Trip Report 8-9 December 2012

I woke early Saturday morning to ensure the MV Seaborne was ready for the weekend Live Onboard local diving trip in Singapore waters.  I was even on the boat before the crew had woken up. I sorted all the gear, boosted some oxygen into the closed circuit rebreather (CCR) tanks and had a bit of fun with Paul, telling him his brand new JJ CCR was on the boat, but not assembled.

 

Paul was stuck in Korea due to a snow storm and had a planned an ETA in Singapore at 5am. He text me at 5.50am saying he had just arrived.  He went home grabbed his dive gear and Suzanne collected him. They boarded the MV Seaborne on time.

 

Group Photo 2012 Dec  8 - 9 Local LOB in Singapore Waters

Everyone was onboard by 7.30am and we headed for Sudong Wreck.  The slack tide was due around 8.30am. A perfect time to dive Sudong.

I jumped in tied the line off and we all had an excellent dive in excellent viz of at least 6 metres with no current.  Loads of big snapper and rabbit fish around the bow.

 

 

 

I was conducting PADI Rescue Diver with James and Shabeeu was doing his PADI Search and Recovery speciality.  Shabeeu is working his way to become a PADI Master SCUBA Diver and needs one more speciality after this one.   Shabeeu is 14 years old and just loves diving.  He looks younger than 14, so we were having a joke with him calling him a PADI Junior Bubble Maker.

 

The ribs of Hantu WreckThe next dive was at Hantu Wreck. The conditions were still awesome, so another wreck dive was in order.  This wreck is small but still has a lot of fish life.  We had a quick look and then did a Search and Recovery drill for Shabeeu.

I hid Karen’s green watering can about 20 metres away from the wreck, took James and Shabeeu to a central location and they started an expanded circle to try and locate the watering can.

About 5 rounds later Shabeeu located it and we managed to get it to the surface using a surface marker buoy (SMB).  At the end of the dive we did some Rescue Diver skills for James.

 

 

 

Friendly Seahorse

 

The next dive was at the outer reef of Hantu. This reef is loaded was all types of Nudi’s and flat worms.  Some Nudis were huge.

Suzanne and Paul even saw a Seahorse and a Turtle.  More rescue Diver Skills for James.

We attempted to dive Sudong reef next during the afternoon slack tide, but someone forgot to tell the tides it was meant to be slack.

We aborted the dive, surfaced, regrouped and went to Hantu West Jetty for a dive.

 

 

 

Hantu West Jetty has a million beer bottles, fishing rods, fishing lines and various tackle under itself. I could open my own fishing tackle shop.  There are also many tyres and other junk.  Fish life was average to good with pomfrits and bat fish.  After the dive I arranged for a missing diver scenario for James with Shabeeu and Francious, my acting Dive Master, helping.

 

Colourful sights to be seen in the reefs and sand

 

We did a night dive at the East Jetty of Hantu, that I managed to get out of. Francious looked after all 6 night divers who saw a seahorse, several cuttlefish, crabs and shrimps.  The BBQ was again MV Seaborne’s usual excellent quality and we hit the sack at around 10pm.

 

Welcome to Sunday morningSlack tide was due at 8am Sunday, so we headed straight for Sister’s Wreck.  It is a bit of challenge finding the wreck because it is right next to a wreck shaped reef.

I jumped off the boat and found myself on the reef not the wreck, so I looked and looked and looked and could not pull the rope any longer, so I let go and kept looking.

At the 15 minute mark I eventually found the Sisters Wreck.

 

 

Thankfully there was zero current, so I went to the surface and the boys threw me the rope again and I went down and tied off.  The viz was great too, at least 6-8 metres and you could see so much more of the wreck than last time I was here.  It was a bit dark on the deeper side though.

 

Nudis galore

 

After Sisters we headed to St Johns Island for a dive and there were Nudi’s everywhere and an octopus and loads of fish.  I did another Search and Recovery drill for Shabeeu, this time with a smaller item and it took him 25 minutes to find it.  I was almost asleep waiting.  He managed to do a good job with James’ help securing a lift bag to the item and taking it all the way to the surface.

 

We went to a nearby smaller island next and did another dive that was ok.  Not to much to see, but ok.  I got the boys to practice an out of air drill.  After the dive Shabeeu simulated that he had a cut on his thigh and James helped him on the boat, stopped the bleeding and bandaged his leg.  At the same time Francious and I slipped back into the water and both started splashing around like panicked divers.  Now James had three victims to deal with.  He did well and rescued all of us.

 

Baby cuttlefish near pink barrel sponge and featherstarThe last dive of the weekend was at Kusu Island. I was hoping to see a turtle but no luck.  I told the boys to work out who was leading the dive, because I was just going to be a gumby diver.  Shabeeu decided to lead, so we jumped in and I said nothing and followed his instructions.  He did manage to lose me a couple of times whilst I was taking photos. I did this on purpose to make him swim back.  At one point, he said, “Let’s turn around.” But I just stayed there and made him come back again.   Vanessa’s group saw two cuttlefish at Kusu.

 

We experienced awesome visibility with little to no current on all dives except the cancelled Sudong Reef dive.  The viz has been great for the last few months now and can only be because there isn’t any land reclamation in Singapore at the moment.  Hope it stays this way.

 

Congratulations to James for becoming the latest PADI Rescue Diver and to Shabeeu for completing the PADI Search and Recovery speciality.

 

Thank you to Suzanne for the use of your photos.

Cheers – Gary

 

 

 

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