Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tioman trip

Went on a solo trip to Tioman, 2nd trip going there alone. Was supposed to go 26th to 28th June but stupid me woke up late and missed the bus at 630am. Had to go next day instead 27th to 29th June. Stayed up the whole night and did not sleep to ensure will not miss the bus again.

Bus ride was smooth and on time (but bumpy). Departed Golden Mile at 630am and reached Mersing Jetty about 930am, on time for the 10am ferry. Surprisingly the ferry appeared on time and left shortly about 1030. Usually the ferry service was delayed much longer. Reached Tioman at about 12noon but as the jetty I'm disembarking at (ABC) was the fourth, I disembarked at about 1230hrs. The ferry service will stop at Genting, Paya, Tekek, ABC and Salang. On the way back will be the reverse.

Immediately proceeded to the dive center and enquired of the dives, also learned that my previous Advance Open Water instructor had left the island last month. After finding a room near to the dive center (basic chalet with attached bathroom, fan and bed...cost 50RM per night) and had lunch, prepared for my first dive. Woohoo!!!

Went to Marine Park divesite, wreck-diving. Enjoyed the dive, last I was at this divesite was during the advance course and was busy mapping the wrecks. This time though, was on leisure diving thus appreciate the divesite more. Divetime 40 mins, depth 20.1 metres. Had dinner and then went to sleep early by 6pm...totally exhausted from the lack of sleep.

Next day, 3 dives slotted. First dive was at Golden Reef divesite. Divetime 32 mins, depth 18.8 metres. Visibility was very bad at 3 metres only and the current underwater was so strong. Came across a Divemaster trainee who's air consumption was similar to mine. We suck in air like nobody's business thus cutting short our divetime. Thus he was assigned my buddy. After surfacing though, notice a group of baby dolphins swimming around the boat. Everyone on the boat was looking out for the dolphins.

Next dive was at Labas divesite. Divetime 44 mins and depth 14.9 metres. Nice underwater rock formations and did a swim-through one of them. My buddy, the DMT, same as me had to surface earlier due to our air consumption.

The last and 4th dive for the trip was in the afternoon, after a 3hr surface interval. Went to Sawadee wreck. Depth 31.7 metres and divetime 20mins. On the way down after the 20 metres mark, my mask was squeezing my right side of the face, a throbbing sensation....nearly aborting the dive. After a while though, got slightly better. This dive, we had 3 new divers who just joined us. With their cameras, each of them were videoing and taking photos of themselves underwater using their own self camera. After the dive in the evening, the dive guide mentioned that he was surprised none of them dive onto the wreck as they were more busy with their cameras than looking at where they were going. Due to the squeezing experience of the mask, resulted in more air being consumed. Had to ascend up when low on air at 50 bar, again with my buddy, the DMT.

Back at the dive center and packed my dive equipments. Had dinner and then went back to room and more packing.

Ferry back to Mersing was at 9am. Had breakfast and waited at the dive center. At 9.05am, saw the ferry coming into the jetty. Another surprise, no delay. Made quick goodbyes with everyone and ran to the jetty. Ferry ride back was delayed a long while at Tekek jetty for reasons unknown, before finally reaching Mersing at 1130am. Bus ride to Singapore is at 430pm, oh well... a long wait it will be.

Had lunch and sat down for the long wait. 5 hours alone will be a good time for self-reflection hehe. At 345pm, saw the passengers disembarking from the afternoon ferry (depart Tioman 130pm). Again another surprise, a very slight delay. Damn, should have taken the afternoon ferry instead. Seems the ferry timings are on time nowdays. However met the bus representative later who said that yesterday, 2 passengers had to be left behind as their 2pm ferry was delayed for 2.5hrs. Oh well, I'm just thankful I'm back in Mersing. Bus arrived at 415pm, and back to singapore.

Bus ride back was fast and bumpy. Reached JB immigration at 610pm, driver skipping the rest stop to save time. Finally cleared Singapore immigration at 645pm, on way home now.

Till we meet again Tioman ;)

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