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Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

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Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#1  Postby Ketam » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:18 pm

It has been a while since Ketam's last underwater adventure. When a cousin from Singapore said that he will be doing his certification at Pulau Dayang, Ketam and Nette straightaway looked for a possibility to end the extended surface interval. We have not dived Dayang and frankly has not been getting much reviews about it. The first problem, how to get there.

Pulau Dayang do not have a daily ferry like Tioman. Bluewater the ferry operator at Mersing do have a trips to Pulau Aur where you can get a boat to Dayang but the season has not opened in Aur and the only contact to the operator in Dayang is to a Singapore dive shop. That's maybe why Dayang is less visited by Malaysian divers and are mostly thought of as a Singaporean dive spot hehehe.

A fellow MUWian, Alvin Ho, suggested Ketam a local organizer and the trip was on. Meet up was 10pm at Mersing and there gathered a group of 18 divers from KL and Melaka. We boarded the boat at about 11.30 or so and the journey took nearly 5 hours. This is where a lot of divers have complained about Dayang... the boat ride is a bane. The journey is long and the best you could do is to get some shut eyes.... that was what most of us did. We reached Pulau Dayang at 4.30am and was told that the check out dive was at 7am.... hehehehehe divers being divers, nobody objected. The dive boat is the very same boat we rode in and dive equipment was left on the boat.

First impression of Dayang at 4.30 am was the soft, fine, white sand.... like talcum powder really. There was two resorts in Dayang but now operated and owned by the same DC. There is actually no dive center on Dayang.... they have a charging/filling station on the island but if you need to rent equipment, do inform the organizer so they can actually bring the item with them. The rooms are basic with no attached toilets. Ketam staggered to the assigned room and grateful that the camera equipment have been assembled in KL.... there was no way Ketam is staying up to prepare it that morning.

A bit about the resort, as informed the rooms are basic with a/c but electricity is available 7pm to 7am only. The a/c is the older box type with no fans in the rooms. The problem with these types of a/c is they are either set to cold (higher than cool) and Artic!!! The rooms do not have blankets so it is a good idea to bring your own blankets or sleeping bag. The toilets are clean and adequate but they are at the back and Ketam got the honeymoon suite (room 1) which is at the far end and each trip to the toilet you will need to walk on sand and thus not optimal for late night emergency toilet trips. In the middle of the resort is the 'cafeteria'.... hot water (for coffee and tea - three in one provided), cold rose syrup and ice water is available at all times. Food is buffet style and they are plentiful, varied and tastes good.... this is of course subjective to divers. For Ketam, after every dive.... hot chow tastes good. There is a resort sundry shop for soda, alcohol and other items you may have forgotten to bring along with you. For this trip, Ketam did not spend a single cent on the island.... a full tank and good food was more than enough for the whole three days.

Day 1

Ketam's group is the first group to dive Dayang this season..... wohooo!!!! We also reached there on a Friday whereas the other groups will only be there on Saturday so we had the whole island for ourselves. The group is of varied dive experience and we were separated to three groups. The check out dive went without much incident, Ketam needed an extra weight and had initial problem to equalize. Underwater, Ketam was glad that the corals had little affects of bleaching and looks to have fully recovered.

The second dive was at a site called Pinnacle. Ketam was told that it was seldom dived and favorable conditions are there only during early and late season. The water was choppy and the currents were pretty strong (mild currents according to the group leader). It started with a drift dive and at one spot we passed over a whip coral garden.... when there are whip corals, the currents are normally strong... Ketam tried to use a drift hook but the current were swaying so Ketam decided not to take much pics and just enjoy the dive. Midway through the dive the visibility got to about 2m and some of the divers were showing signs of fatigue and low air signs were indicated. It was then out of the darkness we saw that we were surrounded by Barracudas..... hundreds.... and they were swirling around us and were totally unafraid of our bubbles. The only thing was the visibility was bad for any wide angle shots.

The third dive was also another drift dive.... Ketam had no problem with drift dives.... but Ketam likes Macro subjects.... after a few times adjusting the strobe with head while left hand holding on to a rock.... not much pics were taken. The corals looks healthy, soft corals gardens in patches but they all were the same color hehehehe Really, multicolor variety are not found here but the fishes were bigger and fatter and definitely not afraid of divers. Again this maybe because of the early season.

A fourth night dive was planned and divers still keen (like Ketam) signed up. We dived at the jetty, this was possible because there was no other boats yet. Ketam always liked night dives and this was no different. Crabs, shrimps and other nocturnal creatures came out in droves and Ketam snapped more pics on this dive than the three dives before!

Below are some pics from the first day. Pictures taken with a G10, Ori casing, UN 6x Macro and Single YS-110a. Any comments and critiques much appreciated.

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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#2  Postby Ian J » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:50 am

Nice pics.
Seems that Dayang has changed a lot since i used to go there. Accommodation was a tent on the sandy/grassy area back from the beach, (provided you brought one). There was one mandi and a picnic table with an attap roof.
There was no jetty. We just ran the boat up on the beach and unloaded/loaded
The diving was great however.
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#3  Postby ericliow » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:39 am

nice report and pics! keep it going bro........
Keep The SHARKS In The Ocean And Out Of The Soups
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#4  Postby Flubber » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:53 pm

Ketam wrote:The toilets are clean and adequate but they are at the back and Ketam got the honeymoon suite (room 1) which is at the far end and each trip to the toilet you will need to walk on sand and thus not optimal for late night emergency toilet trips.


Just curious, since the sand is that fine, would it have been easier to dig your own loo than to walk all the way to the toilet? After all, it's sand and not rock hard granite you have to contend with! Haha! I won't be walking around your room for sure!  ;)

Great report. Nice pictures.

