Category Archives: Diving

Sea Adventures at Seaventures, Sipadan

Because not every moment can be captured by photos, I’m here to note down memories that are precious to me. I do wish I had been more consistent blogging about my travels. More often that not, my memories fade quickly as time passes.

Anyway, third post and possibly the final post on Sipadan (at least until and if I head there again)!

Our accommodation for our dive trip at Sipadan, Seaventures. Here’s where we spent a huge portion of our time during the day in between dives flipping through the fish bible, having our meals and basically doing nothing.


This is also where I would have the ultimate comfort dive food before and after every single dive. The awesome “so da pia” (biscuits) dipped in hot milo with a spoonful of coffee powder! I’m so gonna bring along a huge tin of milo for all of my dive trips!

Comfort food on dive trips, Seaventures, Sipadan, Malaysia

I usually have pretty low expectations of our accommodation on dive trips since we barely spend any time in our rooms and KO the minute our heads touch the pillow. All I ask for is a clean bed and a clean toilet. Both of which was fulfilled by Seaventures.

Seaventures, Sipadan, Malaysia

This was where we prepared for battle. Well sort of. IT IS a battle getting in and out of our wetsuits. Especially when I wore 3 layers, thermal guard, rashguard and a full suit. IT WAS COLD and it was also an experience sneezing underwater. Hurhur.

Seaventures, Sipadan, Malaysia

The awesome possum lift which is able to take us directly down into/from the water for house reef dives.

Diving at Sipadan, Seaventures

The sleeping/lounging area. Cause that’s all we do during dive trips. Dive, eat and sleep.

Diving at Sipadan, Seaventures

The group that got lost during our one and only night dive. I was merely following a hermit crab for that ONE SECOND and in the very next moment, it was just us in the darkness. I can’t recall how we ended up with KS and Pam where KS blacked out for a second, we held on to each other attempting to do a slipshod safety stop (which wasn’t required anyway since it was a house reef dive) and ended up ascending a distance away from the lift.

I remember being in awe as I ascended looking directly at the stars filled sky then cursing when I saw how far we had to back fin to the lift. Hehehe.

Diving at Sipadan, Seaventures

The gorgeous waters of Sipadan island. I’m a big fan of deep blue diving, feeling like a drop of water in the ocean, just a redundant tiny organism floating in vast waters. I love looking out/away from the reef walls and from other divers, just floating and staring out at an endless blue feeling completely at peace. Before anxiety hits me and I would turn abruptly to make sure that I’m still safely with my group. Hurhur.

Besides, in the deep blue I get to do big and silly actions like somersaults and cartwheels before ending up with a massive ear discomfort.

Oh and it was also during this trip where I felt way more comfortable being in the water and instead of following the group blindly, I spent a lot more time checking out the reef and managed to spot quite a few sea creatures on my own!

Diving at Sipadan

The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning. Meaning to say, is this a shot of the sunrise or a sunset? Hahaha.

Sunset/sunrise at Seaventures, Sipadan, Malaysia

This post was suppose to end with a WOOHOOO! Last post of my 30 days challenge. BUT as life would have it, as I exited the full screen mode, my post disappeared so here I am typing for the second time feeling a tad annoyed and no longer excited.

Photos were taken with my iPhone 3GS.

That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind

Sunset at Kapalai, Sipadan

We took a trip down to Kapalai on one of our evenings at Sipadan just to check it out. To be honest, I very much prefer staying at Seaventures even though the standard of accommodations would probably be very much better at Kapalai.

Firstly, Seaventures is a defunct oil rig. How cool is it to be able to stay on an oil rig especially if you’re not an engineer in the oil and gas industry. Plus, there is a super cool lift that lowers you down directly into the sea and back up when doing house reef dives. AND there is NO better experience than lying on the deck (with my birthday wish of having the lights off) counting shooting stars! Yes, I kid you not. Shooting stars are not as rare as I thought it was. In a span of an hour, I managed to see at least 5 shooting stars! Despite being exhausted from diving, I kept my eyes open for as long as I could just to see the stars. I actually ran out of wishes or probably was too tired to think of anymore. Hahaha.

Well, not that there are no better experience, I mean diving is pretty damn awesome too. But being on the deck counting shooting stars is probably one of my best experiences so far.

That’s Seaventures as seen from Kapalai island.

Sunset at Kapalai, Sipadan, Malaysia

Sunset shots.

