Monday, August 06, 2007

Diving @ Lang Tengah

Date: 26 - 29 July 2007
Venue: Lang Tengah, Terengganu
Agenda: Diving and taking Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty (PPB)

Pic 1: Diving again! :)

We decided to drive again this time because there are too many dive equipments to bring along plus helping Richard to bring 2 extra sets of diving gears. It will be quite troublesome if we bring those equipments by flight, might have extra charges coz of extra baggages / overweight.

Thus, 2 cars going up together:-

My car - Siew a.k.a. kor, me, Marvin (colleague) and Michelle (colleague)

YewHong's car - YewHong, Mei Kuan (YH's gf) and Eric (kor's cousin)

Started journey from Wed, 11.30pm to pick up Marvin and Michelle and meet up with YH at Bukit Tinggi BP Station. Lepak a while at Bukit Tinggi BP Station till 1.30am, then i took over to drive all the way to Gambang while kor sleep in the car. Reached Gambang rest area at 3+, then lepak till 4am before continuing journey all the way to Terengganu. Kor drove all the way.

Finally reached jetty at 8++. Had our breakfast while waiting for Richard Tang (instructor) and whole bunch of other students, fun divers, snorkelers who came by flights... 29 of us altogether! :D

We have:-

- 1 Instructor (Richard Tang)

- 4 DMTs - Dive Master in Training (Siew a.k.a. kor, YewHong, Sanya, Chuan)

- 11 Open Water Divers - Team A (Ian, Cola, Tan, Siew Ling, Merri [China] taught by YewHong); Team B (YoongYow, Eric, YueFei, Ellen, Chanut [Thai], Yanisa [Thai] taught by Siew)

- 4 Advance Open Water Divers (Ann, Carrie, Tracy, Wendy [China])

- 2 PPB Specialty (Beckz a.k.a. me, Apple)

- Snorkelers (Marvin, Michelle, Mei Kuan, Christine, Paul Owen & family)

Pic 2: Marvin & Michelle, my colleagues

Pic 3: Christine, Mei Kuan & Marvin

1st Day : Thu, 26 July 2007

Pic 4: Our Dive Center

Pic 5: Dive gears ready!

1st Dive: House Reef

Confined water for Team B, led by kor to bring the students to do some basic techniques. I tagged along, doing my own dive, merayau-rayau alone. :D

My first time wearing skinsuit to dive, without the long wetsuit. First time diving without a buddy since kor have to take care of students to do confined water training, so i went to dive alone to familiarize the equipments and my buoyancy. My first time bringing down a metel stick or we called it 'ting-ting' (YH borrowed me, *tks* xp) so i can so-called touch things / poke things with it... wahahahaa... First time touching sea-urchin (or course with 'ting-ting' ler) as i always wanted to do so ever since i was being poked by them in March. First time opening eyes underwater, without mask and continue breathing (good beginning as i'm trying to overcome my fear of removing mask underwater).

Pic 6: Wearing my Arena skin to dive =p

Accidently hit a cardinal fish as he keep on approaching me... i was holding the 'ting-ting', too bad... :p Not a good idea of holding the 'ting-ting' coz i tend to use it to balance myself whenever I'm falling near to the ground or any objects, thus i can't practice my buoyancy. (Therefore, i never use it anymore for the rest of my dives. Once is enough as i'm satisfied once i tried it before).

Saw the cutest creature - yellow box fish... oowww... so cute as i'm following him as he swim. My 2nd time seeing yellow box fish at house reef. First time was last year during my Advance Open Water course. Saw a lot of christmas tree worms, parrot fish, cardinals, clown fish, false clown fish...

Overall:- Satisfied with all the First Time experiences this dive! :D *Thank you Lord!*

2nd Dive: House Reef (1st PPB Session)

2nd dive of the day. Surprisingly i'm not that tired though have to drive and stay awake whole nite.