Sigh...already dry for almost 2 years now...2 kids....SIGH!!!!
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#5  Postby kelapa » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:08 am

Just curious, since the sand is that fine, would it have been easier to dig your own loo than to walk all the way to the toilet? After all, it's sand and not rock hard granite you have to contend with! Haha! I won't be walking around your room for sure!  ;)

Great report. Nice pictures.

Sigh...already dry for almost 2 years now...2 kids....SIGH!!!!
[/quote]

this we call  emergency nature loo.... :D
blup..blup...bluppp.....ergggghhh
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#6  Postby Ketam » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:21 am

Ian J wrote:Nice pics.
Seems that Dayang has changed a lot since i used to go there. Accommodation was a tent on the sandy/grassy area back from the beach, (provided you brought one). There was one mandi and a picnic table with an attap roof.
There was no jetty. We just ran the boat up on the beach and unloaded/loaded
The diving was great however.
Ian

It was Ketam's first time there so not reference to previous conditions.... but that must be some trips back then!!!

ericliow wrote:nice report and pics! keep it going bro........

Was out of town past weeks.... maybe will update day 2 in a few days

Flubber wrote:
Just curious, since the sand is that fine, would it have been easier to dig your own loo than to walk all the way to the toilet? After all, it's sand and not rock hard granite you have to contend with! Haha! I won't be walking around your room for sure!  ;)

Great report. Nice pictures.

Sigh...already dry for almost 2 years now...2 kids....SIGH!!!!

Bro Flubber,

needs to go refresher olredi liaow hehehehe

kelapa wrote:this we call  emergency nature loo.... :D


There are bushes around... hehehehe why use the sand hahaha
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#7  Postby Ian J » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:06 pm

It was, 1986 thru to 1990 approx.
Some of my best dives and memories...............
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#8  Postby nglg212 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:44 am

nice pics...thx for sharing...
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#9  Postby zippsy » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:57 am

Ian J wrote:It was, 1986 thru to 1990 approx.
Some of my best dives and memories...............
Ian


Was that with Singapore Club Aquanaut???
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#10  Postby Ian J » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:03 pm

Certainly was. Did you get my PM reply? It said your mailbox was full.
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#11  Postby zippsy » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:13 pm

Ian J wrote:Certainly was. Did you get my PM reply? It said your mailbox was full.
Ian


No, i don't think I have enough posts here to get a mailbox. I just see the one message I sent you with a "mailbox full" warning. I just looked you up on Facebook and can catch up with you there. ~Michael & Melanie
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#12  Postby timyang » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:20 pm

Everyone starts with the ability to send and receive 50 PMs.

Clear old PMs from outbox/sent folders.
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#13  Postby Ketam » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:41 am

Day 2
The day started early, we were on the dive boat preparing our gear before breakfast was even served. Nizam, the dive leader, was giving a dive briefing and he was saying it was going to be a easy leisurely dive. So there we were, some half awake preparing for the leisurely dive. Well if you call drift diving leisurely. We whizzed passed whip coral gardens, overhangs and various coral formations at breakneck speeds. Nobody was half awake when we reached the boat.

We returned to the resort for a hearty breakfast and after a short break we were back out at sea. There is no such exhilaration like when you are sitting on a dive boat, after a hearty breakfast with a company of divers who are just raring to go. Clear, clear and dush!!!! The dive started well, clear waters with teeming sea life. Ketam and Nette found rubble valley choked with Nudis, there were like 4 five different species within 5m around us. We were in such bliss. Just beyond the reef near the sandy bottom we found a couple of giant cuttlefish. Apparently, the female was laying eggs and the male was standing guard. Some guardsman the male was, it seems he was more interested in getting his picture taken, because he was posing various position for me to take pictures. At one point, thinking there was too much zoom, Ketam tried to zoom out to realize the fella was exactly in front of the camera. If that was not enough, after reaching another area our group was greeted with two giant bumpheads.... and these fellas were huge!!! Wow, what a dive.

But the best was yet to come, a group had signaled for low air and started ascending. Ketam as usual laze around the bottom looking for subjects when Nette signaled, 'Big ******* Shark'. Looking up Ketam saw the rest of the group doing jumping jacks, high fives and a pretty good robot move. The whale shark tail was the only thing Ketam saw.... or thought Ketam saw.

On the boat there was really two groups now, the have seen and not seen hehehe. Anyhow to be in the same waters with a gentle giant is a priveledge in itself. The other two dives of the day went very fast. Ketam guess nothing can surpassed the whale shark sighting and the rest of the group were actually looking up more than down hehehe. One thing Ketam noticed about the marine life in Dayang, they were oblivious to divers. Schools will swim pass you, around you, under you without reservation to this big bulky creatures blowing bubbles. Maybe this is due to the early season or limited number of visitors to these spots.

Anyhow, here are some pics.

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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#14  Postby Ketam » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:50 am

Wouldn't be Ketam without the Nudis

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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#15  Postby Ketam » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:54 am

And of course the elusive one

Photos courtesy of Elaine Tan

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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#16  Postby dp » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:18 pm

Well documented report, bro.

Super photos too.

Tho I think the  ***** shark thingy is a myth and the photos have been doctored - have yet to see one after all these years of diving. :P
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The other ensures you continue to do so for the rest of your life...
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Re: Pulau Dayang, 4 - 6 March 2011

Post Number:#17  Postby kelapa » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:02 pm

wow...incredibly lucky... i wonder if i'll ever see a whale shark in my future dives...
blup..blup...bluppp.....ergggghhh
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