I will get the plaque over to LBT for a new plating upgrade and inscription and Cat came up with the idea of doing a video of the American Wreck and sending to the USS Salute group back in the States hopefully in time for their reunion in June. So I am looking for a few good men or women who have cameras or ideas on how to script this video to give a good tour of the ship and it's interesting parts and also a little plug for our club and how we prepare for a dive and something about our members.
Last year I send some still pictures back but don't think they got there in time for the reunion and besides a video would be more interesting.
26 FEB 09
At the AGM Paul read out the dive stats that our club did last year and you might be surprised just how many dives we did.
It was also suggested that if you take a dive holiday that you write up a report and publish it on the Yahoo group site then Nigel can log it it in our club web page. Any information on the travel arrangements, lodging, dive conditions, what to bring etc would be helpful to any other divers planning a trip there.
The holiday season is coming and already a few of us have booked dive trips so hopefully their reports will follow.
I will get the plaque over to LBT for a new plating upgrade and inscription and Cat came up with the idea of doing a video of the American Wreck and sending to the USS Salute group back in the States hopefully in time for their reunion in June. So I am looking for a few good men or women who have cameras or ideas on how to script this video to give a good tour of the ship and it's interesting parts and also a little plug for our club and how we prepare for a dive and something about our members.
Last year I send some still pictures back but don't think they got there in time for the reunion and besides a video would be more interesting.
Looks like we are planning to do Pulau Tiga trip again as first of the two, portably in February again.
UPDATE THIS LOOKS LIKE IT MAY NOT HAPPEN THIS YEAR AS WE WILL MISS CHINESE NEW YEAR WEEKEND DUE BOAT IN WORK.
Any other ideas wishes please post through Yahoo group site.
Here are some past events to think about for Second trip in 2009, or somewhere completely different.
The Usukan Bay Wrecks was a great week and easy to get to but it is mainly for Divers who are Nitrox and Qualified and Experienced to dive to 30-50 Meters
Past events that we may do again.
5TH TO 9TH OF MAY 08
KK trip- Semi Club / Personal trip
Kota Kinablu - Gaya & Usukan Bay wrecks
Nigel & Mark from Panaga KK Trip
5th to 6th APR 08
Cebu - Semi Club / Personal trip
Paul, Guy & Nigel
17th June to 25th JUNE 06
This is one of Pauls favorite dive locations, I went on one of the many trips he has done, and had a great time.
They are also a Tech diving Centre but cater for all types of dives and divers.
Paul just did his "Yellow BOX!" (CCR) course there.
22-24th Feb 08
Pulau Tiga trip- CLUB with the Chinese Group
Martin has confirmed that he will take the boat out on Sunday 5th so it's "go time" for our 2nd dive of the year.
Blue Water and American (subject to conditions)
Depart at 0800
Tides look OK with a long slack tide period starting at 1100....
Paul will be gone next Sunday 5th April (off for Subic Bay) so we need a boat driver and some bodies for a dive on Sunday. Those of us at the meeting tonight decided on the Blue Water and the American.
Did I mention that Paul will be off for the Philippines???
Anyway, once we confirm that we have a boat skipper for Sunday I will put out another email. Please reply if you want to get on the LIST.
Since Paul will be traveling to Subic Bay we wish him a safe voyage and we all look forward to hearing how great the diving was.
Please note that as from 4 April to 20 April I will be away in Philipines. I will try and update the site when I can if I can get access with a PC with HTML Editor and FTP. However this site may not be up to some or all of the time in this period.
TBA = TO BE ADVISED = Waiting some text from one of our Members on the dive - any other text after is what was remembered or heard from Tuesday night .
