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Anilao 2019 – The last day and journey home ☹️

Today’s the day we start our journey home.We actually don’t leave the resort until 16.30 so plenty of time for packing and playing in the pool, plus we get to watch everyone else go diving 😖Another flat calm day with no wind, actually just enough air movement to waft the cigarette smoke across from another balcony F.F.S. go back to bed and let me breathe will you?We were joined on the boat yesterday by Pam from Paris, her first time with her new camera setup, a lot of knowledge sharing on the way to the dive site!Her housing didn’t leak and she came back with pictures, ideal outcome.Jo appears to have mastered her new toy or at least certain aspects of it. Like most things, 80% of users will only use 20% of the features, especially as we only shoot in manual mode (which gives best control of all aspects of the image and exposure).More bits to play with on the next trip I expect. How long before I am tempted to the dark side? Quite some time yet I expect! … and I’m running out of organs to sell.It has been a most epic adventure, no dives missed, no colds or ear issues, great diving, great company, lovely resort.I would not be surprised if we didn’t book to came back next year. Oh, we did? And the year after that too?Ok, well that’s all good then.After breakfast (there was bacon!) we packed the camera gear away did some preliminary general packing. Then we wallowed for a long while soaking up the sun (plentiful supply of that today).Tea and hot chocolate accompanied by Skyflakes then more wallowing.We finally give up the sun ☀️☀️☀️, collect the rest of our dive gear which has been drying in the sunshine and do not of the rest of the packing before taking a light lunch:

B.L.T. all round with a side of coleslaw, this time washed down with:

Mango and banana smoothie, yum.We just watched most of the staff unload a boat of provisions (there is no access to the resort by road) and it looks like the remaining guests won’t be going hungry.Not much else to do now but sit, write and relax as we still have another 4 hours here.I’m sure the pool will get another visit, I got the log booked stamped already.I just worked out the average dive time over the 56 dives and it appears to come to 79 minutes. I think confirmation via spreadsheet needs to be sought but it’s looking like we spent a total of 73.5 hours underwater!Whilst eating lunch the weather has changed and it’s looking like there might be a shower or two ahead (it is the tropics!) Some thunder off in the distance too.

Another dip in the pool whilst it rained tropically then back to the room (a distance of about 30ft) for showers and final packing.

Now it’s mostly a matter of watching the world go by from our balcony (now got the room until 3.30pm), paying our bar bill and taking the boat at 4.30 around the corner where (hopefully) our driver will be waiting to whisk us away to Manila.

Out of interest I just did a check of our no fly time, still 7hrs and 13mins to go, fortunately we don’t fly for another 8 hrs and 30mins (no fly time after the last dive was 28hrs and 50 minutes) so we shall be compliant, phew!

Wendel and George took our luggage and loaded out on the the boat that we have been diving from during our stay. Time to leave then!

We head off and around Mainit Point and over to the Secret Bay where our taxi is waiting to take us on to the next stage. Traffic is not bad at all and the 3hr transfer to the airport turns out to be 2hrs 20 minutes including the boat transfer.

Manila airport is as hectic as ever and it takes a total of 90 minutes to check in and get through passport control etc.

A quick snack and now the long wait. We shall almost certainly peruse various outlets to look at all the stuff we just don’t need. Then boarding just after ten something.

Being a night flight I expect it’ll be one movie then sleep. We have seats at the back of the plane which are in pairs, no need to worry about climbing over other passengers every time one of us wants to go for a wonder, excellent.

Oh, and whilst enjoying our snack we are treated to Shaky’s rendition of Merry Christmas Everyone. It would appear to have started over here already.

The first leg went well, I must have slept some because the 9hr flight seemed like 3hrs, excellent.

We are now dossing around Dubai airport though we did manage to bag a couple of those fancy seats with footrests which was nice.

I suspect the Red Sea team are somewhere near their destination by now. Fingers crossed for warm waters and friendly fish.

Anilao 2019 Diving day #14

So here we are. The last diving day of our most excellent holiday.

It is as flat as a dab out there today but all could change.

The boats are waiting for the divers…

… And Richard is organising breakfast.

We have had a wonderful time and Nanie, our dive guide, has once again been fantastic. Oh, to have eyes as good as those!

