This weekend showed signs of the weather finally changing for the better. The seas were calm, the viz was great and Pulau Aur, Malaysia was the best I have seen it in a long time. Pinnacle 1 was loaded with fish and it is the best reef dive I have done in a few months.
This weekend we headed out on The Ark to dive around Pulau Aur, Malaysia all weekend. I had Stuart and Armand helping this weekend.
Stuart, our GS-Diving PADI Instructor was conducting PADI Open Water Diver Course with Anderson and Tom.
Armand, my PADI Dive Master Trainee was guiding Ulf, Inis, Fabian and Christian.
I was conducting PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course with Ann and Miguel.
There were some other familiar friendly faces on The Ark this weekend too.
The first dive was at Pulau Lang and there was absolutely no current, good viz and loads of fish including some trigger fish that did not care we were around. Trigger fish are like women, one minute attacking you, next minute ignoring you. We saw a turtle, lion fish, scorpion fish and two small honeycomb eels.
The second dive was at Rayners Rock, were my students attempted to do the navigation exercises. I use the word “attempted” because Anne was doing squares with three sides. She tried again and was a bit lost again. So we just dived and agreed to try again at the next site. Miguel’s navigation was ok, although he finished on the other side of the rock a few metres away.
The viz and fish life at Rayners Rock was good including the same two Nudi’s I saw last week. The viz dropped as we rounded to the other side, but there was a school of over 500 or more fusiliers and some rainbow runners. There was this trevally that followed us for most of the dive, it kept creeping up on me and swimming right past my right ear. I jumped every time it swam past. Damn TFT has me jumpy still.
The third dive was a Pinnacle 1 and it was just World Class. No current, awesome viz. It was the first time in a while you could free ascend to the Pinnacle . I took Ann and Miguel out to 25 metres were it was flat sand and this helped Ann do the navigation exercise. Her first attempt was not so good, so I helped with the second. What is it with women and direction? Or reverse parking for that matter?
As we swam along the side of the Pinnacle and I could see a commotion with 6 divers all looking at something small, I kept swimming. I later learnt that they were looking at a orangutan crab. I headed up over the rock to the front end of the pinnicle and could not believe my eyes, one huge grouper, school of big eye trevally, school of barracuda, school of tuna, school of fusiliers, school of rainbow runners and so many other fish it was just insane.
I shook my head just in case I was narced and looked again and it was still the same. We watched and I took a bunch of pictures for a while, but we quickly ran short of No Decompression Limit (NDL) at 25 metres, so we headed to the top of the Pinnacle for 15 minutes before doing a free ascent including safety stop, right next to the boat.
The fourth dive was the deep dive for my students, Christian and Inis joined me from Armand’s group. We did a live drop at Pulau Pinang and could see the bottom, so we decented straight away, the viz was excellent, at least 20 metres. We swam out to the sand and reached 30 metres deep. Did a few skills and then we stayed at depth for 15 minutes before heading up to 25 metres for a while and then 15 to metres. Pinang never has many fish, but Stuart saw the huge grouper, which sounded like the one we had been seeing at Rayners Rock recenty. I had a bit of a laugh when he gave me the ” large grouper” sign. Those that know what the sign for grouper is will have a laugh too.
I managed my second night dive for the month and again at Aur House Reef. There was a baby cuttlefish at the bottom of the rope and a lot of crazy crabs running all around the place with soft coral on the backs as camouflage.
We had a good night’s sleep in the sheltered bay and was up nice and early for the first of two dives before heading south bound for Singapore.
We did another dive at Pinnacle 1 and another at Pinnacle 2. The current was a bit strong for the first dive and there were not many places to hide, so it turned out to be a short dive of 35 minutes. But again loaded with fish.
Pinnacle 2 was brilliant. Little to no current, 30 metre viz and a lot of small fish, no big stuff, but I kept looking out into the blue thinking a whale shark would come join us, but unfortunately not. Blue spotted ribbon tail rays were spotted, along with the ever curious trevally and one massive trigger fish, that again just ignored us. I thought of seeking revenge and sneaking up on it and poking it with my stick. “Let’s see if he trigger likes that!” I thought. But I decided not too.
We did our safety stop on the moring line and got on the boat and headed home. The MV Seaborne was just beside us as well. Nap time.
Glenda’s tip – it is a good idea to bring your own towel on a Live on Board (LOB). Most towels the LOB supply look the same and sometimes you are not sure if you are using yours or someone else’s.
Cheers – Gary
Underwater pictures were taken by the writer of this “Latest News” update.
Additional photos may be viewed on our Facebook page here – 20 to 22 July – The Ark – PADI Open Water, Advanced and DMT