Sinus Congestion

Diving and Sinus Congestion – does not fit!

First of all, before you read on, I’m not a doctor and I don’t want to recommend anything. I just tell you what I experienced…

After suffering from a very, very bad cold – due to a night dive without a full wetsuit (damn, I should have known it after 12 years of diving …) – I had sinus congestion. Congratulations, if you are a Scuba Instructor with sinus problems!

I kept on trying to descend, but the pain in my forehead brought tears in my eyes. I could feel and imagine how the tubes in my sinus got squeezed. And as the responsible Instructor I am, I went to see a doctor. (Thanks to all my students for having such patience while waiting for their Open Water dives and get certified!) Unfortunately 2 weeks later and dozens of dozens of empty antibiotic blisters, my sinus were still congested and I was desperate.

Then I thought of “what goes up must come down” (… or so) and bought a nasal spray with the intention to shake, twist and turn my head so long until the liquid gets in all my tubes (ahm, sinus). So, it needs a little bit of acrobatic, but I made it. It’s like one of those games, where you have a box with a labyrinth, a small ball and a lot of holes on the way to the target. I played that with my sinus and the nasal spray. And guess what – it took me two days and everything was clear.

I don’t know how healthy or unhealthy that was, but it helped me definitely. My students were happy as they could finally do their open water dives. I was happy, because I could get down again. And the people around me were happy too, as I wasn’t so unbearable and unbalanced (due to the lack of salt water on my skin) anymore. I’m fit for the next courses:

Children, don’t do that at home – always check with a doctor before you go diving after having sinus congestion!

ScubaWorld Clean-Up Dive Event Pictures

The Scubaworld clean-up dive was full of fun! We had free dives, free boat rides and of course, free-flowing beer! Thank you to all the sponsors and to all those who participated! Thank you, Jun Reynales for the photos as well! It was a great, fun weekend! Here are some of the pictures of the event:

This event wont be possible without the organizer. Thank you so much!

This event won't be possible without the organizer. Thank you so much!

The drop-dead gorgeous miss Karin Timmel!

The drop-dead gorgeous miss Karin Timmel!

Karin: All eyes on me

Karin: "All eyes on me"

Checking my BCD - BWRAF

Checking my BCD - BWRAF

The ScubaWorld clean-up scuba divers!

The ScubaWorld clean-up scuba divers!

Ready to dive! W/Richmond

Ready to dive! W/Richmond

Diving in a short while...

Diving in a short while...

Ready to rock n roll!

Ready to rock 'n roll!

Water visibility was much better this time

Water visibility was much better this time

Rudi dives for it

Rudi dives for it

Collecting our Trash

Collecting our Trash

Me and my buddy lookin for more trash

Me and my buddy lookin' for more trash

Karins Junk

Karin's Junk

She got the heaviest trashbag

She got the heaviest trashbag

Rudi and Mark looking for trash

Rudi and Mark looking for trash

Thats some heavy junk (take note of the big can on Marks net)

That's some heavy junk (take note of the big can on Mark's net)

Yeah, you can keep that

Yeah, you can keep that

Counting our Trash

Counting our Trash

Of course the winner of weirdest trash found were the ones who got the Christmas lights. Wonder if they still work?

Of course the winner of weirdest trash found were the ones who got the Christmas lights. Wonder if they still work?

Marks winning trash

Mark's winning trash

Afterwards, we went for fun dives! Me, Karin and Divemaster Rommel on a boat ride to Ligpo island

Afterwards, we went for fun dives! Me, Karin and Divemaster Rommel on a boat ride to Ligpo island

Found a big Pawikan turtle!

Found a big Pawikan turtle!

Beautiful Nudibranch

Beautiful Nudibranch

Clownfishes on one of the most beautiful Anemone Ive ever seen

Clownfishes on one of the most beautiful Anemone I've ever seen

There were lots and lots of fish!

There were lots and lots of fish!

Me and Karin on the boat ride for a fun dive

Me and Karin on the boat ride for a fun dive

Had a wonderful, wonderful dive!

Had a wonderful, wonderful dive!

Debriefing and Raffle!

Debriefing and Raffle!

The ExpeditionFleet Blog team Pose

The ExpeditionFleet Blog team Pose

Karin and the Girls from Singapore!

Karin and the Girls from Singapore!

To all those who joined us: Had a great time with you guys! ‘Til next time! Look forward to diving with you guys again!

