Sorry that I have not blogged about diving for a while and I’m going to use the “I was too busy” excuse. Well, it’s kinda true.
As you may know, GS-Diving PADI Instructor Julius left Singapore for greater things. His wife Danielle will be completing her two year employment contract this month. So, I lost a key team member who has been diving and blogging with me for the past 18 months.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Julius for all of his hard work. As many of our local Singapore divers know, he was the “Seahorse Whisperer,” with one of the keenest eyes for macro life that I know. He also taught over 150 students for GS-Diving PADI Recreational Facility. His patience and attention to detail, both in the pool and in the open water ensured they are all now quality divers. A huge thank you for your contribution. You are truly missed and are a great asset to any company.
I still stand by my motto – “If you can dive at Hantu, you can dive anywhere!”
We welcome Ashley, a new member to the GS-Diving team. She has been running some trips in Singapore on the Dolphin Explorer. Ashley is a PADI Instructor and has been a great help. Her students have also been giving us some great testimonials as well. Please look out for her on your next local diving trip.
On a good note, we now have a full time PADI Instructor working for us, Denise McIntyre. I am truly grateful for the extra assistance in the office. Denise has been very busy working on many projects with me in Singapore. She has also been certifying many students on the Seaborne (live on board) too.
The Seaborne dives around Bintan and Batam, Indonesia. It’s an easy weekend of diving, leaving Saturday morning and returning Sunday afternoon. Just a short fast ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and a free 10 minute shuttle bus to Nongsa Point Marina & Resort. And Voilà. 6 dives later, we have happy students and happy recreational divers. The viz usually averages 5 to 15 metres, sometimes 18 metres and is famous for its turtles, frog fish, nudibranchs, abundant fish and not to mention the old “Codd Wreck”. A great find, that is easily over 100 years old.
With Denise onboard, I have also decided to extend our ADEX special until the end of June. Recreational diving on the Seaborne starts at $330 (quad share), but with a top up of $159 you can become a fully qualified PADI Open Water student. Or for a top up of $109 you can be a PADI Advanced Open Water student. Despite the many excited queries I get, I am happy to confirm, that yes, these prices are all inclusive, no hidden extras. The price includes everything you need to become fully qualified, from theory, pool session, dives, rental gear, certification, return ferry tickets, accommodation, bed linen, towel, food, snacks and assorted beverages. Yes, its all inclusive!
Denise will be conducting most of the pool sessions and open water dives. Her contact details can be found on our Find Us page.
Please warmly welcome Denise to our family. She will be with us until mid October where she will then be based in Thailand. I look forward to offering some trips to her new future home soon too.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Gary Lim and Bernard Ang.
These guys have both been doing a great job running the Seaborne trips and guiding the leisure divers every weekend for the past few months. Both are PADI Dive Masters and are currently doing their PADI Assistant Instructor Course with me.
The PADI Assistant Instructor course is the first portion of the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) which is then followed by the Open Water Scuba Instructor Course (OWSI). Successful performance at the Instructor Examination (IE), leads to certification as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.
We also thank James, GS-Diving PADI Dive Master for his previous contributions on the Seaborne. He is now located in the UK and of course, I am sure he is itching to be diving in the warmer waters of Asia. I know he truly enjoyed applying and sharing his skills as a Marine Biologist when diving and the divers loved his knowledge of the reefs.
So as you can see, there is lots going on and I promise to blog each week about local Singapore diving. Denise will blog about the Seaborne trips each week too.
A quick summary of May 2016 . . .
Well, we had some amazing local diving trips with close to 8 metres visibility on most days. Only to be disappointed by less than 1 metre viz on the 29th May. That’s Hantu for you. It can change in a instant.
Laura, a GS-Diving PADI Dive Master did some guiding during May and you can see her comments from one of her trips below. She was totally surprised.
Believe it or not below the surface here we saw: harlequin sweetlips, angel fish, leatherjackets, anemone fish, goat fish, soap fish, pipefish, fussilers, anthias, pin-cushion starfish, nudibranchs, barrel corals, goby & host shrimps and crabs. A muck divers haven. And all in 2m viz and 30 degrees water. Not bad for Singapore shores.
I have added some of the photos that I took when I was onboard teaching various courses during the month.
I hope to dive with you again soon.
Remember a bad day diving is better than a good day in the office.
Cheers, Gary Savins
PS: Get well soon Yvonne, GS-Diving PADI Instructor. She has had the unfortunate experience of contracting Dengue Fever twice over the past few months. We look forward to you returning to the sea with us soon. So everyone, please be diligent with potential mozzie breeding grounds and clean up that water.