We all boarded the Live on Board Boat called the The Ark at Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal Friday night, short of three late comers and one other to escort them on the Batam Fast Ferry to Nongsa, Indonesia.
After everyone was finally on the boat and had cleared immigration we departed from Nongsa for the long overnight cruise to Seven Skies Wreck. We had perfect calm weather all night and everyone slept well. Most people were up at 8 am for breakfast. I think I slept a little longer. When I finally surfaced and made a coffee and opened my eyes I was amazed at what a nice day it was. Clear skies, no clouds, no waves and beautiful blue water.
“Looks good for a great day’s diving at Seven Skies,” I thought eagerly. That was short lived during the first dive. We had mild to strong currents and a cloud of silt covering the wreck. The conditions prompted some extra briefing for the student divers.
This weekend I had 5 PADI Advanced Open Water (AOW) students from an International School. GS-Diving Instructor Andrew was conducting the course with them because I was busy conducting TDI Advanced Nitrox and TDI Decompression Procedures with Ludovic and Zoltan. The AOW students, Bin, Tanya, Brandon, Lavan and Kimberley were also diving with their school teacher, Vicky Juet, who is also a PADI Instructor.
The first dive at Seven Skies was, well, kinda crappy. Bad viz, strong currents, but both groups of students divers managed to handle the conditions well and completed the dive.
My two guys did a lot of skills in the wheelhouse out of the current and we did 20 minutes of simulated decompression (deco).
The AOW guys did their first ever 30m deep dive and all surfaced smiling, besides the conditions.
During the day the conditions got better and better and by the third dive, it was just amazing. No current, great viz and my guys could even do a free descent to the wreck. I promised to take my guys inside the hatch and show them around at 45m. We made it to the hatch in 3 minutes. Dropped in and enjoyed staircases and rooms containing all sorts of stuff and boilers.
A great day was had by all, even if it started a bit off. I was smiling from ear to ear on the third dive inside Seven Skies Wreck.
Last time I was inside Seven Skies was October 2012, I do miss it and love being there. Wish I could be there every day.
Andrew took the AOW guys for their first night dive and they came back reporting seeing big eels, shrimps and some fish.
BBQ for dinner and we set sail for the Igara Wreck.
We arrived at the Igara around 8.30am after another perfect night of flat calm seas. Looking over the side of the boat we could see the top of the Igara. Wow! 18 plus metre viz at the Igara Wreck, is rare. My two students planned one long dive, but once seeing the conditions they did a second dive.
The first dive was for 70 minutes to a max depth of 35 metres. We went inside the hull of the wreck. The cargo holds was where I handed the guys some iron ore as a souvenir. I also tried to hand them a huge heavy piece, but they we on to me and knew what would happen as soon as I passed it to them … sink fast … they refused to hold it. After the cargo hold, we made our way to the rope room. No nurse sharks today, I guess they heard us coming and got out of there.
The two newly certified TDI decompression procedures divers did the second dive together whilst I guided the 4 of the 5 kids through the crack and rope room. Bin missed the first dive and needed to complete his navigation skills with PADI Instructor Andrew.
When I was showing the kids through the crack and rope room, I could see their smiles from ear to ear, for sure they have never seen anything like this before in their life. It made me happy too. As we came out of the rope room the current picked up and we headed forward to show them the bow. I made it but only a few others made it, those with stupid split fins did not make it to the bow. So we ascended to the rope and got out of the current.
Congrats to Bin, Tanya, Brandon, Lavan and Kimberley for completing PADI Advanced Open Water and PADI Enriched Air Diver courses.
Congrats to Zoltan and Ludovic for both completing both the TDI Advanced Nitrox and TDI Decompression Procedures.
Cheers – Gary
Video and photos by Gary Savins
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