Catching the sunset at Kapalai, Sipadan, Malaysia

Sunset at Kapalai, Sipadan, Malaysia

Sunset at Kapalai, Sipadan, Malaysia

The joys of simply spinning around. I used to do that all the time when I was young. The kids way of getting high. Hahaha.

Kapalai, Sipadan, Malaysia

Evening entertainment for the kids.

Kapalai, Sipadan, Malaysia

Sometimes I do have difficulty ending a post. Like in this case, I’m not too sure what to write. Thus my frank admission of not know how to end this.

There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.

– Frank Herbert

Open water certification at Pulau Aur

This was a long time ago..

Arrived at Aur to this gorgeous pink sunrise.

Sunrise at Pulau Aur

The tiny strip of sand where we stayed.

Diving in Pulau Aur

One of our instructors sharing about the dangers in the sea and showing us his scars from a jellyfish sting (thus that face).

Diving at Pulau Aur

What we do during surface intervals.

Diving in Pulau Aur

Diving in Pulau Aur


Diving in Pulau Aur

No underwater photos this time since we were all too busy trying to remember to breath, clearing our masks and our attempts to hover.

Diving in Pulau Aur

Diving in Pulau Aur

… when I was still reading paperbacks. I do miss the smell of new books!


Diving in Tioman, Berjaya

Diving at Berjaya Tioman, Malaysia

Tioman island is a relatively affordable dive spot in Asia, especially so for Singaporeans. This was actually my third time to Tioman but my first at an actual resort there. My buddy and I were actually pretty excited about having a heated shower and a proper bathroom.

We usually meet at around 7pm the night before, stop for supper at JB – the best kind of supper ever, loklok!

Loklok at JB, Malaysia

Then drive down to Mersing jetty to catch a ferry so that we’ll arrive at Tioman jetty early next morning.

Berjaya Tioman Jetty

Awesome lunch for the scuba people. The food there was great.

Scuba people of Tioman, Berjaya, Malaysia

Our dive boats, Mariana and Melati. Hurhur.

Diving at Berjaya Tioman, Malaysia

It was a super fruitful trip despite a horrible first dive where one of our dive mates actually proposed to his girlfriend underwater. I saw nothing. Visibility was horrible, the designated videographer went missing and I was having a splitting headache. I did see the reenactment they did on shore after though. Anyway, we saw black tip sharks, a white and black banded eel and a juvenile yellow box fish! There were even dolphins chasing after our boats!

Juvenile box fish at Tioman

Speaking of which, we once surfaced from a dive in Maldives and saw a bunch of dorsal fins a couple of meters from us and my heart literally stopped. Thankfully, it wasn’t sharks but just a bunch of dolphins. Hehehehe. Its kinda weird how I always hope to see sharks when I’m diving but at that very moment I felt really afraid. I must say, the movie Jaws has definitely left a lasting impression. I sure most people would panic a little if they see that little grey triangle on the surface of the water.

Keep swimming.

Diving at Berjaya Tioman, Malaysia

Drinking Ribena underwater because I can. Hahahaha.

Diving at Berjaya Tioman, Malaysia469_676500468_8863086_7696265_n


Diving at Berjaya Tioman, Malaysia

Diving at Berjaya Tioman, Malaysia

Can’t wait to dive again!

Photos taken by my dive group.

Diving in Pulau Dayang

Super backdated post. Was looking through my photos for things that made me happy and seeing these photos brought a smile to my face.

Our decision to learning diving happened really spontaneously, random conversations with random people and just like that, we did it about 5 years ago. At the recommendation of a friend, we did our open and advance water course with Mako and the best instructor ever, Patrick.

Our open water was done at Pulau Aur and advance at Pulau Dayang. Looking at this photo, I can’t believe how gorgeous the waters look. Completely unedited. Its like Maldives standard at a fraction of the price.

Diving at Pulau Dayang

Diving at Pulau Dayang

Diving at Pulau Dayang

Our first underwater couple shot any my incredibly cool dragonball hairstyle! Hurhur.

Diving at Pulau Aur

The first few dives were all about remembering to breathe while searching for nemos.

Nemos at Pulau Dayang

And of course getting excited about turtles and chasing them in a straight line. I wish I could have video down that scene.

Squirtle at Pulau Dayang

My favorite dive was when we did our deep dive at 32m. It wasn’t the depth that made it exciting but the incredibly strong currents. Our instructor had to bring us in twos to hide behind a huge rock but before all of us could reach, the others were already being swept over the rock. Super thankful that while I was enjoying my “rollercoaster/washing machine” dive, my buddy was holding on to me real tight while grabbing onto a “vine”.