PPB (Peak Performance Buoyancy) skill is something i wanted to achieve, i want to have good / super buoyancy underwater so i can go near to the things i want to see, stop whenever i want, reverse whenever i want. Basically have full control of diving underwater! :p Since kor said he is going to pay for my PPB course, so i also take la... :D

My first PPB Specialty training now, doing together with Advance students. These are the skills that i've learnt before during my Advance last year, so it's like refreshing course to me again.

Pic 7: Apple, my buddy

Apple is my buddy this time as she is also taking PPB Specialty. Activities we did, +- 1 weight and at the same time, hover at the same depth without floating up (since less 1 weight) and sinking down (since added 1 weight). Still, so kelam-kabut... hahaha... going up and down.

After some activities, the rest of the time is fun dive.

3rd Dive: Karang Bahar (Nite Dive) =p

Yes! A dive that i'm anticipating for in this trip. The last time i did my night dive was 1 year ago during Advance. It was because of my curiousity on night dive that i pursue Advance Open Water Dive.

As many will say that it's scary to dive at night, you might see things that you do not wish to see, you might meet long-white-hair-lady, but i did not find it this way. Diving at night is totally a different experience compared with normal daytime-dive. You will get to see fish sleeping and other creatures that you can't see during daytime appearing. You will get to see many shiny
eyes looking at you while you shine your torch at them... these are shrimps... lots of them this trip, i'm so happy that i'm able to see them! Aarrr.... those shrimps that i saw at Ps David's fish tank are all here at the big sea! :D

This dive was led by our Instructor, RT and he only allow his DMTs to go which was kor, YewHong, Sanya and Chuan. And of course, I tagged along... :D Not because i'm someone's gf but because i'm special mah... wahahahaa....

The boat ride was so cool! Coz it's full moon, beautiful!

Time to dive in! Not very familiar of how these experienced divers dive... found that they don't have buddy system also... kekekekee as long as everyone go close to each other. I was trying to go close to kor (my buddy i suppose), but after a while... ahh... forget about it as all of them do not do so... =p

Quite disoriented for me coz what I can see is just as far as my torch can shine, therefore, I do not know when will the big rocks or sea fans appear in front or next to me... kekekekee

Pic 8: Sea fans

Saw a lot of beautiful sea fans, shrimps, sleeping razor fishie, a small hermit crab (not as small as those that i usually play with at Port Dickson but this is small compared with the 1st huge hermit crab i saw 1 year ago when i did my advance then).

Overall, the dive was superb! :)

Pic 9: Night dive with dark surrounding... :D not sure what creature is this...

Pic 10: Porcupine fish

2nd Day : Fri, 27 July 2007

4th Dive: Nibong Laut

Nibong Laut is always the all-time-favourite-spot for kor coz of sharks here! This is also the deepest dive site that we can go with the depth of 30 meters. Too bad this time RT has to
ditched kor who was teaching the Open Water students while we went to this nice dive site... :D

We did not follow RT as he was bringing Advance students to do course here, so the fun divers went our ways to look for sharks...

4 of us, me, Apple, Chuan and Paul went our own way looking for sharks. Quite disappointed coz only saw 1 small nurse shark. The previous time i came here in March, i saw 3-4 huge nurse sharks. I saw a huge puffer fish, so i was trying to go very near to the puffer fish to play with it. :D There is no buddy-system too in this dive. Hhmmm... Is this suppose to be when you are a fun diver? Dive without buddy? hhmmm....

In this dive, i learnt a very valuable lesson - to take care of own bottom time and to do safety stop. As i was chatting with Paul in this trip, he showed me his old dive-computer, his first investment when he first started to dive. During our fun dive, he came to me to show me that we only have 12 mins more underwater. Being the 1st timer as a fun diver, i do not know what he was trying to say when he showed me his dive comp. I continued my dive and i noticed that he was going shallower and shallower while i'm still trying to go deep to look for more sharks.

