Archive for the 'Diving Locations' Category

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.

Similans Rocks!

Here are the rocks
Donald Duck RocksDonald Duck Bay

Made it back
Well, it was a good three and a half days’ worth of diving, probing the depths of Similan’s fair isles. Fish soup is what comes to mind on every dive – schooling fish by the hundreds. At one rock, bait fish packed so tight they entirely obscured a crevice opening large enough for 2 divers to enter side-by-side.

No Wet Pics
Whilst memories of the excellent dives and excellent dive boat (& crew) now spring vividly in my mind, they may well soon fade without the refreshing aid of digital imagery. You see, the underwater housing for my trusty digicam had failed. Again. Completely, this time. The discovery of a broken bit of plastic belonging to the sync cord connector proved to scuttle all hope of bringing back fishy pics from this trip. Never-the-less, I will supply a few obligatory pictures of azure seas & lush islands, idyllic beaches & a quaint village we encountered on our trip.
Island #4 ReefIsland #4 Bay
Koh Bon SunsetKoh Tachai

Made it back too (2)
The Olympus C-5060WZ did. Its using up its store of lives, now on its second flood survival. It was also dropped at least twice on previous occasions. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this camera on the basis of its ruggedness. However, yet again I’m denied the opportunity of buying a new camera. Sigh.

But it may be a good thing though. Save up the dollars for later and newer technology at a future date. That’s a thought.

Now where’s that camera housing – gotta get it fixed before the next trip!

Thai Fishing BoatMoken Village KidsMy BranchThe Real ThingVillage TV

That’s all the pics for you in this installment – In the meantime live well, dive safe y’all!

Till our next adventure,

Finally another post!

At Long Last
Here’s a Clown and Blur Sotong for you folks!
Quit Clowning!Cuttlefish
Its been a while since I’ve let out a squeak on these pages. No, Dive Bubbleheads haven’t been idle – we’ve been to Dayang (training), took a group to Manado, and explored Similans on a nice live-a-board. All of that in 2007. Here are some pics from those trips.

From Dayang:
Mornin’ MorayKuning Ball
Mornin’ Moray was yawning away while peeking thru the rubble under the jetty, while the nearby school of Kuning were having a ball of a time.

From Manado and Similans:
Pygmy SeahorseSolo Barracuda
Rare find of Pygmy Seahorse (no, that’s my index finger!) in Lembeh Straits, Bitung (Manado) and a wary-looking Solo Barracuda atop the reef in the Similan Islands. We all managed to get away without being snapped at. Phew!

A Little Revelation
For me, I have decided to slightly shift my focus from teaching in 2008 and probably thru the next few years as well. I’ve decided that I will explore the dive sites in the South East Asian region with greater intensity, and will attempt to visit such diverse places as Burma Banks (Myanmar), Layang-Layang (Sabah), Raja Ampat (Irian Jaya), Komodo (Sunda Islands) & even Cebu (Philipines). All this in addition to revisiting destinations of 2007, namely Manado, Sipadan and Phuket/Similans.

I do not yet know when and in what order I will do these trips, but hopefully I will be able to announce them before-hand on these pages and you, my dear readers, are welcome to throw in your diving lot with me (presumably you’ll be a diver) as I go exploring these diving destinations. As it stands, I will be diving Similans 1st to 5th April 2008, likely do Manado in end-June, possibly Manado live-a-board or Sipadan between August to September this year. Just drop me a comment, email or try to catch me on Skype if you fancy some adventure!

Leaked Case Dismissed
On a more mundane (or is this exciting?!) note, I found my camera case had sprung a leak on our most recent trip to Dayang this year. Fortunately the camera did not suffer damage, as the leak was such that water drops seeped in only at depths greater than 13m; so I was able to prevent total flooding by staying above that suicidal depth for the remainder of the dive with the camera. Here’s one of the pics I took on the dawn dive that day before the leak was discovered.
Kissing Scorpionfish
Fancy that, a couple of snoggin’ Scorpionfish! And at dawn too. hmmm.

Right! I do hope there is enough time to get the casing fixed/serviced/tested before my up-coming Similans trip, else I’ll have to pop for a new casing… Hey! Is this the excuse I’ve been waiting for to buy a new camera? :o)

So till then, safe & happy diving to all of you!

Best regards…

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