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By this Author: VascoDiveMaster

It's Good Friday in Paradise!


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The Christians have gone a bit crazy here; nailing people to crosses and such so I'm hiding in the office. Am feeling a bit tense as I have lost a whole bag of ten 3-in-1 coffee sachets that are currently my sustaining my life-force.

Have been terrified to learn that, after making a personal vow to abstain from coconut and all things coconut related; then making an epic fail of this promise in Cambodia thanks to oh-so-good coconut shakes by the beach and an over dose of pina coladas, Lonely Planet tells me the Philippines is the biggest producer of coconuts in the world!! :( Am slightly concerned about the possibility of turning into a coconut....

First boat trip out on subic bay

First boat trip out on subic bay


Happy Easter everyone!!!

......By the way, can someone please remind my parents to give Easter Bunny my new address?

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 04:54 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches people parties animals boats diving bay scuba dive wreck subic vascos Comments (0)

Vasco's Virtual Tour

The next best thing to living my dream!

semi-overcast 31 °C
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Although I am confident that I have honed my photography skills down to a fine art, I can't deny that the virtual tour put together below doesn't give a far better indication of the utter coolness of the set up here at Vasco's. Check it out section by section; the entrance, dive shop, restaurant. Then you can get a better idea of what on earth I rave on about when I get overly excited!

Vasco's Resort and Museum Virtual Tour

Cheers,
Natalie

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 04:13 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches birds boats diving philippines bay dive wreck subic vascos Comments (0)

My First Day in Subic

A slightly overwhelming experience

sunny 30 °C
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I have arrived safe and well in Subic Bay!!

I've had the most epic journey getting here but it has been so worth it. What was promised to be a 16 hour 'sleeper' bus turned into a 31 hour upright bus with a flat tyre and a smuggled rooster on board that crowed from about 4 til 6am. I made it to Bangkok with just enough time to eat a bowl of pad thai before climbing BACK on the bus, heading to the airport, only to be refused a boarding pass because I forgot to buy a return flight! So $200 later I safely touched down at Clark airport. It was 3am and Mr Immigration felt it necessary to interrogate me about why I would possibly want to spend 3 WHOLE months in Subic Bay, wanting to know where I was going, what was I doing, where am I staying, who am I with. I thought "I just want to go diving!!!" But apparently I must look like a regular Filipino terrorist.

When I was picked up by the Vasco's Dive Centre taxi, doing 130 in an 80 zone to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, I felt safer than any travelling I have been subjected to in the last month throughout Cambodia. I was met with the huge smile of Gianne, Gregg Homan's girlfriend who I will be staying with for a few days. Gregg and his father, the legendary Brian, run Vasco's Dive Centre, Resort and Restaurant. I am baffled by how this amazing pocket of paradise rests within such an epic shipping port. Gianne's apartment looks out onto the bay; an expanse of glass-like ocean over which I am currently watching the sunset. Vasco's is a rabbbit's warren of a restaurant and dive centre overlooking the bay and themed somewhat like an ancient pirate ship. I have already had the pleasure of meeting Jayson; the guru and dive instructor here at Vasco's and well as Brian; the man, the legend, who has spent a lifetime salvaging wrecks in the area and has establised a remarkable museum here at the resort. When I get a spare chance I'm going to make him sit down and explain every artifact he's dug up because they are absolutely amazing.

Sunken aeroplane

Sunken aeroplane

My first dive this afternoon was just a quicky refresher, and I mean that in the loosest terms. I jumped off the pier and onto a submerged aeroplane!! At only 10m max depth it was an easy dive, and due to the pretty poor visibility, only 2-3m, the eeriness of watching the enormous turbines sort of 'appear' out of nowehere and swimming about the cabin was surreal. There really is nothing quite like it.

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 04:01 Archived in Philippines Tagged beaches boats diving bay scuba aeroplane dive wreck subic master vascos Comments (2)

A Hangover Saved My Life!

sunny 29 °C
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Arrived in Sihanoukville to chill out with my Sydney friend Emma for a few days. Went out raging and got invited on an él cheapo 'Booze Cruise' out to the islands for the next day and it only cost $8! I had my dollars in hand before Emma spoiled the party by losing her $20 for the night somewhere on the beach. We promised to pay the next day before we left. One too many mekong whiskey's later we stumbled down to the beach for breakfast (though it was probably closer to lunch time), took one look at the boat, at the weather, at the choppy swell... and got settled into our beach chairs.

The hired Booze Cruise boat carrying more than 100 drunken tourists subsequently capsized about half an hour from the closest island. All got rescued by local fisherman with a few very narrow escapes and about $2000 worth of DJ equipment, cameras, an ice chest full of beer and 100 hamburger buns that now resides in the Gulf of Thailand. It was probably the best $20 Emma could have ever lost. On a more optimistic note, now the dive shops in Sinville will finally be able to boast a wreck dive!

Natalie_003.jpg

The time is finally getting closer: Finally booked my flight to the Philippines today (to see my excited face look above!) Will be an epic journey to trek up to Bangkok, then fly from there to Clark, arriving at a very spritely 4am.

Took some laundry to get done yesterday across the road from my guesthouse. Went back to abuse them because they lost my pyjama pants. Then abused Olympus via email for stuffing up my waterproof camera repair... again! Then found said pyjamas in my backpack.

Just to make you REALLY jealous, here is the view from my Bungalow here at Otres Beach, Sihanoukville. Mondays huh? Natalie_002.jpg

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 05:22 Archived in Cambodia Tagged diving cambodia philippines dive wreck sihanoukville Comments (0)

We're number ONE! We're number ONE!

Today is turning into a good day

sunny 32 °C

So I'm a little bit excited to discover that by Googling 'vascos dive centre' this little piece of poetry is listed as hit numero UNO!!!

Am currently working for a small NGO in Phnom Penh called PHD Association (People Health Development). I am really just helping to translate some of their broken english into sensibly constructed sentences but the work they do has been really effective in educating university students about awareness of sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention.
However, no matter how hard I try and concentrate, my mind keeps slipping back underwater, and the temptation of Google and stalking http://www.vascosresort-museum.com has just been too overwhelming! I don't think it's an accident that at lunch today, I opened a Cambodian fashion magazine to find a whole 3-page article on the delights of the Philippines as the new must-see holiday destination, that the only lady to strike up a conversation with me by the riverside on my day off yesterday happened to be Filipino, or that any traveller I speak to about the Philippines is overcome by some amazed, other-worldly, tranquil and frankly disconcerting aloofness when reflecting on some not-so-private distant memory of their travels there!? This coinciding with the fact that I find out today this amazing experience is not to extend for a mere 2 months, as was my first assumption... but THREE! I'm currently squeezed into a tiny (thankfully airconditioned) office and my excitement is beginning to choke the air.

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 01:38 Archived in Cambodia Tagged diving philippines scuba dive subic phnom penh vascos Comments (0)

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