Where has Don been Lately?

This is the 3rd installment of this page.  I like to call it a "living web page" since I will be updating it as I visit interesting places.  Check here often or at least once a month.

Since moving to Thailand on July 4th, 1999 I have traveled outside Thailand at least once a month, as well as many trips within in the country to places like Changmai in the northwest to Cha Am, Hua Hin, Chumpon, Krabi and Phuket to the southwest -- and of course Bangkok.

Along with travels to China, Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong, I took pleasure trips to China, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and various places the US.

Here are a few photos from my recent travels that I hope you find interesting:

Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia  In late July 2000, and after a couple of days in Singapore catching up with friends and doing a bit of shopping, I flew to Manado on the north coast of the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi and then a short trip by boat to Bunaken, a coral reef island.  Bunaken is a small island with very limited infrastructure and no vehicles.  We stayed at Froggies Five Star PADI Dive Resort and would recommend it to anyone.  The dive sites around Bunaken are spectacular with great night dives.  There are so many world class sites that the entire area could be considered one continuous dive site.  Click here for info on amazing Froggies:

 Froggies Dive Resort on Bunaken Island. We found five White Tip Sharks in this shallow cave but could only get three of them to pose.

 Flower Coral.

A rare and beautiful Black & White Snapper.

 Polychaete Tube Worms, really! Snoozing Blue Sea Star. A rare Clown Triggerfish.  Not a great photo, these big guys are shy, but great to find one.

Puerto Galera, Mindoro and Dumaguette/APO Island, Negros, Philippines  One of my favorite dive locations is the Philippines, and in particular the Puerto Galera area on the north coast of Mindoro Island.  We stayed at George Bender's Atlantis Resorts in both diving locations (where I have spent many an enjoyable Puerto Galera dive trip) and were very pleased as usual.  Click here for a link to Atlantis-

Dave James and I flew to Manila and hooked up with an old buddy, Joe Mahler as planned.  We spent nearly a week in Puerto Galera then back to Manila where Joe had to return to work (I should watch my language) and Dave and I caught our flight to the south to Dumaguette on the island of Negros.  The diving in both locations was absolutely brilliant, and it was great to see old diving pals at Puerto Galera.  I was particularly impressed with John Bennett's recent (5 June 2000) new world's record for deep ocean diving at 254 meters  (that's 833 ft. where the pressure is 26 times that of the surface and there is zero light!)  Well done John.

It was my first time to Apo Island (preserved by the government) and the Dumaguette area and I will certainly visit this area again.

I collected over 200 photos and a couple of hours of video during the trip.  Here are a few samples:

 Mr. John "254 Meters" Bennett.

Three happy divers; from left, Dave James, your boy, and Joe Mahler.

The completion of yet another great dive.  Photo taken by Joe.


 A rare and difficult to spot Harlequin Ghost Pipefish, a member of the Seahorse family. Banded Sea Snake.  The venom of these rather shy snakes is 10 time more powerful than that of a Cobra.

 Two Valentia Cowry Shells beside two Nudi Branchs.  Nudi Branches are members of the snail family but have no shell.

Lionfish inside the Dungon Wreck-Very toxic if touched.


Check this site next month for photos from my diving trip to the beautiful island nation of the Maldives.

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