A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about salvage

Creatures from the Twilight Zone

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

sunny 34 °C

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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)

Diving and Marketeering

The L.C.U. of Triboa Bay

sunny 36 °C
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Learning to clean a reg has it's advantages; not just to the owners of a dive shop who can then employ you as a slave, but breathing through a freshly scrubbed reg is more like breathing silk. It makes diving feel like a completely new experience!

I may have already done this dive close to six or seven times but the L.C.U. still leaves me feeling inside out and back to front.

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The 'Landing Craft Utility' lies on the sea bed of Triboa Bay on a queer angle of about 50 degrees. If you forget yourself whilst swimming across the deck, you may find yourself grazing a rust covered wall that came out of nowhere and disappearing into thick orange cloud which leaves you sideways with bubbles dragging up your mask.

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It is absolutely alive with marine life, and upon entering the boiler room you become surrounded by tiny, curious tropical fish who don't seem to mind if you reach out and give them a stroke. A tiny pipe fish made his way along the ships hull and the obligatory lion fish got a big agro and flared up at me...
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We ascended up the line to a family of fifteen or so baby squid in a streamline and glittering formation.
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The visibility is always unreal.
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This afternoon I went shopping with Rose to the Olongapo local market. From what I assumed would be a giant food market I found so much more. A treasure trove of souvenirs, mountains of colourful clothes and tourist t-shirts, bags upon bags of rice, amazing fresh banana fritters, thousands of pirate blu-ray DVDs (don't ask me about their quality!), garlands of jasmine flowers, piles of fresh and exotic fruit and an intoxicatingly pink store dedicated to Hello Kitty.

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You can even have a handbag made out of a cane toad if it tickles your fancy.
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I was most surprised by the local's attitude to my camera. I expected the familiar refusal or the Thai choral "One dollar!" and instead found the shiny, happy people leaping in front of my lens for a single opportunity to be caught on film.
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Posted by VascoDiveMaster 12:56 Archived in Philippines Tagged diving market shopping resort souvenirs wreck service equipment treasure subic fresh repair produce subic_bay salvage subic_dive_centre regulator dive_centre vasco's Comments (4)

The Best Treasure.....

Trying to blog but have just been rudely interrupted by a couple on holidays that I met in Vasco's bar last night. I must have been charming because they have just decided to start their SDI Open Water Course.... tomorrow! Honestly, the nerve!

sunny 35 °C
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So it seems I have inherited a slice of Brian's treasure hunting finesse during my time at Vasco's.

This morning we took his young bloke Connar, and cousins Amanda and Justin; all undertaking their open water, to the site of some sunken barges close to Subic Airport.

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It's a really shallow, easy dive and Brian sent us all out the find glass coke bottles which look amazing on the bar in Vasco's Restaurant.
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Needless to say, we did actually find one or two coke bottles, but I did him one better....

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Surfacing not wearing my mask, but sporting a pair of brand new, made in Italy, VERY real Ray Bans!!!

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I'm pretty sure my find is valuable enough to rival some of the more rare and ancient pieces uncovered by Brian in the past.

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Just before our second dive of the day, Connar requested I take some photos of him learning to dive with Jayson so he can take them to school for show and tell:

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Pieces of the barges as we drifted across them:
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Some beautiful marine life I saw along the way:
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Posted by VascoDiveMaster 15:44 Archived in Philippines Tagged diving resort wreck service equipment treasure subic repair subic_bay salvage subic_dive_centre regulator dive_centre vasco's Comments (6)

History of Homan: Part 2

The Nuestra Senora de la Vida

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It was going on day three of this nightmarish, cyclonic, torrential downpour, however it seems to be just peetering out. Clearly diving was not an option so I have spent today getting acquainted with my new pad; 'The Dog House.' It is a not only a family sized room; WITH a lounge room and air conditioning, of course but is actually the remnants of one if Brian's old ships! The floor is slightly angled in, the walls are all the original ship's thick heavy timber and there are gorgeous big windows looking out onto an amazing view of the bay. I am just a little bit spoiled and it is just a little bit schmick.... My New Home!

Part of becoming a dive master is learning how to service your own equipment; an excellent skill if you hate paying for someone else to do it for you. Alternatively you can now pay ME to do it for you! Jayson and I sat down with a really old and dodgy regulator and proceeded to pull the whole thing apart. Needless to say, we made a mess!

Needless to say, we made a mess!

And do not discount the ever-present and necessary cup of coffee!

Fortunately Brian knows how to distract me in a tense situation. He salvaged a box of treasures from the deep of a shelf by an open window of the restaurant which was rescued just in time since the rain beating in had disintegrated the box; leaving musket balls, coins, porcelain, human teeth (arrgh), a hazelnut shell and Spanish coins all over the window sill.
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Brian's necklace contains a gold Spanish coin he salvaged and a blue Sapphire from his mining days

Treasures From The de la Vida

A History:

These treasures were all salvaged from the 18th Century Manila Galleon the 'Nuestra Senora de la Vida' on it's voyage bound for Central America. While the only existing Manila Galleon keel was discovered sometime in the 70's, it wasn't until 1984 that it was salvaged properly by Brian and his team of divers while exploring the northern end of Busuanga. History has documented the sinking of the 'Nuestra Senora de la Vida,' in 1620 as the result of a grave miscalculation by the ship's pilot, and biting a reef. The angry passengers, among whom were probably owners of the valuable cargo, hanged the hapless pilot as the ship was sinking.

The Spanish Pieces of Eight, from the Nuestra Senora de la Vida:

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 14:29 Archived in Philippines Tagged diving resort wreck service equipment treasure subic repair subic_bay salvage subic_dive_centre regulator dive_centre vasco's Comments (0)

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