The Blue Tempeh
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
  RF Xplore! explores Pulau Hantu...
Right! Am BACK in the waters! After what Siva calls a hiatus. Heh, well, to see what I've been UP to (pun intended), my SO non-marine escapade, take a look HERE

Well, how it began was like this: It was another Reef Friends XPlore! training dive, and this time round, we were going to have familirisation dives for the guides at Pulau Hantu's western reefs (fringing AND patch).

What was that you asked? Reef Friends Xplore!? Well, sorry pardon me for not explaining earlier...

Reef Friends Xplore! is actually a new local waters dive guiding programme. A collaborative effort between BWV, the Hantu Bloggers and Gilldivers, Reef Friends Xplore! aim to better showcase our local underwater marine life to divers, increase awareness and educate the public about marine conservation issues in Singapore.

Currently, training is still ongoing for the volunteer dive guides for this programme. See the action during our training dives and classroom sessions HERE!

Anyway, back on track, let me... tell you... the MOST EXCITING dive I've had this 2006! Well, have not had THAT many dives this year yet, but MAN! WHAT A WAY TO START THE YEAR!!! LOOK AT THAT!!!!!


BETSY THE BIG HAWSKBILL TURTLE! (we just named here Betsy because she was aunty-like)


I was just diving along with Wai, my buddy for the day, and she was taking FOREVER filming this little sap sucking slug (related to you nudibranch). So, I went on ahead for a bit on my on... you know... recce the area a bit. Wai had brought along URSULA, the WILD FILMS video camera, so it was choice time to try find something cool to video...


Sap sucking slug!


So I went on ahead and WHAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Her CARAPACE was about 1m! From head to tail, she was about 1.5m!


IT WAS SOOOOO COOOOLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GAWD!!! I MEAN! WHAT LUCK RIGHT! But... Wai took literally FOREVER to film that slug and she was left with only FIVE MINUTES on her tape!! WHAT THE....!

ARGH! We stayed with her for quite some time... watching her... taking photos... filming... it was SO COOL! She even let us get close to her... but as any good divers, we did not touch her and moved very slowly and purposefully around her. In the end, when she's had enough of us, she sloowwlly sauntered away... leaving us to go hide under another boulder further up...

We found her a second time, and decided to call more people to see her... but she's smart that Betsy! She was probably thinking "Oh no.... not again... those girls are going to call more huummaannnss.... I got to mooovvveeee away agaiinn...."

She moved... and we moved on too... and WHAM BAM!!!! HIT ANOTHER JACKPOT!!!


CUTTLEFISH MATING!


MAN! WHAT A DIVE! But.... by this time, there was no more tape left in the video camera!!! ARGH!! We stayed and watch the couple for some time and let them go about their business...AMAZING...

And then we encountered MORE!


AN OCTOPUS!


Huimin spotted this little beauty's eyes just popping out of the silt... MAN! Her eyes are SHARP! Spotting small little nudibranchs and critters! More of her photos HERE.

And ALSO found at HANTU is a NEW RECORD of GOBY for Singapore!


Ambleyleotris paraphthalma



Goatfish commonly found foraging for food on the sea floor of P. Hantu...


Not only were there a LOT of stuff found on the seabed, the colours and critters found around the shallower parts of the reefs are really just AMAZING too!


Foliose corals!



False anemonefish



Jerona funebris



Cushion star


After so many dives at Hantu, the reefs still manage to surprise and surprise and surprise... AMAZING STUFF! And the GREAT VIS of 3.5 - 4m WAS JUST AMAZING! Let so much light and brought out such colours in the reef! Wow... What a great way to start a new year of diving! Heh...

See more photos HERE and Howard Lee's photos HERE.
 
Comments:
Aiyah, if i went into the water earlier, may have a chance to see Betsy and Jessie's relatives....
 
Hi there

I was wondering if I could ask you about visiting Pulau Hantu - I hear you’re an expert and I live in the UK. I grew up in Singapore and remember visiting the island as a child. It was really peaceful and a little surreal - I loved it.



I’m trying to write an article on Singapore about how you can get off the beaten track and not follow the other tourists - i.e. do something a bit adventurous as an independent traveller. Do you happen to have any information on how a visitor could organise a boat, specifically to do a bit of waterskiing. It would also be lovely to get there on a sempan/junk and have a rustic experience. Do you know if this is possible nowadays? Sorry for all the questions (!) but do u know anything about the logistics of camping at Hantu and doing a night dive?

I’d be so grateful for any pointers on Hantu or anything else you might recommend. I hope you don't mind me messaging you.


Thanks so much in advance!

Sacha
xxxsacha@hotmail.com
 
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