June 1, 2012

Pulau Aur & Dayang - Liveaboard Diving Trip. SeaSick!

Sunset on the Sun Deck
This weekend, we are off for a weekend scuba diving live onboard trip to Pulau Aur and Pulau Dayang in West Malaysia. Although SG Unfit runners is primary about running around interesting spots around Singapore, I think the main objective of the blog is about taking time to workout and enjoy the great outdoors for a bunch of aging unfit folks. So, I will blog about some interesting aspects of this trip, in case you are thinking of taking up Scuba Diving. 

Divers include Crippled and Marathon Girl, and we have Crippled’s friend: Mr L. Although Crippled has problem running due to a knee injury, he is the most experienced diver among the bunch of us. On top of that, he is a certified stress and rescue diver and is a proficient underwater photographer.
We signed up a package during the recent ADEX convention at Marina Bay Sands with Diverace for a 10% off the normal retail price at $535. The price includes rental of equipment for BC and regulator. We are to gather at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal on a Friday evening and be back on a Sunday evening. The boat will sail towards the first diving destination 7-8 hrs away while we rest aboard. Compared to the cheaper alternative of taking a 7 hrs coach ride/ 7 hrs boat ride, and checking in at the resort at 430am, it is definitely a less travel weary way of getting to our destination. The only pitfall of this method is that if you have a weakness towards seasick. Staying on board a rocking boat that can tilt as much as 8 degrees for 3 days feeling green all along the way is no way to enjoy this trip.
Divers jumping off the dive deck

Location of Pulau Aur and Dayang
We shared 2 to a cabin and the cabin is small with just enough standing room for 2 person. There is a sunroof for suntanning and massage (Yes! Massage service provided on-board!), a covered deck for briefing and meals, an air-con lounge for movies and reading (Not that you can do much reading on a rocking boat!) and the dive platform for storing of diving equipment. The quality of the rental equipment is also pretty good and a free flow of sea sick pills is provided for those, who are not too used to living on the seas.

The small bunk with a double Decker bed
We made a total of 6 dives and frankly speaking, the spots are not that fantastic. Visibility is good but there are not much interesting fish, critters or corals around for this trip. Most of the dives can be summed up with Crippled's record in his dive log:"We saw sand, rocks, dead corals and more sand and rocks..." Other than a school of barracuda, the usual stone and lion fish, there is not much other interesting sights. The most interesting dive is a hour ride from the main Aur and Dayang Island and is quite far away from the popular dive resorts on the Island. Maybe that's why it is more interesting. The most interesting thing we saw was a school of a dozen dolphins and they came swimming just along the boat. The encounter lasted for 5 min before the speed of the boat simply left them behind.. and before I could grab my camera in the bunk to take a picture of them.
Fat Nudi. Courtesy of Crippled

Glass Shrimp. Courtesy of Crippled

The dive masters are mainly Singaporeans who are totally professional, but are not very familiar with the dive sites. They are proficient in making sure that you are safe and healthy, but not very good at looking for rare and interesting critters which most advance divers crave for. However, their wealth of knowledge on the different dive sites around the region and their pros and cons, ensures that conversation with them are always interesting. Also helpful for divers planning for their next dive trip.

Briefing board by the dive master
Divers in Action!
The food is pretty decent, but from what I understand from Crippled, who has been onboard before, the quality seems to have dropped a bit. But nevertheless, I totally enjoyed the barbecue dinner on the second night of the trip.

BBQ Dinner. The best meal of the trip!
I will recommend this trip for those who wants a more relaxed diving trip and wish to test their equipments: dive watches, underwater cameras, gadgets or is looking for a refresher dive before committing to a more expensive diving trips in other parts of the world. It is much more comfortable than my usual method of traveling for diving in west Malaysia and the additional $100 more for 3 days, I think it is worth it. 


  1. nice pictures... and loved the post..great job

  2. wow you have made my day today...thanks for such amazing pics and i loved those underwater photos..


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