This is the 5th trip I have done with “my kids”. These school kids, from a international school, sure know how to have fun.
This was their first trip on a Live Onboard Boat. They loved the point that we did not have to carry bags through immigration, at the checkpoints and moreover everyone got a comfy bed to sleep in.
I was a bit worried about spending the weekend with a bunch of teenagers, particuly the giggling girls. This trip we had Cherilynn, Natacha, Kimberley, Tanya, Anya, Brandon, Bin, Julius and Mekal. Teacher Mel and Katy joined along with Katy’s husband Guy. Georgie and Phil came to help as dive guides.
I made a new rule for the girls and told them no giggling after 8pm, but surprisingly there was no need to enforce this. They were all happy sitting on the top deck watching all the passing ships. I was completely shocked when they all went to bed at 9.30pm. First time for me too before midnight on a LOB Friday night.
No doubt the kids were all up early ready to go. I was too.
We dived Bahara Rock, Ringis, Chebeh, Labas and then Labas again for the night dive.
The viz at Tioman was “rubbish” (I was going to use another word). At best it was 8m, I have seen better at Riau, Indonesia. There were cold and warm thermoclines as well.
The kids did not seem to worry about the viz, because there was a turtle on just about every dive, some big file fish and puffer fish too.
The black tip was at Ringis again, but only a few people, including me saw it. It was difficult to see it in the limited viz.
During the dive at Chebeh, I was pointing out a scorpion fish and everyone saw it except for Katy, who for some reason decided to put her hand out. It looked liked, she was trying to pick it up. I yelled and screamed no and at the same time the scorpion fish jumped up and swam away, missing Katy’s hand by millimetres. I quickly checked her hand for puncture wounds and she confirmed she was not stung.
Katy later explained she did not see it and was going to hold the rock to see what I was looking at. I explained what could have happened to her if she was stung.
She was a bit shocked and said no wonder my eyes nearly popped out of my head when she went to grab the rock. I reiteriated diving rules – “never touch anything, even things that look like rocks, just use your boyancy for control”.
During the surface interval we said “Happy Birthday to Teacher Mel”.
The next dive was at Labas. I could dive Labas all day, in and out of the swim throughs, so much fun and so many swim throughs. There were blue spotted rays and puffer fish everywhere. Georgie, Phil, Cherilynn and Natashsa did a night dive and were happy with cuttlefish sightings.
We left for Jack Rock after the BBQ, this time we could not finish all the food.
Around 3am the seas got really rough and the plates and cups all fell off the bench in the saloon, so we took shelter behind Pulau Yui. Around 8pm it all calmed down and we did one dive at Pulau Yui and another at Jack Rock. The viz was not great, at best 5m in milky waters. But there was still a lot to see at both sites. Thankfully, Kujo the killer trigger fish did not attack anyone.
Just before we jumped in at Jack Rock I threw some toilet paper in the toilet bowl to simulate someone doing number 2’s. As you can imagine this freaked the girls out, lots of screams of ouuuuu and yuck, I’m not diving. Just as it cleared I did it again. Excellect trip prank to play.
Cheers – Gary
Thanks to Gary and Tanya for the use of your photos.
Additional photos may be viewed on our Facebook page here – 25 to 27 May, 2012 – MV Seaborne, recreational diving