Diving at Pulau Dayang

Keeping ourselves entertained on the 4 hours ferry ride back to Mersing.

Ferry back to Mersing from Pulau Dayang

Ferry ride back to Mersing from Pulau Dayang

Happy times. 😀


Diving in Maldives

In my opinion, is completely overrated. It is probably still a great place to have a beach holiday, but diving, no. I very much preferred my dives in Similans and Sipadan. The water in Similans is comparable and Sipadan definitely has a larger variety of sea life.

That said, I still did enjoy my trip immensely. We were onboard Eagle Ray and we were extremely pleased with their service. They definitely went the extra mile to make our trip enjoyable. 

Everyone was really hoping to be able to dive with whalesharks on this trip, unfortunately, that didn’t happen despite the crew’s effort in searching and our futile jumpoftheboatcrazychasing incident. So, on our last night where we were to have our BBQ dinner, the crew build us a sand whaleshark! In this photo, we were trying in vain to save the sand whaleshark from the rising tide. Hurhur. Seriously impressed with their efforts!

Sand whaleshark at Maldives

Our super cool dining table at Ghost Island. A first for me.

BBQ dinner at Ghost Island, Maldives

Earlier in the day, we spent a couple of hours on Ghost Island and decided to wade through waist high waters to get ourselves stranded on a sand bar.


Celebrating our dive with manta rays with beer and cup noodles.

Onboard Eagle Ray, Maldives

It was also Tofu’s first diving trip and when I realized that Tofu is a complete airhead. Literally. 

Tofu diving in Maldives

Wrinkly fingers and the airhead at the end of a dive.

Tofu diving in Maldives

Our super unsuccessful attempt at spelling Maldives because we forgot about S. Hahahahahaha.


As with all dive trips. We dive. We eat. We sleep. And take some shots in between our 3 main activities.

Onboard Eagle Ray, Maldives

Great company. No we weren’t doing the usual Asian pose. It is actually the sign for nudis. Hurhur.

MV Eagle Ray, Maldives

Ending of with the usual must have jump shot.

Jump shot at Maldives

Missing the deep blue! Super keen to check out Nusa Lembongan after seeing the photos on Instagram!

Phuket, Similans Island, MV Phoenix

Can’t believe a year has past since my first LOB at Similans island aboard MV Phoenix.

It was then I truly fell in love with diving. Where I realized I loved the deep blue, floating amidst without the need to see any creatures, and not the usual reef dives.

It wasn’t a luxurious LOB, just simple and clean where great memories were created.

The amazingly blue water.20111128-172110.jpg

MV Phoenix


Dive schedule for the next four days.


The first day after our second dive, we sat against our cabins looking at the sea, wondering how were we going to survive 4 days aboard when there was really nothing much to do. We soon found out that four days were actually way too short.

Where we all gathered the first night we boarded the boat for our briefing and where we would be spending most of our time for the rest of the trip aboard, in between dives, meal times and movie screenings during dinner.

Accompanied by this amazing collection of songs the dive crew would play at different times of the day that seem to suit our mood all the time.


Second fav hangout.



Dive briefings where we terrorized our guides with our expectations of the dive.


Took photos.




Ate. The amazing food the chef prepared on board.






Watched sunsets.


Jumped off the deck.


Exhilarated and dripping wet after.


Sunset yoga.


Watched the captain fish.


Drew on each other backs.


When we finally docked and stepped on land 4 days later, we actually almost forgot about our slippers and were about to head off barefooted. Hurhur.

Awesome dive trip with awesome company. =D



Life is beautiful, so beautiful, its beautiful to me..

Adding on to my previous post, to put it more accurately, we shouldn’t be measuring what they possess against our wants.

That aside, the wonders of our world.

Seaventures, the defunct oil rig we stayed at during our dive trip to Sipadan. Taken from Mabul island.

Blurry shot of the rig against the sunset, taken from the boat as we were approaching it.

Shot of the bridge beside the bridge from the bridge. Hurhur.

Local children playing on the beach. Basically just spinning themselves round and round with peals of laughter. =)

Sipadan island.

Love this shot.

