A Travellerspoint blog

Philippines

The Case of the Health Inspector

sunny 36 °C
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When I last spoke to Brian last over some oh-so-good Filipino breakfast loganissa, I mentioned the restaurant was not quite complete without a REAL parrot to complete the vintage Pirate-esque feel he has going on at Vasco's.
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This is the closet thing Vasco's currently has to a real parrot :(

I was devastated to find out that not too long ago, there were TWO parrots and a white cockatoo!

Brian went on the explain that tragically he had to get rid of the birds after he was visited by 'The Health Inspector.' She came, she saw, she handed down three violations, of which Brian questions:

  1. 1 The restaurant needed to be fumigated
B: "What does this involve?"
I: "Well, you call the fumigators, you close all the doors and windows and they let a bug bomb off."
B: "I havn't got any doors or windows."

  1. 2 There was no fire escapes or emergency exit signs
B: "I havn't got any doors or windows and my restaurant is built over the ocean."

  1. 3 No birds are allowed in the restaurant
B: "So what do I do about the swallows and the sparrows?"

The solution to the fire escape situation was to hang life jackets from every door and window with the word "EXIT" scribbled on each of them.
The unfortunate truth is that Brian had to remove the parrots from the restaurant, who up until that point had mastered sneaking away with bottles of local Tanduay Rum and getting drunk and rowdy like some customers. But for the sparrows and swallows, the solution is below:
The solution

The solution

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 15:11 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches birds boats diving philippines bay tour scuba dive wreck subic vascos dive_master Comments (2)

Just Hit Dive 50!!!!

sunny 31 °C
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Two beautiful dives this afternoon has got me to crack the big five zero on my log book! Only ten to go and I can begin my dive master....

Jayson has been gradually tweaking my equipment to make diving as comfortable as possible. I've switched between regular air tanks and nitrox, having regular fins to now using some super awesome heavy duty chaps that let me fly through the water. But the best new toy I've been given at Vasco's is an unusual BCD with a rounded, donut-shaped bladder that apparently lets the air circulate in a different manner, to create equal buoyancy (or something like that) but boy! is it so much more comfortable to carry!

My new BCD with the Donut-shaped bladder

My new BCD with the Donut-shaped bladder

Now that I've tried this I don't think I will switch back.

I met another diver on the boat today named Steve. It's his second time diving in Subic, and what I HOPED was that he would be able to give Vasco's and the diving here in Subic a bit of a wrap up, as I assumed he had such a ball last time it had drawn him back. That's not exactly what I got. Thanks to the quality of Filipino internet and some technical difficulties from Traveler's Point, my video won't load but you can watch it on YouTube here:
Fun Diving with Steve and Vasco's

Today was my last day of fun diving before I get stuck into my Rescue Diver course tomorrow at 10am! We spent a lazy summer afternoon in the clearest blue water just off Grande Island at a dive site called Barges, ironically, because the US Navy used to site to scuttle about 6 of their old barges! A stone fish the size of my forearm had perched himself atop a precarious-looking larger stone whilst Jayson terrorised a poor sea cucumber which shot horrendous long white tentacles out at him, and the most delicate little fish I've ever seen which was apparently a lion fish minus the evil spines! The customary schooling trevally floated past us in a silent, glittering haze that temporarily blocked the sun whilst two fragile litttle cuttlefish bobbed past on my ascent. Today was the most relaxed diving I have had in Subic; the sun has not stopped shining, and a gentle breeze has been sailing through the resort. This is the view I am currently stuck view. Sometimes I find it difficult to put up with.

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Posted by VascoDiveMaster 19:11 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches birds boats diving philippines bay dive wreck subic vascos Comments (1)

Subic Bay and it's Surrounds

So much more than you expect!

sunny 31 °C
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You will be relieved to know, just as I was, that the mystery of my missing coffee sachets has finally reached it's zenith, after being salvaged from under a pile of dirty forgotten laundry in my room.

I joined the family for an amazing dive this afternoon. Brian, his beautiful partner Rose and son Connar, plus Gianne! We took the slow boat out under the beating sun, pigged out of amazing Filipino noodles and Gianne got so excited she jumped in and forgot to put her fins on. Brian's attitude during this debarcle where Gianne nearly drowned, and he sat at the front of the boat in the sun was a simple "Why are we rushing... we're in paradise!"

Connar and Rose on their 'Surface Interval'

Connar and Rose on their 'Surface Interval'

By the end of the dive, Gianne would have put at least three clown fish in therapy.

Gianne sporting her 'Cadbury Top Deck' tan after one afternoon in a rash vest

Gianne sporting her 'Cadbury Top Deck' tan after one afternoon in a rash vest

Brian was kind enough to take me for a driving tour this morning, trying to give me a better idea of the size of Subic and what's available. The answer is... everything!!! Subic is so much bigger than I realised. Lush, thick jungle harboring a military style training camp for tourists wanting to relive the experiences of soldiers in training Vietnam, duty-free shopping courtesy of the freeport zoning, nightlife for the super-keen, girly bars if you're that way inclined, theme parks for young and old including Ocean Adventure (Philippines answer to Sea World) which I had the pleasure of visiting on Easter Sunday, amazing restaurants and eateries INCLUDING KFC!!! and best of all... an American Naval Base next door full of buff young special ops with buzz cuts and big arms. Well hello sailor!

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 05:09 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches birds boats diving philippines bay dive wreck subic vascos Comments (1)

Just Got Off The Boat

sunny 27 °C
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I have literally JUST stepped off the boat and am dripping water all over the dive shop office. My cheeks and eyelashes are a little bit crusty with salt but I'm on a high right now because I just returned from the L.S.T! That's Landing Ship Tank for the non-maritime familiar including myself (I'm reading the info from a print-out). It is one of the best wrecks here in Subic, sunk in 1944 after a life of transporting military vehicles including tanks, trucks and marine vessels.The poor L.S.T. suffered it's demise at the hands of the US Navy for live fire exercises and is now one of the few wrecks that lies upright on the ocean floor.

Enough of the history lesson! The hard and soft coral has made a comfortable home of the deck of the L.S.T. along with the most fragile little nudibranch who perched himself (I really don't actually know if he was actually a he) on the edge of the deck.nudibranch

nudibranch

We chased a trio of delicate little ghost pipefish into a waiting safety net of electric orange soft coral. Making our way along the top of the wreck at about 29m depth we met a local spotted eagle ray that took one look at us, turned his nose up and went back to dancing gracefully above the ship's deck and right in front of our faces.

Spotted Eagle Ray on the L.S.T.

Spotted Eagle Ray on the L.S.T.


Probably the most elegant marine life in existance.

The day keeps getting better. I just got a facebook message from my friend Emily saying she will be joining MY parents, my lifetime friend Erin and HER parents to Vietnam in June/July for our family holiday so she will be stuck with me for a whole month! Right now you can't wipe the smile off my face (insert corresponding emoticon reflecting Natalie's present emotional state here: Cheesy grin)

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 21:35 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches people parties animals boats diving bay scuba dive wreck subic vascos Comments (0)

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)

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