the only place you can sit down in a bar with a retired rockstar, a dentist, a military officer, a dolphin trainer, school teachers, scuba divers, a pirate, oil industrialists, a few engineers and me- the existential migrant.
I have met some amazing people, and my fair share of crazies. I've been frisked four times, met Mickey Mouse, eaten chicken intestines, played too much Playstation, drank too much beer, spewed at 27m and made a 1km oceam swam without drowning.

Farewell Subic!
Don't forget me.

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 28.09.2011 04:40 Archived in Philippines Comments (5)

Sailing Around Subic

semi-overcast 32 °C

I have spent the most incredible final day in Subic that I could have imagined. It was Gregg's birthday weekend extravaganza which culminated in an all-day cruise around Subic Bay in Marty's beautiful yacht the 'Dona Maria.'

The initial plan was to take the yacht to Silanguin, just outside the bay but the swell around Grande Island was incredible and we turned back when poor Bee started to puke over the bow. Marty and Kate were late getting to the Yacht Club but it didn't stop us diving into cheese and biscuits before we'd even left the dock. Gregg was impatient to get out to Silanguin Island but I could have been just as happy sitting there at the Yacht Club with the sun blasting down, cold beer in the esky and smiles on everyone's faces. 100_2502.jpg 100_2516.jpg

The change of plans took us yonder, to Camayan Beach next door to Ocean Adventure theme park.... Sort of a round about way to spend the day at Camayan since it would have taken 7 minutes in a car :)
We commandeered a buoy belonging to Ocean Adventure and rode the dingy to shore to spend the day swimming, surfing and eating copious amounts of barbecued seafood!

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There was one spectator up in the trees who tried more than once to join our lunch feast, and when he realised he wasn't invited, tried to steal it!

Escaping the beach for the shelter of our SS Dreamboat was timed absolutely perfectly, with the first spots of rain appearing as we stepped foot on deck. By the time we were loaded up and chugging back to real life it had escalated into a fully-fledged tropical storm. Exhausted by this point, Karen and I collapsed in the lounge room and promptly fell asleep.

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I was returned safely right to Vascos front door while the others went on back to the Yacht Club. A painful opportunity to say goodbye to some of the great friends I've made during the past four months.
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One last dodgy photo of my dream boat as it sailed away into the storm. When I grow up I want to have a boat like that! ;)

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 25.09.2011 17:24 Archived in Philippines Tagged club philippines sailing bay yacht subic Comments (2)

A Virtual Tour

overcast 28 °C

I have discovered it is possible for people to come wreck diving with me from the comfort of their very own office chair!

But firstly, it requires a bit of imagination;
You are geared up, suited up and it's getting really humid out. The sun is at a funny angle which irritates you no matter where you look and it's heat is causing beads of sweat of your brow. You jump straight over the edge of the restaurant into emerald green water and feel the cool water run down the back of your wetsuit. As you descend you hear nothing but the sound of your own breathing and the bubbles drifting past your ears on the way to the surface. Two or three kicks and from the green abyss emerges something that shouldn't be there; a dark, solid structure and a myriad of fish schooling who are just as curious as you.....

Be prepared to get wet on your very own virtual 'discover scuba' class at Vasco's Dive Centre.
Vasco's Aeroplane

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 20.09.2011 17:03 Archived in Philippines Tagged diving bay puerto tour scuba aeroplane manila dive wreck bohol luzon virtual galera subic anilao imagination dive_centre fedex mindenow Comments (0)

What I Do When I'm Scared

overcast 29 °C

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I would like to say thank you to the History Channel for airing a documentary on crucifixion at 10:30 last night. Yes, it gave me nightmares. So what better excuse than to sit up and make movies?

Here is the second installment of Subic Bay dive sites. This is quite possibly my favourite dive and at a maximum of 10m, it is a really great one for first timers and open water divers. I've never seen anyone surface without a huge smile on their face...

The Barges

Tonight will be the 4th grand re-opening of Tanya's bar 'Rascals' in Barretto. All the boys are going and it has even drawn the girls out of the woodwork for an epic night. Some gin and tonics will be on the cards....

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 18.09.2011 12:37 Archived in Philippines Tagged diving bay scuba manila dive wreck movies film deep clark luzon subic vascos videography shallow Comments (1)

What We Do When We're Bored

When the weather's rubbish and you've got no customers, why not spend your time building your very own artificial reef!

overcast 29 °C

The recipe? One solid-concrete mold of half a cannon, add some available soft corals, giant clams and throw in some schooling fish and VOILA! Instant artificial reef available today at Vasco's Dive Centre, Subic Bay.

Last night was the official farewell for Vasco's regular Mark Vickers and his lovely partner Shirley who after 5 long years in Subic have made the brave decision to return to the UK. On behalf of the whole crew, I wanted to say goodbye and good luck Mark! My gift to you is this quick video below. Forgive me, it has taken 3 months in Subic to discover I am actually capable of producing my own home movies (even longer to work out how to pack my 'Pack 'N Go' raincoat into it's pocket) and this first attempt may be a bit rough but at least you will get to see what I was up to on the day I told you I was interior decorating 6m below sea level.

What We Do When We're Bored

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 16.09.2011 20:07 Archived in Philippines Tagged fish rainforest beer ocean beach adventure philippines life safari rainbow puerto tropical marine manila hard soft you reef coral cocktails cannon all hands luzon galera treetop anilao corals flatworm zoobic jest artifical Comments (1)

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