It was nice to be back on the boat after a couple of weekends off. I took a weekend off because my brother and his wife visited me on their way back to Sydney after spending 2 weeks in Europe. The week prior, my students cancelled and I sent Glenn off diving and I stayed back in Singapore to enjoy the AFL Grand Final. Sydney Swans won and we had a awesome night celebrating.
This weekend I was onboard The Ark leisure diving with Ann, Angela, Suzanne, Vladamar and Lydia. Paul and Robin were doing their JJ Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR) Course with Shin and both were excited to be certified JJ CCR divers after the weekend.
The first dive at Pulau Lang, Vladamar decided to sleep in, so I took the ladies with me. Once we all descended after giving away all my weights, we had a really nice dive with 40 metre viz and mild current. Schools of fusiliers and rainbow runners everywhere, rabbit fish, squirrel fish and several curious golden trevally. The trevally were circling us during the dive. We headed into the current for 30 minutes and then drifted back as we started to head shallower. We ended the dive at 45 minutes. The plan was to dive for 30-45 minutes.
The next dive was fun and challenging at the same time. This time Lydia stayed in bed and Vladamar joined the group. We jumped in at Rayners Rock. The seas were choppy, but we descended easily and the viz was again amazing, at least 40 metres. The first thing I noticed was the current, kinda strong current pushing us out to sea, so I headed deeper and hid behind some large rocks. Perfect no current, I took a few shots of this small Nudi, showed the girls and noticed Vladamar was about 10 metres above us, swimming against the current with a constant stream of bubbles.
I signaled him to come down, but he just went further out away from the dive site. So we had no choice but to drift towards him, by the time we reached him he was already at 100 bar. I asked him to swim down. He signaled he could not. I grabbed his BCD and pulled him down out of the current. Note that this guy is 2.2 metres tall and would weigh around 120 kilos. I’m not that big, but I sure taught him how to swim down.
We managed to stay on the bottom for another 10 minutes and enjoyed the amazing fish-life. One huge bump head and loads of puffer fish and I was hoping to reach the spot where I have seen a black tip before, but Vladamar was already at 50 bar. We headed shallow and hid behind a rock for our safety stop. Suzanne said, “Long time since I have done a 30 minute dive”.
Next dive was at Telok Jawa. The sea was a bit rough so I decided to hide in the bay. It turned out to be a great dive, no current, excellent viz and at 20 metres where the sand met the reef, it was a picture perfect site. This dive I had everyone, Angela, Ann, Suzanne, Vadamar and Lydia. Vladamar did much better and we did a 50 minute dive. It’s amazing want a pep talk does. Telok Jawa has some of the best structure and coral in all of Pulau Aur, it does lack some fish-life, but we did see a baby turtle…..argh so cute.
The last dive for the day was at Crocodile Rock and it was the best dive of the day. We saw a big Neapolitan Wrasse and a lobster that was so big and so far under the table coral it took at least 2 minutes for Angela to see it. After Angela finally saw it, I thought of David Wagner, one of my DM’S that moved home to New Zealand recently. Like to see you catch that metre long lobster – mate!
I was so happy that none of my guys wanted to do the night dive. Woohoo, so we enjoyed the BBQ.
Sunday morning I decided to do two dives at Pinnacle Two, both dives were excellent, the current was a little stronger on the first dive, but nothing on the second dive. Scorpion fish, lion fish, barracuda and so many small fish. Pinnacle Two just keeps getting better. I remember diving it a few years back with Karen and on average you would see around 10-20 fish per dive. Now there are thousands of fish, both big and small.
The MV Seaborne came alongside just as we started our second dive at Pinnacle Two, we left around 10am and had a few jokes with the MV Seaborne crew that we will see them in an hour or two when they overtake us.
I woke from a nap and noticed the MV Seaborne was in front.
Glenda’s Tip – Splitfins may offer high maneuverability, be trendy and look cool with their fluorescent vibrant colours, but in current they are useless (as Vladamar experienced) . I highly recommend either neutrally buoyant OMS Slipstreams, like I use or the heavier Scuba Pro Jetfins for bouyant divers. Slipstreams and Jetfins offer power without effort, they also excel at pinpoint precision kicks that allow you to turn on a swivel and swim backwards with ease.
Cheer – Gary
Photos in this trip report were taken by Gary Savins