Thursday, 29 May 2014

Three month adventure - In pictures!!!

We have been back in the UK now for 2 weeks and I have been going through my pictures of my time in the Philippines and the USA. My website has just been updated as well but I thought I would give you a taster and say thank you for reading!! Have a look at my website for even more photos and take a look at my Instagram. @wilkieboom

I have told you a lot about what I have done but I wanted to tell you a bit more about the amazing diving I did while out there. The dive sites were healthy, beautiful and teeming with all types of marine life. I want to thank Andrea Crola and Carlo Red Sea from Idive who where  awesome guides and  fantastic hosts!

I have also included a couple of pictures of my friend Vic Zulueta. He is a fishermen who lives near Calapan, which is the main city on the island of Mindoro. He invited me onto his boat and showed me around the mangroves where he went every morning for his daily catch. He invited me back on Easter Sunday to drink with his friends and family and join them in their celebrations with a beer and a glass of rum!

Finally, I have also added some landscape shots that I took during my time in Mindoro.

Porcupine Pufferfish

Feather Star

Andrea Boom!!

Sea Star



The gorgeous reefs of Mindoro Island

The rivers and mangroves just south of Calapan City


My friend Vic

The local transport on Mindoro - the Tricycle

Sunset from the golf course up at Pondarosa

The gorgeous views of Mindoro Island


As you know, I have been working a lot with the Stairway Foundation - the charity that helps young street kids of Manila. As part of Earth Week, they performed The Lorax by Dr Seuss. I went along to their dress rehearsal and took a couple of shots. It was an emotional day when I said goodbye to them all.

I also had to say goodbye to my friends from Zoox (who have a new website and some lovely new photos!) and Reef World Foundation as well as a sad goodbye to our home in Aninuan. The Battenberg House. 

Our home - 'The Battenberg House'

After leaving Mindoro, Laura and I went to Dumaguete on the island of Negros to do some macro diving (muck). We stayed at Liquid Dumaguete and did some incredible diving with incredible guides and met some incredible people!

The visibility was beautiful


Flamboyant Cuttlefish

Anemone crab

Bigfin Reef Squid

Western Clown Fish (Nemo)

Blue Ringed Octopus

Blue ringed octopus trying to run away from me!


Negros Island

On our way to Manila

After 10 days in Dumaguete, we flew to Manila where we stayed for a couple of days. We looked around Chinatown and the markets. It was SO hot and SO busy but the city is so vibrant and next time we will stay for a little longer!

Chinatown Markets

Bridge jumping - for money!

Sunset at Mall of Asia


Sure the fireworks were for us!

The last leg of our journey saw us visit San Fransisco to catch up with our friends Michael and Jessica who we lived with in Thailand. Jessica is pregnant so I did a shoot for them on Bakers Beach with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Next stop was Las Vegas where we spent 4 spectacular days walking the 'strip' and losing money on the craps tables!
Finally, we spent time with Laura's  brother who lives and works in LA. It was a fabulous end to an amazing journey. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!

Michael and Jessica on Baker Beach

Pregnant shoot with a fantastic backdrop

Baker Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge

Viewpoint from Twin Peaks, San Fransisco

Circus Circus, Las Vegas Strip

Vegas at night!

Venice Beach Skate Park

Muscle beach @ Venice Beach

Santa Monica pier - the end of the highway and the end of our trip

Remember, I have just updated my website which has more photos and shows a lot more of what we did on our trip. xxx

I would finally like to say a HUGE thank you to Timothy and Anna Davies from Ultimate Newquay, Paul and Ren Tildesley, John and Bernadette and Justin Julian  for looking after our house while we were away! Without your help our journey would not have been possible! XXXXXX

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Wilkie's 2 Week Update......Boooooooom!

Here is Wilkie's update from the last 2 weeks in Mindoro and its been Booooooomtastically busy
for both the lovely Laura and I! Laura is well into her seventh week of work with Zoox and Green Fins and is loving it! I have also been working with some organisations photographing some 
amazing projects. The first was with SAS Activities (Sea Adventure School), Reef-World Foundation and The Stairway Foundation. Fiona Childs and Anita Gardener asked me to photograph
a site checking trip around Muelle Bay for grade 6 students from Puerto Galera to learn about
marine ecosystems (mangroves,seagrass and coral reefs). We met the boat captain Nani on the small
island of San Antonio after a boat transfer by his father.
Fiona Childs and Anita Gardener heading to San Antonio Island

Nani checks sites before heading out to sea!

