Saturday, March 19, 2011

20 Feb 2011 - A 2nd chance with gazillion of sardines

Good morning! Again I'm having the Mexican vegetable omelette for breakfast for two days in a row. The omelette was awesome and my favourite among the breakfast items. A few others swear by their mixed fruit yogurt which they had every morning for additional fibre. I guess it was pretty good too. The yogurt was something which I’ve wanted to try for breakfast but never did for the entire trip. Guess I still prefer a good hearty breakfast to kick start my day. 

Mexican vegetable omelette and Mixed fruit yogurt at The Last Filling Station (Photo courtesy of GT)

The sky still looks pretty cloudy and the weather here seems change quite abruptly. On a few occasion, the rain seems to be coming in fast (and hard at times). And often before we knew it, the rain is gone. I remember on one shore dive where it was relatively bright and sunny before we went into the water. The sky still looks pretty clear when we exit the water but when we got back to the dive centre, I noticed that the resting areas were wet and the crew have shifted our dry bags to a sheltered area.

Panoramic view of the shore from the upper deck at Blue Abyss
Timing for the dive plan is pretty much the same each day and we're going back to Pescardo again in the afternoon for another chance with the sardines! The crew have decided to do Pescardo in the afternoon as they find the sea there to be not as rough the past few afternoons. When we return from our first boat dive, we also saw the KG (the boss of Blue Abyss) coming up with another diver from the house reef. Apparently they have spotted a black leaf scorpion fish and he'll be heading back in the afternoon with his huge video camera.

It's almost lunch hour again by the time after we got back from the first boat dive and suddenly, the long interval between the 2 boat dives doesn't seems so long after all. We'll reach the dive centre earlier in the morning to start rigging up the gear and got onto the dive boat around 8.30 in the morning. It's usually around 9am by the time we hit the waters and surfacing about an hour later. Thus it's easily 10 plus in the morning when we got back to the dive centre. It was quite comforting to know that we can leave our dive gear on the boat in between the two boat dives and just bring our used tanks up to the dive centre. By the time we’ve changed and walked back to our resort a short distance away, it’s already close to 11am. Just about nice to place order for our lunch. We did all our lunch at The Last Filling Station and leave the food exploration for the night. I had the Pesto Tomato spaghetti for lunch which I thought was pretty decent with generous amount of pesto. However I realised later it's not such a good idea after all to have pasta with strong taste as I literally tasted pesto throughout my next dive. Fortunately I didn't end up feeding the sardines with my puke. Phew. But the sardine ball dive was truly an awesome experience for me! What a dive for GT to wrap up her diving and chill for the remaining of the trip. During the surface interval after the sardines dive, a street vendor came by the dive centre to sell some fruits and guess what VT bought for us? A Philippine durian! Never quite expect to see and taste durians here in Philippines on my dive trip. I guess I still prefer the usual D24 durians that I'm used to but this isn’t too bad either. Needless to say, all the other Caucasians hide their disgusted look and quickly move out of the way of this fragrant fruit. But of course to those who hate it, it’ll come across as having a strong ammonia pungent smell. 

Pescardo Island from Blue Abyss Dive Shop

Heading into the sardines (Photo courtesy of RL)

Shooting the sardines (Photo courtesy of GT)
Strangely enough, there aren’t much other divers going for the 4pm house reef dive. Maybe they're already contended with the sardine balls! Haha. So essentially within our group, it's just me and VT who are doing this dive. Since the boss himself is heading back to video the black leaf scorpian fish he've spotted earlier, I'm definitely not going to skip this dive! Thereafter, we did one more night dive. Sadly our DM is not joining us, saying the water's too cold for him. While we spot slightly lesser creatures today, it's still a wonderful dive and I just love night dives. :)

Some of the rest have already had dinner or has called it a day by the time we got back to our resort around 8pm+. And it's just the four of us night divers plus GT (who had some horrid watery mushroom soup at our resort restaurant) who again venture over to the noisy stretch for some food hunting. After deciding that we’ll be having some Japanese food, VT brought us to a small Japanese restaurant by the corner. Oh ok. Perhaps it was an overstatement to say it was a restaurant but rather in the night, it look much more like an extension to the kitchen of a local home. Yes, where we sit, I can see the chair and telly (and the bed maybe?) of their room just barely a couple of metres away. Some of us was thinking if it was a mistake stepping inside and was hesitating on what to order. It doesn’t help to see that it looks like a totally local setup (Pinoy style Japanese food?) That uncertainty lasted for a while until a Japanese man who hastily emerged from outside the restaurant. I've heard from VT that he is usually at the Chilli Bar when not at the restaurant. Some of them tried the tuna sashimi which VT particularly adores for its freshness. Some of us shared some ramen, soba and egg rolls. I didn't try the other meat dish so I can't comment but for those that I had tried, only the egg rolls tasted ok. I guess perhaps the chef have migrated over to Philippines for a long time and have adapted to the local taste. The ramen was done using some yellow noodles and the whole bowl looks (and tasted) like our mee soto back home. The soba was even weirder with chilli flakes and strong ginger taste in the sauce, making the dish somewhat spicy. Ok. No more Japanese food for me here at Moalboal. :p

Outside the Japanese restaurant (Photo courtesy of GT)

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