Sunday, 26 July 2009

A joint birthday

Yesterday, I attended a joint birthday party for an auntie & her nephews. It was CaTz's xx birthday (she would kill me if mention here) and the identical twins 1st birthday.

Happy birthday honey

The identical twins

The candle blowing ceremony

The twins are a bit shy...but I know a secret on how to persuade a baby to 'cooperate'. Actually its the same secret for men...its through their stomach. So I practise it on one of them. He understood what I said (clever boy), e.g. when I pointed to the cake, he looked at it. After a while he became comfy...too comfy in fact that he soon dozed off.

Was it the cake or the 'extra sponges' on me? Hmmm...must be the least that's how I would like to think of it.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Redang & the OWDs

I arrived home from my Tioman LOB trip on Sunday and the next day I started conducting an Open Water Diver training for a government agency. 2 days in KL for their Knowledge Reviews and Confine Water and 3 days in Redang for the Open Water modules. 5 straight days in 2 different locations. Phew....



As evident by the above comparative photos, it supports my theory that people are more fun to be around with if they are divers. They are more friendly, cheerful, energetic...unless you are born with a non friendly, non-cheerful and non-energetic face...who's expression is always the same under ANY circumstances (try to figure out which one).

Long Beach

Teluk Kalong

Redang island is one of my favourite in Peninsular Malaysia. Its almost 'unspoilt' and pristine conditions...white sandy beaches, nice dive sites, variety of marine life...including the nice friends at Gypsy, makes it a total thumbs up for me. Of course it depends where you are staying. I prefer the laid back location of Teluk Kalong...a secluded spot away from the crowd at Long Beach. Here, the only entertainment are the monkeys, the Geckos...and fairly recently...Astro. My philosophy is...if you want the comfort of home...then just stay at home... haha.

As future rescuers, they were given the max of everything. All the optional skills became compulsory training such as buddy breathing. I also found cursing underwater using a writing slate so unfulfilling as opposed to direct verbal abuse, plus one can only curse so much on a slate before its full...haha. Shucks.

One thing I discovered way early in my career as a scuba instructor matter how tipsy-turfy they are underwater, when it comes to taking photos, suddenly they are ok. Good buoyancy, controlled exhalation (no bubbles)...its an amazing transformation. Take the camera away and its back to chaos. Hmmm

We also had a good time playing beach volleyball...well actually they had a good time. Someone has to be the umpire right?

Oh ya, on the way to Redang, we saw this 'transformed' old junk (not junk as in rubbish, but an old ship). A friend of a friend of a friend (haha) told me that its part of the props for KRU's upcoming film on Langkasuka. I wonder if they need an actor as Penghulu Pulau Bertongkat? ...hmmmm

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Kaleebso LOB & The AOWD Students

I had organized a trip to Tioman group of islands, liveaboard style. What does that mean? Eat, sleep, dive...everything done on the boat.

This boat is famous for its food. Mary, the resident Iron Chef, who's cooking feat is by far 'unchallenged' was on board to make sure everyone's tummy gets a good filling every time. This is by far, the easiest diving to me.

Unfortunately on Saturday morning, the sea got a bit rough, so we had to make do diving off Tulai island. Only after lunch did we managed to proceed to the other dive sites.

We also had another group of OWD students on board. Its always a gamble to bring OWD students on board. You will never know how well they can stomach the lullaby of the sea. If they get seasick, then that is the end of their course. DOR - Drop On Request.

When the owner heard that I was coming with a group of 12 pax, they assumed it was my normal clients, the always hungry Malaysians. So on the trip to Pulau Aur a few days earlier, they decided to surprise us and bought .... Durians... 30 of them. So when we came on board, you should have seen the faces of KLee & Mary, coz majority of them are 'Mat Salleh'. That was a Kodak moment indeed.... :)

Friday, 10 July 2009

Pictures from the past

I was cleaning my cupboard yesterday when I came across my old baby photo album. Looking at the pictures, it brought back memories....

