A Travellerspoint blog

Philippines

I saw a Turtle I saw a TURTLE!!!!

sunny 35 °C
View Dive Master Lifetime Adventure on VascoDiveMaster's travel map.

Today was probably one of the BEST dives I've done so far in Subic! And I've been so distracted these last couple of days I forgot to mention we have discovered a completely untouched, never before dived, absolutely unbelievable coral reef that just about blew my mind! .... So we've called it 'Nat's Reef.'

Not only was it a mass of coral in every shade of the rainbow, but there were also large nudibranch on this site that I havn't seen in any other dive site in Subic or in fact anywhere at all! As we descended we ran into a freakin turtle!!! A little smaller than the first I ever saw but he didn't seem to mind us at all and just plodded along in front, playing dive master and giving us the official induction to Nat's Reef. Of course, knowing that it would be so spectacular, Einstein forgot to charge to camera and so I have done my best to (unsuccessfully) recreate the moment through Google Images;

pink-slug-160.jpg According to the fascinating read that is 'Nudibranch Behaviour' this guy is a reticulated wart slug, which sounds really appealing!pyjamas_nudibranch.jpgThis guy, and I'm not kidding either, is a Pyjamas Nudibranch! But last, and not least....
sea-turtle-2.jpg It goes without saying that the turtle is the most beautiful thing in the sea.

On a less sober note, you know you're getting old when evenings in the 'Captain's Corner' at Vasco's have been dominated by Brian's new party trick with his personal blood pressure machine. Lowest score buys the round, and I have been blessed with the blood pressure of a half-dead Buddhist Monk.

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 15:31 Archived in Philippines Tagged diving beach island philippines summer sun paradise tropical scuba manila asia turtle luzon subic south_east_asia dive_master subic_bay dive_centre blood_pressure Comments (3)

Lazy Days

overcast 35 °C
View Dive Master Lifetime Adventure on VascoDiveMaster's travel map.

Have taken a break from designing jewelery with Gregg this afternoon to have a bit of a gloat about the little jaunt I took on the boat this morning to Silanguin Island; a little slice of heaven just beyond the watercolour mountains I stare straight at, out the office window. I had a whole stretch of glittering black sand beach to myself. It was beautiful. Enough said.

100_1169.jpg
100_1166.jpg
100_1170.jpg
100_1165.jpg
100_1164.jpg
100_1155.jpg
100_1148.jpg
100_1145.jpg
100_1144.jpg

9100_1153.jpg These beautiful shells washed up on the shore before my eyes.
100_1162.jpg These are my snazzy new sandals on my freshly painted feet, which cost half the price that they would back home... the sandals not the feet. About 30 seconds after this photo was taken a freak wave flew up the side of the boat and snatched one clean off my foot. It took 15 minutes, half a tank of fuel and some skillful maneuvering by Captain Rodger to retrieve it.... Totally worth it!

Found a new dive site yesterday in Triboa Bay; a steep wall of beautiful hard and soft corals and the busiest concentration of fish I have seen in Subic Bay. We will be back in the next day of two to suss out the rest of this reef and hopefully attach a float so we don't have to put an anchor near the coral.

P1010175.jpg
3P1010172.jpg The first and only orange nudibranch I have seen here; so precious!
P1010183.jpg
P1010170.jpg Yes, I know you're not meant to touch the coral, but this purple one felt like cotton wool!
4P1010154.jpg

Gregg wants to call it 'The Drop Off' but I think it should be given something cooler like 'n@'s Wall' but any other suggestions would be appreciated?

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 15:18 Archived in Philippines Tagged diving beach white philippines sand black wreck sunburn dive_master subic_bay subic_dive_centre sunbathe Comments (5)

San Quentin

On the morning of April 27, 1898 the gunboat San Quintin and two merchant ships were scuttled to block the eastern entrance to Subic Bay....

sunny 34 °C
View Dive Master Lifetime Adventure on VascoDiveMaster's travel map.

In a futile attempt to stop the invading Americans, Admiral Montojo of the Spanish Navy, thought that by blocking the eastern channel between Grande and Chiquita Islands, he could concentrate his land-based cannons on the western entrance. Coming ashore at Grande Island to inspect the defense works, Montojo was disappointed to find that four KRUPP 6 inch guns had not been installed due to lack of cement. A defense disaster for Montojo but a blessing for divers a century later.....
7100_1133.jpg

Since Brian and his team discovered the wreck, it has deteriorated significantly; with it's guts strewn about the sea floor, but with the two large boilers still visible from the surface, as too the bow, stern and many of the ribs. 100_1132.jpg

There's very little current and plenty of young coral and tropical species of marine life. As a wreck dive, it is historic and doesn't have the hazards of modern shipwrecks. There are no areas to penetrate, but also no silt to stir up as the area is almost entirely covered in young coral growth. The San Quentin was the location chosen for me to test out a super groovy new wetsuit; significantly thinner than my previous one which requires me to carry only 4 pounds of weight now and has a large, reflective V down the middle which makes me feel like a Power Ranger. Unfortunately Jayson made a point of telling me I actually had it on backwards...... Dive Master FAIL!