You can look at all the rest of the  pictures here:

ScubaWorld Anilao Cleanup Day

ScubaWorld is celebrating it’s international cleanup day in Outrigger resort in Anilao Batangas. It’s a 3,500 all-inclusive promo that’s going to bring you a fun 2-days of scuba diving and celebration with the ScubaWorld team and the bloggers of Expeditionfleet!

Deadline for bookings is September 10 so you better hurry and secure a slot for yourself and your group now! Further details can be found below:
International Cleanup Day

Cleanup day details

Cleanup day details

Outrigger Resort: Scuba diving in Batangas

Went out scuba diving in Batangas again with Richmond, Karin and her other students. Had a great time out in the deep – just gracing through the reefs and watching the fishes and other marine life move and mind their own business.

Got the chance to see a blue octopus during our night dive too! Glad it wasn’t a Blue Ring Octopus though else I would have panicked.

The pictures weren’t too good though because of the water visibility. The swells of the waves were bigger than usual and so sand and other particles were all over the water. I’m sorry to say that I couldn’t show you guys some good underwater pictures today. Sad.

Sean Driving

Drove to Outrigger early morning. And yes, that’s a map on my lap. I’m forgetful when it comes to roads.

My New Wetsuit

First time to use my new Wetsuit! I bought it for a really good price too!

Excited to scuba dive

I know I don’t look it – but inside I’m boiling with excitement!

The drop dead gorgeous miss Karin Timmel

The drop-dead-gorgeous miss Karin Timmel – she was about to gear up too!

First Dive of the day

Weight belts, Check! Diving mask, Check! Snorkel, Check! Now let’s put on the BCD’s…

Read to scuba Dive

All geared up and ready to go deep!

Scuba Diver

So in we went and I immediately headed to the coral reefs to see some marine life

Lots of marine life

Sometimes I wonder if I should buy a full face scuba diving mask to get a full face smile on my pictures

After scuba diving

So our first dive ended – albeit too soon! But we had to go and wait for the surface interval to expire before going to our next one…

Hungry after scuba Diving

A BIG dinner after our first day diving. I was hungry as a bear!

Karin and her cake

And of course, Karin was having fun with her Cake. So much so that she had icing on her nose. Haha! Peace Karin!

Me and Karin

Of course, we MUST have a picture together as the bloggers of Expeditionfleet

Scuba Diving Group

Our group had fun the whole day! We had Susan and Pam with us too! They’re from Germany and the US.

Scuba Diving Day two

Day two! And the excitement keeps on building up! My finger nail was painted red by Karin. Color changes when you’re down deep

Scuba Diving groupies

Me, Karin and the group. We were just about to descend

I look so chinese

Water visibility was so bad for photos. Even so, my Chinese-ness cannot be hidden in this photo

Karin and the group

After the dive, group pic! Of course, the ever beautiful Karin is always the center-stage.

A fist pump

So we finished the dives and rode the boat-ride back to Outrigger Resort. Looked forward to a great, big lunch!

It was another great scuba diving experience for me. The dive sites near outrigger can be really astonishing. The marine life is rich and the hospitality of the resort is really homey. I’ll surely be back before I go scuba diving in Tubbataha and Palau. And yes, if you still don’t know – our Palau promo still holds. And the contest is still on-going too! I definitely invite you guys to join us! See you in our next liveaboard trip!

Full Face Mask vs Regular Scuba Diving Mask

You go up to a store where they sell scuba gear and equipment to get yourself a new diving mask. Your old one kicked the bucket, and it’s about time you have a new one. But oh, what’s this? The salesclerk seems to have diverted your attention from the shelf of regular diving mask and regulators to interest you in full-face diving masks.

Full face mask”But what’s the difference?”

You ask yourself. You’re sure that it just doesn’t differ in the looks, right? Right.

What exactly is the difference between a full-face diving mask and the regular diving mask? Well, there are plenty, and each one will be a factor on how your next dive experience will be like. Let’s first talk about the full-face diving mask.

It’s a diving mask that covers your whole face (obviously). Having your mouth free from biting on a regulator’s mouthpiece to breathe is a big relief to some people. People who have jaw problems usually stick with this mask as it provides them the comfort they need throughout the dive.

And since your mouth is not occupied by biting that mouthpiece, you can use it freely to communicate. If you happen to have a communication equipment installed in your full-face diving mask that allows audio communication, you can chatter away in the ocean depths to your fellow diving buddies.

Another advantage of a full face diving mask is that you can breathe with your nose. It’s not much, but it matters to some people. Hey, it’s not everyday you can use your nose to breath underwater, can you? Thought so.

