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Poking in the Philippines

Poking in the Philippines

Early morning at Monad Shoal, we drooped down and a Thresher shark swam by right away!! The Threshers was the reason why was back on Malapascua and this one kept swimming slowly back and forth the cleaning station. Then suddenly, the Thresher was joined by a full sized Manta (5-6m)! After a few more passes the Manta and Thresher (~4m) were coming in to the cleaning station at the same time and then they collide! A very surprised and now agitated Thresher lowers his (/hers) pectoral fins bends it back and swims a few quick tight circles and then it took of for good... But the manta stayed with us for the full hour:). Malapascua don't only have Threshers and Mantas, they is also have some excellent macro diving. My favorite spot became Bantigi where I saw my first Seamoth, got attacked by a clown (and bitten several times in my head) and found lots lots more and even though I filled my memory card, I was still smiling when I shivering from the cold came to surface after 70 minutes...

The weather then got a bit rough and I continued to Sabang, where I did another 15 excellent macro dives.... My favorite find was a small "lump" with blue dots and rings on it. I waved my buddy over and signaled "What?" he locked at the lump, wich defenetly was alive, shrugged his shoulders and picked up a small piece of coral debris and poked it. After some more (gentle) poking the lump the finally moved slightly and you could see the arms. Ahaa I thought and changed my mind from "probably a cuttle fish" to "it's an octopus", I moved in and took another few picures as my mind startet to process the information: blue-rings + octopus. Aha! It's a: Blue-ringed octopus! ((Wikipedia says: "They are currently recognized as one of the world's most venomous animals." and then "There is no known antidote.")) My buddy continued poking it with the short coral stick :-) and I moved in even closer for another shot before we let go and followed the current... I dived Sabang two years ago and did not have a very good time, this time was awesome with lots of nudis, frogs, sea horses (spiny, pygmy, ghost pipefish, other pipefish) and 40 minutes with the famous but camera shy mandarin fish...



Two weeks of brilliant diving in the Philippines, I will be heading back later this year to try to get some better pictures....
// Magnus;


PS
Sitting on the boat the first day on my way out to Monad Shoal is spot D9 dive computers on two very well equipped (he in small speedos and her in a white bikini with strategic dots on it) Japanese diver, with a nice video camera and a nice still camera, but also sure enough wireless transmitters for their D9's.. Suunto uses 99 channels, and I was on channel 21 but not really to worried since I was on Nitrox and they where on air and would have to surface long before gas supply would be an issue for me. But I was still a bit curious what the odds of two of using the same channel was.... Then I spot one of the divemaster wearing a Vytec, and sure enough he also has a wireless transmitter... Then the girl asks me what channel I'm on, and I tell them 21 and they are mumbling a nodding quietly.... Then when I open my tank my first stage was leaking a bit to much so I closed it and tightened the first stage and turned the "air" back on, and I did it all in under 20s, meaning that I now jumped channel (to 07). Thinking 5 out of 99, I wonder what the odds are now, kitted up and jumped in...
DS

PPS To keep you from the sleepless nights, this odds for one of the other three divers (+ my "wasted "channel) to be on the same channel as me should be 10%. (1-99/99 * 98/99 * 97*/99 * 96/99 * 95/99 = 0.10 ...)
DDS


Expeditions: Asia, Philippines, 2008

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