Sunday, May 3

Labor Day Weekend

We started off this Filipino holiday weekend with dive #7 to the Landing Ship Transporter in Subic Bay. This wreck was deeper than we have gone before, so our bottom time was only 20 minutes. We descended down about 32 meters or 110 feet. But, the visibility Friday morning was excellent & my descent was easy, so I was feeling good! Sam & I were the only ones from our dive shop to embark on this dive, but when we arrived at the site, 3 additional dive shop boats were already there. Our dive master said this typically indicates that something has been spotted in the area & others are hoping to see it. Sam & I got excited!

The descent was uneventful, thank goodness! When we achieved our neutral buoyancy above the wreck, we took off exploring. This ship has some great aquatic life swimming among it, including some really huge & beautiful angelfish that followed us the entire time! Sam said it was like they were policing us, making sure we didn't harm their habitat. I wonder if they're normally territorial?

At one point, our dive instructor pointed to something big on the ocean floor. He made all sorts of hand motions & gestures, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what he was pointing at. I could see a long, skinny sliver of something, which I assumed was an eel. Sam tugged on my fin & questioned what he was supposed to be looking for. I shrugged my shoulders & pointed to the eel looking creature. I wasn't sure if that was it, but it was the only thing in the area. After surfacing, our instructor asked us if we saw the huge stingray that he was pointing to. Mystery solved! We didn't see the stingray body, but we did make out the tail that I had assumed was an eel. And now we know the hand gesture for stingray! Next time, hopefully...

We also saw a school of barracuda swim overhead, although we didn't know it was barracuda until our instructor told us afterward. And lots of other great fish & sea creatures, including the beautiful & poisonous lionfish! On our way back to the beach, Sam told me that bull sharks are often spotted at this dive site. I'm not sure how I would have reacted if I had seen one. On one hand, I think it would be cool to encounter one (from a distance) during a dive. But, then on the other more nervous hand, I'm not sure I could stay calm underwater. It's probably best I don't tempt fate. And, it was a wise decision my husband made to wait until after our dive was over to share this piece of information with me!

Friday evening, we went out to dinner with friends & found ourselves in the middle of a Labor Day celebration crowd! Downtown was packed with people & cars enjoying the live music & fireworks display. Unfortunately, we enjoyed the fireworks show from our car as we circled the area looking for a place to park. After dinner, we decided to visit one of our favorite live music venues, Willis, in Olongapo. This great band, Bojo, plays a few sets every Friday night and we really enjoy their show.

This is not the best copy of their music, but it's the best I could find on YouTube. They are really great musicians!  And, the lead singer graduated from Brent Subic, so there's another reason we love them.

Saturday, we spent a good part of the afternoon at the school swimming pool. Our family had the entire pool to ourselves for several hours & we had a great time! That evening, we welcomed a good friend back to Subic. MP's husband, Omar, had been working away for too many months & he is now back home with his family before they move back to the states also. We're glad he's back & we had fun welcoming him home! Too much fun maybe... We finally left their house close to 1 am after wearing out the karaoke machine. Great times!!

Sunday, was a day to chill! Sam & I watched the long awaited, but much too short Pacquaio vs. Hatton fight. We were thrilled to see him win so easily. That guy is amazing! Small, but mighty! Later that afternoon, we met friends at school for some ultimate frisbee. After frisbee, I enjoyed a quick jog around my neighborhood to wind down for the night. I've decided nighttime is the best time for a jog during these hot summer months. And, that Prince's Raspberry Beret has the best beat to motivate my feet to keep jogging up a hill! Those two combinations makes for a great run!

We're sadly counting down our weekends left in Subic... only 5 more to go...