The Philippines

On New Year's Eve 2016, I made my second trip to the Philippines. I flew direct from London Heathrow to Manila and then transferred onto a flight to Cebu. It was relatively painless as the terminals were adjacent to one another, both flights being with Philippines airlines. The other terminals are the other side of the runway and getting there involves catching a taxi which has to drive all the way round the airport on congested roads.

Still got diving spaces on Weymouth trips

It's seems it's getting harder and harder to fill spaces. I've still got two on Our W, diving April 8/9th out of Weymouth. The plan is to do the Pomerianian and the UB74 over the weekend, Both are in about 35m. Cost is £120. Use the contact link if you're interested.

Using rental equipment

Just before Xmas, I went for a short break to Lanzarote and did 4 dives while I was there. It was good viz and there were lots of fish including some large barracuda. I also saw a couple of sea horses which was good. As I was on a hand baggage only flight and equipment hire was €40 for the 2 days, I decided not to take my own kit. Normally, I dive with a long hose and a wing, so a traditional regulator set up and a jacket BCD is a bit of a novelty for me. It wasn't too bad though, but the big difference I did notice was fins.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, November 2016

My previous experience of the Domincan Republic had been a week in an all inclusive hotel in the north with very average food and drinks of a dubious provenance served in plastic cups.This time, I booked a flight to Punta Cana with British Airways and a room in an apartment in Bavaro with The taxi from the airport cost US$30, which seemed a little on the high side.

Cartagena, Colombia, March 2016

Cartagena de Indias is a major city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The old city is surrounded by defensive walls and is a well preserved example of colonial Spanish architecture. The new city is a mass of tower blocks and there's heavy industry further out in the bay.


I first went to Cuba back in 1999. I stayed at an all inclusive hotel in Playa Santa Lucia and I wrote this trip report. Obviously it was a long time ago, but Lonely Planet currently describes Santa Lucia as "an isolated resort strip that's seen better days", so I wouldn't be surprised if it had changed very little.

Barbados, March 2016

Barbados was the first Caribbean island that I ever went to. I went back in 1996 and wrote this report, so I decided that a return visit was well overdue. I booked return flights with BA about as soon as they became available and got them for £506 return. I then booked a reasonably priced hotel in Worthing via and got a taxi from the airport to the hotel. There was a supermarket near the hotel and I had a fridge in the room which made breakfast and lunches easy.

Santa Marta, Colombia, March 2016

Santa Marta is another city on Colombia's Caribbean coast. It's a major port, but there is a small beach and a marina. The town itself has some nice old colonial style buildings. The Plaza de los Novios is a square around which are several bars and restaurants, and it's a nice and safe place to go for a drink or a meal. I stayed at the Nueva Granada hotel, which had a nice courtyard to relax in and a small swimming pool. Daytime temperatures were as high as 34C, so the pool was welcome.

Bonaire, October 2015

Bonaire is somewhere I've always wanted to go, so when the uDare meetup group arranged a trip there, I signed up. As the island is part of the Netherlands, the easiest way to get there from Europe is with KLM, which means connecting at Schipol. At least they didn't leave my luggage there this time, which was a bonus. The outward flight also stopped at Aruba for about an hour. It went straight to Schipol on the way back.

Sri Lanka, December 2014

I wanted to do a tour of Sri Lanka seeing the usual sites over Christmas, but I wanted to see if I could do some diving for a week before the tour. Nobody I knew had been there, but the Island Scuba website looked promising. At that time of year, because of the monsoon, the east coast is not usually diveable, so the south west area around Colombo looked my best bet. I emailed Island Scuba and arranged both the diving and accommodation with them. Arriving at the airport, there was a taxi counter operating a fixed fare based on


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