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Pulau Burung, Darvel Bay, Lahat Dato.

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Pulau Burung, Darvel Bay, Lahat Dato.

Post Number:#1  Postby raffidi » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:05 am

After Mass-Dive 3, our Sabahan friends(from Tawau and Lahat Dato) invited us to try “their” style of diving which was camping on a small island call Pulau Burung in Darvel Bay, Lanat Dato and dive from there. I decided to take up the offer so this would be my 2nd time diving at that area. The plan was to arrive on Sat, get 1 dive, watch sunset, do a night dive, camp a night, watch sunrise and complete with 2 dives before heading back.

Took the early flight to TWU, arrive at 1015hrs and Fish-Hunter @ Batiar was waiting for me. We had to wait till 1230hrs for Dee (His wife) to finish work so he took me for a small tour of the outskirts of Tawau. Once Dee was picked up, we headed towards Lahat Dato and everyone met at the DC and Dominic was waiting for us. Dominic already did a run to Pulau Burung sending tanks and other stuff needed for the trip. Lee @ Munta Lee, Sharman, Rosman and Anas got there just before us. Asri was running late so Dominic decided to send a few of us first while two stayed back awaiting Asri’s arrival. Once we got to the island, tents were raised, food organised, and gears set up for the first dive. Last 3 arrive, set their stuff, loaded the boat with gears all set and we headed out to our dive site.

A little entertainment from Mother Nature, for about 1-2mins, a flock of birds started diving for a school of bonito/small tuna. It was mesmerising and by the time I got my camera it was all over. The “boiling water” of fishes had disappear but it was a promising sign of what this area would offer.

Started our first dive at 1710hrs and not realizing that it was a sunset dive, none of us thought of bringing our torch. Viz was not too bad but we lost a bit of viz due to lack of daylight. First time diving this area and the first thing that caught my attention was the corals. They were in abundance and healthy, just the other site I visited the last trip. The dives was “look and go” as only Batiar and I had cameras while Lee had an Intova sports camera (I think). There was lots of small colourful fishes and really matured anemone with its clown fishes. Did not see any nudis but plenty of stuff to check out. The highlight was a giant of a cuttlefish before the end of the dive. Saw the biggest “Barrel Sponge coral, standing at around 5-6 feet. Got to the surface and it was getting dark with enough light to travel back to the island which took about 10mins. This was more like a check out dive.

Got back to the island at about 1810hrs, had dinner (will cover about food at the end) and enjoyed a beautiful sunset. There was a family (parents and their daughter and son) who was invited to the trip and travelled on their own boat.

At 0800hrs, we walk in for our 2nd dive which was a shore dive. We went down to about 20meters and average 12meters. The viz was awesome and dive was 5 star. A lot of creatures. Bandit coral shrimp in abundance, turtle trying to sleep before we disturb it, saw my first “Phronghorn Decorator Crab”, Black Spotted Puffer and Diamond Filefish (I think) amongst other stuff.

Back form dive and supper was served. Fresh BBQ Garoupa (3kg) and chicken wings! Garoupa was caught a few days before the trip by the guys for this trip. Throughout the supper and after, it was just food, snacks, stories, jokes by Rosman and lots laughter!

Woke up to a beautiful sunrise, had breakfast and prepared for the next dive.

Got in the water at 0700hrs, spotted a Zanzibar Whip Coral Shrimp, the biggest collection of anemone with lots of Clown fish in an area, had a tailless “Sharksucker” (check the book)or some call it Remora that was following us for nearly the whole dive and another gigantic Cuttlefish.