Me & my younger brother Din

Me & elder sister Azee

Us & my dad

Think this was taken during kindergarten

Always joking from small

Trendy pants sewn from curtain left over material

Singing was one of my passion back then

Being the only cucu in the house has its perks, but always monitored real close

Monday, 6 July 2009

Tuurbo PBN 2315

Recently I made a trip to Penang. Its been donkey years since I have been there. The last time I practically 'lived' there was in 1988-1989 during my studying days. The most recent was years back with my dive buddy Amin...a day trip just to view a Land Rover TD5 for sale. So the trip I made was also a trip down memory lane for me. CaTz also tagged along and I was determined to show her that I know Penang inside out. How wrong I was...embarrassingly so.

I tried to find the Nasi Ayam place behind the Penang General Hospital....didn't find it. Then tried to find the Mee Udang, Balik Pulau....didn't find it. Then tried to find the Char Kway Teow stall in Gurney Drive....dint find it. Then my favourite Kari Kepala Ikan restaurant near Komtar area...didn't find it. In fact I didn't recognize most of the roads anymore...couldn't even find the road to Gurney Drive from the bridge without the help of my trustee GPS. How things have changed so much.

I tried taking CaTz back in time by explaining the different spots (the one that I recognized that is) and the things I did for example how me & my friends used to ride our bikes at midnight making a complete round of the whole of Penang through the winding roads of Balik Pulau, how Udini Highway was partially completed and was a favourite place to 'test' our bikes, how we use to race through the crowded Gurney Drive.

Back then, people knew me as Turbo, or spoken with the northern slang..Tuur bo. I was a 'rempit' fella back then (hard to believe ain't it). In those days, the 'rempit's were not violent people. We don't abuse other road users or conduct acts of gangsterism. We just enjoyed street racing. I was the only dude in a university there with a newly released RXZ 6 speed. Oh ya...the locals also know me by my number plate..PBN 2315. I used to 'pegang' Gelugor area coz I defeated Shim Race, the part time bike mechanic, who was the local hero. How I did this? Read on....

Me with my TZR, 1990, Swansea, UK

One fine day, as me & my friends were eating, suddenly this dude came and made a few spins. Suddenly he stopped across the road and 'challenged' us by ramming his bike. It was all my friends fault coz they are the ones who like to 'show off' in that area. I passed my keys to Man Tandok..he declined coz the day before he crashed a Suzuki Panther smack into the back of a car. Then I passed the keys to Syeh...he declined. S**t.

By then the locals were taunting us...saying things like "haa apa lagi, dia dah pangge tu"..or "kalau nak taw, tu la Shim Race yang pegang area Gelugoq ni". OMG I was so embarrassed. All eyes were looking at us. The pressure was mounting. At last I couldn't stand the humiliation. I took the keys, looked to the warung owner and said "ni biaq sini noo", and mounted my bike. I heard if ridiculing me. Anyway, we did 3 laps...on every occasion I overtook that dude sitting upright while he was prone in a racing position. He tried to cheat each time we made a u-turn for the next lap, he didn't wait for me to start fair and square, but just bolted away. He wanted those people at the stalls to see that he's a winner...but I showed him.

I then rode back to the stall, sat down and continued eating my food. The locals who were jovial before just kept quiet. You can even hear a pin quiet. Ever since that day, when I came to that stall, they would 'prepare' my table and treat me with respect. This time, they tell their friends "Tu la Turbo...". Haaa baru depa ada mata cek oi....

Friday, 3 July 2009


Last weekend, I was in Pulau Redang conducting a PADI Open Water Diver course. 4 brave souls dared themselves to overcome their fears to step over into the world of the privileged... the underwater world. Congratulations and welcome to our world....

Knowledge Review inc Theory Exam

Open Water


Thursday, 2 July 2009

JPAM Rope Rescue Technician Course

Recently, Jabatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia (JPAM), Kuala Lumpur held our Rope Rescue Technician Course. This was a basic level specialisation training. A total of 29 participants attended the 3 days course. I was on board as part of the Technical Crew, in charged of safety and photography.


