A Travellerspoint blog

To Much Excitement

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We have a positive outcome from meetings between all the local dive shops and SBMA, thats Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. Following some tragic recent events on the USS New York, SBMA banned diving on any and all wrecks in the bay for a week while they deliberated changes to diving permits etc. So we have been left a little stir crazy and I had begun to form a salty crust around the edges. But finally!!! We have received the good news that not only will they reinstate diving permits for our favourite wreck diving sites, they will FINALLY allow diving on the Japanese WW2 ships; Oryuko Maru and Sein Maru! This would be the only two wreck dives in the whole of Subic Bay, situated at recreational depth that I havn't dived yet! It's about time they stepped up and realised to significance of the diving here in Subic. Thanks to the USS New York, Subic Bay is still the only place in the world where you can dive a World War I battle ship. Here here!

On a more exciting note, yesterday I had a delightful girls day with Yellow and Kiyo at 'The Ritz' spa in town. We had swedish massages and lunch. Pure relaxation and gossip ;-) 100_2240.jpg Closely followed by a big barbecue dinner on Gregg's balcony with the whole family and many friends and beers. What more can you ask for?

On an even MORE exciting note, Ryan finally arrived yesterday. Very considerately flying into Manila at 6am so I had to get up at 3.30 but I forgive him because of the present he bought me.... a brand new PINK dive computer!!!!
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Here's me; the spoiled brat haha

On an even MORE exciting note, Gregg, his sister Tanya, Aussie mate Matt, lady-friend Karen, me and Ryan are embarking on a week to 10 day long road trip tomorrow, ending up in the northern most point of Luzon province in search of some awesome surf breaks! I can't wait to get some photos up, after googling some of our destinations, I am just that little bit too excited to sleep. But for now, I am off to take my pretty pink computer, and my special man out for their maiden dive adventure.... Woo hoo!!!!

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 12:50 Archived in Philippines Tagged beer diving beach pink philippines surfing america road scuba trip dive computer free roadtrip bbc clams vascos barretto Comments (2)

Creatures from the Twilight Zone

Just a photographic blog... They speak for themselves :)

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Cerianthus filiformis or 'Tube Anemone'

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Nudibranch; or more correctly, Phyllidia ocellata

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Squid. Supersized!

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Phyllidia varicosa

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Chromodoris willani

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I'm pretty certain they based a Star Wars character on this octopus.

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Phyllidiopsis pipeki

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Phyllidiopsis pipeki... yes I'm a nerd. So what!?

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A crazy new species of nudibranch that not even Jayson has ever seen in the bay before, nor does it appear exactly in my Nudibranch Behaviour book (my brother is saying NERD!). The best I can assume is that he is an Aegires serenae; a Western pacific dorid nudibranch. Interestingly we are on the wrong side of the Philippines to be in the Western pacific....

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Yes, I know you've already seen him, but he definitely fits with the theme!

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 18:35 Archived in Philippines Tagged padi museum philippines paradise national scuba sharks wreck mystery dynasty pottery species discovery octopus zambales ceramics anemone ming scientific nudibranch salvage deputy wreck_diving flatworm Comments (0)

Treasure Hunting!!!

The irony of writing a blog strictly about diving: The blog which has so far received the most hits is my Disneyland special...

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Today I found out the hard way that you must be on your best behaviour when applying for a visa extension.

I got in some serious trouble when I allegedly tried to question the integrity of the immigration officer, when all I really wanted was an explanation of some mysterious additional charges and he threatened to cancel my visa... oops.
Fortunately I have not yet been blacklisted by Philippines Bureau of Immigration and I am permitted to stay for at least another 38 days. Phew!

On a more exciting note, yesterday was spent in negotiations with some local fisherman regarding the possibility of salvaging a new wreck! So far we know on;y a few details of it's location just north, off an island of Zambales and suspect it to be a Spanish or Dutch ship of about 1608. Upon presentation of a piece of green-glazed Chinese pottery (below), Brian was ready to wet himself with the excitement of this opportunity. 100_2235.jpg100_2230.jpg

To be honest, it sucks to be in the underdog's position in the negotiations and we had to do everything we could to encourage the founders to salavage this wreck as a partner with Brian, and with the knowledge and permission of the National Museum of whom Brian is a deputy. The biggest problem in the Philippines is that wrecks are discovered more often than not by local fisherman, who see nothing in the discovery but dollar signs and so rape and pillage wrecks for all their treasure and sell it to dishonest antique stores, junk shops and overseas buyers before the authorities ever hear of the discovery. Not only does the value of the antiques salvaged depreciate significantly without the certification of the museum, but there is a considerable historic loss to this country which they don't even begin to grasp. So we feel it is important to make them acknowledge their actions in light of the cultural, historical and financial significance of their finds before destroying a piece of Philippine history for a quick buck.

Enough preaching, a new wreck to salvage would be a huge feather in all our caps and we should know the outcome by the end of the week!

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 18:26 Archived in Philippines Tagged padi museum philippines paradise national scuba sharks wreck mystery dynasty pottery discovery zambales ceramics ming salvage deputy wreck_diving Comments (1)

Got my first hater!

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To be honest, I never felt like I was doing my job here properly until I started getting comments and new subscribers. But now, I can take it up a notch because I've got my very own hater!
It's supposed to only be celebs who get haters but now at least I know I'm doing my job and my blogs and videos are getting around! Notorious3 says in not so many choice words that he hopes I drown. As much as I hate to disappoint my fans, I must confess that I could swim before I could walk!

So this is for Mr Notorious3:
I am assuming you are of course a bloke? I spent yesterday violently sea sick and blowing chunks out my nose, I spend most days diving in one of the most beautiful and unique locations in the world, I have managed to tour almost all of Asia this year with next to no cash, I have climbed epic mountains, seen endangered wildlife, met some amazing people and my fair share of crazies. I have dodged dysentery, malaria and the odd car accident. I haven't seen winter in three years. I have met a fantastic guy who is flying half way across the planet to come see me in less than a week and two amazing parents who have just done the same. I eat restaurant food every day and consider myself damn lucky for all of the above. .... What have you done lately?

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 11:52 Archived in Philippines Tagged mountains beaches diving cambodia sun camera paradise america manila disney dive asia war disneyland turtle american luzon south_east_asia mindoro vascos dive_master subic_dive_centre dive_centre uss_new_york diver ocean_park zambapalooza Comments (7)

Attention: This Will Blow Your Mind

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I took that photo. I call it 'Squid Imitating Space Alien.'
Enough said.

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 15:24 Archived in Philippines Comments (4)

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