Wreck Diving in Subic Bay

•June 28, 2011 • 3 Comments

Three weeks ago, I had the chance to dive some great wrecks in Subic Bay. I even got to see the inside of two of them as part of PADI’s Wreck Diver course. The water in the bay was a warm 28C, but visibility was pretty low, maxing out at about 8 meters.

The first ship that we penetrated was the USS New York. It was a Navy Cruiser that was intentionally sunk in 1941 to keep it from falling into Japanese hands. Descending along the anchor-line was very eery. I couldn’t see anything but the rope on the way down due to the low vis of the site. All of a sudden, the outline of the old ship jumped out at me and before I knew it, I was right on top of it.

Here is Andy, my instructor, laying out our safety line.

He got a good shot of this plaque that was put up inside the ship. We actually swam a few meters past the sign, up the stairwell, and peaked into the engine room. Andy is an experienced technical diver and has spent countless hours inside this wreck.

The second ship we went into was El Capitan. El Capitan was a freighter sunk by bad weather in 1946. This is me practicing my buoyancy before going inside.

Here I am inside. The little bit of light filtering through didn’t help me see anything, it just made everything spooky.

Time to get out


Another notable wreck was the San Quentin, which was sunk by the Spanish in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. Not much was left of this ship but the boilers were easily distinguishable.

In addition to the many historic wrecks, there was some nice marine life in the bay.

We saw a couple of these Spotted Blue Rays

School of Jack Fish

Octopus

Scorpion Fish

Here, we were approaching the beach of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (the old Navy base). There was a beautiful sunset here the day prior, but my camera’s batteries were dead before we made it in.

The beachfront in front of my resort

I stayed at the Arizona International Resort for the week and couldn’t have been happier with their accommodations.

I had a great time in Subic Bay and, even though this was a solo trip, I think the whole family would’ve enjoyed it here.

Next time I will definitely bring a wide-angle lens for my underwater camera.

Next stop, Moalboal!

Check out Scuba Tech Philippines if you want to dive on any of these wrecks and don’t forget to visit my Flickr for more pictures.

Ocean Adventure / Zoobic Safari

•June 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

On Friday, June 10th, I took a break from diving and went to Subic Bay’s Ocean Adventure and Zoobic Safari parks. Ocean Adventure consisted of four shows, two of which were primarily for kids. “Walk on the Wild Side” was the first show. The crew showed off a bunch of small animals and then got the audience involved in some games. The girl pictured below had to touch three objects and guess which one was the real snake.

Next, there was the Sea Lion Marine Patrol Show. This one got a lot of audience participation as well.

The third, and my favorite, was the Dolphin Friends Show.

Finally, there was The Adventures of Olongapo Jones Show.

After the last show, it was time to move on to Zoobic Safari. They had a nice variety of animals which included big cats, reptiles, birds, etc. The main attraction was the Tiger Safari, where you got to get up close and personal with a big group of tigers.

You only need one day to see both parks and I recommend them both for a fun family outing near the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

More photos are available on my Flickr page.

Subic Bay, PI

•June 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It’s typhoon season here in the Philippines and there has been a storm overhead for the past 24 hours. Before the storm, the water in Subic Bay was very calm and the beach was spotless. At least I was able to finish my dive courses, which included buoyancy, nitrox, and wreck penetration training. I’ve been on 10 dives so far and underwater pictures will eventually follow.

For some reason my new MacBook Pro won’t read my memory cards after they’ve been loaded with pictures. I found a workaround to this problem but it’s a bit tedious and has really slowed down my workflow. I have to unload my pictures onto my iPad, which luckily I decided to bring at the last minute, and then use Lightroom to copy them to the MBP. I’ve also been experimenting with Photoshop in order to restore some color to my underwater photos.

Thank you, Andy Davis from Scuba Tech Philippines, for helping me become a better diver and underwater photographer.

-Mike

Welcome!

•May 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Hello and welcome to my travel photography site. From here, I hope to share my adventures as well as give myself a place to reflect on all of my trips. I’m currently working in Afghanistan so most of my pictures will come from my upcoming vacations. To start, these will include the Philippines in June and Northern Michigan in July. I love to travel and my list of places to see is endless.

I hope everyone enjoys what’s to come.

-Mike