Tuesday, January 18, 2011

25 Dec 2010 - Dives 1 to 3

Dive 1 - Kapalai housereef 

Dive: 70
Duration: 40mins
Avg Depth: 11.7m
Max Depth: 18m

First checkout dive at Kapalai housereef with a very relax entry from the jetty in front of the dive centre. When the tide is high enough, you can easily sit right at the edge of the jetty to don your fin and slide into the water. Or  you can just walk in. Being the first dive at the housereef, we're supposed to follow the guide to see where are all the interesting spots where stuffs have been spotted lately. However buddy was quite new and armed with a camera for the first time, was totally engrossed with the pix right after we descend. Vis was terrible and the main group follow the line down while buddy was still busy with his pictures. Subsequently buddy went to the left, following another group. By the time I got his attention, our group was long gone. We proceed to follow line down towards where the group was last seen but the line soon ended. Not certain which way the group went and seeing the bad visibility, I thought maybe it might not be a good idea to proceed forward given that my buddy was still relatively new. Hanging around the end of the line, I did spot at least 2 network pipefish at different locations. Pointed it out to buddy but the critter doesn't seems to interest him at all. After some time, the group finally emerged from the deeper end. Buddy have some difficulty remaining at 5m for his safety stop. Fortunately I was a little overweighted so managed to held on to him to complete the safety stop for an uneventful dive.

Network Pipefish (Corythoichthys flavofasciatus) at Kapalai House Reef (15m) - Kapalai, Malaysia

Dive 2 - Ribbon valley 1 (Mabul)

Dive: 71
Duration: 49mins
Avg Depth: 12.1m 
Max Depth: 20.4m

Saw a couple of creatures for the first time. Right on descend at Ribbon Valley, the DM showed us a ribbon eel! How nice is that? I sorely missed the first one I saw from a distance at Anilao and finally have a chance with it again. Finally saw the a crocodile flathead for the first time. It was certainly bigger than I thought it would be from the pictures I've seen previously. Also saw a pair of leaf scorpianfish for the first time. Vis wasn't fantastic at below 10m but still, a great dive seeing all those creatures for the first time. Had a silly moment during the dive. Buddy show me his guage and somehow I don't know why, I kept thinking it was showing 20 bar when it was actually 70 bar and we're still at around 15m or so. I even pulled out my octopus ready to share air when needed and signal to one of the instructor that my buddy was low on air. Gosh, so embarassing. I follow closely as the dive continues, all the while wondering how the hell did that 20 bar last so long. Phew.. Maybe it was me who is narced. :p

Ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita) at Ribbon Valley 1 (5m) - Mabul, Malaysia

Crocodile Flathead (Cymbacephalus beauforti) at Ribbon Valley 1 (15m) - Mabul, Malaysia

Leaf Scorpionfish (Taenianotus triacanthus) at Ribbon Valley 1 (20m) - Mabul, Malaysia

Dive 3 - Kapalai housereef  (Night dive)

Dive: 72
Duration: 55mins
Avg Depth: 13.6m
Max Depth: 23.5m

It was supposed to be a sunset dive but with some delay, it was mostly dark by the time we headed into the water. Current was also picking up and visibility was still pretty bad like our first dive here. As we all headed down separately, me and buddy headed along the line to the right into the current and back as we didn't saw anyone. Then we hang around at the shallow end for a while before we saw some of them coming up, presumably calling the dives. Strangely enough, we saw another DM heading down. He did a quick check on our air and we headed down the line to where the group have gone for the first dive. Went pass a couple of sunken boats which I don't recognized as I didn't managed to follow the group earlier in the day. We didn't really saw anything as we stick close to the line as the visibility was poor and there was some light current. Running a little low on air, I signal to the DM and we made our way back to the jetty. Not so fun when you're running low on air in a low vis night dive. As we approached the jetty, saw a few other group of divers that its almost like strolling through a busy intersection. I have like just about 10-20 bar of air left and what a relieve when the jetty is finally in sight. The area close to the jetty was quite brightly lit that you'll probably do just fine even without a torch around the jetty.

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