We don’t fly until 23.30, so will have the day at the resort, enjoying the sunshine (hopefully) and the swimming pool. It does, of course, mean that we can do four dives today. I shall be doing dive 1400 today. 😄😄

Dive #55 – Red RockRichard wanted to go this site again.

Unfortunately, three boats here, including us, so busy, busy, busy. About 20 divers in the water is a lot when we are used to it being just us. I shall not be commenting on dive practices here. One for another time, on a Sunday night perhaps.

It is a wonderful site, we were first in and last out.

We saw:
Two turtles, one huge
Two tiger shrimps, together
Two pretty white slugs, laying eggs

Huge cuttlefish
Coleman shrimps on fire urchins
Gobis and shrimps on wire coral.
Beautiful white feather duster worm

Between dives we head into shore, so that George could pick up his dinner, pork in a bag.

This bus was by the shore…

Dive #54 – Gasang

My dive 1400!!
A seven octopus dive!
A muck dive on a sandy slope.

We saw:
Three mimic octopus
Four other octopus, coconut and other
Shrimps
Nudis
Very tiny seahorse in the blue, which we tried to save but it appeared that it didn’t need saving

It seems that I have converted Richard to BLT with mayo and coleslaw as the best option for lunch!

Dive #55 – Bubbles

This is an amazing site. Bubbles escape from the volcanic rock under the sand. Today, there were so many bubbles it was like swimming in a glass of Alka Selza. You can out your hand under the sand and it is hot, push further and you could cook an egg.

This site also has a rock formation that juts out into the sea, with a beautiful coloured wall.

We saw:
Bubbles, lots of bubbles
Many big fat beautiful nudis
Feather worms

It was raining when we surfaced.

We stayed on the boat for our surface interval, and as there was no hot water, Romnick popped into his sister’s house at Secret Bay so that we could have hot drinks to keep us warm.

Dive #56 – Heidi’s Point

This was my choice, as this site never fails to produce all sorts of critters.

We saw:
Wonderpus
Romney tiny Red blue ring octopus
Red hairy shrimp
Green hairy shrimp
Two little cuttlefish
Nudis

Richard and I have both acclimatised, must have, as we were both a bit chilly. That cup of tea wasn’t enough.

We have been joined today by Pam from Paris. Very nice. chatty. Although, she wasn’t aware that if she was quarter of an hour early, then she most definitely quarter of an hour late!

Pam was asking where we were from and I mentioned, Chichester, Portsmouth. She knew Portsmouth. Her daughter had stayed for a week of adventure on ‘White Island’. Sweet I thought, particularly as ‘Wight’ in old English means the ghost of a person came back to life, didn’t mention it. Happy Halloween!

So, that is it. All diving done. 56 dives in 14 days. Richard and Jo’s Most Excellent Adventure!

Anilao 2019 – diving day #13

Welcome to what is our penultimate days diving here in the Philippines.

In stark contrast to yesterday it’sso there could be new guestsyou on the boat, it could be just us, who knows? Clearly time will tell.

If there are new guests then I sincerely hope that they have not got any new photographic gizmos that Jo can lust after! So far, the shopping list includes:

Nauticam CMC-1 dioptre.

Probably the flip out adapter for the above.

A snoot torch, everyone needs one of these amazing devices, it opens doors to an entirely new world of creative lighting shots ( might even get one myself!)

A Turtle strobe trigger to replace the camera flash unit. This will trigger the external strobes without draining the camera battery, also supports TTL flash photography. It’s the firing of the camera flash (which is only used to trigger external units) which sucks the camera battery dry. Any compact camera users out there having to change battery after just one or two dives? Then this is for you.

Belleville washers, if you have any arm system for your camera and strobes then you need these. I kid you not, a real gem of a find.

Very big thanks to Graham and Nina for letting us borrow various items for evaluation as well as being completely responsible for our second mortgage!

No idea where we are diving today, don’t care either, all the dives have been excellent, there is such variety and diversity of sites here, more than enough to keep any photographer busy and happy, it’s no wonder the place is booked up a year in advance.

Tea, hot chocolate and biscuits between yesterday’s afternoon and night dives, yum.

Analysing gas before gear is loaded on to the boat. It’s been consistently 32% within 0.6% which is handy when we seem to be averaging 4 x 75 minute dives a day with two one hour and one three hour surface intervals. Our longest dives have been 90 minutes, max depth 30.2m. No fly time is usually around 25hrs after the last dive of the day, we fly at 8.00pm but will be out of the water by 6.00pm the day before flying.