Breathing through your nose lets you have a more natural respiratory rhythm. The very comfortable, yet very airtight seal around your face caters for a cozy diving experience too.

It ain’t perfect

Like other things of this imperfect world, the full face diving mask has its own set of disadvantages. Since the whole thing covers your whole face snugly, that “snugly” means that you’ll have an ugly time taking it off. This means switching to an alternative air supply will be harder, and using a snorkel becomes tasking.

The full-face diving mask is harder to maintain. And even if it seems impossible to flood, it sometimes does. And when it does, it’s more difficult to clear than your normal scuba diving face mask. But looking back at the advantages, will these shortcomings make a big difference to you?

On the other hand

The traditional diving mask makes all the disadvantages of the full-face one its advantages. It’s easier to put on and take off, and it’s easier to clear when it’s flooded. It also makes switching to an alternative source of air supply as easy as pie. And who doesn’t like pie?

In addition to this, regular diving masks are available with different styles, colors, and sizes depending on you. Now isn’t that splendid? Splendid, yes – but not perfect.

regular scuba diving maskSince I said it’s easier to clear when it’s flooded, you probably already had an inkling that I was implying that it floods easier compared to the full-face diving mask.

You also can’t use your nose to breathe, but most of us are trained to breathe from the mouth anyway.

On top of that, biting on a mouthpiece may cause jaw fatigue, and having an occupied mouth doesn’t give you a chance to have the ability to communicate audibly in any way.

Eenie Meenie Miney Mo…

There are plenty of things to consider with choosing between the regular or full-face diving masks. But since both of them have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, you decide. So long as they are true to their very purpose, it’s all the same to me. But right now, since the full-face is more expensive, I think I’ll stick with the regular scuba diving mask.

Though I’d love to borrow a full face mask as I go diving in Palau this season… Care to lend me one?

How Not to Get Lost when Scuba Diving

Ever played hide and seek when you were younger? I think every kid goes through hide and seek, don’t you? Remember the feeling when you find your playmates for the first time, earning the title of game-winner? How about the times when you spent hours and hours of labor trying to find them but you never really did?

Nothing beats a celphone when trying to get found

Nothing beats a celphone when trying to get found

Well, in the vast, blue ocean, hide and seek can be a dangerously horrifying game if you don’t know your way. So here are some tips for you on how not to get yourself lost while scuba diving.

Make a sound

As scuba divers we have to be prepared with the things that we might actually use if ever we get lost in the sea. Being an aware diver means bringing along anti-lost materials such as plastic whistles, safety sausages, snorkels and a light.

A plastic whistle is a big help for you because sound carries a real long way on water, especially at night. If you don’t have a whistle, you may use air powered horns that are also attached to the low pressure inflator mechanism.

The safety sausage – wonder why they didn’t make it a doughnut

The use of a safety sausage is also an option to consider. These sausages are mostly orange and can be easily spotted by the searchers since this colour is associated with danger and these can also be made to wave, which further increases the visibility. It cannot be clearly seen at night though so you’d want to place an LED pocket light inside the sausage for it to stand out as a beacon.

Light it up

Speaking about LEDs, the pocket light may also be helpful in allowing you to signal at boats, planes, and helicopters and perform the classic SOS (Save our Souls) – 3 long, 3 short, and another 3 long.

If you don’t have these three things with you, you can use other signalling devices such as a mirror or dive light may help you in asking help from the rescuers. And when you think these things ain’t enough for you – put your celphone in a waterproof container to make sure you get some rescuing when lost.

Just kidding with the last one. But it might just work – though I don’t think you’d risk your iPhone in a 30 meters deep dive. Haha! Make sure you bring these devices when we dive this season in Palau –  just in case you get lost.

The Right Time to Buy your own Scuba Equipment

Gentle little ripples of water tickle your feet by the shore and you’ve just finished another dive. The experience was wonderful, but deep down inside, you know you didn’t want that to end. You glance by your shoulder and catch a glimpse of the rented scuba gear you just used during your dive. You ask yourself, “When’s the right time to actually buy my own set of scuba diving equipment?”

maybe your own set of these?

maybe your own set of these?

That “Someday” will come

Learn from nature, and you’ll see that all things do not remain the same forever. The corals will someday die, and they will eventually be part of the sand of the beach you tread on. They can’t be something that exists to be admired forever. The time will come when they will be part of something to set your foot on.  The same thing is with your using of scuba gear. You can’t just rent them forever, can you?