SUNDAY 29th MARCH 09
The boat is back and you really notice just how big it is and what a great platform for diving. Dick, Cat, Dave, Mas, Martin, Fleur, Dave and myself turned up for the first club dive of the year in our own boat. After a slightly delayed start with the weather on top form we headed out to the Blue Water with just a slight northerly swell on the 50 min trip to the wreck. We didn't need to shot the wreck as thanks to "Fraser of the Empire" it is now buoyed. First reports were that the vis on the top of the wreck was good but poor below 26 meters, I can confirm those reports. The water was cold at about 25 degrees, which made for an invigorating dive. Plenty of marine life on the top of the wreck, barracuda, trumpet fish, one very large stone fish near the line and a large scorpion fish near the stern. Where has all the soft white coral gone? The best part of the dive was watching the wreck from the line on the way up. Not the best dive on the Blue but will give it 5/10. Second dive was the Cement wreck, the vis was excellent, we did the full tour going to the bow my usual clockwise route. The wreck was covered in fish. At the end of our dive we spent a very nice 10mins watching the tuna attacking the bait fish – excellent dive 8/10. The final part of the day was cold tins of nitrogen scrubber at a nearby island – what a day 10/10 overall!
SUNDAY 22nd MARCH 09-(Empire Scuba Tech)
After 2 pretty good dives today with ScubaTech it will be back to basics next weekend.
Our boat is BACK and it appears that the fueling issue may not be an issue at all. So it's haul your own tanks, help get the boat ready, throw the shot, recover the shot and help put the boat away. All those things that we didn't have to do for the past 2 weekends. I'm spoiled!
I think ScubaTech did a very professional job and have some skilled boatmen and dive masters. Fraser was very good to us and I am looking forward to diving with them in the Future. We are planning on doing a night dive and there may be other dive sites that are more accessible from the Empire.
But you can learn about this dive and whatz going on at the meeting on Tuesday. Thanks to all that came along.
Six divers turned up at the Empire for our second dive as a club with the ScubaTec guys, Dave, Mas, Dick, Dave, Paul and Adam. The plan was to dive the Auz and the USA but Fraser suggested we might want to change the plan as the Cement was bad on Sat so the Auz and the USA would be worse! He suggetsted we do some of the reefs! We decided to do the Auz and the Bolkia. ScubaTec has put buoys on most of the wrecks now which makes it all much easier. The bouy on the Auz is tied on the port side at about 30M close to the stern - not the best position so we tied a line to it and made our way across the ship to the starboard side , the viz was poor but not the worst I have seen. We did a standard dive to the bomb hole and poked around looking for treasure (didn't find any!). There were lots of fish, Jacks, baracuda and snapper. A nice dive! Second dive was on the Bolkia - have a look at Terry's site;
The vis was very poor, so bad that even with the shot line only 7-10M away from the wreck the first wave of divers missed it completly. When the wreck was found, we saw lots of dead/dying fish don't know if they were bombed or cyanided but the results are the same - why do these people do this!! The wreck is covered in soft coral, we also spotted 2 frog fish. Also on the top was a loaded spear gun, they are illeagal in Brunei, it was fired into the wreck and thrown over the side. The ScubaTec guys put a buoy on the wreck, another good dive.
Thanks go to the ScubaTec guys for looking after us and to Fraser for being so helpful. We are planning a night dive soon want to come?
SATURDAY 21 MARCH 09
THE BOAT CAME BACK FROM MAINTENANCE
Unfortunately due to the new Fuel issue restrictions, it was not know if we would be able to get fuel for Sunday, so another Sunday dive was setup with Scuba Tech.
SUNDAY 15th MARCH 09-(Empire Scuba Tech) FIRST DIVE 2009
TBA ?? Empire trip waiting report
Tuesday 24th February 09
The BSADC AGM was held last night at the Yacht Club and about 12 members showed up to participate in electing a new Committee and expressing their opinion in the discussion that took place during the "Any Other Business" portion of the meeting.
The new Committee was honored to serve yet another term and kept their acceptance speeches to less than 2 minutes.....
Here are a few things that came out of the General Discussion:
1. We voted to increase the daily dive rate to $35. This action was not taken lightly and we know the risks that are involved in raising our rates, however, we feel that we must start NOW in planning for the future health of the Club. If you think about it, we still have the best dive operation in Brunei that is self-supporting and our charges are always debated and only increased when absolutely necessary.