Once I got my act together, I discovered The San Quentin is in my opinion, exactly what diving was meant to be... fun!

The visibility is so great here because it actually lies just outside the bay, with a good variety of marine life. It was also where we gave Mara her first un-official diving experience.
P1010076.jpg For a first try she was amazing! Connar came along and is starting to scare us a bit with his confidence and tends to stray off on his own....P1010082.jpg
Fortunately Gianne and I were there to keep things under control! P1010089.jpgP1010072.jpg

It was a dive of 'big things.'
Big visibility (10-12m)
Big pipe fish

Big clownfishP1010133.jpg
P1010132.jpg
P1010131.jpg

Big (I mean GIANT) clams and other shell fish
P1010094.jpg

Big nudibranch P1010150.jpg
P1010149.jpgP1010125.jpg

Big hermit crabs
Big blue-spotted stingray

Big blue-painted lobstersP1010104.jpg
P1010103.jpg

And one iddy-bitty baby lion fish... so cute!
P1010144.jpg
P1010118.jpg

It is allegedly one of the best night dives in Subic, so I am dying to try that out!

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 15:52 Archived in Philippines Tagged turtles fish diving ocean philippines big tropical marine sharks asia scuba_diving whale subic lionfish clams dive_master subic_bay dive_centre Comments (6)

Surfing Zambales

rain 29 °C
View Dive Master Lifetime Adventure on VascoDiveMaster's travel map.

We made the epic 40 minute trek to Liwa Liwa Beach in Zambales, in the torrential rain with the promise of awaiting sun and decent swell.... We got half way there at least.
P1010055.jpg
P1010059.jpg
Stopped in at Mommy Phoebe's Canteen and hired surfboards for next to nothing; I ended up with the retro; red, yellow and green 6'8" Bob-Marley inspired thruster from 1975.
P1010057.jpgP1010056.jpg.
I thoroughly recommend next time going with the local's advice and taking a long board. Unlike at home, people don't show off here about how short their board is and prefer to actually have fun.

P1010063.jpg
P1010062.jpg
1P1010060.jpg

Even in the rain, the air was still warm, the ocean even warmer and the scenery innocently beautiful. There was nothing around except beach shacks and surf huts. No resorts, no hotels, no casinos, nightclubs or tourists. Makes me think my Dad would say "It's like Bali was 30 years ago."

P1010058.jpg
P1010054.jpg

Two hours and only two decent waves later, I was shattered and we holed in the canteen for some unbelievable local food cooked by Mommy Phoebe herself. She even let us have a shower out the back, under the 'boso' or bore water pump-
P1010065.jpg
P1010066.jpg
(yes, I did it all by myself!) and which was the realest, most 'local' experience I've had in the Philippines to date.
Now it's only 8.20pm but I plan to be in bed in the next 15 minutes :)

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 18:34 Archived in Philippines Tagged ocean beach surf driving philippines surfing zambales swell surfboard carve barretto olongapo Comments (3)

Typhoon Two

storm 29 °C
View Dive Master Lifetime Adventure on VascoDiveMaster's travel map.

Well, three days indoors isn't doing me the world of good right now. After a few days of evening storms, the typhoon has today swelled into an all-day torrential affair effectively barring any of us from diving. There is a severe imbalance of salt water in my system which is increasingly showing symptoms of cabin fever. A swim in the ocean this morning did little to curb this notion, however it was still a weird experience being rained on in the ocean with the droplets so heavy they looked more like salt water stalagmites.

We had a small 'incident' today involving a section of structurally unsound roof above The Dog House and a whole lot of rain water, resulting in a flooded lounge room and a wardrobe full of wet clothes. 100_1064.jpg :(

Needless to say within 40 seconds of reporting the leaking roof, the boys were straight up there with the necessary power tools and excess sheets of corrugated iron to recover the structural integrity of my home.

100_1066.jpg100_1067.jpg

The was only one minor casualty from this incident, which was my bathroom.

100_1068.jpg

Now less of a bathroom and more of a Chinese laundry.

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 17:22 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches birds boats rain diving storm philippines bay dive flood wreck typhoon thunder subic cyclone vascos Comments (0)

(Entries 21 - 25 of 47) Previous « Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 » Next