A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about philippines

I am Second-Hand

semi-overcast 35 °C
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Am feeling rather fragile after what began as a quiet night out to the Lighthouse, and ended this morning in a harrowing display of projectile vomit at 63 feet. I hold Gregg ultimately responsible for my current condition, which was partially influenced by the ridiculously amazing frozen Margaritas on offer at the Lighthouse restaurant on the waterfront.... and then the ridiculously amazing margaritas on offer around the corner at Swell Bar where Gianne works. large_100_1052.jpg

No matter how mouldy I may have felt, I am so glad I didn't miss the chance to dive the L.S.T. again. Where the middle of the ship has collapsed in on itself (totally stable, yea?), you can manage to swim up inside the wreck and make your way through the crew's quarters where there are still remains of the steel bed frames against the walls, bathrooms and electrical cables hanging from the ceiling. The exit is up a steep flight of stairs with only a few shards of natural light penetrating the roof and illuminating hallways. I honestly think it could be the location for an underwater horror movie. Creepy!

Out of the 72-odd photos I took on the LST today, only one came out well and I am a little proud of the ghost pipe fish I found, considering the state I was in. Please ignore the big smudge mark on the lens.
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Mark is an Australian guy who has been diving with Vasco's for three of four days now. He has just bought a whiz-bang underwater camcorder and has promised on pain of death that he will share said photos and videos with me in the next day or two. I believe there is a rather flattering video of me convulsing, purging my reg and just generally epitomises how rotten I feel. He felt so sorry for me that when he, his partner Patricia and friends came to Vasco's for dinner tonight I was invited along to commiserate. The live band arrived; a family of four beautiful singers and musicians. A solid mango shake later and I was good to rock n roll. We spent the evening listening to a sweet mix of Bob Marley, Elvis, Shakira and the Eagles. Yes, they do requests too!

Today's date sparked a conversation like most dinners I've experienced here; discussions about 2012. Will it? Won't it end? Allegedly someone predicted the sky will fall tonight, at 6pm New York time. Here, that will make it 6am tomorrow. So with the apocalypse allegedly arriving in 7 hours, and another typhoon looming over the mountains, we wait around for the world to end. I will be seriously disappointed if I die with a hangover.

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 14:20 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches birds boats diving philippines world bay tour scuba dive war wreck two wwii subic apocalypse end_of_the_world vascos dive_master subic_dive_centre uss_new_york 2012 Comments (2)

USS New York

overcast 30 °C
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We had some ridiculously good visibility and the photography went nuts! Yes, I went a bit overboard, BUT today the USS New York made me a very happy girl :)
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I saw a cuttlefish! I great big purple, gorgeous cuttlefish who literally sat and posed for the camera. P1010312.jpgP1010316.jpg My Dad will remember me called them 'Bumpies' since I was a kid watching the cuttlefish bump their heads on the glass of their tank in the Merimbula Aquarium. I never thought I'd see one in the wild but Subic continues to throw up new surprises!

The star attraction among Subic's wrecks. The USS New York was a battle cruiser launched in the USA in 1891, but scuttled by US Marines in 1942, to prevent her falling into Japanese hands. The 120m-long hull lies on it's port side in 27m of water.

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The USS New York has gone through some name changes over it's service life, beginning as the New York before changing to Saratoga and then as Rochester, was laid up at the Subic Bay naval base in 1933 to be cannibalised for spares.

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This has been an unforgettable dive and is a little bit creepy. The fore and aft twin 8in main gun turrets remain intact and there is the opportunity for some remarkable swim-throughs on the starboard side corridors. Until today, the visibility has been limited to 4 or 5m which just adds to the atmosphere of diving here. To descend upon the New York and to see it in it's enormity emerging out of the murky gloom is a really remarkable experience.

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Slightly more remarkable was the fare-welling of one of my beloved black fins, 60% of which now lies on the sea floor of Subic Bay.100_1050.jpg100_1049.jpg
I might needlessly add that Brian has taken to it with some poetic liberty and a kitchen knife.... it shall eventually be mounted in Vascos Restaurant with this plaque:

Natalie Osborn
(1989-2011)
Shark Attack

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 13:56 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches birds boats diving philippines world bay tour scuba dive war wreck two wwii subic vascos dive_master subic_dive_centre uss_new_york Comments (5)

Subic Isn't ALL About Wreck Diving....

To silence the critics who say Subic has nothing to offer except a couple of WWII wrecks!

semi-overcast 34 °C
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Brian took me to another of his 'secret spots,' surprising me with the sheer quality of what he calls the 'Coral Garden.' There he is above, in his most appropriate seafaring get-up.
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I am clearly loving life....P1010031.jpg and so are the girls!

This blog needs no more details really. Check out some of the videos and photos below if you don't believe me!

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These are my two favourite photos!!!

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Some particularly beautiful soft coral I found along the way
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These were taken on a day of not the greatest visibility, at least that's my excuse for some dodgy amateur photography!

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On the ascent....

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Just in case you forgot who it is I am diving with!

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 12:21 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches birds boats diving philippines bay tour scuba dive wreck subic vascos dive_master subic_dive_centre Comments (2)

The Possibility of Drowning

A Tropical Cyclone Has Blown Into Subic

storm 28 °C
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Check out YouTube for my videos (Darn Traveller's Point and crappy internet arrrgh!!!!!!)
Rain on Mother's Day

Since this video it has literally been 30 hours of non-stop torrential rain. A tropical cyclone has reared it's head just off the coast and I am still worried about the possibility of drowning.

To think Gianne and I were scared in the dark last night with no power and a strange tapping noise outside- this is what we woke up to this morning.....
Trouble in Paradise

One and half hours and $70 later, Olongapo City Immigration has officially allowed me to stay in the Philippines for another 6 weeks! Woo hoo! Got my visa!!!

Got my visa!!!

Of course what better way to spend a day which would have otherwise been spend holed up inside hoping the cyclone will blow away?

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 17:48 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches birds boats rain diving philippines bay tropical tour scuba dive wreck subic torrential cyclone vascos dive_master subic_dive_centre Comments (1)

Sunday Boxing

also Mother's Day but that seems to have been forgotten today....

overcast 29 °C
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Diving has been called off today for a far more important engagement:
Manny Pacquiao just defeated Shane Mosley in the Welterweight Boxing World Championship. He is a national hero here in the Philippines and dare I say it, they are all a little bit excited today!

Vasco's restaurant has been jam-packed since 9 o'clock this morning

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Brian has set up no less than FIVE televisions around the restaurant and has hooked the sound system up to broadcast around the entire resort!

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And I have the BEST seat in the house!
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A last shout out to all the Mothers, whose special day it is today. Especially my Mum, I love you and I can't wait to see you in June! xox

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 12:57 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches birds boats diving philippines bay tour scuba dive wreck subic vascos dive_master subic_dive_centre Comments (1)

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