2. To aid our new Treasurer, Adam, we are now going to ask divers to bring cash with them on Sunday to pay for their dives and not have the Treasurer or Dive Leader spend their time in chasing down divers who are late in paying. This is a simple request and will only streamline the duties of the Treasurer.
Please get copies of the "INDEMNITY FORM - LIABILITY RELEASE
"MEMBERSHIP CONTACT DETAILS"
These completed forms are necessary to protect the Club, Dive Leader, and Boat Driver in case something should happen.
Also it would be a advisable for all divers to have dive insurance. I would not rely solely on any other health insurance to cover diving related injuries and evacuation costs. Check out DAN or what BSAC offers and have peace of mind at a low cost.
The Membership Secretary would like to have a photo copy of your Certification Card to put in the club files to confirm members qualifications. If you have a DAN card you might want to add a copy of that also. It is also a good idea to carry copies of these plus a copy of your passport with you in the boat.
An inquiry was made if the Club could buy out the shares of the NITROX group and make it more affordable and available to all divers. It is the opinion of the Club that at this time this is not an option.
But it is an option if you want to buy a share in the NITROX group. Talk to Martin about joining.
Martin reported on the boat and at this moment it is still in dry dock but the hope is that by the first or second week in March that it will be back at Serasa. Come to the dive meeting on Tuesday and maybe there will be more information.
Adam also took on Social Sec (as well as New Treasurer) & Nigel took on the Role of Membership Sec (as well as Diving Officer)The Club Express their Very Great Thanks to Martin, and Paul, for all the work they have put into keeping the boat running and doing most of the driving through out 2008. Martin in particular has put in an awful lot of time and effort on the maintenance and repair of the boat and we can not of course forget Chea who has almost become an honerary member of the club.NG
no dives in first part of 2009 until March due weather & boat out for maintenance
SUNDAY 14th December 08
Due to the extremely low tide at 8AM (0.2m) we had a late start, so the 8 divers had a nice leasurly start to their Sunday. Dick, Cat,
Hazel, Brigitte, Mark, Ian, Tom and myself set off from RBYC at 10AM, the weather forecast was very good for this time of year,
almost unseasonal! There was a slight northerly swell but it didn't slow us down, we arrived at the Blue Water wreck at 11:15 and first
divers, Hazel, Brigitte and Mark with his yellow box of debt were down at 11:30. DIck and Cat followed them down the bouyed line. Ian
Tom and myself missed the best of the vis but we had an excelent dive watching the bait fish being chased by countless GTs and
tengiri and a lone Wahoo. The vis got worse, it was almost like somebody had turned the lights out at one point.
Second dive was on
the Cement wreck but not much can be said about that apart from it must of been the worst vis I have seen all year at about 2-5m it was
most definatly muck diving, so we treated it as such and looked for lost of little things, we had fun. All in all we were lucky to of
been able to get wet in mid December.
SUNDAY 23rd November 08
Well the local weather reports tried to keep us at home on Sunday "40-50km/hr 2-3m small boat warning" but as usual we just
ignored it based on empirical evidence gained from a trip out to Labuan on Friday and the information on a web site
(http://www.passageweather.com) used by several cruising mates. We were rewarded for our efforts with excellent weather the sea was
slight and there was no wind to speak of. There was however an amazing surface current - 3m of fresh water running at approx 2-
3knts at slack tide on the Cement wreck site but more on that later.
Fleur, Dick, Martin, Andrea, Guy, David, Rob, Adam, Howard "The Hammer" and myself braved the chaotic roads around the yacht club to
arrive at the boat a little later than normal, we were all keen to get out having dried up at the edges after a couple of weeks lay
off. It was agreed that we do the USA wreck and try to retrieve the memorial sign to give it a clean. Martin and Andrea were again so
keen to get in the water they almost jumped in too early, I suppose that's what happens when you breathe Voodoo gas! The shot was tied
some time later and an excellent effort is was too. The viz was not the best I have seen on this wreck, Dick took the opportunity to
show Fleur how to do a green water ascent when you cannot get back to the shot line, they sent up a DSMB and surfaced about 20m away
from the boat – nice simulation! Howard and I were assigned to untie the shot, we were worried that "the Nitrox gang" would take the
opportunity to get their own back after the last "when is a knot not a knot" trip. We were lucky they had forgotten about that and the
untie was easy we also got the memorial sign.
