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California drysuit divers escape to Anilao





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Posted by Max Bottomtime on April 11, 2013 at 22:43:34:

Merry and I joined Kevin Lee for a couple of weeks in the Philippines for some warm water nudibranch hunting. We flew Asiana Airlines aboard a 777 that made the long trip the most comfortable plane ride I've taken. It was over sixteen hours in the air, including having to go around North Korean airspace, but the appointments were incredible, and Kevin described the flight attendants as "dolls".

 photo Philipines4_zpsc9d6d9af.jpg
The first leg of our trip was LAX to Seoul.

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 photo SoJungChoJulia2_zps82de39ab.jpg
So Jung Cho (Julia), our new best friend

We arrived in Manila, a city of eleven million bad drivers, where Reggie picked us up for the two and a half hour drive to Club Ocellaris. He told us that the traffic signs in Manila are merely suggestions.

The money in the Philippines doesn't seem to trickle down much outside of downtown Manila. The rest of the island seemed very poor, although the people we met were very nice and worked long hours. The boatmen and the resort staff were already working before 6:00 each morning and would work until well after 11:00 most nights.

Club-O photo Club-O_zpsc2d13962.jpg

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Cashews dropped from the trees.

 photo Philippines3_zpse7a27841.jpg

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Our dive guide, Peri Palerecio


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We had a little wind chop a few days, but not enough to keep most of the divers from making four dives. Merry and I wussed out, making three dives only once. This was Kevin's fourth trip to Club-O. We followed his lead for a few dives, trying not to act like newbies. After a couple of days, we were in the swing of things.

Phil, Merry and Kevin photo PhilMerryandKevin_zps89208236.jpg
Phil, Merry and Kevin

Carissa Shipman and Kevin Lee photo ClarissaandKevin_zps49bd880e.jpg
Kevin with Carissa Shipman

 photo Philippines102_zpsdfbc67ea.jpg
Eli, Zung and Kevin

Demanding Merry photo DemandingMerry_zpsde0ad6c7.jpg
After a few dives, Merry began demanding to be taken to her favorite reefs.


 photo Bubbles_zps56e11d77.jpg
This site is called Bubbles for some unknown reason

Most reefs are full of lush coral and fish, with many others being muck dives, mostly nudibranchs under coral debris. The water was a bit stirred up with visibility slightly below April standards for Anilao, but the temperatures were a comfortable 79 to 82 throughout our time there.

 photo Bajura8_zps5a1a3d08.jpg

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 photo Bajura3_zps59193d80.jpg

 photo Bajura2_zps826b5126.jpg

 photo KirbyRock11_zps12409c7a.jpg

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 photo KirbyRock13_zpsfd52575a.jpg

 photo Bajura4_zps52739922.jpg

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 photo KirbyRock15_zps8e91490d.jpg

Euphyllia ancora photo Euphylliaancora_zps1acaa2e8.jpg

Euphyllia ancora photo Euphylliaancora2_zps8d157e18.jpg

Euphyllia ancora photo Agahota4_zpsccc61773.jpg

 photo Agahota5_zps1f552bce.jpg

Platurus colubrinus photo Platuruscolubrinus2_zps59a45d16.jpg

Platurus colubrinus photo Platuruscolubrinus1_zpsfe514bc6.jpg
Platurus colubrinus

Mushroom coral pipefish, Siokunichthys nigrolineatus photo MushroomcoralpipefishSiokunichthysnigrolineatus_zpsf0df624c.jpg
Mushroom coral pipefish, Siokunichthys nigrolineatus

Fimbriated moray, Gymnothorax fimbriatus photo FimbriatedmorayGymnothoraxfimbriatus_zpsa34dd9da.jpg
Fimbriated moray, Gymnothorax fimbriatus

Oxycorynia fascicularis photo Oxycoryniafascicularis_zpsde56909a.jpg
Oxycorynia fascicularis

Peacock mantis shrimp, Odontodactylus scyllarus photo PeacockmantisshrimpOdontodactylusscyllarus_zps4a68b728.jpg
Peacock mantis shrimp, Odontodactylus scyllarus

Bubble coral, Plerogyra sinuosa photo BubblecoralPlerogyrasinuosa_zpsd1e478a9.jpg
Bubble coral, Plerogyra sinuosa

Cassiopea andromeda photo march3-34_zpsd83a7cee.jpg
Upside Down Jelly, Cassiopea andromeda

