I boarded on a voyage, might be the only one in my life. KD Perantau was responsible to wave us thru the seas of Sulu and Celebes. This voyage, a memory i'll never forget - for both right and wrong reasons. I've seen things beyond my age, knowledge and understandings. Being on a navy survey ship, opened my eyes and changed my personal perception - on scientist and navy personels.
Felt anxious and excited. Not many would have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My task - dive and record what i observed on laid transects. Dive sites - navy bases inaccessible by civilians around Spratly Islands, open seas along the waters of Sabah up to Sipadan.
1st; 2nd July
KD Perantau started sailing. After a night's journey, out in the middle of deep blue ocean, she stopped. "Letupan! Letupan! Letupan di keladak belakang!" All of us quickly gathered at the bow. It was just a drill, incase of real emergency. But, we still see real explosion. Set up by one of the personels. Then, few of us got the chance to try out firing the stand gun to a red target.
Sunrises, and Layang-layang island can be seen at the horizon. Excitment begins. Finally set foot in Layang-layang, dived and survived. Didn't get to see big things. But reefs were exciting. First dive - survived. 2nd dive - failed. Recovery inflatable boat was down. We had to be towed back and abort second dive. In the end, 2nd dive turned to be night dive at the jetty. Though at jetty, wonderful things can be seen. Great view.
Stayed overnite in the fisheries research centre. Nice place, but lack of water supply.
Dawn dive, around 7am. Dive at reef balls. Doesn't seemed to be working as a good artificial reef. But still manage to see different kind of corals. Next dive, near slope. Great diversity. Healthy corals. 3rd dive, in reef ball site. Again, the reef balls doesnt seem to be working. Natural reef was nearby, seems healthy. But being attacked by COT. High diversity. Saw twin spot lionfish. A kind of rare sightings.
to be continued...