Sunday, 6 October 2013

"Thar be Monsters" Yachting the Southern Visayas

I just made landfall yesterday morning in the town of Moalboal after a whirlwind 7 day tour aboard the luxury liveaboard yacht, the Philippine Siren, which embarked from Cebu on September 28th.  We travelled from Cebu south to Cabilao, Balicasag, then to Sumilon, Dauin, and Apo Island, before looping around the southern tip of Cebu and travelling north to dive at Pescador Island and Moalboal.  We completed 21 dives during the trip bringing my grand total number of dives up to 242 (and counting).

The boat was beautiful beyond words with smooth, shiny, rich hardwood floors and cabinets, clean and spacious cabins with air conditioning, private bathrooms with hot and cold running water, a cozy salon with comfortable couches and a flatscreen TV, a diving preparation area with individual cabinets for each diver's equipment, and a spacious sundeck. 

 my beautiful cabin... all to myself, what a treat! The comfortable salon featuring Juan-Pablo in his typical sleeping spot.

Big Breakfast
my cabinet and diving prep area showcasing my new rig; Fathom One wing, aluminum backplate and webbing... simple and functional.  No more bulky jacket-style BCD!
relaxing on the sundeck... now... where's the sun?  Sadly the weather was still cloudy and windy for a lot of the trip.  It pays to research the weather of a country before you visit.  Lesson learned!
The whole gang and crew
Fresh Tuna Sashimi.  Best tuna I have ever had.  I'm sorry sea :(

I've seen even more amazing and wierd underwater creatures now... Thar Be Monsters!!!  Some of my new finds included Whale Sharks, a Blue-Ringed Octopus, Dragon Sea Moths, Fingered Dragonets, a Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Giant Frogfish (a type of anglerfish), and of course some more different types of Nudibranchs.
Snorkelling with 4 to 5m long Whale Sharks... at least 8 of them in Oslob, Philippines.  A highlight of the trip.
my dive buddy, Patrick, photo-bombing my frogfish photo

now just the Giant Frogfish.  so cool.

I liked the symmetry of this photo of a Spotfin Lionfish

Patrick photobombing another Giant Frogfish

Reef shot

Chamberlain's Nembrotha
 Grey Norse God nudibranch - laying a bright yellow ribbons of eggs
Persian Carpet Flatworm 

Miller's Nembrotha
Kubaryana's Nembrotha...still my favorite of all the cuddly slugs

Stonefish.  A face not even a mother could love.  frown in right foreground, eye visible in the center of the lump of fish.

Hawksbill Turtle

My dive buddy, Patrick, Overcome by boredome on a muck dive... not his cup of tea... but apparently air guitar (er, water guitar?) is his cup of tea.

My dive buddy for the week, Patrick

The Island of Negros, Philippines

This tenacious pair of Tobies kept pecking at my hair and hanging out 1cm in front of my mask so I took a few selfies for proof.
A nice cavern at Pescador Island

Land excursion to Apo Island.  Cute goats, dogs, puppies, lovely seascapes.  win win win win.

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