Subic Bay is a popular diving site, and has nineteen wrecks in still waters, all no more than thirty minutes by boat from the waterfront area. The USS New York, is the star attraction of Subic’s underwater world, a battle cruiser launched in the US in 1891. When World War II broke out, she was virtually retired, and when the Japanese swept the US Marines out of the Philippines, the Americans had no choice but to scuttle her as they departed from Subic in early 1942. The ship now lies on her port side in 27m of water between Alava pier and the northern end of Cubi Point runway. For experienced divers, the 120-metre-long hull presents excellent opportunities for what scuba divers call a “swim-through” – an exploration of the inside of the wreck from one end to the other.

The El Capitan, a Spanish-era wreck lying 20m down in a pretty inlet on the east coast of Subic Bay is a much easier wreck dive, suitable for novices. The San Quentin (16m) is the oldest known wreck in Subic, a wooden gunboat scuttled by the Spanish in 1898 in a futile attempt to block the channel between Grande and Chiquita islands against invading Americans. Other Subic wrecks include the Japanese POW ship Oryoku Maru and the Seian Maru, a Japanese cargo vessel sunk by the American Navy in 1945.

For diving trips try Johan’s Adventure Dive Center (t047/224-8915, wwww.subicdive.com), right on the shore at Baloy Beach; Moby Dick Watersports (t047/252-3773); or Subic Bay Aqua Sports (t 047/252-6048) on Waterfront Drive at Building 249. Boardwalk Dive Center (t047/252-5357), is at Building 664, Waterfront Road, in the same building as the Boardwalk Inn. Two-dive packages start at around P2200 at each place.

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