But really, the question of “when” lies in a number of factors.  Are you committed to this passion? Can you afford it? Let’s say you already own one; are you able to maintain it? Will you make the most use of it? Well, there are even more to answer, but only you know them for yourself.

If you’re just a person who’s fascinated with the sport and only dives from time to time as a recreational diver, then I suggest don’t buy your own gear just yet. It’s more appropriate that you just rent whenever you have the urge to explore the wonders of ocean.

You’ll just put it in a corner somewhere in your garage, and perhaps take it out once or twice a year. Waste of good equipment. Waste of good money. But if you’re quite experienced, and you dive regularly, what’s stopping you? If you treat scuba diving not only as a hobby, but as a passion, you should seriously consider purchasing scuba equipment.

Advantages of owning your own set

Care to share my regulator?

Care to share my regulator?

Owning your own set of scuba gear has great advantages!

1) You don’t have to worry if the last guy who used the regulator ever brush his teeth.

2) You don’t have to worry about that something that tastes funky in your regulator – and no I don’t know what the heck it is either.

And best of all…

3) No more rental fees! Sounds fun to you? Sounds fun to me!

Can I afford it? To most of us, this is the most important question. A whole new quality scuba diving gear set can cost roughly around $2,000. Of course your bottle and air supply is separate.

Let me put it this way: Which is more of a factor to you, the $2000 OR the mysterious funky taste and smell of your rental regulator? You didn’t know where the last guy who used it came from. Now does the $2000 suddenly sound cheaper? Thought so. Besides, if it’s your passion anyway, money’s ALMOST not a factor.

So if you’re a regular scuba diver get out there and get your own! Scubaworld is one of the cheapest places to buy the best quality scuba diving equipment by the way – just so you know.

If you’re joining us for the Palau Trip this october – december season then I strongly urge you to bring your own equipment if you already have one. Or think of buying your own. If you’re not joining us for the Palau trip, maybe you’d want to consider joining our online contest for a FREE Palau liveaboard scuba diving trip. It’s easy and fun – and you get to be featured in this blog too!

Marine Creatures to be Aware of

In the last list of marine creatures to be aware of, we talked about sharks, sea urchins, box jellyfish, sea snakes and stingrays. Those were already a handful and so I saved up the rest of the list for this entry.

The importance of this is to be aware of what creatures you’ll encounter when you’re scuba diving, why they are dangerous and how you can avoid them or treat the damage they can cause you.

So without further ado, here’s the rest of the dangerous marine creatures:

Puffer FishPuffer Fish – If only this fish was as kind as Bloat in Finding Nemo, but it’s not. This fish is known to contain enough toxin that it can kill 30 people. The sad fact about it is that there is no known antidote, what one can only do is support the respiratory and circulatory system until the poison wears off.

What’s very ironic is that this fish is considered a delicacy in Japan, so if you have a loved one that’s been a victim of this fish, go ahead and eat one for revenge.

Stone FishStonefish – This fish is known to be the most poisonous fish in the world. It’s also good in camouflage that people accidentally get too close to it. This fish has 13 spikes on its back that contains an extreme venom. If not treated, it can cause death to a person in hours. Be aware of this fish because not only is it good in camouflage looking like rocks but it usually hides in coral reefs and can be found at the sea bottom.

Whoops! Wrong picture

Whoops! Wrong picture

Got it right

Got it right

Catfish – No matter how good they taste and how crispy they can get, these fishes can be a potential danger to humans. When it feels threatened, it puts out spikes that contain venom and cause severe pain. Though very rare, there have been cases that death has been caused by such. Catfish venom still remains in them after a few days, so if you’re planning to cook one, be aware and cautious and handle it with care.

Blue Ringed OctopusBlue Ring Octopus – Though these creatures are small, they are known to be the deadliest sea creatures ever known. They will attack anything, even humans, when provoked. Their poison is enough to kill 20 people or more in minutes. Their venom can cause paralysis and respiratory arrest. Again, there is no known cure for it.

Cone ShellCone Shell – No matter how attractive these may be, be careful before you pick them up. These are snails that have teeth like harpoons where venom passes through. Such venom’s symptoms are pain, swelling and numbness and, in some cases, can lead to death.

Lion FishLionfish – These fishes have long poisonous spines that are deadly to a variety of marine creatures. Though not known to be deadly to man, it causes severe pain, headaches and vomiting. They don’t attack people unless provoked but if you get stung by one, soak the affected area in hot water and immediately get medical help.