Next we were off to the Cement, I have to admit to having more trouble locating the wreck than I can remember having before, it
took me ages and never once did I hear a complaint – well apart from Howard who took a complaining course at University! Once the shot
was down our troubles were only just beginning, but I will let Martin tell you about this on Tuesday night, enough just to say the
2-3knt surface current took its prisoners! Eventually we were tied to the wreck – thanks Dick and Fleur and we all had a very nice
dive. Howard has decided to clean up some of the dangling cables in the lower part of the wreck pity he didn't take a brush to sweep up
some of the silt on the floor but he did a great job with just his fins! A great day out, we seem to of rescued another day.
The teachers will be away next week but if the weather holds out we will be diving as long as we can. The NE monsoon is well in to the
North (see the above mentioned web site) and we do not know how long it will be until it reaches us, fingers crossed not until the end of
NO DIVE SUNDAY 16th November
There will be no dive on Sunday, the very low tide and poor weather
conditions have put me off!
SUNDAY 9th November
I am very busy at the moment - I know its unusual but it does happen, so I have nicked Mark's report from the panaga divers web site
panagadivers.com. Thanks Mark!
"Sunday we dived the Australian (De Klerk) and Blue Water (Mabini Padre) wrecks, kindly made accessible by Paul and his team at BDSAC.
Despite dark skies in the morning, the sea was calm and we had a good dive on De Klerk with unusually good vis. In view of calming sea
conditions, we decided to go to Mabini Padre for the second dive, it was busy with divers and fishermen upon arrival but we seem to have
scared the crowd away to enjoy a pleasant, if murky, exploration of this recent shipwreck that lies on her side in 35m. Highlights include
a marbled ray on the stern of De Klerk, several large schools of juvenile barracuda, not losing our buddies in the murk on Mabini Padre
and as always, wonderful camaraderie aboard BDSAC's Down Under 3.
John, we miss you, you would have loved these dives! Many thanks to Andrea, Brigitte, Dick, Fleur, Howard the hammer, John and especially
Paul for safely making these dives happen".
A great day out!
SUNDAY 2nd November
At last we got out diving - it seems a while since we were last out.
Nine divers, Martin, Andrea, Dick, Fleur, David, Ian, Guy, Howard, Paul and a non diver Jack were on the boat for the dives on the
Australian and the Cement wrecks.
The weather was great with a flat sea with a slight swell from the north west.
The Australian wreck
was shotted and myself and Howard were given the task of tying off the line, there was a strongish surface current, which prevented
Howard reaching the buoy. When we finally got to the end of the shot line the wreck was nowhere to be seen! Well there was a slight
darkness a head about 6m away but this was much further than the viz! The wreck was very dark even through the day was bright and
sunny as we had a 6m layer of green fresh water on top of the sea. I added another saucer to my collection from this wreck, just need a
few cups now! Poking about at 30m on air looking for treasure plays havoc with your no deco dive time and at 30mins we were back on the
boat. Good to be in the water again.
Second up was the cement wreck
and it did not look promising for the viz on this wreck either as a large amount of flotsam and jetsam
floated past us whilst waiting out our surface interval, sure enough it was dark and murky down on the wreck. But not as dark and murky
as it was by the washing machine inside the wreck – hope nobody went in after us!
Not much else to say apart from I didn't expect a 3rd dive
but knots don't seem to be Martin and Andreas strong point – you will have to ask them the details but being up the earliest
Howard and I had another short dive to undo us – otherwise we might still be there!