Well, it’s just us on the boat for the rest of our stay, luxury indeed.

Dive 49, Kirby’s Rock.

This is a huge pinnacle with a smaller and lower one beside it and deeper.

Jo is busy with some Pygmy Seahorses so I toured the smaller pinnacle before we head back to the larger one to complete the dive. Unbelievable amounts of life here, mass nudi conventions everywhere and a nice medium sized white painted frogfish on the main wall. Now just in case you’re wondering, it was not a frog fish that had been painted white, it’s just a name 🎨🖌️!

Back on board for coffee, biscuits and bananas. Anyone who has been to the tropics will know that locally sourced bananas taste so much better in tropical locations compared with what we get back home 🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌.

Dive 50, Bethlehem

Our second time on this site. Straight down to the sea bed at around 14m then off to the centre of the channel at around 20m where the seabed is a rubble area which is home all sorts of nudibranchs, crabs and shrimps etc.

After the dive we head back for a swift B.L.T as we are back on the boat earlier than usual at 2.00pm for two dives back to back, an earlier night for a change.

I was talked in to the switch to B.L.T by Jo, my only real complaint is that she didn’t talk me into it earlier in the trip!

This last section was composed over a number of attempts as I am sitting on our balcony in the sunshine and keep falling asleep!

Dive 51, House Reef

Microscopic pink sea hares are the highlight (apparently, I need to see pictures) I was mostly playing with peacock mantis shrimps which were everywhere!

Back on shore for the usual hot chocolate and tea before we head out for the last dive of the day.

Whilst enjoying drinks we are entertained by a good looking cock:

.. Who was entertaining a hen in the traditional manner.

Dive 52, Heidi’s Point.

We arrive on site and or dive guide asks divers surfacing on a nearby boat what they found.

‘there’s a Picachu nudi’ says the diver.

‘where?’ says our guide.

‘at 15m’ says the diver whilst pointing seemingly randomly somewhere ‘out there’!

So we’re looking for something that would make a pettit pois look big in an area about the size of half a football pitch at around 15m.

Our guide found the thing and Jo has some nice pictures to prove it! (Plan the dive, dive the plan!)

Other highlights included a small blue ringed octopus ( pictures were taken ) as well as other octopus and nudis etc.

A lovely dive to end the day.

All back and showered and looking forward to dinner.

.. Which as it turned out was the usual loveliness of sweet and sour chicken, chop suey, fried rice and Lumpia, a most excellent feast.

As I apply the finishing touches to what is now yesterday’s entry I would like to confirm that it’s all very quiet here, apart from the usual cockerels and small fishing boats and noisy insects, not a breath of wind and what lights I can see are reflected in the mirror flat sea.

I just checked in for our return flights ✈️🌍✈️ so it looks like our joinery home is set, please could you make sure the heating is on and the wind and rain are turned off.

Anilao dive day #12

It has been raining over night and the wind is up. Looks like we will be going over to the other island where is will be sheltered.

Here is a picture of a visitor to the dive centre…

Not the case… We stay close to the resort. Wind had dropped and no current

Dive #45 – Vivyra

Coral outcrops and rubble area

We saw:

Pygmy seahorse

Tiger shrimp
Two peacock mantis shrimps together
Lots of nudis

The hour’s surface interval whizzed past as we chatted to Nina, Graham and Ann about all things dive and non-dive related.

Dive #46 – Elmer’s PointCoral reef

We saw:

Two large back frogfish and a medium lilac coloured one.
Shrimps on whip coral
Long nosed hawkish
Small leopard print boxfish
Long armed featherstar crab

After lunch of the norm, BLT, coleslaw and spag bol, I got off my pictures from this morning. Very pleased with the results. I really feel like I am getting to grips with the camera.

Sun came out for the afternoon and the wind has dropped.

Dive #47 – Koala

A beautiful site. Dives as a drift, as current everywhere.

Drift diving is not my favourite, however, this was a very good dive.

I spent some time interacting with a Peacock mantis shrimp. I was playing, the shrimp was probably scared stiff.

We saw:

Wonderful scenery
Lots of Christmas tree worms (one of my favourites)
Lots of nudis

Now for more hot chocolate, green tea and biscuits before a quick turnaround for the sunset dive.

