Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Open Water Diving Course

Alhamdulillah, I have completed my PADI Open Water Diving course at Bali Hai Dive Centre, Tioman Island, Malaysia on 25th May 2008. What an amazing experience having the skills and ability to do SCUBA diving. Previously what I did to discover the underwater world is through snorkeling and now I am certified to go deep into the ocean to discover the underwater world.

Went to Tioman on the Friday night of 23d May 2008 for a 4 days and 3 nights trips at Tioman Island. Went there with the other 4 colleagues, Norzahid, Faiz, Zam Erwani & Sharifuddin. We stay at Panuba Inn, near Ayer Batang Village.

I was trained by Sonja Konrad, a lovely and beautiful Germans. On the arrival day I have started my confined water lesson, learning various basic skills i.e. mask clearing, alternate air source, etc can't really remember them.

The next day we experience some open water swimming at Panuba House Reef. This is the real SCUBA diving. At the depth of around 12 meters the experience is really exhilarating. Seeing more marine lives and beautiful corals.

In the late afternoon we are tested with the pre-requisite test for OWD course, 200m swimming and 10 minutes floating without any aid.

The last day is the best part of the course, the open sea swimming. We swim at two of the many dive sites around Tioman, Chebeh & Batu Malang. Both dive sites offers and give a different types of dives. At Chebeh I met with a school of batfish and of course the turtle. This steep sloping reef formation has a vast coverage of Fan Corals (Gorgonians) and many other soft corals. The water seem to be very deep and as an OWD certification, we are only allowed to dive up to 18m.

All of us with the our lovely instructor

Batu Malang consists of a small rock collection located in front of the white sandy beach of Coral Island. This place makes a perfect second dive site with an average depth of only 10 meters. Batu Malang is blessed with an abundance of hard coral such as Staghorn Coral, Tabletop Coral, Potato Coral, Flower Coral and Bommies. Abundance of nudibranch are also spotted. The best part of diving here is you experience maneuvering yourself between the rocks. The visibility is also very clear.

Well can't wait for another dive trip.