The last dive we did a combination dive, stating from a coral are and headed towards a wreck. Upon entry we headed towards a “Cabbage Coral” area and as we were moving fast (fast for photography), I past a “Mandarin Fish” that was moving in and out of corals. Tried looking for it quickly but had to move on as the group was getting away. Got to the coral area and it was a sight with a “WOW” factor as the “Cabbage Coral” was all over and huge (will post video). Saw a “Sarasvati Anemone Shrimp”, took a few pics and headed towards the wreck. Before arriving the at the wreck, a big school of “Selar” was running or dancing in front of us for an easy 3mins like they were entertaining us. Once it the display was over, we proceeded to the wreck and was welcome by a school of snappers. While taking some pics, there was a Garoupa checking us checking the snapper! Estimated the Garoupa to be around 8-10kg. Continued the dive to find the biggest “Star Puffer” we have ever seen. Hang around the wreck till the end and spotted a “Sapsucking Slug” (don’t know what species), my first “Reeftop Pipefish”, 3 “Squat Shrimp” hiding around the bubble coral.
Spoke to Dominic and he was telling me about exploration of the areas and which areas had what to offer. This area is still basically untouched and he is sort of working with Jabatan Perikanan and Reef Check in the exploration and he knows the area well. He was telling me that he also has found areas with Abalone and areas with Frog Fish.

Overall the trip was excellent:

Island was tiny, beautiful but dirty (bearable) from rubbish wash in by the waves. Water was crystal clear.

Food and water was in abundance prepared by the group. We had fried rice, fried noodles, Rendang daging kuah satay prepared by Dee(rated 10 by me, yum yum), Chilly salted fish (Batiar’s favourite) steam rice, lots of instant noodles, fish/chicken wings/sausages for BBQ, bread, can food, eggs and lots more that every meal was a feast and the whole trip was a feast! Lots of drinking water and water to wash your cameras and yourself too!
Dives was different from the normal places like Semporna or east coast area. There are no pelagic and Dominic says maybe this was due to the lack of strong current in this area. Only then I realise that all 4 dive was very without any current at all. Coral lovers will love this place. Macro hunters would have an adventure too.

Costing.....Hmmmmm! Too cheap to mention!

Friends ......great bunch of people who organise really well, knows how to have fun and ensures their guest (me) had a great time! Question, did I enjoy myself? My answer....I’ll be back anytime I’m invited and able! Asri, thanks for dinner at Tawau. Batiar, thanks for picking and sending me. Rosman, thanks for the fishes. Everyone else, thanks for the great time!

Guys... do give a thought about diving here. It’s not a luxurious diving area but luxurious in diving!
raffidi
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Re: Pulau Burung, Darvel Bay, Lahat Dato.

Post Number:#2  Postby decimal86 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:17 am

What a trip eh? Got Dee to cook for you guys some more! Thks for the report. Must dive there
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Re: Pulau Burung, Darvel Bay, Lahat Dato.

Post Number:#3  Postby Narco » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:25 am

Hmm.. buat lagi dan aku akan pergi (organised again and the Great Narco shall go).. hehe Good Report Rafi. You forgot to mention the Mermaid!
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Re: Pulau Burung, Darvel Bay, Lahat Dato.

Post Number:#4  Postby raffidi » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:30 am

More pics to come

-- Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:33 am --

The big stuff.... ;)

-- Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:35 am --

More to come....

-- Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:36 am --

Haiyo....banyak lagi

-- Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:39 am --

A bit more

-- Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:41 am --

Finally done...
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On the island
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Pulau Burung from land.
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Pulau Burung
raffidi
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Re: Pulau Burung, Darvel Bay, Lahat Dato.

Post Number:#5  Postby run » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:11 pm

Great report raffidi and kudos to the group.
It is excellent that the members share a lof of new dive sites for other divers to explore especially around Sabah and Sarawak.
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Re: Pulau Burung, Darvel Bay, Lahat Dato.

Post Number:#6  Postby decimal86 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:06 pm

Ok now I know what u mean about the strobe. But the pictures are grear
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Re: Pulau Burung, Darvel Bay, Lahat Dato.

Post Number:#7  Postby mamakpenang » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:07 pm

raffidi,
thanks for sharing,
mana gambo dugung nyer.....
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