Then we had a one week rest (the whole week) as I could not continue our final day of open water session on the subsequent day. So it was brought forward to yesterday (Sunday, 2nd November). And praise the Lord… The weather yesterday was really, really awesome!
I could not sleep the night before as I was over excited. I end up sleeping at about 2.30 am after watching Liverpool-Totenham match, in which Liverpool lost. Hahaha. I did not finished watching it as I thought Liverpool would win after Kuyt scored after 3 minutes.
It was a bright sunny day yesterday. The sky was clear and the water was calm. Our first boat dive was held at Sulug Reef, just nearby Sulug Island. This was the time when Roslan thought us how to do back flip safely from the boat. The water was clear and the visibility was excellent. We went down to 12 meters deep, in which I could feel the pressure inside my ears. I had no problem equalizing though.
We still have to do basic skills in the water during this dive. We have to remove our mask and put it back on, with our regulator in the mouth. It was one of the basic open water skills that we need to master, so that we wouldn’t easily get panic when our dive buddies kick our mask off with their fins. The salt water temporarily hurts my eyes, but then, I get used to it.
While diving at about 10 meters, we saw one of the ugliest view underwater – damaged coral reefs by a fishing net, with the fishing net in-situ. We failed to remove the net from the corals as the net was too long and heavy and we did not bring knives to cut it loose. We have to abandon the net there as we still did not manage to entangle it after 15 minutes of trying.
The one thing that I noticed when I was underwater – I lost the sense of time & direction. I only know how deep I went and how much air I have left in the tank from the SPG (submersible pressure gauge). But unless I wear a compass and a dive computer, I would not know the time and the directions. I only know up and down, left and right. Just to give you the reasons why I need to work hard to get myself MARES Nemo Excel…
Our second boat dive was held at Pyramid Reef, a reef that is situated between Mamutik Island & Manukan Island. Emerged from the sea floor, this reef is not attached to any island around it. They call it Pyramid Reef because of the obvious reason – it has a pyramid shape.
Yes, it was another back flip from the boat and we went down to 12 meters. I saw stone fish, scorpion fish, a lot of anemone (Nemo) fish, few colorful nudibranch, a group of barracudas and numbers of soft coral damaged by sea turtles. It was like an AWARE fish identification dive. Barye, our divemaster brought down a writing plate to tell me what we saw underwater.
That 2 boat dives really makes me hungry. I ate an additional plate of rice and more crackers during lunch at Borneo Divers Dive Center, Mamutik Island. The food (chicken curry & mixed vegetable) was really delicious. It was lucky for Borneo Divers to have a good cook. I am sure I will be back for more dives and of course, food!
Our final dive for the day was a shore dive. We went down to 10 meters following an anchor. This time we learn how to navigate a compass underwater. And this was also the time that I tuned up my buoyancy skills. I felt that I could hover better as I could stay still near to the corals without bumping and crushing them to ashes…
It’s a bit sad when I know that I have to finish the course that day, leaving our HOT scuba diving trainer. Luckily I pass with flying colors. During those 4-days course, Roslan, our guru/mentor/cifu/promoter/photographer/teacher/friend/dive buddy never disappoint us. He followed us all the way from the beginning, making the course much more fun, relax and alive. If not because of him, I won’t be able be with the Nemos & barracudas at 12 meters below sea level! Oh, I have to treat him lunch at Little Italy the week after…
Anyway, to be underwater and breathing effortlessly was really an exhilarating experiences. I could not describe the feelings to you, unless you join me down there.
My next stop will be Sipadan & Mabul. I have decided to take advance open water before proceeding to Layang-Layang. In between I would love to tweak my buoyancy & underwater photography skills.
Damn… I need to consider investing in underwater photography gears next. Nikon + Ikelite + Strobe. How’s that?
Anybody wants to sponsor? Anybody?