Later after the dive, he told me that he was quite surprised at how Malaysian dive. He said that
we take our bottom time very lightly, we do not see the danger of exceeding the bottom time. As i was reflecting what he said, i found that it's quite true that to many people (not only Malaysian as i see, because during this fun dive, there are few mat-sallehs with us who did their safety stop later than us), did not really care much about the bottom time. I told Paul that all these while while diving, i follow experience divers, therefore, i never need to take care of the bottom time myself, those experience divers will lead us to do safety stop. Hence, i told Paul that this is also a great lesson for me as a 1st timer as a fun diver to take care of my bottom time and do my own safety stop. As i never dive with fun divers before, therefore i don't know that we are supposed to do it ourselves. **Great and important lesson for me.**

5th Dive: Karang Bahar

Since i was the official fun-diver and the rest are students busy doing their courses and the DMTs busy teaching students, so i went to dive alone... :) Not really alone la, i mean i went to dive together with other fun-divers which i do not know at all... :D Apple was with me this dive and we dive together with Aung (Myanmar guy who take care of the dive center), Tee (fulltime instructor at LangTengah), William (Tee's DMT), 1 lady (Tee's student) and 2 Mat-Salleh.

Karang Bahar was the site i went yesterday during my night dive. This dive, i opened my eyes widely to identify what's the similarity while i dived yesterday and now. :D Found that those
seafans still there of course, hahahaha... and the few razor fishie still at the same spot.

During this dive, i start to take care of my own bottom time and did the safety stop myself. :)

Interesting thing I learnt this dive:- While doing our safety stop, out of sudden, i saw Bubble Ring floating up... when i look down, William was underneat blowing bubble ring! Wow! First time man, that i saw real human doing it in front of me! Thus, i went near him to observe how he did it. =) I did not try it on the spot of course, hehehee... but i'm just observing how William did it.

Pic 11: Bubble Ring

6th Dive: BBK - Batu Banyak Keras

Another fun dive for me. I was a bit naughty this dive. I touched many creatures... :D

The divers are myself, Apple, Gregory (new full time Dive Master in LangTengah), Tee, his student, and other fun divers as well.

I was trying to search for nudibranch, searching high and low but didn't manage to spot one myself. :( Nevertheless, Tee found many on the sand and showed me. It was very beautiful. As i observe Tee the instructor, he touched the nudi... hhmmm so i went near him and gave my hand to him, eventually, he bring the nudi and put it on my hand!!!:D Well, being the curious me, i was really happy that finally, i get to touch one! In fact, i was bringing the nudibranch around on my palm as i dive... kekekeke...

Pic 12: Very common type of nudibranch. This is not the one that i'm playing with. :D

Finally, have to let go of the nudibranch, left it on the rock before doing safety stop. Actually a bit guilty now as i think back coz i think other fishes might eat the nudibranch already since it is on the rock. I should have left it on the sand instead. Yaks... sorry... no more playing / touching nudi next time. I'm satisfied, once is enough being a curious girl.

While doing safety stop, i touched many other creatures that swim along my way... there are
these creatures like jelly, not jellyfish though but it's very cute. Can always see them around actually. This time, Tee pushes those jelly creature to me, so i know that it's touchable, therefore i touched and hold them on my hand while doing the boring safety stop. Tee even showed the normal jelly creature, the baby jelly creature as well as 1 pregnant jelly creature with baby inside (can literally see the small baby jelly creature in the pregnant jelly creature). :p Cute!

Pic 13: BBQ for dinner, yummy!

3rd Day : Sat, 28 July 2007

7th Dive: BBK - Batu Banyak Keras

Pic 14: Land briefing by our instructor as students need to do compass navigation underwater later

Pic 15: Practicing how to use compass

Pic 16: On the boat, heading to our destination to dive!

