I have arrived safe and well in Subic Bay!!
I've had the most epic journey getting here but it has been so worth it. What was promised to be a 16 hour 'sleeper' bus turned into a 31 hour upright bus with a flat tyre and a smuggled rooster on board that crowed from about 4 til 6am. I made it to Bangkok with just enough time to eat a bowl of pad thai before climbing BACK on the bus, heading to the airport, only to be refused a boarding pass because I forgot to buy a return flight! So $200 later I safely touched down at Clark airport. It was 3am and Mr Immigration felt it necessary to interrogate me about why I would possibly want to spend 3 WHOLE months in Subic Bay, wanting to know where I was going, what was I doing, where am I staying, who am I with. I thought "I just want to go diving!!!" But apparently I must look like a regular Filipino terrorist.
When I was picked up by the Vasco's Dive Centre taxi, doing 130 in an 80 zone to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, I felt safer than any travelling I have been subjected to in the last month throughout Cambodia. I was met with the huge smile of Gianne, Gregg Homan's girlfriend who I will be staying with for a few days. Gregg and his father, the legendary Brian, run Vasco's Dive Centre, Resort and Restaurant. I am baffled by how this amazing pocket of paradise rests within such an epic shipping port. Gianne's apartment looks out onto the bay; an expanse of glass-like ocean over which I am currently watching the sunset. Vasco's is a rabbbit's warren of a restaurant and dive centre overlooking the bay and themed somewhat like an ancient pirate ship. I have already had the pleasure of meeting Jayson; the guru and dive instructor here at Vasco's and well as Brian; the man, the legend, who has spent a lifetime salvaging wrecks in the area and has establised a remarkable museum here at the resort. When I get a spare chance I'm going to make him sit down and explain every artifact he's dug up because they are absolutely amazing.
My first dive this afternoon was just a quicky refresher, and I mean that in the loosest terms. I jumped off the pier and onto a submerged aeroplane!! At only 10m max depth it was an easy dive, and due to the pretty poor visibility, only 2-3m, the eeriness of watching the enormous turbines sort of 'appear' out of nowehere and swimming about the cabin was surreal. There really is nothing quite like it.