Lex Petros: First Dive Trip in 07 - 12th to 13th May (Part 1)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

First Dive Trip in 07 - 12th to 13th May (Part 1)

May 12th (Saturday) - Once again, we headed out to Mersing after a long hiatus (of about 9 months). No frills and only thrills. Not the first time being on a trip with Yee Boon, but this time, we managed to convince Sankar, our colleague and partner-in-crime to enjoy some sun, sea and sand...Tioman Island.

We had the privilege of travelling in stlye vis-a-vis Yee Boon's wife's Toyota Harrier. We left on Friday nite (May 11th) Talk about smooth rides... Plus, what a better way to tickle ourselves than Chow Sing-Chi movies (I think it was 'Hail the Judge' and another movie in which he played 'Tong Pak Fu", 'The Flirting Scholar') in the middle of the nite. We were trying to put on "From Beijing with Love" but the Harrier's DVD controller did not seem to work, so we couldn't sellect the movie on the same disc.

On route, the rest of the group; Francis Tan, Mike Tjoa, Mike Dolan and Kim, Saiful and wife were at different parts of the journey, all heading to Ayer Hitam, the exit point from the North-South highway. Thereon, we would pass through the town of Kluang and into the winding roads of the Felda settlements on route to Mersing.

Our 3 and a half hour journey ended with some supper, before turning in at the Embassy Hotel (modest accomodation, but thankfully airconditioned) in Mersing for the residual hours of the nite. Even on the supper table, Yee Boon could hardly keep his eyes open. It was close to 3 am then. By the time we slept, it was nearly 4am. Had to get up by 6.30 and get to the Mersing Jetty by 7.00am. Not suprisingly, the three of us only got up at 7.00am and even then, I was awoken (thankfully) by the sound of footsteps outside our room)

Well, we managed to make it to the jetty by 7.20am, just in time to take the queue to board one of Bluewater's speedboats. We took a mere hour and 15 minutes. 32 nautical miles from Mersing only. Thank God for the mirror-smooth water... we arrived at Kg. Tekek, roled our stuff to the waiting area and got picked up by Barbura Resort's van and on to Tioman Reef Divers (TRD) which is just next to the resort. Our first dive was scheduled at 10.30am, so all the divers promptly checked in, scrambled for breakfast (some of us suited up at the same time) and headed out to TRD's divers' speedboat.

First stop: Pulau Renggis, just opposite Berjaya Tioman Resort. Sankar tagged along and was to go snorkelling while the rest of us were set to go under the waves...

The first dive was quite uneventful. Noticed a lack of pellagic activity. Visibility was bad; a mere 3-5 metres. Yee Boon and I ventured on our own, having the island on our left in maintaining a bearing. Actually, we got lost from the group...hehe...

The dive was boring. Boring till Yee Boon had to pose on mooring block for me . Only thing interesting was a clown fish which was willing to be at the mercy of Yee Boon hands...literally (don't worry. No marine creatures were hurt for the purposes of this blog posting...hehe ) Nemo was nevertheless quite 'sporting' in this respect...check out the little fella in Yee Boon's clasp.

Next stop: Tiger Reef...
No current, but visibility was still much to be desired. Somehow, we never fail to spot lionfish in that area. Generally this dive site is made out of boulders forming swimthroughs and channels, teeming with coral and pellagic life. On a good day, you could see a huge school of yellow-tailed snappers and fusilliers swimming by or get flanked by curious Batfish. Yee Boon on the other hand had plans to harrass a poor hawksbill turtle. On a good day, Tiger Reef boasts one of the most beautiful collection of nudibranchs, seafans and corals, but bad visibility ruined our appreciation of the resplendent underwater scenery latent at Tiger Reef.

Our 3rd dive site was Pulau Labas, a collection of underwater boulders and rocks, creating a labyrinth of swimthroughs and tunnels. Managed to catch a glimpse of a juvenile moray eel. Yee Boon skipped this dive as a result of sinus problems. Pity I got no pictures from this dive. My camera's battery went flat after the two dives earlier.

We reached TRD above 5-ish. Took a short nap before heading out for dinner at Tekek Sarang Restaurant just a few steps away from Barbura Resort. YB, Sankar and I ventured on to the new Marina, where we were allowed to take a tour along the parking lots for boats and yatchs. Nice facility, but looks like it was built for small vessels, not like the ones you see in CSI:Miami. After that, Vision Enterprise duty free shop, the largest in the village.

We went back to the resort for Sankar's video introduction to discovery scuba. Had a chat with Reeno Chew, TRD's proprietor and experienced dive instructor. He turned on a video on the underwater sights of Costa Rica. Watched it with a few Singaporean divers, whom YB thought were stuck up. We had a couple of drinks and turned in shortly after.

The sleep I had that nite was just excellent, especially after a long day of diving and being in the water...contented by the antecedent underwater adventure and perked with excitement in anticipating Sunday...

3 Commentsjavascript:void(0):

Blogger Asther said...

Sigh... I'm sorry I missed this trip.

Tssk Tssk Tssk... Yee Boon is still harassing those animals, huh? *FROWN* If I know magic, I'll turn him into a nudibranch! Hahaha...

3:51 PM  
Blogger aindhy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Yeah Asther... we miss you too. But hey, I bet nothing beats Layang-Layang.

11:24 PM  

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