After a few hours in a hotel in Manila, I was off to Dumaguete where a couple of nice guys from the Atlantis Resort picked me up in this pimped out Jeep-ney:
According to Wikipedia:
When American troops began to leave the Philippines at the end of WWII, hundreds of surplus jeeps were sold or given to the Filipinos; they stripped them down and altered or customized the jeeps to accommodate more passengers, added metal roofs for shade, and decorated the vehicles with vibrant colors and bright chrome hood ornaments.
The jeepney rapidly emerged as a popular and creative way to re-establish inexpensive public transportation, which had been virtually destroyed during WWII. Recognizing the widespread use of these vehicles, the Philippine government began to regulate their use. Drivers now must have specialized licenses, regular routes, and reasonably fixed fares.
I got in three dives on the day I arrived. My first dive was on the house reef and I took my camera down. The strobes and the camera worked brilliantly... until about half way through the dive.
First, my camera timed out and I had to wake it up. Being out of practice, I pushed the wrong button. I pushed the one which displays the pictures just taken and it got stuck in a loop and wouldn't let me take any more pictures. At one point, it even said that the memory card door was open. Holy crap.
Then, the Disco Lights on the housing went on.
The disco lights either mean one of two things:
- I have a flood and I'm completely out of business
- The battery for my housing has worn down and it needs to be replaced
I stopped taking pictures and somehow made it through the rest of the dive without freaking out.
Of course, that's when I spotted my first Nudibranch of the trip. At the end of that first dive I got:
1 - Phyllidiopsis striata
2 - Phillidia pustulosa
3 - Phillidia varicosa
(Pictures added from later dives.)
After the dive, I opened things up. No flood. Just two freaky things happened on the same dive. My housing battery was running low. No problem, just replaced it. And the date/time on my camera was not set causing confusion when a photography was called up to be viewed. After setting the date, downloading and reformmating the card, I was back in business.
Then, on the second afternoon dive:
4 - Phidiana indica
On the night dive
5 - Pteraeolid ianthina (Blue Dragon)
Honorable mention, but not a nudi: Plakobranch Elysia coodgeensis
Tomorrow I'm off to Apo Island. The Shedd Aquarium based its Wild Reef exhibit on Apo Island. Although there is significant damage from a recent typhoon, I am so exited to check it out!
Also, this is my Nudi Blog, but I am seeing lots of other interesting critters and fish. I plan on posting those to Facebook. Stay tuned!