Thursday, June 19, 2008

My first diving experience

On a weekend, a bunch of shore volunteers went to Dayang/Aur for diving. July and I were doing our course to learn diving in the open waters while Juanhui, Chay Hoon and Samson came for leisure dives.

The waters there are really clear with wonderful visibility. Something Singapore also can likely have if we control pollution into the open sea.

The following photos were taken by my instructor, Jimmy. I "stole" his photos from his facebook photo album for the trip. Sorry my camera cannot swim.

He took a group photo of us newbies just on the surface of the clear blue sea just in front of Pulau Lang.

Here's another group photo of us at Atlantis Bay of Aur, this time underwater. We had to hold our breath for a while to prevent the bubbles from blurring the photo. Seems like July (bottom left) didn't follow instructions. Hahaha. Guess where I am?

I'm the naughty one doing rabbit ear signs on my newly made friend, Edwin. Oh yes, we made many other wonderful new friends like Runyu, Gaius, Amanda and many more.

And finally, my very own underwater photo of myself.

It was surreal to be underwater, as if I entered into another dimension. I've never seen so many magnificent and large growing corals in my life before. Their Acropora or table top corals are really huge and plentiful! The sea is also filled with other living creatures like sponges, fishes, stars etc etc.

Schools of fish just swim with you!

Jimmy also saw this stingray and signalled to the group to take a look as the stingray hid underneath in a crevice.

The following below photos belong to Amanda, which I this time stole from her flickr gallery.

We saw many weird looking nudibranch that I've not seen before.

Amanda and friends saw a moray eel with a cleaner wrasse!

The reef was filled with plenty of stunning featherstars!

And also many nemos, it is very nice to see them underwater happily swimming.

We also saw MANY cushion stars at one go.

Finally for the last dive, Amanda was very kind to lend me her camera to take some photos. The last two underwater photos were taken by myself using her camera.

The last dive site had drift currents and it was a challenge to take photos, need to learn more from the experts like Juanhui, Chay Hoon and Samson.

Dayang/Aur is also the place where I see many crown of thorn sea stars for the first time! They eat corals and I saw three feasting on a coral colony while diving at Crocodile Bay off Dayang.

Talking about crocodile bay, this is also the place I saw sea turtle in the wild for the first time. I spotted the first one and it was so gentle. I could swim side by side with the turtle. :-)

July signalled for me and wow a very nice necklace sea star (Fromia monilis)!

Soon, we completed five dives and were certified PADI divers! Yay.

On the way back to Mersing, we saw a bunch of kids at the intertidal area having fun. Well, many Singaporeans are deprived of such childhood and turn to computer games and handheld games instead.

Looking forward to my next dive, in Singapore?

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