Dive #48 – Manit Corner

Another night dive on this stunning site. Nina lent me her snoot again (last time as they go home tomorrow).

I had such fun! Took lots of pictures.

Such a beautiful site. Happy divers!

Time for dinner followed by pictures.

Dinner tonight was salt and pepper prawns, deep fried belly pork, chop suey and fried rice.

Anilao 2019 – diving day #11

After last night’s dive we reached the point where we had done all the dives on our hit list, we are now just happy to dive anywhere here, it’s all so very good and the variety is amazing.

Given how nice the diving is here it’s fairly surprising that we only encountered ‘other’ divers underwater to any significant degree for the first time yesterday, once on the afternoon dive and once on the night dive though to be fair, we only saw their torch lights in the distance on the night dive.

The fact that the boats only take a maximum of six divers and two guides ensures that the dives are never crowded/busy. Often there are only four or five divers on our boat and on several occasions just the two of us!

This week we have been sharing the boat with a couple of ex-pats Graham and Nina, who now live in Malaysia and their friend Anne from KL (the fashionable way of saying Kualalumpa I believe). Anne will be 80 next year but dives like someone significantly younger, Graham and Nina both have Nauticam housings similar to Jo and there has been much swapping of dioptres and snoot torches.

Initial results are promising, so much so that it looks like Jo’s birthday is going to have to come a little earlier than initially planned next year.

On the subject of Nauticam housings it does look like they have got the entire market covered now. When once the camera table exhibited a predominance of Subal beige, it is now most definitely Nauticam black, this is helped by the fact that they also cover many compact and now mirror less camera formats.

If you are considering an upgrade then I would give Nauticam some serious consideration (there, marketing done, can I get a free housing now please?).

Back to today, news just in that Sarah, one of our newest members has just got their sports diver qualification. Dives completed in the UK in October in a wet suit, hard core indeed.

Well done to the trainer’s too for getting Sarah to a BSAC qualification in what must be record time.

We are fortunate that the water temperatures out here mean that no wetsuit is required. We do wear rash vest and leggings for protection but that’s about it.

Er, when I say protection, it’s no protection from fire urchins, ask Jo for details of that experience.

Here’s one from earlier in the year, the same leggings still going strong. If anyone wants custom printed well made leggings then send your pictures and measurements and I can make it so. Mine have done over 100 dives and look fairly much like new.

Breakfast completed, blog updated, time to play with cameras (and by play I probably mean some silicone grease themed activity) and then off to explore the deep.

Dive 41, somewhere near Bubbles!

Current is predicted further out so we stay fairly shallow and move around the apparently barren Sandy bottom to find ornate ghost pipe fish, shrimps, crabs and nudis. Towards the end of the dive we enter seahorse city, a good looking pair of seahorses on the same piece of coral, both as keen to look at the cameras as an M.P. found leaving a house of I’ll repute in Soho. However, a combined attack meant they had to look at one of us!

A couple more relatively huge seahorses, one looking pregnant were wallowing around in the shallows, both looking like they were about to take their last breath. I do hope that this was a ploy to put us off, if it was then it worked, if not then ☹️

During the surface interval we make our way to ‘Bubbles’, a journey of around 30 seconds

Dive 42, Bubbles Point

We plan to go straight to the wall, the deepest part of this dive. We dive the plan and I end up at around 27m in spectacularly clear water looking at an amazing wall which is covered in life

We make our way along and back up the wall until we get to an area where there is significant nudi action. We stay here for 10 minutes or so before continuing our journey back up.

The current had started to pick up and I was not looking forward so much to going against it back to the boat.

To my relief Nani (our guide) decides to deploy his SMB, it goes straight to the surface, as would the line if it hadn’t broken! He retrieves the SMB and we surface to find heavy rain 🌧️🌧️🌧️

Before long we are picked up and taken back to base where we dine on BLT and burgers (love the local dishes).

Following lunch I’ve been sitting on the balcony soaking up the heat whilst a thunderstorm has rolled across the other side of the strait.

Much rumbling of thunder which I am advised sounds like someone is moving furniture on the balcony!

Dive 43, Saim Sim.

This sandy slope muck dive seldom fails to disappoint. This dive gave us nudis, frog fish, skeleton shrimps (pointless creatures) and some very colourful anemones.

