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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.