22 October 2007

Diving in Pulau Dayang - October 2007

This may well be my last dive of 2007. Destination was supposed to be Tioman but changed to Dayang last minute due to the Tioman ferry fire incident recently. Kind of disappointed because we were looking forward to Tioman. Had gone to Dayang the previous dive trip and felt that the dive sites weren't worth the journey, or maybe we were unlucky. This was a trip organized by hubby's company SRC (undertaken by Mako Sub-aquatics) and we had already paid, so perhaps we should give Dayang another chance. Hubby and I decided to drive in (instead of travelling with the main group in vans, having to haul dive equipment and luggage through the customs and beating the causeway JAM). We even brought along our mini mahjong tiles, in case we decided to be lazy and not dive! LOL.

Had intended to set off at around 8pm so that we could take a leisurely drive up to Mersing but I was stuck at work. By the time I got home, it was close to 9.30pm. It was then a mad rush to freshen up, do some last checks before setting off. An unlucky start? :(

Fortunately the journey was quite smooth and we managed to reach Mersing at 12.30am just in time to catch the main group (nearly 50 people) who had set off earlier at 8.30pm. At 1am, we boarded the ferry. Having had the nasty experience of nearly 'freezing' to death previously, we avoided seats near the air-con and brought sleepy bags. But it wasn't exactly comfortable still, and we drifted to sleep on and off through the 4hr journey to Pulau Dayang.

Finally reached Dayang at 5am and hit the bed immediately. Morning call was at 8am. Contemplated skipping the first dive to catch more sleep but the sunny weather and blue waters seemed so inviting. After breakfast and dive briefing by our divemasters, it was off to our first check out dive at Sebukang.

Sebukang is a fairly nice dive site with calm waters. Besides the usual marine life, we were delighted to discover nudibranchs that we have never seen before.
After the dive, it was back to the island for lunch, rest and relax before the next dive.
Lang is also quite a nice site. Spotted several blue-spotted stingrays, 'dog-face' puffer, nudibranchs. Underwater current picked up towards the end of the dive and we did a little drifting before ascending.
Had goreng pisang and green bean soup for tea break. I must say that Dayang Island Resort served rather delicious meals :D
After sufficient surface interval, we proceeded for our 3rd dive, which is around Dayang Jetty.

It is mainly muck diving but that's where divers got the chance to discover lots of well-camouflaged critters. Our DM sure got very sharp eyes and pointed us to a Flounder which we would otherwise never even notice! Lots of goby with shrimps which hid in a flash before I have chance to take a shot -_- And at one point, we were blocked by large schools of fusiliers, and basically just 'sat' and watched while they swam by.
We decided to call it a day and skip the night dive. Mahjong was more appealing :p So after a sumptuous BBQ dinner, a few of us who skipped the night dive sat together and played mahjong! Fancy that :)
The next morning, we woke up fairly early at around 6.30am to prepare for the dawn dive. Dive site is at Rayner's Rock which I rather anticipate because didn't go there previously. Unfortunately, the sea was rather choppy. We quickly made our descent to avoid seasickness. But the underwater current was equally strong. At some point, all efforts to fin against the current were futile and we had to grab onto rocks to avoid being drifted away from the group. Naturally air usage was fairly high and the dive was relatively short. Since I was desperately finning and hanging on, couldn't really focus and hence didn't spot anything interesting apart from a giant bumphead parrotfish as well as a sinister looking jellyfish during our safety stops.
After the ascent, the sea was still rather choppy and we decided to skip the next dive as we felt a little queasy. Enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and played more mahjong till lunch :D Soon it was time to leave the island which was another 4hrs journey back to Mersing.
The whole gang proceed to MG Garden near Mersing for dinner and there was a wedding dinner going on. We 'joined' in the celebrations and were highly amused and entertained by the live karaoke by the relatives of the bride and bridegroom. Talk about different culture and wedding practises. Another sumptuous meal and we headed back to Singapore.
Generally we enjoyed a better visibility than the previous trip, but it would probably be my last to Dayang. Maybe.

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