Anilao, the journey home

Didn’t sleep too well last night, was it the excitement of coming home? Probably not.

Here’s one from yesterday:

Our Last sunset.

The dining area.

Took breakfast with Darrel and Dianne and then pushed all the camera gear back into it’s case before we commenced the process of goodbyes. They are off diving this morning at Coconut Point and will probably not be back before we leave.

From the left: Jake (crew), Nanie (guide), Dianne, Darrell, Me, Jo and Wendel (captain).

Here’s their (was our) boat just before they set off:

We are now bobbing around in there pool as we wait for the inevitable pickup.

Some random pool shots, I was about to take a picture showing the empty pools but a guest just jumped in and shattered the peace!

Hence the ripples!

All packed and ready to roll.

Just got no boats to take us, what a shame.

Disappointingly a boat turns up and before we know it we are whisked away around the corner to meet the van for the run up to Manilla.

Parting view:

The traffic through Batangas was properly bad, so much so that our driver did a U turn and then took us on a cross country route which is always a worry when you have a plane to catch.

As it turned out, after about 15 minutes we were on the expressway to Manilla. I use the word express with some reservation, there were indeed moments of express ness, there was one, sometimes two and occasionally three lanes. All of which appear to be fair game for overtaking, undertaking and general Formula One style antics and our driver was quite the Shoemacher.

This continued for about an hour before we meet the snails paced queue that is clambering to pay a toll to get on the Skyway. After much barging in and general over assertiveness, we are on our way and before long we are at Terminal 3, Manilla International Airport.

The next game is to get past security checks and in to the check in lounge at the Emirates desk. Well, we loaded up on water before we left and we were given more water as we finally departed so it was considered a good idea that at least one of us found a rest room whilst the other held position in the queue. It turns out that to move around the airport it is quite handy, in fact essential to have your boarding pass to hand, this Jo did NOT have so, some blagging ensued, a short series of questions later she is allowed to pass. At which point. I take the baton (armed with my boarding pass). By the time I return to the queue I am disappointed to discover that it has not moved.

Shortly thereafter however, progress is made. We check in, under weight again (hurrah) and then make our way to departures.

For those that remember, we end up at the same eatery as we did on the way back from the Moal Boal / Sangat trip. It has not improved but provided lunch which we did not have time to get before we left Anilao.

Another update, another time zone, descending in to Dubai, been a long day ZZzz…

Dubai airport probably my least favorite airport, unfair and probably only because I have only ever been here in the middle of the night with a distraught body clock.

See what I mean!

Having enjoyed the 2 adjacent seats on their own near the rear of the 777 from Manila we were not looking forward too much to being joined by another as the 380 from Dubai does not usually support that configuration. Result, we are upstairs near the front of the aircraft where it’s just the two seats on their own, we like that a lot. Not only that but the Loo’s are mahoosive, room for a party of several!?!?

Back home now, Saturday was a blur, in and out of sleep, completely knackered, woke up early this morning only to realise the clocks went back so an additional hour of lost sleep….. And what’s happened to the temperature, 3 degrees F.F.F.F.F.sake!

Additional, here’s one of our friends Darrel and Dianne after their last dives.

What, run out of Red Horse?

Anilao dive day #14

So it falls to me to blog about our last day of diving. I feel before this, the events of last night should be shared.

After the final dive of the day, I ascended up 128 steps to the room for a shower. Richard went to the bar.

Well, I had my shower, turned off the water, looked down and saw a centipede sharing the shower with me.

Ok, I though. What now?

I remembered the trick with a glass, worked for the scorpion.

So, ok, glass in one hand, towel in the other. Deep breath and I move forward. It wasn’t until I got to the point trying to place the glass over the centipedes head that I realised my folly!

The opening of the glass was about 3 inches across.

This critter was a giant, literally a giant centipede. 12 inches of pure menace…

I can only put it down to panic that I couldn’t stop myself. The glass continued towards the centipede, the centipede writhing somehow ended up on the towel in my other hand.

