Saturday, October 27, 2012


NEWS for DIVERS from around the WORLD

Beluga whale talks like a human

A Beluga whale that talks!

Even a diver was confused when he thought it was a human.
National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego on Monday published details the about the case of the white Beluga whale named Noc who began to mimic the human voice.
"The whale's vocalizations often sounded as if two people were conversing in the distance," says Dr. Sam Ridgway, President of the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego.
Noc was heard "talking" several times before the scientists were able to identify that the sound was actually coming from him. One diver actually thought it was someone giving him underwater directions and telling him to "get out," reports NBC San Diego.
Scientists began recording Noc's vocalization for the next four years. You can hear him "talking" by clicking on the video. The scientists theorized that because Noc heard human speech, he began spontaneously mimicking it.
Noc only talked for about four years before and no longer made the sounds he matured. The study was done back in 1984 and Noc has since passed away.
"While it's been a number of years since we first encountered this spontaneous mimicry, it's our hope that publishing our observations now will lead to further discoveries about marine mammal learning and vocalization," said Ridgway.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dive in Sulu

Our dive in Sulu is one of the most memorable dive in my entire life.


I know being a diver is also a risky job. Anything could happen even for expert divers. But not the kind of  danger that we encounter. Certainly you never think that you could be beheaded below for some reason but to think that you are somewhere near a group considered terrorist by the world government were accounted for beheading their hostages and making news since 2000.

After i took pictures of the sunken ship 210 feet under the sea, we examine all options on how to re-float the ship. After taking several shots at the ship, Nikonos V underwater camera is not working well now after 200ft. I checked my Nikonos V because the last time i took picture below, shutter did not work well. So I open my camera and saw some moisture so i decided not use our camera for the rest of day. Nikonos V has its limitations. Lesson learned? Gadgets never adjust unlike humans. We can adjust to situations. Even if it is made in Japan. But the good thing is we took enough pictures of the sunken ship.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Scuba Diving Job in Sulu


Scuba diving job should be fun. But what if your risking your life on the line? Is it worth it?

Current depth of the ship is 210 feet under and not only that bouys are already installed but the ship havent moved a bit. If it wasn't installed properly, those bouys will serve as torpedoes rushing up to your ship. It's like going against a submarine waiting to attack with one wrong move. We brought our Nikonos V to take pictures.We took pictures of the bouys and the sunken ship but NIKONOS V can only go down as deep as 165 feet and if you go beyond that you're at risk in breaking your camera. Bouys that were installed is 120 feet deep on top of it plus 10 feet down. We took some pictures of buoys and some school of fish for fun. Previous team used steel cable to attached bouys to the ships bow and stern. Bouys that looked like drums with different sizes were rusting even the cables.

I dove deeper and gone to the ship. I took pictures but there is a problem...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Scuba Diving Trip


On the seventh day of our scuba diving trip to Sulu for refloating a sunken ship, the sky is dark but it's not raining. As you expect its a bit wavy but not too much but enough to confuse the sonar. We have to repeat the scanning 3 times before we got the exact position. Our captain anchored down and we inspect the current underneath. Water is darker than we expected. We thought it's going to be clear since it is a province and only few ships passed by within the area.

We dropped our bathymetry or sounders; our pre-measured rope tied with a heavy u-clamps. First is to measure depth of the sunken ship. Second purpose of our sounder is for our decompression guide as we ascend. We drop it thrice to make sure since the current is strong. On the third time we put heavier metals to stabilize descension. Some commercial divers or professional divers use computerized bathymetry but since we dont have budget for other gadget.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

7th day of Refloating Vessel Operation


On the seventh day we were at the actual location where the ship sank. We have to find the sunken ship using an old sonar and we spent less than 2 hours to find it. We found the sunken ship and anchor down to fix our position. According to the sonars information, it is 210 feet below because of the tide but it should be 190 feet according the captain and the crews of the ship. I know it's part of the of our scuba diving service to risk our lives but that doesn't mean we can just ignore the dangers. We told them that should the reason why the other team have casualties. The ship is too deep, meaning whenever they dive that deep they have to decompress because their live is at stake. The problem is they do not have a supervisor that can take note of the depth for decompressions. As i wrote before, these divers did not have any formal training which a commercial diver should have. They only acquired experience in scuba diving from extracting mussels from rock beneath the ocean or cyanide fishing and they dont even know what is decompression or wether they need it. So five of them died without knowing what realy happened to their comrades. They didn't have diving log book or anything that could track down their dives according to the crews. All of the former crews of the operation suffered bends.

We have our decompression book manual from the US Navy for decompression guide. We use slate and a pencil attached to a rope to tally our depth and decompression time and tie it to our body. Our scuba tank is equiped with depth gauge so we removed the depth gauge and tie it as well to our body. Instead of using scuba tank we use their air compressor. Their air compressor is up and running but they only use ordinary hose and nothing else, they just tie the hose to their hips and bite the end of the hose to breath. To improvise the compressor we attached the second stage regulator at the end of the hose and used adjustable clamp to secure it. At first there is a small bubbles coming out so we fixed it and test it again. Now we are good to go.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Re-floating Operation on 6th day


We cannot dive and use our scuba tanks since it can only last for 30 mins more or less depending on the depth if we use our single tanks and not more than an hour for our double tank. Our only option is using air compressor since we are going to survey the area not to mention the situation of the sunken ship. So we did our best to fix the air compressor. One of the problem that we encountered was we were in the middle of the sea and we have limited resources but we did fixed it and viola! Air compressor is up and running. Now the problem was the hose that they used from previous divers.

Previous operations was not succesful since most of them died and some of them are still in the hospital as I write this blog. They never saw the hole until we found it. My son hear a very low hissing sound after we turned on the air compressor so we checked out where the sound come from. Divers can still breath using hose only. We cut the hose and tested if it explodes again. After few minutes it did! Same location from the previous hole. actualy it is a crack but the hole was very minute. We cut it again but this time we re-inforced it by putting a 2 inches wide rubber band near the compressor and after few minutes no explosions, so we pressumed it will work better than before.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Re-floating 5th day


Scuba diving equipment for our job is complete and packed neatly in a bag. Our set of Scuba wet suits our 2 sets of fins 2 single scuba tanks and a 2 double tanks and everything.

When we arrived at the port area everybody is busy with their work. We are boarding a fishing vessel that is going to Sulu Sea. It is hard to hop on a boat to another while you were carrying heavy things. You might drop things and your equipment might be damaged if your not careful enough. So as we hop in to a boat to another some of our equipment are carried out by one of the crew of the boat that we are going to board.

We are very much excited as we fix our scuba diving equipment and our beds but the problem is the boat that we are boarding does not have enough room for all the crews of the ship. We fix our sleeping area by installing 2 cradles outside the quarters. Good thing we have bag of clothes to serve as our pillows. It is big and a very old fishing vessel. So we set to sail between 9-10am. My son I was planning our operation after we checked their available equipment .

We checked out their ship for a tour for a better view. We checked out their kitchen and their storage area for the captured fish. Storage area was full of crashed ice ready for preserving those fish. It was full of tubs designed for heavy loads. We also checked their air compressor that was used by previous divers but found out some problems. Air compressors is failing to work so we check out what we can do to fix it. They used sub standard hoses so whenever a diver uses it part of the hose explode so they have to cut the part and have to fix the attachment to the air compressor. It is very old but still working.