Another day in the office at Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT), again waiting on a late comer. Julie had been calling for a cab since 5pm and was unable to get one until after the arranged meeting time. I would have normally left someone this late behind, but she was the chaperone for five school kids already waiting to board the MV DiveRace.
Anyway she turned up at 7.35pm, 1 hour and 5 minutes late. Those people that had arrived an hour early were to say, a little bit angry, but I explained we either take the kids off and go, or wait for the chaperone. They all understood. As a result we ran late all weekend, but managed to get everything done.
We ended up doing six dives at Tioman, Malaysia in pretty bad viz. The worst I have ever seen.
It was like Hantu on a good day.
Having just returned from Sipadan, I was wondering, “Why are we doing this?”
So did Francois and Sarah.
Sarah left her job on Friday and is just about to start several months of diving around the world. Komodo, Tulamben, Similan, Vanuatu and beyond. Francois, Sarah and I enjoyed a bottle of Moët Chandon Saturday night to celebrate. Francois was trying to get me to pronounce Moët Chandon correctly in French. As an Aussie, we tend to say “Moaah Chandon”. Sarah has been a great loyal customer and will be missed.
This weekend was a busy weekend with six Open Water Students (three PADI and three SDI).
Eric who runs the MV DiveRace was conducting the Open Water dives for all six students for me.
Marike, Samantha, Sharyl, Rico, Carmen and Nina all successfully passed their course, with a few scratched knees.
I was conducting PADI Advanced Open Water with Alex, Kishore and Chloe, who I nicknamed “Mouse”. Chloe is a 13 girl who is small and as quiet as a mouse. I was also conducting PADI Recuse Diver and Emergency First Response (EFR) with Peter and Sarah. Everyone did really well and I was really impressed with Mouse completing her first night dive. She along with most of the others, doing their first night dive, were attached to my fins like remoras, not wanting to let me out of their sight. I had to use my hands a few times to propel myself, to avoid kicking them in the head.
During one of the many rescue scenarios, I was being rescued and lifted onto the back of the boat by Peter, when he somehow managed to cut his thumb. He then proceeded to stick his bleeding thumb in his mouth. Yuck! Then he starting flicking his blood around and it landed on me, so I quickly jumped in the water to rinse off. We applied some pressure to his wound with a cloth I found nearby and then bandaged him up.
Only one of my three PADI Advanced Open Water students had read the manual and completed the knowledge reviews, so we had to play catch up all weekend. Mouse was even a little seasick from reading all night Friday night. All students had received the manuals well in advance.
What we saw – a few blue spotted rays, some turtles, clams nudis, some fish including lots of clown fish, a school of tuna, a small school of golden trevally, a free swimming moray eel and lots of floating particles.
The highlight was the two large squid on the night dive.
Desmond (Chubs) and Ekam (Alien) decided not to complete their PADI Enriched Air Diver Course because they were too lazy and tired “already lah!” Chubs had also forgotten his manual.
During the dive on Sunday morning at Bahara Rock, my group crossed Eric’s group with all of my Open Water Students and I could see him signalling to Nina to stop flapping her hands and to Carmen to stop swimming upright and get horizontal. So, I have given Nina a nickname of “Flapper” and Carmen “Seahorse”. Poor Marike, who looked good underwater, right trim, not using arms was being kicked left and right by struggling newbies.
After a weekend of average dives, I was happy to have 13 certificates issued. Thanks to Eric and Trina for their help and Francios for being a good victim.
Sunday turned out to be a bit rough and very windy. So after I finished all the courses and paperwork, it was “nana nap” time. After my nana nap, I woke to find out that our arrival was 11.30pm. That turned out to be 11pm at Changi Immigration check point, an anchor bouy out at sea. The currents had been strong all weekend, and due to the moon and wind, we could not make it to TMFT before its closing time of 10.30pm. It then took 2 hours to clear Changi Immigration, then another 30 minutes to motor to SAF Yacht Club and then another 30 minutes to get everyone from the DiveRace (via the small boat) to the SAF wall. I got off around 1.30am and was home in bed by 2am. A long day for one extra dive at Bahara Rock, Sunday morning.
Glenda’s tip – Students, please bring your manual and read your manual and complete your knowledge reviews before joining your trip. Also pre-booking a taxi helps getting home.
Thank you to Trina for the use of your photos. Trina (MV DiveRace’s Dive Master Trainee) was assisting Eric with the Open Water Students during this trip.
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