Akiko, Germaine, Chris, John, Lay Nah and Caroline and a bunch of other divers all met at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT), Singapore on Friday the 2nd March,2012 to join The Ark’s maiden voyage to Aur, Malaysia. Everyone was excited about diving Aur for the first time this dive season. I was also looking forward to better than “Hantu viz”.
Although it was still very early in the season, the seas were calm all weekend and extremely flat on Sunday on our return journey.
We did a total of seven dives. Pinnicle 2, Lang, Rayner’s Rock, Crocodile Rock and the house reef for the night dive, Pinang and Pinnicle 2 again.
Chris and John budded up, as did Akiko and Germaine. I was looking after Lay Nah and Caroline. Lay Nah had some equalization issues and sat out 3 of the dives.
Aur had been up and down a bit over the last few years and I was happy to see that there was a good number of fish at all sites except Pulau Pinang. Pinang has been a bit “fishless” for a couple of years now.
Pinnicles, Rayner’s Rock and Lang were covered in all types of fish life, the most noticeable was the schools of barracuda, hump heads and trevally.
There were also massive schools of rainbow runners and fusiliers.
We must have seen about 5-6 big schools of barracuda and Akiko and Germaine were joined by two huge barracudas, during their safety stop.
I made a bet with Caroline and Lay Nah that if I did find and show them a turtle at Crocodile Rock, they would owe me a beer each. 15 minutes into the dive I found 2 beers. This small hawksbill was not worried about us at all and just sat on the rock whilst we watched and I snapped a few photos.
At each site we dived there was 1-2 cuttlefish and the highlight of the weekend was the 8 cuttlefish in one group. We saw them at Crocodile Rock. The large males were flashing black and white colors, to try and impress the ladies. One of the females was laying eggs in a crack in the coral. The small males tried their luck with the ladies but were fast chased away by the larger males.
We stayed and watched the school of cuttlefish for at least 20 minutes and the ladies seemed to be a bit fussy. I wrote “fussy women” on my wet notes and showed Caroline and Lay Nah . Caroline wrote back “typical males”.
We completed two very nice dives Sunday morning and cruised back to Singapore in perfect flat seas. People were enjoying themselves on the sun deck, playing cards and dice games in the eating area and a few were snoozing the afternoon away.
Great weekend and I look forward to diving Aur again soon.