Our Home

The technical crew as always was self reliant. We packed our stuff in 2 jalopies (4WD), mine and Sham's, which apart from our PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), climbing equipments & ropes, medical kit, survival kit....includes our ration & cooking utensils. We had our place somewhere in a remote area of the campsite. Since we had our cooking team to cook the main course, we had our own special menu such as mushroom soup, french toast, sausages, fried mee at times when we had to mobilise early and also at the waterfall where we had to stay the whole day. Kerja berat, makan pun mesti berat....

The team

One thing about the Technical Team, it comprises of a good mix of young and the 'not so young', the strong and the 'not so strong' etc etc. Since we have been together in numerous trainings and actual disasters/operations, team work was almost seem less, tasks get done without much talking....and no one complains...whether hungry or in pain.

Scenario Preparation


The participants were broken up into 2 teams, namely Alpha and Bravo. The main scenario on Saturday was to carry the trauma dummy (the size of an adult male and weights 80kg) through 2km of jungle and ravines, up to the base of the waterfall. The dummy was then 'placed' at 1/3 length from the top of the waterfall. The teams were required to 'rescue' the dummy using the best technique possible and using what ever resources available.

After that, the teams were to carry back the dummy through 2km of jungle and ravines back to base camp. The track was treacherous, slippery, with one stretch having to wade through water. They arrived at base camp around 2030hrs. I was taking a bath when they informed us that a few participants collapsed. The technical crew rushed to assist. 6 people collapsed and had to be transported to Ampang Hospital. After IV drips, and 2 hours observation at the Accident & Emergency, they were 'discharged'. We offered to send them back home, but they refused. They wanted to stay on to complete the course. Bravo guys..and gals.

Phase 1

The next morning, it was scenario simulation 2, where it is a combination of SAR (Search & Rescue) and Rope Rescue techniques. The Technical crew had hid the trauma dummy in a specific area and it is the task of the teams to search and locate the dummy.

Phase 2

Of course there is no such thing as an easy 'incident area'. After much packing, the candidates were allowed to enter the training zone.Upon locating the 'patient' tucked away under fallen branches, the teams were requested to 'pack' the victim while rendering first aid.

Phase 3

The teams were then required to 'transport' the victim back to base camp. Of course the Technical Crew were very generous with the amount of mental pressure exerted on them. This was not due to ragging, but as rescuers, in real life situations, they are required to perform under tremendous stress.

While we were there, we met a few groups of school kids on a day trip to the waterfall, accompanied by some army personnel. I had some fun taking snap shots of them. Of course during this time we refrain from taking any water from the area to cook or drink...just in case...I didn't see any of them going off for any toilet breaks, and the water was cold...haha.

Next training would be my part...water rescue & scuba

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Entry from the past

Since Yahoo 360 is closing down, I was reminded by Yahoo to transfer/download my blogs from there. I had completely forgotten about it since I migrated to blogspot. This particular blog from the past reminded me about my kids and worth publishing here again for safe keeping....

Entry for October 24, 2006

It will soon be dawn on the first day of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. The great thing about this year, my 2 sons are here with me to celebrate. Last year they only came here on the 3rd day. I am proud to say that my eldest son, Muhammad Ridhwaan 9 yrs old, fasted for the whole month. I am also proud to report that my youngest, Muhammad Imraan, 6 yrs old, fasted 10 days full, and the rest for half a day.

Imraan does sometimes almost break fast during the day, especially after playing 'perang2', but the elder bro always keeps an eye on him. Then the elder bro will give a comment like "when I was your age, I didn't have a problem fasting etc, etc". They are now closer to each other, and they look out for one another. After what they went through, its expected. As a father, I am both proud and sad. Proud because my sons are closer and wiser, but also sad because I know that its the product of my divorce.

As I look at my two sons, I realised that they shall grow up very fast. Soon, they shall go to college, university perhaps...before you know it, they shall have a family of their own. By that time, I know that I have reached the end of my journey in life and my life cycle ends as theirs begins.
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