Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Pulau Hantu, Singapore (25th May 2013)

It's been a long time since I've dived in Singapore waters. The last time was while helping a friend in his dive company, more than a decade ago, when I was still a secondary school student. It's one of the few places you can dive in Singapore waters though most definitely not on the wishlists of any avid divers in the world. One of the main reasons would be visibility. If you're lucky, visibility might be 4-5 meters. On a bad day, you might not even be able to see your hands clearly if you'd extended your arms out. Diving in Singapore waters, if you want to see anything at all, requires some planning. Checking the tide tables to ensure minimal current is imperative. There are a few groups who dive regularly. Alternatively, you could simply charter your own boat and arrange rental equipment. I was fortunate to be invited to join a private charter. As I already had my own equipment, the total cost was a fraction compared to going on a weekend trip in Malaysia ( P. Tioman, P. Aur or P. Dayang). We just split the cost of the boat charter and paid for our individual equipment requirements. Despite the poor visibility and its small size, Singapore does have a biologically diverse reef system.

After meeting bright and early at a jetty on the west coast of Singapore, we headed out on our chartered boat towards P. Hantu, approximately 45 mins sailing time away. We would have 2 dives over the course of half a day. During this trip visibility wasn't at its optimum in fact during the first dive, where i was in a group of 3, we kept lost our 3rd person twice. After descending to the bottom, we decided on a heading and set of, upon turning back after less than 10m, the third diver was gone. We circled for 2-3 mins then ascended. Found the 3rd person on the surface and descended together again only to have the scenario repeat itself.

Most of the photography which would be carried out would be macro as the poor visibility prevents any decent shots to be taken at a distance. Out of the many shots I took, only 2 seemed worth sharing!

Blue-lined flatworm (Pseudoceros sp.)

Nudibranch (Glossodoris atromarginata)

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