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Never started off a topic before, but Bren asked nicely so here goes.
In Northern Palawan, Philippines, there is an island called Busuanga.  In the latter part of WWII, a Yank reconnaissance flight flew over here and took pictures of some islands close to what is now Coron town.  The following day, another flight took more pictures.  Photo-interpretation showed that some of these 'islands' had only gone and moved in the tide, so shortly afterwards they launched the longest-ever (at the time) air raid mission and bombed the crap out of them.  Result?  14 ships, mostly merchantmen but also one seaplane tender lying in 20-40m of lovely warm water.  Bit of an over-simplification, but there's more detail in the first ever 9-90 mag.
I've been over twice now and am heading back in 2004 (I'd go twice a year were it not for family, job, money etc etc).
The diving is FANTASTIC.  The wrecks are all in great nick, lots of portholes which you're not allowed to nick - fine by me - and the most staggering penetrations.  When me and a mate were over in Feb, everyone was still wetting themselves about the Mullahs so the place was empty (we only found out when we got there that Palawan was on the Foreign Office shitlist, oops).Didn't have to worry too much as the bay was full of pearl farms guarded by seriously tooled up locals.  They didn't mind divers during the day, but turned up with M16s when we did a night dive thinking we were there to nick their goodies.  Bit tense for a while but after a bit of 'negotiation' and a couple of beers, they chilled out.  Upshot is, we had the boat to ourselves and had a bloody amazing time.  Vis never that special cos of the nutrients from the farms, but if you dive UK all the time you won't get too homesick.  Apart from the 3mm shorties we had on of course..  All the wrecks had had their props and propshafts salvaged, with the exception of the Irako, which still had its shaft.  Which meant that we got into the engine room of every single wreck in the bay (including the Irako, hur hur slapped wrist) by a bit of serious rear entry.
The Irako and Akitsushima are world-class wrecks IMHO and we did about 11 on the Irako alone, 6 on the Aki.  I'm sorry, did I say on?  I meant IN.  Right the way in, as in dropping down stairwells, mooching along corridors, dropping further down stairwells, checking out a few rooms, bringing back a couple of Jap beerbottles from one room and - the pinnacle - 2 minutes of *extremely* carefully negotiating a small engineering room in the Irako, checking out the dials, tools, and large spanners still hung on their wall pegs. You only get two minutes in there cos however careful you're being with your fins, your bubbles are bringing crap down off the ceiling and the vis gradually disappears.  A total privilege as our guide had only let a few of the thousands of divers he'd escorted in there.  Mega mega mega.  
Funniest bit? Handing my mate a giant black dildo-shaped sea cucumber when we in the Aki. He rushed over to the dive guide with it held to his crotch for a laugh.  Then the dildo 'ejaculated' all over the place and my bud spent 20mins of stops peeling it off!
Worst bit?  Flooded the sodding video camera, but I've still got some reasonable footage of the Y2K trip and I'm on a mission to do a mega job of it in '04.  
Best bit?  All in it came to £850 for two weeks.
See you there!
 

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Hey Rob,

Well done that man!! More of the same here please! Top report - know what you mean about tight spaces, did the engine room of the 'Maverick' in Tobago earlier this year and yes, tight as a mouse's ear mate - the only light coming from your torch. Happy daze.

Cheers,
 

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Nice diving that - still, there's nothing gets me revved up quite as much as diving decent UK wrecks. I've seen a mate's vid of Bikini and I honestly think I'd get agoraphobic with all that vis! Favourites right now are the Caleb Sprague and the Moldavia.
The Sprague is what made me a committed wreck fiend - first ever dive on it, as deep as I'd ever gone at the time around 45m.  Got to the bottom of the shot line.  Just sand.  Busy cursing the skipper for missing the bloody wreck again, wondering why my bud was doing the ol' pelvic thrust shagging maneouvre, must be as badly narked as I was.  Then I looked up, and there was this wall of metal looming over me with just the light from the surface overcoming the gloom.  Religious moment.
The Mol - finally dived her this year after two years of getting blown out and got two weekends in succession. Huge. Huge. Huge.  Lots of nets around, lots of happy narcyness (mix course booked, absolutely essential for dives like that, Christ only knows what I've been missing), and the biggest bloody crab I've ever seen.  Spent five minutes huffing and chuffing trying to get the sod into me goody bag.  The usual method of getting a grip on the claws, forcing them together and ramming it into the bag failed totally cos it was SO strong -  crab thinking 'is that the best you can do, tosser?  Well my claws are bigger than your hands, so have some of THIS!'  Eeek.  Being ever so slighty off my head did not help at all, but the RB did cos I'd have emptied me old twinset with the effort of it all.
Managed to get him half in, half out of the goody bag but was ever so slightly concerned with having one gurt claw waving around me nads during the course of the rest of the dive.  Happily the crab spotted the lobbie I'd put in there earlier on and vented its rage on that instead giving me a chance to get it the rest of the way into the bag.
Not much lobster left when we got out but the crab tasted lovely - took two rufty grown men to get the claws off.  Two bags from then on.
I'm booked on a Mol dive on the 28th.  All I want for Crimbo is decent weather...
 

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Once again squire, top-drawer reportage!! Are you gonna do a full wreck-dive report for us after the 28th?? Here's hoping you get the weather for it mate.

Cheers again,
 

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Can do - I've a suspicion I'll know how it'll read....

Black!

Skip says they're getting 4m vis offshore, but a skipper's version of the vis is about as truthful as my tax returns
 
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