SUNDAY 18th of OctoberNight Dive trip NO REPORT
SUNDAY 12th of October
Well if you missed this one you missed one of the best dives this year! Simon, Guy, Adam, Martin, Andrea, Mark, Fleur, Dick, Cat, Tom
and myself did not miss the 2 stunning dives on the Blue Water wreck. The sea was flat and the forecast was good. By 9am we had the first
divers down the bouyed line. As the divers came up they all reported "loads of fish" Tom and I were last down and sure enough, it
was like diving in a fish tank, I have not seen as many fish on this wreck for a long time. The visability was not the best I have seen
lower down the wreck but on top of it it was stunning. We surfaced to find that the second dive on the cement wreck had been abandoned and
we were to stay put and dive the Blue again - good decision as the second dive was better than the first. We were back at the club by 2pm
with a new boat driver at the helm - thanks Mark.
Don't forget the night dive in Labuan on Sat.
Sunday's dive was one of the best on the Blue Water that I remember is some time and the abundance of fish life is wonderful to see.
Many thanks to Martin and others that took the time to get the dive boat operational again. I don't know who all was involved but THANKS for all your efforts.
SUNDAY 5th of October (NO DIVE but tried)
The good news is (was) we had 10 divers showup to dive but the bad news was that the right engine developed a couple of problems before we left the jetty.
First Matt had to cannibalize a starter motor from his boat to get us started but once underway the engine failed to rev past idle. Even after the heroic efforts from Martin and Matt (and Rob resorting to driving a stake through it's heart), the engine would not respond and was pronounced DOA. We limped back to Serasa on one engine and called it a day.
We will see what Martin has to say on Tuesday about the fix before we get too excited about planning anything for this coming Sunday.
Thanks again for everyone for showing up and helping out.
NO DIVE SUNDAY 28th of SEPT
SUNDAY 14th of SEPT (see pics in Gallery - from Brigitte)
In the end we had 13 divers for the 35 mile trip to the Petani Mistral: Mark T, Nigel,Peter, Martin, Myself, Fleur, Mark B, John,
Oriel, Adam, Rob, Hazel and Briggite. A good mix of total Tech (Trimix), partial Tech (Nitrox) and traditional air. On this wreck the
Nitrox divers really gain the advantage over air, as the wreck doesn't start until 35m. Even on Nitrox 27 (depth limit 42m) the added time
makes for a much longer dive time. The trip out to the wreck took us about 1 hour 45 mins, the sea being very flat. We arrived at the
site to find a single fishing boat right over the wreck. This is the easiest wreck to spot on the sonar as the bottom is flat at 47m and
the wreck is covered in fish. We had extended the shot line to about 50m for the job, we must of hit the wreck as we had line on the
surface until the strong surface current (3 knts according to Martin's propeller theory) had taken it away. Once the techies had gone the
boat had so much free space! We gave them 20 mins to tie off and we moved in to tie off the boat. The first dive for Martin and I was to
spend 25 mins on the wreck at about 42-35m and incur about 17 mins of ascent and deco time. Our dive was excellent with the vis at the
beginning of the dive better than the end [this was due to the SMG divers, Sorry - Nigel] . There were large numbers of large fish (snapper) on the wreck and contrary to recent thinking XXXXXXXXXXXXX............
[as a public site this information is reserved for members only and edited out, check your Yahoo group mail for full text, SOON it might not need to be so SECRETIVE, LOL- Nigel].
The second dive was much shorter than the first but still allowed us 15 mins on the wreck for no deco penalty. The wind picked up on the way back but as it was behind us it was still a nice trip. An excellent day out to what is my second favorite dive in Brunei (after the Toho Maru). As an added bonus there were no dramas, no fuel or boat problems - it looks to the untrained eye, like we know what we are doing!
Thanks to Paul and Martin (plus all the club members who helped) for Arranging, Managing (Marshaling) and Boat Handling the trip so the SMG divers could get 2 of the 3 required qualification dives done. . This was done successful with the completion of the 40m and 45m dives and only leaves the 50m dive to be done in October or November weather permitting.
Also Thanks to Mark (Instructing/Examining SMG) for his time and coming up from Panaga, as well as Mixing and transporting all the gas and Twin sets etc.
