Monday, 22 January 2007

A diving we will go...

At last..the trip to Pulau Jarak was underway. Below is the chronological dairy of the trip....

Friday 12th January 2007
It was a hectic d
ay for me that Friday, as I had to pick up my car from the workshop first (my car was involved in an accident, so I paid extra for a new paint job). I only arrived at Azrin's house at nearly 1830hrs. The rest of the gang was waiting for me. After having some 'lapik perut' courtesy of Inda, we headed for Tanjung Karang. We met up with the Alpha divers along the way.

By the time we reached the boat, it was 2230hrs. Fisol & Raja were already on board. I met 2 new diver acquaintance on board, Derek & Izwar. At 2330hrs, we started our boat ride to Pulau Jarak. As usual, we had nasi lemak for supper. We divided the divers into 2 groups, namely the photographers & intended to be photographers with me, and the non-photographers with Halimi.

Saturday 13th January 2007
After breakfast, our first 2 dives were at a dive site known as 'the pinnacle'. Its basically a submerged pinnacle. You get to see fish all around you. There was a slight surface current which picked up during the dive. The buoy line was a very convinient place to do a safety stop. What's else is there to do during a safety stop in mid-water for 3 minutes? Take pics and more pics.

After the 2 dives, I requested to dive somewhere else as most of us were looking for macros to take pictures. Surprisingly, on this trip, there wasnt much things to look at. We didnt even find a lobster. I was on the look
out for my friend the 'sea otter' which i had met during my dive here last year. It was hunting u/water when we met. For a while, our eyes met, and from the otter's body language, I knew that it was surprised to see me (as I was of it). The funnies incident u/water thru out my diving carrier.

After much diving during the day, it was time for the night dive. We took down a few divers who have only Open Water certification but since Halimi & I are PADI instructors, we conducted a night adventure dive for them.

Sunday 14th January 2007
After breakfast, our first dive for the day was again at 'the pinnacle'. We did one more dive after that. After lunch, the boat started to sail back to Tanjung Karang.

The highlights
A few highlights for me during the trip:

  • someone actually watched a movie called "Jackass". Actually there were 3 parts. Its actually a movie about a group of 'rascals' doing some pretty stupid things. How stupid you may ask? There was scene where they wanted to 'poo' in a shop selling toilet bowls. However, the guy who was supposed to do it couldnt hold 'it' in any longer and actually 'poo'ed in his pants. In the end, he finished his prank the next day. Yep, he just walked in, pull down his pants, sat down and read newspaper while he was doing his 'business' right in front of everyone.
  • someone actually forgotten how to deploy a marker buoy (sausage). So I told him to practice during the dives. First try...the sausage went up together with the string. Second try...the sausage went up together with his buddy's u/water camera. He managed to do it on the third attempt. Bravo. I salute him for his courage to admit he doesnt know how to deploy a sausage and took it upon himself to learn.
  • seeing dolphins on the cruise back to Tanjung Karang. Didnt get to dive with them though as they didnt follow the boat. It was still fun to see them having fun, playing with each other.
Thanks to all the divers on board who made this trip fun. As always, its the company that makes the trip memorable.

Friday, 5 January 2007

Severe weather...what to do

Bad news. I was supposed to take a group diving on a liveaboard, but the severe weather warning was too serious to ignore (front page The Star). Even if the weather doesn't affect the boat, the diving I suspect wouldn't be all that great. Strong currents are quite normal in Pulau Jarak, but with the predicted high swells... let's just say that I don't feel like rescuing anyone during the trip. After discussing with K Lee the captain of the boat, we decided to postpone the trip to next weekend.

For those of you who don't know where Pulau Jarak is, its located 34km southwest of the town of Lumut, Perak. This tiny island (barely 8 hectares in size) rises 50m above sea level and is covered with lush vegetation, where many sea eagles nest. There is no beach on Pulau Jarak, only granite sloping down to the sandy sea bed with small patches of stony, encrusting and soft corals. The island's boulder-strewn coastline makes it virtually inaccessible, leaving Pulau Jarak's pristine wonders mostly unexplored.

This good article by Dr Kurt Svrcula that appeared in NST Travel Times will walk you through the same passage that I am about to take next week. Why re-invent the wheel right? Bukannya rajin sangat.

Surprisingly, some of my dear diver friends actually was happy with the news. Why? Because they originally can't go this weekend due to relatives coming, weddings etc. Now they can go. A blessing in disguise? No problem with me...the more the merrier.
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