Friday the 17th was a Singapore Public Holiday (Hari Raya Puasa), so the Seaborne (live on board) departed Thursday night from Nongsa Point Marina bound for Malang Biru, an Island of Anambas, Indonesia.
With 15 divers onboard we cruised through the night in calm seas and arrived at our destination around 7am. We planned two dives at Malang Biru and I’m glad we did. Because 10 minutes into our first surface interval we were treated by the appearance of a whaleshark at the back of the boat.
GS-Diving Instructor James spotted the whaleshark and alerted us all. Of course, we all initially had our doubts. Why would there by a whaleshark at the back of the boat? But once we all realised that there was indeed such a creature nearby, we all jumped in and snorkelled with this beautiful animal. Some forgot fins in the excitement. Many forgot cameras. We spent about 20 minutes in the water with the whaleshark, until it swam deep into the sea.
You can’t really top a whaleshark after the first dive. But anyway, we managed 10 dives in total at Malang Biru, Katoka Rock, Repong, Igara Wreck and Northern Reefs of Bintan.
Anambas was amazing with 30 metres of visibility, stunning coral and decent fish to see. There was no current at Anambas, so the diving was nice and easy.
Jonathan and his buddies saw a school of bumphead parrot fish.
They were spotted at Bawah in the last 5 mins of their dive.
It’s a great place to dive and requires a special Indonesian Import Permit for the Seaborne.
On the last day of diving, Igara Wreck was crazy with such a strong current only those with good upper body strength could pull themselves down the line. Once on the wreck, there was no current and a good visibility. About 8 divers managed to get down. Some of the girls tried but could not do it, so at the top of the rope, they rejoined the boat at the surface.
With such strong current we opted not to do a second dive at Igara Wreck and headed to the very nice reef north of Bintan. I have named this area Northern Reefs. The visibility was about at around 8 metres. This site has a flat sandy bottom at a max depth of 10 metres with scattered coral. It is huge and seems to go on forever. This is a macro lovers dream with nudi’s of all kinds all over the reef.
We had an amazing weekend. Read Vasily’s testimonial here.
Pictures by Kelvin Pung below:
Don’t forget fins when snorkelling, it really does make a difference.
Thanks to Kelvin and Jonathan Kuan for the use of your photos.
Cheers, Gary Savins