First time using underwater camera while diving.
RT and kor bringing their students down for some lesson while me busy taking pictures. It's quite fun to take pics underwater plus you have to know how to do manual settings to be able to capture very nice pictures which i'm bad at this. (Well, what you expect? 1st time mah... :p)

Pic 17: "Backroll Water Entry" method

While the students busy doing the exercises such as mask clearing, regulator recovery, and don't know what else, i was busy taking pictures... ehehehehe... seronoknya! xp

Pic 18: 1st attempt of taking the picture of Clown Fish a.k.a Nemo but later kor told me that i have to go closer to take them!

Pic 19: Eric, now Certified Open Water Diver!

Pic 20: See, so many cardinal fish around us while RT leading students to do mask clearing if you look real closely to the picture.

Pic 21: Closer look at students doing mask clearing

I'm really having fun taking pictures, but most of the pictures are blue-ish because i did not use any manual setting, i'm only using Auto setting. :D Give chance ler, 1st timer mah! :p

Pic 22: Sea cucumber

Pic 23: Don't really know what is this... sea fan? :D

Pic 24: Crown of thorn - the destroyer of corals!

During this dive, i'm also diving freely without buddy as the rest are either teaching or being teached. So i'm free roaming around. ;p

Pic 25: Christmas Tree Worm (taken by kor, expert leh, so nice!)

Beautiful pictures of anemone taken by kor below...

Pic 26: Anemone

Pic 27: More anemone, very nice hor?

Pic 28: Clown fish residing in the anemone

Pic 29: This clown fish is not that shy

Pic 30: Perfect close up shot of the clown fish

Guess what? During our safety stop, i learnt how to blow bubble ring, trying to recall and follow how William did it yesterday, and it works!!!! Hoorayyy....

Good experience of 1st time taking pictures underwater! I'm having fun and I'm satisfied!

8th Dive: House Reef (2nd PPB Session)

Hurray! Awaiting for this session for very long hoping to learn more to enhance my diving skills. Only Apple and I taking this course this time. RT our instructor did the land briefing of what we will do underwater, then, there we went, gearing up and start with the course. 2 DMTs tagged along, kor and Sanya to take video (therefore, i don't have any pics to upload here).

Activities we did:-
- plus 1 weight from RT and keep remaining at the depth without sinking down
- +- 1 of our weight, doing it with RT without floating up or sinking down
- hover at the same depth without moving
- reverse! (Yes! Finally I've learnt this technique. Though still not good, still need practice!)
- scul - already know this skill
- few practices to look at 1 point without moving
- hover without FINS! Fun... Never know that I can take off my fins and yet hover =) (while wearing back my fins, even can fight/kick RT as he tries to steal 1 of my fin... hehehe)
- kneeling on the sand first, then as if we are holding a rope, climbing up and down the rope with the control of our lungs... SUCCESSFUL!
- RT taught all of us, including the 2 DMTs how to blow bubble rings... kekekeee
- Kor continues to be with us while RT has to go up... so kor also asked us to take off our fins and walk on the sand (which is very hard coz we need to blow out all the air in our lungs in order for us to sink to the sand and walk on the sand). Most of the time, i can't even touch the sand... kekekek

Overall - GOOD! No regrets taking PPB though I thought I can learn more activities...

Not bad, now I have 2 specialties which is Wreck Specialty and PPB Specialty. ;)

9th Dive: Tanjung Nibong - Last dive =(

Last dive of the trip. Sad... because last dive lo.... hhmmm... Went out with kor and his students as they are doing their Open Water while 4 of us, Apple, Chuan, Sanya and I went our way for fun dive.