Tubastrea faulkneri photo march3-30_zpse74c5fcf.jpg
Tubastrea faulkneri

Prosthiostomum trilineatum photo march3-29_zpsc2cd9da6.jpg
Prosthiostomum trilineatum

Antennarius maculatus photo March2nightdive37_zps53d65539.jpg
Antennarius maculatus

Euprymna berryi photo March2nightdive35_zpscace05f0.jpg
Bobtail squid, Euprymna berryi

Bobbit worm, Eunice aphroditois photo March2nightdive1_zpse09ceeea.jpg
Bobbit worm, Eunice aphroditois

Tiger Cowry, Cypraea tigris photo March2-31_zps5e74cb6b.jpg
Tiger Cowry, Cypraea tigris

A few other non-nudi creatures found on the reefs...

 photo ClubO11_zpsa725bc36.jpg

 photo Philippines1_zps1bd4d088.jpg

 photo Philippines2_zpsaf55cafc.jpg

 photo Philippines3_zpsf5c706e9.jpg

Calpurnus verrucosus photo Philippines10_zps3dd48896.jpg

Calpurnus verrucosus photo Philippines11_zpse8169df5.jpg
Calpurnus verrucosus

 photo Philippines16_zps1fc5f6fe.jpg

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 photo Philippines18_zps87557872.jpg

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 photo March2-4_zps4091532c.jpg

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Hymenocera picta photo March4-3_zps975f4b73.jpg

 photo March4-12_zpsed6b00a6.jpg

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 photo March4-27_zps8972b5f6.jpg

Black Ribbon Eel, Rhinomuraena quaesita photo BlackRibbonEelRhinomuraenaquaesita2_zps4c31611b.jpg
Black Ribbon Eel, Rhinomuraena quaesita

Bohadschia graeffei photo Bohadschiagraeffei_zpsec7d6e71.jpg
A sea cucumber that mimics a nudibranch, Bohadschia graeffei

Razorfish, Aeoliscus strigatus photo RazorfishAeoliscusstrigatus_zps8fde710c.jpg
Razorfish, Aeoliscus strigatus

Zig zag oyster, Lopha folium photo ZigzagoysterLophafolium_zps82e0d3ae.jpg
Lopha folium

 photo KirbyRock1_zps82e0c483.jpg

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Ribbon eel Rhinomura enaquaesita photo RibboneelRhinomuraenaquaesita2_zps9126c33c.jpg

 photo RibboneelRhinomuraenaquaesita_zps001e199a.jpg
Ribbon eel, Rhinomuraena quaesita

 photo SouthBethlehem10_zps6cb2a2c9.jpg

Oxycorynia fascicularis photo Oxycoryniafascicularis_zpsde56909a.jpg
Oxycorynia fascicularis


Of course, the real reason divers go to Anilao is for the nudibranchs. The place is crawling with them.

Nembrotha chamberlaini photo ClubO7_zps75ddcad2.jpg
Nembrotha chamberlaini

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Spanish Dancer eggs photo Agahota15_zpsf6d357ba.jpg
Spanish Dancer eggs

Thecacera picta photo ClubO12_zpse998235a.jpg
Thecacera picta

Halgerda batangas photo Halgerdabatangas_zpsc1a63ca5.jpg
Halgerda batangas

Phyllidia varicosa photo Philippines14_zpsc3915d5b.jpg
Phyllidia varicosa

Nembrotha rutilans photo Nembrotharutilans2_zps4b7b5237.jpg
Nembrotha rutilans

Phyllidia polkadotsa photo Phyllidiapolkadotsa2_zpscdc24865.jpg
Phyllidia polkadotsa

Juvenile Hexabranchus sanguineus photo Philippines12_zps1e81ba26.jpg
Juvenile Spanish Dancer, Hexabranchus sanguineus

Flabellina rubrolineata photo March2-19_zpse6f8249a.jpg
Flabellina rubrolineata

Phyllodesmium rudmani photo March2-20_zps28ef08c5.jpg
Phyllodesmium rudmani

Phyllidia elegans photo March2-30_zps975c2391.jpg
hyllidia elegans

Plakobranchus sp. 1 photo March2-32_zpsd72972ef.jpg
Plakobranchus sp. 1

Gymnodoris ceylonica photo March2nightdive30_edited-1_zpsb482f45a.jpg
Gymnodoris ceylonica