Arrrghhhhh!

Everything was thrown to the floor.

Where was my Knight in shining armour? At the bar, drinking Red Horse.

What to do?

A call to a laughing receptionist got two young men to my room within a couple of minutes. Just enough time for me to cover my modesty with a towel.

One young man held a very large can of insecticide the other a broom and pan. They didn’t get anywhere need it until it had be subdued. Quite a lot if spray, a couple of bangs on the head, they felt it was ok to sweep the monster on to the pan for removal.

I tried to get a picture before they took it way, I was shaking, the young man was shaking, so it was a very poor picture.

This creature was the type of thing weird people might keep as a pet. Big enough to stroke, if you wanted to feel a pain so bad, that you wished you would die!

Dreams of being eaten by insects kept me awake last night, I wonder why…

On to today…

Another beautiful morning, blue skies and sunshine. This morning we went over to the island for out first two dives of the day.

Daryl Laut

Back to the Casino Wreck.
Lovely dive. Down to the bottom of the wreck, back up through the wreck and on the lattice work on the top.

Spent quite a while photographing Christmas Tree Worms.

We saw
Porcelain nudi
Pink eye gobis
Mantis shrimp
Ribbon eel
Xmas tree worms

Between dives we stopped by a tiny village where the boat crew picked up their tea, octopus. Octopus is not so beautiful in a white carrier bag.

Some of us went ashore, Darrall made a friend.

The others relaxed on the boat.

Minilog

Very enjoyable bimble.

Gentle slope with coral outcrops.

Lots of everything to look at.

Mantis shrimps
Pink eye gobis
Slugs
Tiny posing fish

We almost had an international incident on the boat on the way back! Darrall and Dianne, our Aussie friends, are very good at bringing lollies on the boat.

I know!

They’re not lollies.

Lollies have sticks.

So you see our issue.

Sweets =🍬🍬🍬🍬🍬🍬Lollies = 🍭🍭🍭🍭🍭🍭

Possibly the final BLT and coleslaw of the holiday, for lunch.

As a special treat, Richard arranged with Nanie for our last to dives of the holiday to be back to back (obviously with a surface interval) without coming back to the resort in between. This meant that we could go further a field…

Just the two of us on the boat.

Agahuta

Very pretty reef, covered in brightly coloured featherstars.

The reef slopes downs to about 18 metres, after which the sea bed becomes sand and levels off a bit.

We had some pretty big thermoclines on the dive, even had an ice cream headache for a short time. Temperature, like time, is relative.

Coleman Shrimps on fire urchins
Various nudis and shrimps.

Richard was quite distressed at the end of his dive. Couldn’t get a tune out of his head.

Follow this link if you dare.

Not you Jen!

Jen, don’t do it, or this will be imprinted on your brain forever!

Oh, and thanks Darrall, really! We shall have to find a way of repaying you for this… πŸ€”πŸ€”

During the surface interval, we spoke to Nanie and the crew about diving in the cold. Explaining that the ‘cold’ is 4 degrees, not 24!!!!! We, of course, offered for them to come and experience our ‘cold’ but to say that they weren’t interested, would be an understatement.

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

Our last dive of the holiday…

Top of the reef is at about 5 metres. Gentle sandy slope to rubble at about 15 metres.

This area was so full of life. Lots of little fish
Nudis
Shrimps
Very pretty mushroom corals, very purple

Fantastic last dive!

Back at the resort, dive gear, washed by Nanie and Jake, whilst we break down our cameras. Some planning will be needed to make sure that we don’t carry anything up the 128 steps unnecessarily.

Our last dinner with Darrall and Dianne. Tales of the Great Kangaroo Skin Robbery kept Richard awake for a short time. Unfortunately, nothing was able to keep him awake for long…

Anilao dive day #13

What’s this? Half way through the day and no blog update? OK, let’s sort that out right now.

