A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about sharks

Creatures from the Twilight Zone

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

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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)

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....

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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.....
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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

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Big (I mean GIANT) clams and other shell fish
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Big nudibranch P1010150.jpg
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Big hermit crabs
Big blue-spotted stingray

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And one iddy-bitty baby lion fish... so cute!
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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)

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