Trip Report 21-23 September 2012

Many people were happy to escape the craziness of Singapore during the F1 Grand Prix weekend and dive Seven Skies and Maritime Fidelity wrecks.  We met early around 4.30pm at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT) to ensure we cleared Indonesian immigration early and get to Seven Skies before all the other dive boats.


On the way from Singapore to Batam, Indonesia, about 4-5 spinner dolphins were displaying their amazing aerial acrobatics, big huge high jumps with a twist and a big splash.  Degree of difficulty 3.2.


We left Batam around 8pm and headed straight for Seven Skies.


When we arrived at Seven Skies there was an Indonesian recreational fishing boat on top of the wreck.  They were catching a lot of fish, mostly small grouper. Dave jumped in with the rope in front of the fishing vessel and tied off right onto Seven Skies right on the crane above the hatch.


This weekend I was conducting PADI Advanced Open Water with Colin, Rachel and Peter.  Colin and Rachel had been waiting for a free weekend to complete the course for many months now.  They both are cabin staff with Singapore Airlines and their schedule is hectic.  Peter signed up for the course recently.

I also had some of “The Gang”. Dean, Gena and Paul.  Paul dived with Scott another tech diver on the boat.


Rachel was kind enough to greet me with a coffee each morning. I guess she couldn’t help herself and forgot that she wasn’t technically working this weekend, as we were on the sea and not in the air. Thank you Rachel.


Paul and Scott jumped in first and descended whilst I jumped in next and waited for my group to join me.  Once everyone was in, we headed down the line to the wreck.


The viz was excellent, easily 40 metres, but the was nothing big with white spots or many schooling fish.  We were all diving nitrox 28%, so our bottom time was ok at about 20 minutes. We ascended up the line slowly and waited around 20 metres for a while, waiting for something big.  Nothing, so we ended the dive after a safety stop. Better luck next dive.



We did see some tuna, barracuda and trevally, but not the huge schools that are normally there.


Dive two and three at Seven skies was about the same. We did see a school of barracuda, a few giant trevally, but not much other then 20 other divers from another boat as we started to ascend on the second dive. We had much discussion in between each dive what the Suunto d4 dive computer was displaying on the screen. There are so many things to remember what is on the display for Suunto, it scares me. The computer just about needs to be sold with a theory session on how to use and read it.


During dive two and three my students completed the navigation exercise and peak performance buoyancy. Peter and Colin did their navigation square perfectly, Rachel, well Rachel decided she wanted to navigate around the entire wreck from the funnel to the front of the wheel house. I had a laugh and went and brought her back to where I wanted her to do the square. Second time round she got it right.





The night dive was at Damar.








We jumped in, got wet, swam around and got out thirty minutes later.








We saw a sleeping puffer fish, a frantically swimming juvenile sweetlip (I have never seen these staying still), banded boxer shrimp, moray eels and lots of healthy coral.





Sunday morning we did two dives at Maritime Fidelity in the normal limited viz that this site always offers. The fish life was awesome, grouper, snapper, rabbit fish, thousands of bat fish.   It was a perfect location for the PADI AWARE FishID dive.


I told Rachel to locate and point out a rabbit fish, Peter had the task of finding a snapper and Colin a grouper. As soon as we went down the line, Rachel spotted several rabbit fish, not long after Colin tugged my fin and point out a grouper, it was until the end of the dive when Peter spotted a snapper, although I had seen a few already.


After each dive on the Fidelity wreck, I asked all three students to draw the wreck and the path we took, both times all three were completely wrong. Both Colin and Peter thought we were on tied to the bow and we swam round the entire wreck.  We were tied onto the stern and we only swam around a cargo hold.




Congratulations to Colin, Rachel and Peter for completing their PADI Advanced Open Water Course.




Glenda’s tip – Learn to use your dive computer. Read the instructions before the weekend and study them. Bring the instruction booklet or a soft copy on your phone, ipad, notebook or laptop . Ask questions to other divers onboard, although there may not be anyone else who has the same model as you.  But they may be able to help you understand yours, if you have the instructions handy.


Cheers – Gary

Photos by Gary Savins.

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