Starting with yesterday’s sunset, correction, today’s sunset. Please read at the end!

As for today, Darral & Dianne beat us down to breakfast, Shock, Horror and Embarrassment, I kid you not, there shall be an inquest!

In a moment of bad planning we end up with a little more fresh mango juice than we had initially hoped for.

It seems that both of us had the same idea. As if that wasn’t enough I just noticed me in the picture sneaking in a glass of their chocolate milk, yum!

After prepping the cameras we jump on board our boat and head out across the bay to a dive site called Sombrero. This is a small island out on it’s own which has a beautiful and unspoilt coral reef area which looked amazing. Then the sun came out and it looked even better.

A fabulous 86 minute dive full of nudi action as well as amazing soft coral and sponge loveliness, good job I had gone with the wide angle lens for this one.

After the dive we head back across the bay, I take the usual all in one (sugar with a little coffee and whitener) beverage which surprises me every time I take a slurp as to how much sugar they manage to pack in there (a disappointingly huge amount).

Today in commerce I learn that the 80$ (Australian) that I got as a tax refund on the new lens can now be converted to Pesos, that helps with the tips.

Just had lunch, not too stuffed, time for a quick nap before the afternoon dives. Apparently it’s just us two on the boat this PM, Darrell and Dianne had the last day of their photo workshop so were tied up with that in the PM. Their photos and techniques have certainly come on a long way as a consequence. It is often said that a one on one photo workshop can bring your underwater photography on several years, it certainly did for us, money well spent. Time for another one perhaps?

We ended up nipping out to a nearby site called Aberden. to Dodge some current (new moon)

This afternoon we dive with Romnik as or usual guide Nanie has three afternoon off for domestic duties.

Here is Nanie in traditional resort post dive uniform:

This site is a muck dive on a sandy slope descending down to around 18m, there were many coral outcrops at the top of the slope so we could happily fall back to those if the current got too much further out/down.

Before long it was obvious that it was getting up a bit so we return to the shallows to what ended up being a great dive in good visibility with excellent light. Lots of stuff to see, Jo got some more time with one of her new favorite critters. A banded sea snake, working on the classic head shot whilst avoiding it’s fatal venomous bite, a skill I have not had much practice with myself!

After a quick turn around and sufficient surface interval we head back out to Secret Bay for a night dive. This is another site which has hot sand at the sea bed due to volcanic underground stuff (I use the word ‘stuff’ as i am no geologist and therefore know no better words to use, as far as I am concerned there are massive flows of molten lava just centimetres below the sea bed. How else could it be explained?!?).

Critters included skeleton shrimp, nudis, crabs, shrimps, bobtail squid and a very obliging proper squid which instead of swimming away from the camera, insisted of getting right up to it. It made for some interesting shots!

Another great shot by Darrel Sutter, thank you Darrel.

Back to base for showers and dinner, I use the showers at the dive centre whilst Jo ascends (128 steps) to our room for hers. This usually gives me some time to write up logs etc whilst sneaking in a Red Horse though this has all gone by the wayside since D&D arrived as it’s much more entertaining charting with them.

After a while Jo arrives at the bar and immediately orders a double Kaluha with ice. Strange I thought as following some unnecessary ness after consuming a dirty black Russian, Jo had taken a vow not to consume any more alcohol on this trip.

Upon questioning it seems that there had been an intruder in the room whilst she was taking her shower which resulted in two members of staff being called to the room brandishing whips and upturned chairs (in a lion tamer style) to deal with them. I shall leave the detail to her up coming blog entry. Suffice to day, she survived the ordeal AND there is a picture!

This mornings moonset:

Anilao dive day #12

Feeling hot, hot, hot!!

Bit of a scorcher to day.

We are early people.

Darrall and Dianne are early people.

Cameras all done.

Dive briefing, 8.15.

We are ready at 7.15…

Hmmm… Perhaps a little early. Out on the boat about 7.45.

