Monday, 18 April 2011

Diving Sembilan

Woke up next morning at 6am to get to my pickup. Ah Kong picked me up and we went to get some breakfast and duck for lunch. Soon enough we headed for the Lumut yacht club where Steven was now storing his boat. Last time it was at another location but I was told the Owner had gone off his rockers and was charging crazy money nowadays so all his customers had opted for better solutions.

Local fisherman

We went on with filling the boat with water, food and beer. After that followed dive gear, tanks, BCD's and the works. Then fuel and engines were checked. Soon enough all people were gathered and the boat was pulled in the water and off we went. The weather was very pleasant.

Pulau Hitam

By 0830hrs we were in position at Black Rock (Pulau Hitam) and we geared up. Chan handed me a spear gun and wished me luck. We all jumped in and dived Black Rock. The viz was not the best around and I eventually got a small snapper while Chan and Kong brought in 8-10 fish with the biggest being abt 4kg.

The fishermens catch

When moving to the next venue we came across a local fishing boat that was hauling in his net so we stopped and bought some shrimp, mantis shrimp and crabs from them.

Pulau Putih

Next in the program was White Rock (Pulai Putih) and same procedure followed. Unfortnately at 10m I noticed that I had forgotten the loading handle for the spear gun on the diveboat so I had to get up and went down again. In all haste I descended to 30m but came up to 10-15m. This time I did not kill anything as I did not come across anything interesting or I just simply missed.

Elvis cleaning shrimp

After the 2 dives we had enough fish to feed a platoon so we headed over to Pulau Lalang camping area and started unloading utensils and provisions. Soon enough the kettles were boiling and appetizing aromas were wafting through the air. It was time to feed. Fresh seafood as good as it gets. We all let loose on the delicacies and soon enough we were all sitting around contemplating the sumptuous meal.

Ah Kong and Ah Chan doing the tom yam

Tasting session

As other sat down and rested and chatted in Cantonese I took off to walk around the Island. I strolled down the beach looking at all signs of civilzation in the shape of discarded plastic bottles, slippers, tins, plastic bags and whatnot. After awhile the beach ended in a rocky outcrop and I found a path leading inside the Island. I did not need to venture far before the terrain started ascending steeply and I was going on 4-wheel drive in places. The higher I came the denser the brush became and I was crawling under the bush and over where it was suitable.

Pulau Lalang beach and mangroves

More jungle

Another view from the top

After some time I came to the top of the Island but could not see much anything as my view was obscured by the trees around me. I decided I was too old and heavy to start being Tarzan so after catching my breath for awhile I started back down again. Needless to say it was much easier and faster and eventually I lost my cap in all excitement and while hanging onto tree branches as not to go into free fall down the slope.

One of the rainforest trees

It's a jungle

View from top

Once down I was bathing sweat so I just continued straight into the sea for a cooling dip. It was so refreshing. Same time I could see that the guys had started breaking up camp so I ventured back to the camp site and came just in time to leave. On the way back we stopped at a few buoys and tried some fishing but it turned out nothing. Soon enough we made it to the Lumut Yacht club and were towed up on land.

On the way back home

The loot

Towing the boat into the boat shed

Fish had to be cleaned, dive gear rinsed and the boat engines flushed. The boat was flushed with freshwater and cleaned out of garbage. Then the loot was divvied up and everyone headed home for a shower to later meet in a karaoke.

Sunset over Pulau Pangkor

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