Returning to our usual trips leaving on a Friday night, last weekend we headed to Buaya Island (aka Crocodile Island) and Pompong Island near Pulau Lingga, Indonesia. Ten of us left Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal Friday night and then cruised overnight south.
Waking up Saturday morning to clear blue skies we had our first dive at Pulau Buaya which apparently translates as Crocodile Island. We had reasonable visibility of around 5 metres and a mild current but were shocked halfway through the dive to see a crocodile! Laying in the sand, partially buried, this huge 15 cm long crocodile fish remained camouflaged and still. Not having my bowie knife or a blonde damsel in distress to save, we decided to continue the dive. A green turtle, cuttlefish, seahorse, blue spotted ribbon tail rays, nudibranch and flatworms helped us enjoy this fabulous dive site.
Moving on to our second dive southwest, at the recommendation of our Captain, we tried out a rocky outcrop southwest of Buaya. A sharp rise from 25 metres to 3 metres provided the intrigue of this new dive site. Nooks, crannies, swim throughs, nudibranchs and schooling fish has nailed this site as a new regular. Unfortunately due to the high tidal ranges the current on this dive was a little challenging. With improved visibility and less current this site is screaming to be explore further and with the apparent signs of a similar outcrop a short distance away there is definite potential.
Our next dive was at Pompong Island, famous for its nearby wreck, the SS Kung Wo.
First we dived Pompong Reef where we started of with a breezy drift dive before settling in at the cove, allowing us a chance to go on a hunt for nudibrach. Not falling short, our macro photographers had a field day.
For the next dive we were going to do the SS Kung Wo Wreck but after I dived down to tie off a thermocline hindered visibility and a strong current with impeding storm clouds meant the dive was not safe, so we decided to go try another dive site. We tried out a nearby reef, now aptly named Roller Coaster Reef, but I also deemed the conditions too hazardous. Running short on time we turned this into our dusk / night dive. Seahorses, cuttlefish, flatworms, decorator crabs were just a few of the critters we saw. After this we had our fill of the Seaborne Aussie BBQ.
Over night we transited back to Batam to dive Kerang Gerang. Three dives over the morning showed us what this reef had to offer; blue spotted sting rays, ribbon tail sting rays, nudibranchs, scorpion fish, spiny devil fish, pipe fish and a green turtle. With everyone happy we headed back to Nongsa Point Marina and made our way back to Singapore.
A really nice weekend with some equally nice people.
Cheers, GS-Diving PADI DiveMaster James.