Miscellaneous Dive locations

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 07 Oct 2014 1:33 pm

JR8 wrote:
These experiences later in a dive career make you a more thoughtful and sober diver. I'm grateful for that.

p.s. I'd still do it now if called upon, 'there but for the grace of God go I', but am off that radar...
I was an old man when I got into the commercial end of it (I was 30 when I broke out). The man who was the hardest on me was a old hand who was teaching at the commercial school I went to out on the west coast in SF. He was a former GOM diver himself and he gave me some words of wisdom that were to stay with me throughout my commercial diving career and later as well in the sport diving arena. "There are old divers and there are bold divers, but there are damned few old bold divers." I never got a hit in 20 years of diving commercially and neither did anybody else on any crew I supervised. So, yes, I'm grateful as well. ;-) I have shut some drilling rigs down temporarily much to the dismay of the Toolpusher and Rig Manager, but OI always backed up my decisions. Have to admit though, I did enjoy having a Federal Blaster's License. Lots of fun, that.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Girl_Next_Door » Wed, 08 Oct 2014 11:01 am

JR8 wrote:Yes I've dived Malapascua in the PH. Great diving, really 1st class!, great place.
I stayed at a tiny Anglo/Irish boutique dive resort... at the back of the beach.
http://evolution.com.ph/ See the reviews of it on Tripadvisor too.

Quite surreal really. Tiny place with a walk-up bar, maybe 12 rooms amongst the sand, a gourmet menu for dinner (changes every night, it's like 'Jamie Oliver' pub-grub, absolutely AAA+, I mean really it's better than almost any western food in SG it's that good!).

Then the two proprietors (one English, one Irish, both married to PH), are like mega-mega Tech divers. So, on this tiny little sandy plot with no roads, they'll fix you up for - up to - the most intense Trimix 100M+ deco day you're ever likely to do recreationally (given the location their compressor/gas-blending room is insane!). But it's ok, the basic recreational diving is just brilliant too... really legendary.

An unusual combination. A long journey, but I'd recommend it before years down the line it's just another trashed nirvana...

I don't recall the seasons now. Check their site. Cambodia, haven't dived there, I understand the waters, a la SG are more turbid, and 'dynamite fishing' has trashed any reefs. That doesn't rule it out of course, just sidelines it as more of a specialist (muck-diving) non-mainstream destination.

Other options worth exploring
- Lembeh Straits, Borneo (Example: http://www.diverslodgelembeh.com/ )
- Sipidan, Borneo (Example: http://seaventuresdive.com/ )
- Gili Air, off Lombok. (Example: http://www.manta-dive-giliair.com/ )
I've dived all three. They're generally quite remote. in the mold of 'small boutique resorts'. On the very top of their game. In destinations that won't be recognisable in 20 years time (a la Phuket 1990 - 2010).

I really recommend any of the above, for the diving, somewhat basic but quality accommodation, and a genuine unspoilt island (or off-tangent oil-rig!) experience.

Micronesia. My next planned destination, specifically Yap Atoll where by chance a very old acquaintance runs a hotel/dive centre... sounds promising, and we'll see...
I have a colleague who works in Guam. He have dived in Guam and Yap, and thought it was mediocre. On the other hand, he recommends Palau. Do you know much about this place? My husband has been bugging me to go to Palau... but its not a simple trip given the transfers.

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 08 Oct 2014 12:44 pm

Girl_Next_Door wrote:I have a colleague who works in Guam. He have dived in Guam and Yap, and thought it was mediocre. On the other hand, he recommends Palau. Do you know much about this place? My husband has been bugging me to go to Palau... but its not a simple trip given the transfers.
That's interesting, and damn these triangulations can be hard to gauge.

I mean, if I'd only quarry dived in the UK, I'd recommend the English North Sea or Ireland. If I'd only dived the North Sea I'd suggest Malta, Croatia, or Egypt. If I knew the latter I'd recommend Thailand or the Maldives. If I dived in the latter I might recommend Tioman or Perhentians... and if... Borneo/Lembeh-Sipidan, and then... Komodo, and then... PNG and the Galapagos... etc., [until I'd emptied my bank account].

So yes, for a person who lives and works in those places they might be nothing spectacular. But a first time visitor does not usually experience it the same way. Witness how a guide working in the Egyptian Red Sea will usually only (privately) rate a divesite that's either off-limits, or not on the tourist agenda.

Besides diving would not be the sole reason to visit Micronesia. I'd be interested to see the culture first hand. Just staying on a tiny atoll ring of coral hrs from anywhere should be an interesting experience in itself. That sense of extreme isolation is a rare and curiously contemplative experience one doesn't often get these days. For that and previously stated reasons, now is probably the one and only time such a trip will probably be possible, and work well.

re: Palau
Haven't dived there, but looked into it years ago, so don't know. As an oceanic atoll I expect it might be big on the pelagics (in season?). Given it's isolation, I expect it's $$$$ though!

This might interest you... http://www.footprinttravelguides.com/ac ... nce=DSET01
'Diving Southeast Asia

I have this and it gives useful 'no bull' overviews, maps, species lists 'Getting there' etc etc. Unfortunately right now I don't know where I left my copy!...

... possible rule of thumb... the more connections you have to make from 'civilisation' to a dive destination, the better the diving should be... ? :)

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