It started to rain halfway thru our first dive on the first day that we dived at Sipadan island and the water was freezing cold while we were below. Ascended shivering and continued shivering, wet and cold, as we hung around on the beach for an hour waiting for our next dive. Was kinda dreading diving in as it was like really cold and I haven’t stopped shivering for like an hour. Instead, once we dived in, surface of the water felt pleasantly warm, like being in a really warm and comfortable bath. Super shiok. Till we descended once again into the cold water. Interesting how warm the water feels when it rains. Then again, our bodies were probably cold from the strong wind when we were on land.

The change in temperature could be felt at 20m and beyond too. Water turned really cold once we descended beyond 20m so I didn’t really have to look at my gauge to see if I’m above or beyond 20m. Super cool. And really cold. I really need to get a better thermal guard.

Sunrise at 5.30am. Dive boat to Sipandan island, from the rig, leaves at around 5.30am.

Whats not to love. Blue skies. Blue waters.

Sunset from the rig. Beautiful.

I took so many photos of sunrises and sunsets on that trip till I can’t really differentiate it anymore. Afterall, it was all taken against the same background.

And its not often that I’m up early enough to watch the beautiful sunrise.

All photos taken with my lousy phone, thus the lousy resolution.

In the morning, I feel the breeze
The sun watches over me..
The sound of water, the crashing sea
Is it only me?…
That feels alive
Its all ahead on me

‘Cause it feels so right..
Just open your eyes and see

That life is beautiful, so beautiful
Its beautiful to me
That life is beautiful, so beautiful
Its beautiful to me

Under the sea

Waltzing in the blue. Actually that was just me being unable to equalize and the DM trying to bring me down slowly.


Hanging around, actually, hovering around while waiting to spot mantas. Love how the photo turned out.


Clear blue water with amazing visibility. Just before Lester came over and pushed Tam down when there was a Triggerfish below.


The trip that revived my love for diving. Similans LOB, MV Phoenix, the most amazing experience. Well, every travel experience is amazing in its own way. =P

48m at Sipadan

That night we laid on the sun deck, with its lights switched off, under the blanket of stars.

Taken with Kynneth’s DSLR. What we saw was way more amazing, in just a couple of hours, I saw 5 shooting stars! Oh wait, that was the last night on the rig.

Anyway, that night, under the stars, Don was sharing with us his encounters with some of the stupid DMs and equally stupid divers he had met. So on this particular trip to Bali while everyone was hanging at around 25m looking for Mola Molas, this DM somewhere deeper, say maybe 35m or 40m, started banging his tank and all those at 25m dived down immediately thinking that he had spotted Mola Mola. Thus, immediately endangering themselves as they quickly descended down. As it turns out, that particular DM was actually banging his tank to get the attention of this other guy, who was below him, deeper than he was suppose to be. I can’t remember the exact depth Don shared, but the key thing is how, some asshole going deeper than he should and this particular DM who banged his tank without thinking about the consequences actually put the entire group of divers, somehow dumb as well, at risk. And so we were warned, to THINK before doing anything on impulse.

The next day at Sipadan, 2 DMs from the rig decided to join us in our “hunt” for hammerheads and went really deep while we stayed around 30m. Halfway through, they started banging their tanks frantically and all of us, like really all of us including our DM descended as quickly as we could trying to spot the hammerheads. Despite looking at my gauge frequently, I only attempted to stop descending when I hit 45m. Start finning to ascend but ended up sinking till 48m before I finned frantically and started ascending. Panicked for like 2 seconds when I continued to sink despite finning to ascend. Moral of the story, I was also acting like a stupid diver. All of us, despite hearing the stories just last night. Classic example of stupid DMs and divers. AND, we didn’t get to see the hammerhead as it was spotted by the DMs who were at 59m. WTH.

Another point to remember and note to self:

Do not ever think that you’re safer if diving with experience divers or DMs and expect them to “save” you if you choose to put yourself at risk. As Don said, if he sees a diver suffering for narcosis at below at 40m, he wouldn’t risk himself to save that diver as he can’t be sure that he wouldn’t suffer from narcosis himself at 40m. And if the both of them were to be affected by narcosis, both of them wouldn’t survive. What he would do instead, would be to try to attract that particular diver’s attention from where he is, and if he was unsuccessful, so be it. The most stupid thing a diver could do, is to risk his/her life to safe another.

And true to his word, something similar did happen, and Tam saw how they reacted to the situation.

Dive safe. Always. Don’t risk your life to see whatever, you’ve a whole life ahead of you and countless opportunities to encounter it. Reminder to self =P

I miss diving!!