After the initial two side mount dives on 6th August, the diving was cancelled on 7th August due to the rather unexpected and unusual flooding around the Philippines and in the Subic area in particular.
Yesterday the weather turned for the better again and the dives were on!
Me pushing one of the side mount tanks in front of me
Due to the extreme weather conditions, there was a 4 meter, very cold fresh water layer on top of the salt water around Subic Bay with no visibility at all! Once you got below this 4 meter fresh water layer the visibility cleared up although it was fairly dark if you went deep. Hence the greenish color in the pictures.
Andy Davis, my instructor for the side mount course
We repeated and completed most of the previous skills again and one of the advantages of using a side mount set up is that it will allow you to un-clip your side mounted tanks and push them in front of you, which in turn allows you to wriggle yourself through small openings. This is great for wreck and cave diving.
From left to right, Myself, Andy Davis and Bruce Konefe
Andy was a great source of inspiration and knowledge again and he most certainly pushed my borders in a positive way and I've come away as a more complete and knowledgeable diver. Thanks for your time and dedication Andy, it was great fun and I hope we can soon complete the Tec version of the side mount course.
Cave and tec legend Bruce Konefe came also up to Subic and he's going to continue to teach an advanced Tec wreck diving course to Andy. Completing the circle for Andy from instructor to student just overnight! It was great meeting Bruce again as well.
The video above will show you the advantage of side mount diving, by me demonstrating how to push the tanks in front of you and clipping on again.
Shorty I will leave for Manila and back home to Bangkok but this course in Subic Bay will be a dive high light of the year for me. Once more thanks to Andy, a very concise, knowledgeable and safety concerned mentor in all the right ways! If you're interested in knowing what else he does, please visit his website.