Something we haven’t mentioned is the Goats milk fragrance mask clear.

Who knew it was a thing?

Who knew, if you did know, that you would want to smell like it.

Kirby’s Point.

Got to the pinnacle, top at 18 metres and bottom a long way down. This pinnacle was covered with yellow sea cucumbers. Beautiful dive site.

Back to the resort to pick up Dennis for more lessons for Darryl and Dianne.

Sun View

Dive on coral outcrops and sand.

Nice dive.

If I wasn’t on nitrox, I would have believed that I was narked. Trouble understanding my computer! The same computer that I have used for over 1200 dives!! Hmmm…

Bubbles Point

This dive was cut short by me. Something to do with the large waves, current and reduced viz.

Twin Rocks

We went in earlier than normal. Hoping for an early night.

Lovely relaxed dive.

We saw lots of nudis, shrimps on wire coral.

Yellow cup coral.

The giant clams, over a metre across, reminded me of the old black and white Tarzan movies, where he gets his leg stuck in one and struggles to free himself.

A dirty black Russian before dinner. Just the one! Stronger than expected, either that or I am a total whimp. Actually, I’m a whimp! Total lightweight.

FYI – That’s peanuts not baked beans!

I was shortly after this that I got confused between rug rats and carpet munchers. A story to tell…

Lovely tea. Quick look at photos and asleep by 9.30.

Completely shattered.

Anilao dive day #11

Less cloudy than yesterday. Sea still flat, not a breath of wind (at the moment anyway, yesterday a proper squall blew through at lunch time which probably had something to do with the yesterday’s 6 minute low vis shenanigans).

Today’s lunch ordering has just been thrown in to disarray as some of our lunchtime favourites have just made it on to the ‘Not Available’ board, Coleslaw and French Fries (we do try to keep our vegetable intake up)

Trying to eat less breakfast today as consumption has been playing havoc with the first dive of the day. I think I almost managed it today, time will tell.

The diving is taking it’s toll on our ears, both of us have had various degrees of pain and blockages but we have still been able to equalise, a probable downside of spending over 5 hours underwater each day.

Here we are performing a few last minute checks before departure.

First dive of the day was on Red Rock, so called as it is next to a big splash of red coloured rock on the shore, s major submerged pinnacle with different tiers going down to the sea bed at around 21m. Lots of nudi action as well as a Peacock Mantis Shrimp loaded work eggs. The dive was cut a little short due to a special ops opportunity, stories will follow….

Back on dry land, a quick dip in the pool and now drying off just so we can get wet again.

Next dive, coconut point, starts off with a bit of a muck dive, wet immediately stumble across a couple of Sargassum Frog Fish and a non cooperating sea horse, though the thing is quite happy posing for Jo. Then we head off down to an area full of Hydrozoa where we see several bright pink ‘Princess’ Nudis and a nice flamboyant cuttlefish.

On the way back more nudis and a large banded sea snake (out looking for Jo I believe).

Great news, fresh Bacon has just been delivered.

Other essentials including Red Horse beer have also been seen making their way ashore, good news indeed.

After lunch we visit Arthur’s Rock for a dive where we found quite a few nudis as well as a small current fish.

Something we failed to mention earlier in the week is that we crossed paths with a large pod of dolphins on the way back from a dive on Daryl Laut (the casino wreck) though they didn’t seem that interested in us as they disappeared under the boat.

We plan to take an early night dive so are currently sitting around in wet clothes drinking tea and coffee as it’s just 15 minutes before we get back in.

There’s the sunset, must be sunset dive time!

We headed off to a nearby site ‘Vivyre’ which is essentially a sandy slope where the more you stare at it, the more you see. Tonight’s catch included flamboyant cuttle fish, coconut octopus. Bob tailed squid and a whole heap of tiny shrimps and crabs.

