Melawat Hantu

I’m sure you felt ghosted.

A comment from a friend prompted me to make this entry.

“Haven’t written in a while” she texted. Umm, she was polite. I don’t think many would consider 13 years ‘a while’ 😅, or even ‘quite a while’. I can imagine more colourful expressions.

If you follow our much more frequently updated Facebook page (i mean, relative to this page) you’d know we made a recent descent upon the north reef of Pulau Hantu, across from Bukom.

According to current safe distancing measures, we adhered to 5 pax on board, and kept our 1m distance of each other, even under water 😜. It made 2 things difficult. The buddy check above water, and locating your buddy underwater in the standard ‘Hantu viz’.

That of course turned out to be the least of our concerns to threaten the dives, as first a fin strap broke (mine), and later the sky broke, to unleash an angry torrent. Thankfully the field repair handyman, Andy the man, cable-tied my ruptured rubber strap back into function. Saved the dive.

The downpour was another matter though. Mathieu, one of our dive companions is an accomplished photographer, and we were accustomed to seeing the flashes from his camera strobe. As we fanned out along the reef, we became visually ‘disconnected’ due to the said viz. Hoping to reform our group, i peered around through the murky water column. Not a moment later, i caught a vague flash of light and thought, ‘Ah! That must be Mathieu!’ So we swam in that direction hoping to relocate him. As we closed the distance, another flash occurred above us, and that was when we realised it wasn’t Mathieu, it was lightning. And it was raining. Hard.

So our surface interval was completed in soggy circumstances, while we marvelled at some other boat’s apparent non-compliance to safe distancing imperatives.

To cut the story short, we ended our second dive on a high note, having batfish follow us around, seen butterfly fish, blue ringed octopus, loads of nudibranchs, and a friendly turtle.

Photo credits: Underwater, Mathieu Meur. On deck, Ming Lee.

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