Phyllidia coelestis photo march3-5_zps1b34cc9a.jpg
Phyllidia coelestis

Chromodoris dianae photo march3-9_zpscc97617b.jpg
Chromodoris dianae

Glossodoris atromarginata photo march3-13_zpsccfab1e4.jpg
Glossodoris atromarginata

Reticulidia fungia photo march3-25_zpsb478db00.jpg
Reticulidia fungia

Phyllodesmium briareum photo march3-27_zpsb4eb2585.jpg
Phyllodesmium briareum

Chelidonura varians photo march3-32_zps17fad13d.jpg
Chelidonura varians

Ceratosoma gracillimum photo march3-39_zpsb2fc239d.jpg
Ceratosoma gracillimum

Chromodoris albopunctata photo March4-1_zpsfc659c4c.jpg
Chromodoris albopunctata

Flabellina macassarana photo March4-2_zpsf639fd4e.jpg
Flabellina macassarana

Phyllidia occellata photo March4-4_zpsdeeb92e9.jpg
Phyllidia occellata

Chromodoris reticulata photo March4-7_zpsd5547e56.jpg
Chromodoris reticulata

Gymnodoris rubropapulosa photo March4-8_zps0a9efd14.jpg
Gymnodoris rubropapulosa

Noumea alboannulata photo March4-10_zps7660edc4.jpg
Noumea alboannulata

Cratena lineata photo March4-14_zps5604dfdc.jpg
Cratena lineata

Chelidonura amoena photo March4-16_zpscf6a90aa.jpg
Chelidonura amoena

Chromodoris willani photo Chromodoriswillani_zps36a0e9bb.jpg
Chromodoris willani

Chromodoris kuniei photo Chromodoriskuniei_zpsc2e9d21d.jpg
Chromodoris kuniei

Hypselodoris bollandi photo March4-31_zpsc9bb75bc.jpg
Hypselodoris bollandi

Jorunna funebris photo Jorunnafunebris_zpsd093ef9b.jpg
Jorunna funebris

Pectenodoris trilineata photo Pectenodoristrilineata2_zps428a51f3.jpg
Pectenodoris trilineata

Hypselodoris infucata photo Hypselodorisinfucata3_zps6a7f4b15.jpg
Hypselodoris infucata

Chromodoris fidelis photo Chromodorisfidelis_zps384896b1.jpg
Chromodoris fidelis

Chromodoris roboi photo Unknownnudi2_zps008e353c.jpg
Chromodoris roboi

Chromodoris magnifica photo Chromodorismagnifica3_zpsaaad651f.jpg
Chromodoris magnifica

Nembrotha yonowae photo Nembrothayonowae_zps06789adf.jpg
Nembrotha yonowae

Ceratosoma alleni photo Ceratosomaalleni2_zps7bd5df79.jpg
Ceratosoma alleni

Chromodoris annae photo Chromodorisannae_zps1d62f595.jpg
Chromodoris annae

Risbecia apolegma photo Risbeciaapolegma_zps7d01d508.jpg
Risbecia apolegma

Hypselodoris maculosa photo Philippines3_zps1b0e81ea.jpg
Hypselodoris maculosa

Risbecia bullockii photo Risbeciabullockii2_zpsb58b6778.jpg
Risbecia bullockii

Chromodoris geometrica photo Chromodorisgeometrica_zpsa59d3431.jpg
Chromodoris geometrica

Phyllodesmium crypticum photo March5-14_zps860b46dc.jpg
Phyllodesmium crypticum

Phyllidiella pustolosa photo Phyllidiellapustolosa_zps0af7477e.jpg
Phyllidiella pustolosa

Ardeadoris egretta photo Ardeadorisegretta_zps95340e31.jpg
Ardeadoris egretta

I have a few more to identify.

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 photo SouthBethlehem4_zpscf1fcbba.jpg

Trapania sp. photo Unknownnudi1_zpsc906bccf.jpg
Trapania sp.?

Cassiopea andromeda photo march3-34_zpsd83a7cee.jpg

 photo March2nightdive28_edited-1_zpsf181c131.jpg


Before we knew it, our last night in Anilao had come. After a day of packing and drying gear it was nice to enjoy the sunset. I hope to see a few more of them at Anilao someday soon.

 photo Philippines152_zpsb7911e41.jpg

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