I also found at least a dozen tiny leaf fish, or they might have been Scorpion fish, difficult to tell as they were less than 5mm end to end!

I swapped cameras with Jo at one point, not a good move for me, radically different and she had done well to make the transition. We swapped back again fairly swiftly!

We also had the current fish on that dive so we won’t be going back there for the night dive. 🏊

Back on dry land, a swift hot chocolate and tea and I have just been informed that it’s time to get back in for the night dive!

Ok, let’s do it, report soon.

So we went night diving and it was dark, my camera battery appears to be a little too loose in its holder and I got premature battery low signals, nothing a couple of fag papers won’t sort out.

Jo was on a voyage of discovery with a borrowed snoot torch, that went well.

We came across a large octopus, I offered it my podger, it didn’t want to give it back. It turns out I am stronger than a man eating octopus 🐙 but only just!

Another point of interest, there is a dedicated camera room with plenty of bays with lights, charging points and air guns for drying kit. At any time there could be £100,000+ worth of gear in there, which is why they take security very seriously.

Here you can see the security device that stops the door from opening.

Fortunately, Jo and I managed to overcome the device to gain access early one morning!

Camera Update: The two fag papers did the trick!

Anilao 2019 diving day #10

Yesterday, Graham, one of our boat buddies, let me use his SMC-1 dioptre for a couple dives. Nice! Looks like Christmas is sorted. Upon further investigation, by Richard, it would appear that the CMC-1 version is more suitable for my camera. Looks like Alex Tattersall will be hearing from us again soon.

Breakfast done and on to cameras.

Dive #37 – Arthur’s Rock

Richard with the wide angle lens.

We saw:Large grey frogfish
Nicely positioned slugs and starfish

Dive #38 – Twin Rocks

Another wide angle dive for Richard. Beautiful at the rocks. Covered in soft coral and yellow cup coral with lots of fish.

For the first time on this holiday, we had a swarm of other divers pass over, between and under us. That is a rarity here. Normally just us and Nanie, our guide, occasionally the others from our boat, Nina, Graham and Ann with their guide, Romnick.

The dive sites here are so quiet. It is wonderful.

There has been much talk of Richard going in for the dive without stuff, eg Mask, computer. However, I have keep quiet about rolling in backwards off the boat without my reg in (just Wendell and I know)…

Let’s see if Richard reads this post!

Dive #39 – Coconut Point

More gear failure! My mask strap now! All sorted although, I now feel lopsided!

Nina has lent me her torch and snoot. This will stretch me!Down to the “oasis” at 18 metres.

Beautiful black coral outcrops, which aren’t black at all, more like mini white weeping willows.

Some flabelina type nudis and Shaun the sheep nudis.Had fun with the snoot. Maybe that’s Xmas sorted for next year.

Time for high tea before the next dive.

Here is view as we sip our drinks.

Dive #40 – Manit Corner

Night dive on the corner! Current everywhere else, but not on the corner. How can that be? But it was. Down side was that there was three other boats. It was a bit like Close Encounters.

We saw:
Stunning cup coral, both yellow and green
Various big fat nudis
Amazing colourful reef
Various eels, out swim
Pretty Scorpion fishIt was a very good dive.

We eaten a lovely tea and now it is time for the review of pictures before bed.

Oh and just because I can, here is another shoot of the sunset tonight.

Oh, and Richard hasn’t mentioned my failure to put my reg in yesterday. Obviously, not read my post! Hmmm, he quizzes me on what he writes….

Anilao 2019 diving day #9

Welcome to a another day in Anilao, though today will be different from yesterday as I plan to have significantly fewer instances of gear or diver error!

One interesting phenomena we have encountered is that, as we are spending over five hours a day under water, the line between being submerged and on the surface is sometimes not quite so clear, I use this excuse for forgetting my mask on one occasion and my computer on another.

Several solutions Come to mind.

Dive less? I think not.

Stay fully kitted with mask and computer on, just in case? That’s a possibility.

Try harder? Yes I could try that.

Buddy checks? Yes, I think that’s the solution, I think I’ll give that a whirl.

I should point out that we have performed a buddy check before EVERY dive we have made on holiday though they seem to have gotten trimmed down to comparing cylinder contents and not much else.

Yes, buddy checks, that is what we’ll do!