Before dinner we sat the bar discussing all things dive holiday related as well as a few that weren’t. One brief topic of discussion involved someone that Darrall knew by the name of ‘Ecenbecker’. Or was it ‘Econberger’, ‘Eggnburger’ or ‘Eggnbaconburger’, still not sure, you had to be there to appreciate the enormity of the moment, but suffice to say, many tears of laughter were shed and we nearly ran out of tissues.

In other related news, another guest very kindly left some money behind the bar for a drink as we had helped him out with bits of kit and other stuff during his dives with us. He came from Argentina, and we thought we had come a long way!

Fresh Mango juice and Red Horse were consumed (though not together, that would be a bad thing).

Anilao dive day #10

Cloudy here this morning but still hot hot hot.

It was just the standard morning, breakfast, cameras, suits on…

It was at this point that I was in for a bit of a shock.

First boot on… All okay.

Second boot… Something tickling my big toe… Whipped off the boot in double quick time, only to see the head of a rather large centipede. Arghhhhhh!

Dunked the boot, nothing. Richard says it gone. Hmmmm, says I, if it has gone put your hand in to check….

Arghhhhhhh!

Boot dunked and swooshed. Out swims a 4 inches centipede.

Monster!

None of the bugs here are small!!!!

Mairit School

I was a bit worried about my sore ear, but we took it slow on the way down and slow on the way up.

Lovely bimble with plenty to see.

Peacock mantis shrimp
Tiny nudis, about 2-3 mm
Huge nudi, about 6 inches
Emperor shrimps on a fire urchin
Shrimps on wire coral

Had a dip in the pool between dives.

Sun View

Sandy slope. Wonderful dive. My ears were a little easier, or was it that there was so much to see, took my mind off it.

We saw a Wonderpus, mimic octopus, three flamboyant cuttlefish.
A very tiny juvenile seahorse.
Loads of mantis shrimps

After lunch of BLT, a quick nap followed by more diving.

Saim Sim

Aborted dive. Viz down to about 12 inches. Went down to the anchor, in about 4 metres of water, current, came up.

Secret Bay

Plan B.

Lovely dive, saw lots.

Ornate ghost pipefish
Pretty white seahorse
Nudis
Shrimps

Buceo House Reef Night dive

When is a night dive not a night dive?

A night dive is supposed to be dark. Way too many bright torches for my liking.

The boat dropped us off a little way up the shore and we swam back to the resort.

All sorts of nudis and shrimps
Fish on wire corals
Shrimps on wire coral
A very tiny slipper lobster, about 1 centimetre.

Dinner was shared with Darrall and Dianne, and also Sam, from Argentina, who has also been with us on the boat for the last couple of days.

Here is a picture of a bug under our table.

Tales of the “Laundry wars” were shared by Darrall and Richard told his Zachary’s Disease joke, in a very quiet voice.

A couple of Red Horse, a snifter of whiskey, and Richard is snoring like a bear in the woods.

Me? I’m waiting for my laptop to finish installing blasted Microsoft up dates before I can look at the photos.

By the way, I googled it, swimming centipedes are a thing! Who knew…

πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›

Anilao dive day #9

Last night, our friends from Adelaide arrived. They were to be picked up by boat just like we were so I decided it night be a hoot to go on the boat and greet them. Just to make things even more interesting, I suggested that we hid at the back of the boat with towels over our heads and surprise them when they were on board.

We arrive at the beach and have to wait a few moments for their van to arrive. When it does we cover ourselves up and his behind the skipper. Darrall and Dianne get in board and as we pull away from the beach they start to talk about these two POM’s who suggested that they came to Anilao. At this point, Jo can no longer contain her excitement so we go for the big reveal which was met with much surprise and enthusiasm all round. It went well. After a couple of minutes we were back at the resort and ready for bed (it was almost 10.00pm and apparently I had all already down signs of weariness, OK, I had fallen asleep after dinner!).

All good to go today, the sea is flat, there is no wind and it’s already hot, hot, hot!