These are some of  very dangerous marine creatures known to man, but we should always remember that we are more dominant than them because we have the brains to keep ourselves safe.

Always remember to be alert and cautious. Seek medical help immediately when needed. Never, ever provoke such animals because most of the ones listed here will only attack when they are provoked.

FREE Palau Liveaboard Trip!

Palau scuba Diving ContestPictures must be

  • in JPEG format, not more than 500k in file size
  • taken by yourself or you must have the rights to publish them
  • related to scuba diving

Please note any photos uploaded become community property.

Palau Liveaboards


The winner gets a free Liveaboard trip in Palau valid for the season 2010/2011.
In case you want to share your cabin with your Buddy, we will give him/her 30% discount on the published rates.
Air fare to Koror, Palau are not included.

The winner will be chosen by our panel of judges.

Palau Liveaboards

Terms & Conditions

Entries must be made personally. Entries made through agents/third parties are invalid. Promoters cannot accept responsibility for lost entries or for transmission failures. Entry indicates acceptance of terms and conditions.

The prize winner will be notified by email no later than 2 hours after draw has been made. The prize draw is open for everyone, aged 18 or over, excluding employees of Cruise Island Adventure, its subsidiary companies, and any person whom, in the Promoter’s reasonable opinion, should be excluded due to their involvement or connection with this promotion. All entries become the property of the promoter and will not be returned.

There is no cash or other alternative to these prizes in whole or in part. Prizes are not transferable in whole or in part. The decision of the promoter in all matters is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into. The promoter is not responsible for any third party acts or omissions.

We cannot guarantee that the trip will be free from disruptions, failings or cancellations. We are not liable for such disruptions, failings or cancellations unless they are caused by our negligence. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend this promotion due to events or circumstances arising beyond its control.

Winners without a legal Scuba Diving License are not allowed to dive from our Boats.

Marine Creatures to be Aware of

Though a lot of people are seasick, one can relate the seas to calmness, serenity and peace. But there’s a different set of rules once you go under these “calm” waters. The game will change – right there and then you’re immersed in an environment with unfriendly marine folks around. You have to play by their rules.

So for your Scuba Diving knowledge here are some of the marine life creatures you should be well aware of:

SharkShark – The most common of all sea animals that people dread. But if you want to be more specific, it’s the Great White Shark that’s truly feared. (Don’t know the Great White Shark? Refer to JAWS) But what we humans aren’t really aware of is that sharks don’t really attack people, unless provoked.

Yes they do bite off peoples limbs, or tear their arms, or if possible, eat the whole person up, they don’t, like I said, attack humans unless provoked and most of its species do not attack humans at all. A good tip for us is to stay away from shallow waters because this is where sharks feed. This is the reason why people get attacked because they do not mind the warnings given to them, so always heed such warnings.

Sea urchinSea Urchins – The usual “attack” from a sea urchin is where one walks in water and steps on one. It’s good to know that almost all sea urchins are not venomous except for one – the Flower Urchin, which can be deadly.

Contradictory to its usual look, the Flower urchin is covered by flowers instead of thorns but they are very dangerous which can cause paralysis and even death. But what’s really a sucker with sea urchins is that their stings really hurt badly. There are even instances when the sharp spines pierce to deep in the skin that they break. These cause severe pain and infections and sometimes need to be removed surgically.

Box jelly fishBox JellyfishThe most dangerous jellyfish known in the world. They have at least 60 tentacles that can grow up to 5 meters long. These tentacles are so poisonous that any human being coming into contact with these can die in just hours if not treated.

But people die not because of the sting but because of the shock the poison brings, wherein such stings lead to cardiac arrests. The Box jellyfish are very numerous especially in the seas of Australia and its surrounding countries. The Box jellyfish, like normal jellyfish, are translucent making them difficult to spot.

sea snakesSea Snakes – These snakes are usually found in warm waters. They usually attack when provoked. These snakes are very venomous and if not treated immediately can cause cardiac arrest in hours. Their bites usually go unnoticed, that’s why always be alarmed. Sea snakes are usually found in shallow waters wherein they are still close to land.

sting rayStingrays – Nobody was really aware how dangerous these creatures were until the sad death of the famous Steve Irwin. These creatures normally run away when they sense humans but attacks when provoked. The best tip for humans is to slide their feet through the sand rather than walk because once you step on a stingray, it will ferociously attack you.

That’s it for this batch! These are alerady a handful for this entry.

There’s another batch of Marine Life creatures you have to be aware of, but i’ll save that for the next entry – so watch out for it!

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