Actually, thinking more about it, where do Mask and Computer feature in a buddy check? PADI talk about Burger With Relish And Fries, I can’t recall an equivalent BSAC acronym but I suspect it’s in the Fries, the Final check, accordingly I shall be concentrating on the Fries section from now on.

Jo loves the Fries 🍟…. And on that note, time to drag ourselves out of bed and get some breakfast for before long it will be time to get wet once again 🍟🍟🍟🍟🍟.

Whilst I remember, when it’s hot hot hot, it’s nicer if the beer is cold cold cold!

Dive 33, Olympic Point

Our second visit to this reef on this trip. A sandy slope with coral outcrops ends up at what they call a rubble bed at around 21m, the bed consists of mushroom corals and lots of broken corals hiding all manner of life.

A couple of Tiger shrimps were spotted though they seemed to care little for the attention of cameras.

The surface interval is spent drinking coffee and eating Red Velvet Oreos then it’s in for the second dive.

Dive 34, Tres Chevas.

A fairly steep slope of coral leads down to the seabed at around 23m. There was a thermocline at around 21m so I stayed above that! 29 degrees, I like.

Highlights include shrimps and crabs various, blue ribbon eel, juvenile Baramundi, juvenile bat fish and some Christmas tree worms, always nice to end a dive trying to photograph those camera shy critters!

After lunch we head out for the afternoon dive.

Dive 35, Heidi’s Point

This sandy slope muck dive seldom disappoints, after descending on what looks like a desolate wasteland of nothingness, it all starts to appear: nudis, flatworms, shrimps and crabs of all colours and shapes. At the end of the dive, a very small (3mm long) frog fish with pink spots was discovered in the shallows. It was on a feeding frenzy, after all, it did have some serious growing to do. Another most excellent dive.

A quick update on the whole buddy check thing, it’s going very well indeed, since refocussing on this important part of the dive, nothing (thus far) has been forgotten and all had gone well.

My backup computer is playing ball once again and is now fixed to the outside of my jacket instead of lurking in a permanently wet pocket (it had been suggested that this might have been the cause of the Er issue).

We return to base for a swift hot chocolate / green tea and biscuits before we head out for the night dive.

On the point of day/night diving. The sun sets on the distant horizon at around 5.30pm, as it is setting it still appears to be daylight above the water but moments after getting in, it’s fairly dark then before long, around another 10 to 15 minutes later it’s black! We like to dive during this transition as we get a good night dive and are back in reasonable time for dinner.

Dive 36, Secret Bay.

This relatively steep sandy slope hides all sorts of critters including a couple of good looking sahorses who thought they were in for a quiet night together as well as a very colourful peacock mantis shrimp with eggs which was out and about instead of just peering out of its hole. It didn’t appear to notice that I was right in front of it, clicking away with two strobes right in its face.

Also all manner of nudis, flat worms, crabs and shrimps were on display.

Secret Bay also has areas where the seabed is very hot, too hot to bury ones hand in the sand. Like ‘Bubbles’ which is further along the coast, geo thermic activity is worryingly close to the top of the the seabed!

Back again for dinner. A switch in strategy sees the chop suey replaced with mango and cucumber salad and the Lumpia (vegetable spring rolls) replaced with Shanghai Rolls (similar but filled with minced pork). Then Sisig (Spicy version with chilli) and fried rice. Maybe by the end of the trip we’ll have a better grip on the ordering process but the food is all so very nice! 🍟 🍯🥘🦐🍲

Anilao 2019 diving day #8

SPIDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This morning, at about 5.45, whilst dozing, I was brought to consciousness by the shout of “SPIDER!!!!!”. The biggest spider ever was climbing up the wall near the bed.

(Not our picture, but it was this size)

So, I sent the best man for the job in to do the pest control. The spider which was bigger than his hand was coax it into a mask box, even though it’s legs were sticking out either side! After some gentle manoeuvring, it was gently flung into a tree as far from us as Richard was able to manage.

Richard has changed his lens to the wide angle variety. We are looking to do Daryl Laut (the casino wreck) and Sombrero again.

Here is a different balcony shot. My view of our balcony whilst having our breakfast…

We are mindful that we are now in the second half of our holiday. Seven days diving, and 28 dives, done.

Dive #29 – Daryl Laut

Gear failure! Richard’s mask strap broke just as we were going in. With a little bit of fiddling, he was in the water, where I was waiting.

Another excellent dive on this ‘wreck’.