Beautiful Muelle Bay

Muelle Bay
The SAS will soon have their own bangka (boat) which is currently being built just outside of the main city of Calapan. I was invited along with Anita (Reef-World Foundation) and Stairway's owner Lars C. Jorgensen to photograph the boat being built.


Hammer Time!
Boat Builders along side Anita and Lars

Rice fields and blue skies

I recently attended an amazing fire display. It was performed first at The Stairway Foundation where Soren Forsom and his girlfriend Mette Hojland Frisch who work as volunteers teaching circus skills performed a unique and stunning act!!! They followed this up with another display on Earth Hour (March 29th). They are part of The Pyromaniacs who have a Facebook page.

Soren and Mette performing at The Stairway Foundation

Soren Forsom performing at The Stairway Foundation

Mette performing on Earth Hour outside our house

Soren and Mette 


Last Monday with the generous help of Alice and Bjorn of AB Wonderdive, the Stairway children and staff did a try dive under the guidance and instruction of Laura Guy, Abi Colton from Zoox and Green Fins, Fiona Childs and Anita Gardener from Reef-World Foundation, and Alice and Magnus from AB Wonderdive. Thanks also to James Reseigh for the video footage! It was such an AWESOME many happy faces........BOOOOOOOOMTASTIC!

Laura giving a dive brief to the children of Stairway

Remember to equalise on the way down!

Finding Nemo

Dive, Dive, Dive!

Anita and her student

Laura and her Student
Abi and her student

Magnus and his student

Alice and her student

Abi, Magnus and Laura after the dive!

Anita and student after the dive!

Alice and her student
Fiona and student after the dive!
Abi, Laura and Lars take a break!

Big OK to an amazing day!

On Tuesday I went up to the Mangyan village of Baclayan with Jason ((Community Assistance Program Coordinator at Stairway) and Fiona Childs to explain the marine ecosystems project to the parents of the children who are taking part in this project.We also visited Stairway's organic farm which enables a feeding program to promote health and nutrition and encourage children to come to school.  We were shown around by Nonoy.  Growing methods are also shared with the community to teach them how to be more self sufficient.  Regular health clinics are held in the Stairway building.

Jason and Fiona begin their journey up to Baclayan

Stunning views on the way up
Mangyan child climbing tree!!!!
Parents listening to Jason explain the projects
Parents listening to Jason explain the projects
The children also came to listen to Jason speak
The Children also came to listen to Jason speak
The Children also came to listen to Jason speak
Nonoy showed us around his farm

Water Buffalo grazing

The farm produces, vegetables, chickens, pigs and buffalo


While we were up in Baclayan we visited Marilyn Tupas, who with a group of 22 Mangyan women basket weave and share the income.

The Mangyan women basket weaving

The Mangyan women basket weaving

The Mangyan women basket weaving

Little helper

A display of the beautiful baskets!

The lovely Mangyan basket weavers

At the end of last week a small group of us trekked up from Baclayan to Mount Malisimbo and across to Mount Talipanan covering a total of 55km of steep jungle terrain in humid heat lead by our awesome guide Leo and his amazing team! It was a very challenging and rewarding trip with breath taking views!

Guide starts to set up camp at the base of Mount Malisimbo
Our camp site high up in the clouds!
Guide cuts a path way through the thick dense jungle
Taking in the view! Looking towards Mount Talipanan
Selfie!! We are on top of a mountain! Mount Malisimbo
Sunset over Mount Talipanan
Star trails over Mindoro taken from the base of Mount Malisimbo
Leo preparing breakfast!

The guides prepared amazing food for us!
Casper chilling out at the top of Mount Talipanan
Stunning views from Mount Talipanan over looking Mindoro
Peter waving farewell to Mount Talipanan on the very steep descent
James,Peter,Casper,Leo and the awesome guides!
Well that just about covers the last couple of weeks here in Mindoro, will be back soon with another update which will include some more underwater shots! WilkieBooooooooom! x