Friday, 27 September 2013

Pig Face for Dinner and Scuba Bat

I ended up staying in Malepascua longer than planned because I wanted to wait out the high winds and resultant waves that were preventing the dive shop from taking divers to the dive sites further away from the island.  The weather improved and I got to dive a WWII Japanese Wreck and dive with the Thresher sharks a few more times.  I even added two more "tech dives" by tagging along on a tech course for two of the dives using twin tanks and a decompression bottle.  this was excellent practice and I got a chance to use my new dive computer on a decompression dive with gas switch (worked amazing!).  I ended up staying 14 days and meeting some really great people there (Esther, Steph, Braden, Brent, Clive, Moff, etc.) who were great diving, happy hour, Philippino Videoke, and "nocializing" companions.  The definition of nocializing: a group of people sits together or has a meal together while utilizing wifi and their phones or iPads to check the Internet rather than socializing with eachother ;).  

I ate Sisig, a traditional Philippine dish.  It was quite good but I was told that it is basically a stir fry made out of pig face bits (ears, snout, cheeks etc.).  Apparently this meat was wasted by US military so the locals made use of it...quite delicious!
Brent Tanner and Esther at dinner
All meals should be served on a giant bed (me, Brent, Jayden)
Getting set to nocializing (Steph, me, Andrew, Christain, Brent)
Bananagrams Bitches!

Outside of the Thresher Shark dives I did (which are amazing!), and the very small and strange macro things I saw in Malepascua, the rest of the diving was only so-so and I can't recommend Malepascua as a dive destination unless you just go for a few days to see the Sharks.  There is a noticeable scarceness of fish (likely the legacy of dynamite fishing), nearly no hard corals, no turtles, despite a strong web-based marketing campaign saying otherwise, manta ray sightings are rare to non-existent, and when the weather is uncooperative you end up diving the same site repeatedly.  To all my friends on Gili Trawangan... Our diving beats Malepascua hands, if you only had Thresher sharks! Of note; boats for Thresher Shark dives departed between 5am and 5:30am (blechhhh).

Early morning shark dive departure.  Divers, gear, and cylinders are transported across the island on windy days to the sheltered side.  3 people to a bike.
Sunrise while prepping for dive

But wait!  I did see something I may never see again in my diving career so maybe I shouldn't sell Malepascua short.  SCUBA BAT!

My favorite island dog
And my favorite island cat!

My home on Malepascua, Cocobana Resort.

Hammocks are amazing inventions

I spent last night in Cebu with Steph, a new friend whose tavel plans dovetailed nicely with mine.  We went for dinner, to a huge mall, then for ice cream.  She flies to Homg Kong today and I depart on a 7day Liveaboard trip.  The boat will travel from Cebu around to Moalboal and stops at a number of dive sites that were recommended to me so I'm really looking forward to, the boat looks amazing!

The website for the liveaboard company is  I disembark from the boat in Moalboal on October 5th in the morning and I think I will stay there until October 10th.  I might do a freediving course while in Moalboal.  After that I will head back to Cebu, where my cousin, Emma, will meet me Oct 10th.  We will likely travel to the island of Bohol next and see some Tarsiers (tiny monkeys) and hike in the chocolate hills (cool geological feature) then log some beach time before flying to Bangkok Oct. 15th.  Plans once Emma arrives are subject to change depending on her interests ;)  I will likely be offline for the duration of the Liveaboard trip but will post pics once I have wifi again.

Until next time!

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