Basically this site is full of dead corals (all black corals, quite sad to see geh...) when we first decent from the boat. There is no buoy line for us to hold to decent, therefore, this is a 'free decent' dive where we just go down to the sea without the buoy line. Free decent, one of the session for the Open Water students to learn. :)

This is a dive that RT ask Chuan to lead the dive, but some how, hhmmm he didn't... kekeke... so it's like the blind leading the blind. As usual, Apple supposed to be my buddy, but then she is following Chuan. After a while, i thought, alright, forget about it, i will go see things i want since Chuan is taking care of Apple. :D There goes 4 of us, just diving freely, without anyone leading us, we just dive and dive and look for things we like. Sanya busy taking pics and I'm busy looking at beautiful anemone with clown fishie and false clown fishie... so beautiful! I really enjoy looking at them. As we continue diving, there are so many anemones with clown fish and false clown fish. Wow... really nice, amazing... I love it! *Thank you Daddy for the beautiful creation*

Other than anemone fish, i was trying to spot nudibranch which is very hard for me, i never spotted one at all in my diving life. But..... finally before we finish our dive, i spotted a very small one, those very common nudibranch, i'm satisfied, finally i get to spot 1! Wwahahhaa... Also saw a huge puffer fish and i want to chased him, since nothing much to do this dive... hehehe

Pic 31: Huge puffer fish that I chased

As usual, i've asked RT how long is the bottom time for this dive. When my watch reaches 50mins of bottom time, i was looking at the DMTs to see if they asked for safety stop. Hhmmm... still waiting and waiting, finally at 52mins, i asked Chuan when is the bottom time. Hhmm... he don't know and ask me to ask Sanya. After asking Sanya, he didn't really care about the bottom also! Later on i heard Sanya's dive comp beeping showing that it's time for safety stop. Still the DMTs take no action. Well......... though I still have more than 100 bars of oxygen in my tank, but still... safety is safety which divers have to practice. Finally i gave the sign to the DMTs to do safety stop. (Cheh, berlagak aku bagi arahan pulak :D)

Then only Sanya took out his sausage (errr, not sausage to eat but it's a diving tool to alert the boatman of our direction so the boatman will come and picked us).

Achievement:- I'm glad that at this trip, I've learnt to take care of my own bottom time and to do safety stop.

Graduation soon

Great! Dives finished. Open Water students still need to do their swimming test before they can finally graduate.

Pic 32: Kor's group going to do swimming test, swim with mask, snorkel and fins 100 meters out to the sea and 100 meters back to the shore

As for our instructor and I, we went for canoeing... hehehee... canoed out just to take care of the students in case they get leg cramp or drown...

Pic 33: RT and I getting the canoe ready

Pic 34: My first time canoeing

Pic 35: While i continue to canoe from behind, RT will direct the direction using his paddle

Graduation night

A night where everyone is waiting for especially for Open Water students as they will be getting their license/certificate to dive anywhere in the world within 18 meters of depths (if they manage to do all the practical and past the theory exam). As for Advance students, they will be getting Advance license where they can dive deepest at 40 meters max now and can go for night dive. :) As for Apple and myself, we will get our PPB license. :p

Pic 36: Our instructor giving talks before giving out the certificates/license

Pic 37: All the students awaiting patiently as our humble instuctor talking... kekkekee

Pic 38: Yay! Finally my turn! Certified PPB Specialist (Peak Performance Buoyancy)

Pic 39: Eric Lau (kor's cousin), finally graduated as Open Water Diver, yes! Can follow us to dive d... :) (*congrats wohhh... kekekeke*)

Happy moment for everyone, no Open Water Diver fail, all past! :D Then RT continued to guide the Open Water students to log their dive in the logbook, just like writting diary, your diving journey. ;)

Pic 40: RT explaining how to log the dive in our logbook

4th Day : Sun, 29 July 2007

Home sweet home

As usual, photo time for all the students, DMTs and instuctor..... :D Everyone busy taking pics with their classmate friends that they know during the trip.

Pic 41: Richard our instructor with Apple and me, PPB Specialist now! :D

Group photo of all the divers!


Erin said...

hey becks... wow thts really cool. someone obviously had a real good time... really glad that you had an awesome time... lots to see and eat
hope to see more future adventures in the sea.. under the lala... under the sea... hehehe....
god bless you gal.. see you real soon yea....