First dive is Apols point. Magnificent coral outcrops smothered in brightly coloured feather stars. There was a title, frog fish (including a swimming one) and Jo was viscously attacked by a good sized banded sea snake.

The second dive was a muck dive at Heidi’s point. First time in with the new lens, what a result, I’m back in the (macro) room!

Several smaller frog fish, a flamboyant cuttle fish, a juvenile sea horse and all manner of shrimps and nudies. Another great dive on what looks like a very plain sandy slope!

In other news (that I embarrassingly failed to mention earlier) it transpires that Brendan has quite a few interests in common with myself, including the fact that he has built his own nixie tube clock and is a fan of vacuum tube electronics. A brother from another mother!

We get back just as they make their departure πŸ˜– back to Hong Kong, only a 2hr flight for them and they are home πŸ›«βœˆπŸ›¬πŸ πŸ›€πŸ›Œ.

The usual not quite so light lunch of BLT, fries and coleslaw and a good catch up with Darrall and Dianne and it’s almost time to go diving again. A quick pool session is all that lies between us and the next dive.

In the afternoon we dive Mainit Corner. This time with no current at all, what a difference. We are all over it, no nook nor cranny is left unexplored. Lots of Nudi back ends were seen, i think they were on a non cooperation strike!

After that is back for a quick change of batteries, another dip in the pool and off to Bubbles Point for a night dive where the gas bubbles from volcanic activity continue to rise. We encountered a completely painted frog fish on a wall at about 20m. It cooperated as all frog fish do by wedging itself into an inaccessible cranny between the wall and some coral so a reference shot from above is all I took.

Back to base for some fine dining consisting of sweet and sour chicken, chopy suey, rice and deep fried Lumpia. Another great day in the adventure.

Anilao dive day #8

Another day in paradise – someone should write a song about it!

The demise of my lairy leggings. At the beginning of the holiday a centimeter cut in the knee, after seven diving days, most of my left thigh was exposed. They have now been filed in the bin.

Plan B was put into action. Actually, I was rather pleased that I had a plan B. My old scubapro one piece has been bought out of retirement and saved the day and my embarrassment.

I am mindful that two days ago I mentioned somethings that I wanted to discuss but never got around to it.

  • Bugs
  • Bacon torrettes
  • Boat buddies

I think I covered the bugs, apart from the six inch leech that was sliming it way up our wall when it rained.

So now on to the bacon torrettes…

A severe lack of bacon happened a few days ago. None to be had! No BLT!!

Whenever we asked, we were told, “we don’t know when we will get some”.

Everyone was asking. It got to the point that we were randomly shouting out “Bacon!”

Perhaps, you just had to be there…

It was hilarious.

On to the diving…

Delayed!

A diver that has joined our boat today, he doesn’t seem to know that if you are half an hour early then you are probably late. Brendan and Vicki, our boat buddies, understand. They are our type of people. New to diving (Dives numbering in the 10s rather than the 1000s) but they just get it. Actually, rather embarrassingly, they are often ready before us! I know, unheard of…

Manit Corner

Lots of current. Beautiful reef.
Having to hide behind huge pinnacles.

Huge turtle.🐒
Huge slugs, all different nembrothas

Such an amazing site.

Secret Bay

Muck dive.

Gentle bimble, very little current.

Same place as last night.

Saw lots.

Coconut octopus in a bottle. πŸ™πŸΎ

Peacock mantis shrimps, large to very tiny. Also, Richard spotted one in a tin can, looking very picturesque, that was up until ‘late diver’ stuck his gopro in its face and made it run away.
Pretty slugs, pink and spikey.
Shrimps in wire coral and hydrozoas.

Lunch for me waz the standard BLT with Coleslaw. Richard tried something new. The daily special, carbonara with garlic bread. Hmmm, considering this was lunchtime, I shouldn’t have been woken up by garlic breath, but I was.

Two lovely afternoon dives.

