It was going to be a busy weekend diving with 7 dives planned around Pulau Aur. We boarded The Ark at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT) Friday night, had dinner and an early night for all. The seas were flat calm all night which allowed most people to sleep well.
On the Friday night when we setting up our gear, I gave Keith a small size wetsuit as a joke to try on. He came back from the bathroom and somehow managed to squeeze into the small wetsuit but was unable to do up the zipper. There was much laughter onboard at the sight of Keith. I gave him a medium wetsuit and told him he had been “had”. This is a good trick to play on newbies. Unfortunately no camera on hand to take a photo of him.
We arrived at around 6 am and when I finally dragged myself off the bean bag and outside I noticed it was not a very nice day. It was pouring rain, dark and overcast. What happened to the sun? It did finally clear after the second dive.
This weekend I had Glenn and David as dive crew, they were looking after Manish, Devyani, Tanvi, Anne, Eddy and Matthijs. Phil, Georgie, Sean and Rory dived together. I was doing a PADI Open Water Course with Marije, Jennifer, Keith and Gajan. Ashley was also following me for the first few dives on Saturday. She is a certified diver and is Keith’s daughter.
On Saturday we dived at Telok Jawa, Pulau Lang, Pulau Pinang. The leisure divers also dived Dayang Reef and the Divers Lodge House Reef for the night dive.
The best site for my guys was Pulau Lang, it was loaded with fish, mostly around the 8-15 metre mark. Schools of barracuda, 4-5 filefish, yellow box fish, trevally, curious bat fish, scorpion fish, clown fish and thankfully no more yo-yo diving from my students.
The first dive a couple of my students struggled with the bouyancy and how to and not to use the inflator hose botton. I heard the sound of someone pushing the inflate button for a long time, not a short burst, I turned around and looked up to find 1 student on the surface. We had a quick chat after the dive and there was no more yo-yo diving.
Majari, Jennifer, Keith and Gaj managed to get through all the required skills for the 3 dives. There were some moments of caution and fear, mostly around mask clearing, but they all pushed on and got through it all successfully.
I was sitting in the saloon writing this when the leisure divers were gearing up for their 4th day dive when Indra bought me a nice cold Tiger. Dave told him I was done diving for the day and Indra knew I would like a beer….. good job Indra. I like the open water schedule of three dives on Saturday and two on Sunday, it makes for a easy lazy Saturday afternoon with no night dive. Glen and David completed all five dives on Saturday with their divers.
Sunday morning we dived Rayners Rock with about 100 other people, it was crazy busy with not much to see. The best dive of the weekend was at Pinnacle Two, the viz was excellent and there were thousands of fish. The bat fish were lining up it be cleaned, schooling Rainbow Runners, schooling Barracuda, Butterfly fish, Rabbit fish and Trevally everywhere. I kept looking into the blue in hope of a big blue white spotted shark to come by, but unfortunately none did.
Congratulations to Majari, Jennifer, Keith and Gaj on obtaining their PADI Open Water Certificates.
Cheers Gary – I also hope you like the underwater photos that I took too.
Additional photos may be viewed on our Facebook page here – 4 to 6 May, 2012 – The Ark with PADI Open Water Students