Richard seemed happy to be using his wide angle lens.

I got punched by a peacock mantis shrimp and bitten by a fish.

We saw:
Octopus
Nudis
Shrimps
Electric clam
Drifting towel, which Richard saved and tying to the drifting anchor line.

Surface interval chatting to Nina, Graham and Ann. Coffee and Bananas for a snack.

Dive #30 – Sombrero

Stop the clock! More gear failure!

Richard’s fin strap this time. Retrieved spare from bag and then he joined me in the water.

This is such a beautiful site. So much fish life.

We saw:

Oodles and oodles of butterflyfish, along with so many other reef fish.
Large shoal of red toothed triggerfish, very aggressive to other fish.
Current fish, so the boat picked us up.

After lunch had a quick swim before the third dive of the day.

Dive #31 – Manit Corner

Luckily, no more gear failure. couldn’t have coped with the embarrassment.

Richard? Who? My buddy? Nooooo!

Such a beautiful dive site. Richard in his element taking wide angle shots again.

Lots of big fat nudis to take photos of.

Banded sea snake.

A very close encounter with a large turtle. Posing with turtle whilst Richard took pictures.

A quick drink and biscuits, green tea for me a hot chocolate for Richard, before we head out again.

Dive #32 – Secret Bay (ssssh)

Just the two of us and Nanie.

The night diving here is so good.

Sandy slope and critters

We saw:
Small yellow seahorse
Bobtail squid
Very pretty shrimp on a wire coral
Very unusual slug
Juvenile flying fish
Lots of other stuff

Dinner done and now time for looking at pictures before early night but before I go, here is another of the signs fitted around the resort.

Anilao 2019 – diving day #7

A peaceful start to the day, with the possible exception of the cockerels 🐔

the local basketball team 🏀 and boats heading out for fishing 🎣 and it’s not even light yet!Hopefully I have recovered from yesterday’s misterminas and will remember to take both mask and computer with me on the dive and not leave them on the boat.The sea is flat and the sky mostly clear. No hint of the sun coming up yet though it shouldn’t be long, we did book it. It’s still only 5.30 so there’s still time.

Handy signs for the boat captains in case they can’t remember where the dive site is.

Dive 25, Kirby’s Rock.

I know I bang on about the magic and splendor of the sites here but Kirby’s Rock is both magical and splendid.A massive rock juts out from the coast, it’s top is less than 5m from the surface and the bottom goes all the way down to about 20m, a second rock further out goes down to about 30m and between them, a small rock is home to some yellow pygmy seahorses.A giant wall is packed with features, outcrops and crevices. The whole thing is covered with life, nudis everywhere and a giant painted frog fish completes the picture.A lovely dive, great vis and no current.

Back on board we head around the coast to moor up at Macawidi for our surface interval, coffee and biscuits.New guests on the boat today, Nina and Graham who we met out here and dived with last year, ex pat’s now living in Malaysia.

Dive 26, Minilog

A sandy slope with many coral outcrops, home to all kinds of life including nudibranchs, shrimps and crabs.I was viciously attacked by a nasty looking clown fish so I gave to trying to photograph the crabs on its anemone.Another lovely 80+ minute dive in bright sunshine.Back to base for lunch. Jo promised herself s quick nap, 90 minutes until the next dive, let’s see how that goes.As as it turned out Jo managed a nap and was fully prepared for the afternoons diving.

Dive 27 Apol’s Point.

This site is known particularly for it’s amazing collection of fearherstars. A large rocky outcrop extends from just below the surface down to about 18m then it’s a sandy bottom with lots of coral outcrops. Lots of Nudi and shrimp action.

Towards the end of the dive a 2m banded sea snake moves through, fortunately it showed no interest in sinking it’s teeth into me 🐍.The current fish appeared towards the end of the dive.Back to base for hot chocolate then it’s out again for a dusk dive on the house reef.

Today’s sunset:

Dive 28, dusk dive on the house reef.

Another most excellent night dive, this time on the house reef. Lots to see, well positioned nudis, wonderpus x 2, Bobbitt worm, lots of shrimps, most excellent.Now on the Red Horse, best served cold.

We just had the most amazing tea, sorry, no pictures, it was super scrummy.

Deep fried Lumpia then fried rice, vegetable chop suey then pork sisig, spicy. Absolutely lovely.