Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sabah Bliss: II

They say divers are a happy lot.

In water like this...

... who am I to disagree?

Look at me!

See how happy I am?

This trip is the first full-on leisure trip after being certified in Tioman three months ago.

There were more than 20 divers on this trip, and so the gang was formed when we had to be divided into 3 different boats (groups).

From L-R: Shen, Noriko, Lynette, Ee Lin, Albert, me, Grace, Alan with Divemaster Hardy in the centre.

Now you see, it was cool to have Lynette in the same group. She was the one who certified us, and naturally, we felt so much more at ease that she's around. But when you are a new open water diver, and, ahem, drop to 30.1 metres, and your instructor was at 23-ish metres on that very same dive, they erm, remind you. Heh.

On arrival day itself, we all did a check-out dive at the Mataking House Reef. The moment we let go off the rope, we were swept away with the current.

I struggled for a bit, having experienced NO current at all during the last Tioman trip. I remembered thinking to myself, "Daaaamn Doreen, what did you get yourself into?"

Looked around and saw everyone moving in the same direction and therefore allowed myself to be carried by the current. To try and stop and look at something required too much effort, so for most parts, we just drifted, and drifted, and drifted.... You see this, you see that, you see everything, but all zap, zap, zap. Like a movie on fast forward.

Fun ride though.

Mataking is known for its underwater macro-life.

Nudibranch aplenty - though it IS a tad annoying when there are too many people trying to catch a glimpse of these little buggers. Then you realize, hey - these little slugs aren't gonna be moving anywhere are they?
See this one? They tell me it's called the Pikachu nudibranch, and is relatively rare. Cute kan? Like a rubber toy of sorts *squeeze*

The Ship Wreck Post dive site was pretty cool - so we dived here twice. An intentionally sunk cargo ship, a vibrant breeding ground.

The Wreck's resident pair of scorpionfish.

There is also a postbox on the wreck, and mail is actually collected once a week. Cleaner shrimps have made the postbox their home too!

Getting teeth cleaned.

Other things which we saw...

Anemone shrimps

Leaf fish

Robust ghost pipefish

School of jacks under the jetty

Crocodile fish

Stone fish

Plenty of turtles

Spider crab

OK fine, I didn't see the spider crab. Lynette did.
We saw a mandarin fish too - damn shy buggers, and we had to wait for them to come out of hiding from in between the corals. Oooh, and lobsters! Mostly babies, but we did see a big one, big enough to be on the dinner table.
There were tonnes of other creatures and fish, all unknown to me.
Need to get me a book on tropical reef fish!
Pictures credit - Lynette and Bee Yong

Posted by Doreen at 6:29 pm