El Pinoy

I loved this dive. Lots of nicely placed slugs in the rubble.

Really enjoyed the photo taking.

Richard didn’t enjoy it so much, until we came across some pinnacles, which were very beautiful.

Twin Rocks – Night dive

A very beautiful site. Possibly even more so at night. The yellow and orange cup coral, that are hiding during the day, come out at night and the two rocks are covered.

We did the rocks, shallow, first then down to about 20 metres and gradually back up at the next mooring where the boat had moved to.

A nice long dive. Ears are getting a bit sticky.

Had a lovely meal with Brendan and Vicki followed by the arrival of Darrall and Dianne. I shall leave Richard to supply those details.

Anilao dive day #7

The last day of the first half our trip!

Thus far it has gone well, a little rain last night but now dry, sunny and flat calm, let’s go diving.

After a light breakfast we head out to Dari Laut which is the wreck of an old floating casino that ‘caught fire’ one day and sank. No evidence of any casino activity but what is left of the steel work is dripping with life and a group of bat fish regularly patrol the deepest part of the wreck at around 29m.

After that, a relatively shallow bimble amongst coral outcrops took us up to lunch time, BLT, chips and coleslaw, yum.

Back in for we what ended up being a 93 minute dive at Twin Rocks which is about 55 seconds boat ride, amazing dive, so much colour everywhere.

Now relaxing with coffee before the night dive.

A quick trip around to the corner finds us in Secret Bay for the night dive where we find some of the usual suspects including crabs (various), shrimps, nudis and various other night dwellers including squid at the end.

For tea tonight I wanted the soup, tamarind flavored broth with meat and vegetables, well, all that was true, or had all those things though the flavor was so subtle it was a bit lost on me, back to tasty food tomorrow night!

We have now retired to our room to deal with the consequences of spending over 5 hours submerged today. ZZZzzzzz…….

Anilao dive day #6

Yet another beautiful day.

Our captain getting the boat ready, ours in Buceo Two, the one in the middle.

Things we haven’t mentioned so far…

  • Bugs
  • Bacon torrettes
  • Boat buddies

Starting with bugs. I find it rather strange that underwater we can get excited by the tiniest of critters, when above water the bugs can be huge. Butterflies as big as you hand (no photo yet as they don’t stay still long enough). Here is a picture of a grasshopper taken outside of our door.

He may not look huge but he was between 5-6 inches long!

Then last night we had this on our bathroom floor.

Size matters with scorpions. The smaller they are the more dangerous. This one was about a centimetre long. We are, however, safe. I put a glass over the top if and we are very bravely leaving it for room cleaning.

Dive 1

Great dive, no current.
Gentle slope, sand with coral outcrops.

Loads of nudis.
Lots for Richard to take pictures of, nice coral and featherstars.

80 minute dive.

Dive 2

A slope with coral. An extremely relaxed dive. A very slight current going with us. Just floated along taking pictures and shining my light in nooks and crannies.

Very large grey/pink painted frogfish.
Lots of Xmas tree worms.
Slugs.
Very best, at the end of the dive, a harlequin shrimp.

An 85 minute dive.

Arthur’s Rock

Great dive, no current.
Gentle slope, sand with coral outcrops.

Loads of nudis.
Lots for Richard to take pictures of, nice coral and featherstars.

82 minute dive.

Saim Sim – Night Dive

Very calm. No current.

Just us and Nanie on the boat.

Very gentle sandy slope. So much to see.

Six frog fish, including a bright red one about 2mm long.

Arrow shrimps, big crabs, little crabs. A family of cleaner shrimps on a beautiful feeding mushroom coral. A nudi with a huge mouth, about a third of its size.

Came up from the dive and there was a thunderstorm providing amazing entertainment on the 10 minute trip back.

79 minutes.

We joined our boat buddies, Brendan and Vicki for dinner, then work stuff got in the way to ruin a perfectly nice evening.