The 2 SMG dives were training and exercise demonstrations/qualification dives and as such there was little time to enjoy the actual wreck as a dive. It was purely a platform on which to do the exercises and whilst trying to perform them and concentrate on trying not to screw up the wreck was forgotten most of the time.
I have to say though that the visibility on the wreck when we arrived (first) tying off the shot, perfectly placed by Paul and Martin, was the best I have seen on this wreck or any of the deep wrecks here in Brunei. As the days weather was so calm and clear with strong sunlight penetrated right down to the wreck, it made visible of most of the rear deck & Main Super Structures we came down the line. The visibility did deteriorate quite a bit when we started doing our tank removals and refits when clouds of silt were being stirred up off the rear deck and unfortunately some going forward along the main wreck.
At the end of both the dives we did have time to take a look at the Bridge on the way up and that was nice and clear. I was such a pity that we did not have the time to take advantage of the great vis and have a good look around.
But there is the next time, and then with SMG under the belt and hopefully another nice day and Vis and 30min at 45m to have a good look around.
It seems that all the Nitrox crew had a good dive and look around many things of interest where seen. I even those on air seemed to enjoy the dives although they were very short and only to the top of the bridge.
A good days Diving for all.
Again thanks to all
SUNDAY 7th of Sep (NO Dive -but we tried!)
I did not see any mails on this trip, probably just as well.
It is sufficient to say we went out to do the Aus and American, but although we made it to the Aus the Sea was quite rough and looking very much like it was going to get worse. The boat was full and the SMG divers were going to try to do some qualification dives that meant being in the water for 60+ minutes including Deco and once committed no recall for weather would be possible. So a good call was made by Paul (Dive Manager) and Martin (Boat Captain) with Advise from Matt and the days diving was abandoned.
SUNDAY 31st of AUG
It must of been the bad weather on Saturday afternoon that put people off diving on Sunday. Martin, Fluer and Andrea had decided to
get in a bit of pre-Puasa R+R in KK, so we were down to 8 on the boat for this trip. We had Dick, Dan, Nick, Mike, Guy, Adam, Matt,
Paul and of course Nina (Adam's daughter). The sea was flat and the shot throwing perfect. The viz on the USA wreck was the best we have
seen for some time. Dick and Dan tying off near the memorial sign (can't spell plaque!). They then went off and swam with the blue
marbel ray, that has not been seen for some time. Nick and Mike did some training and Matt and I did the untie. An excellent dive.
Then it was off to the Cement, not much to say, but the bouy is no longer in place - no it was not us that pulled it off the wreck, not this
week anyway! It looks like the fishing boats have stolen it and put it about 50m away on their mooring! Matt and I did a lower deck
circumnavigation, first for me since the dreaded day my torch went out in the engine room with Nigel and Grant! We saw the green frog
fish - well spotted Matt. We also had an interesting time with the octopus. The only reason I saw him was the sudden change of colour
of his skin in my peripheral vision surely not the best of evolutionary developments to let an otherwise unaware potential
preditor know where you are because you are flashing your top coat?
Still it would be great to have a shirt made out of the same material - you could let people know they were pissing you off
without opening your mouth...........
We had another final send off beer for Nick at the isle of K (should it be the isle of N?) all the best Nick, I would like to say we will
miss you but...... Flat seas so we were back at the club for 3:45.
SUNDAY 24th of AUG
Ten divers assembled at RBYC on Sunday morning to head out to the Blue Water wreck, they were: Martin, Fleur, Dick, Cat, Kimmy, Oriel,
Ian, John, Tom and Myself. The weather the night before had been bad so the views of the Crocker Range hills from Serasa was spectacular,
the clear air really making them look like you could reach out and touch them....
The sea state was not at its best, however, the boat, fully fuelled, sped towards the Blue at a very nice 21knts. The sea became bigger
the closer we got to the destination making it a marginal call, but we are made of stronger stuff and we decided give it a go. The bow
crew spotted a buoy on the wreck which was a good job as Martin and Fleur were far from ready to follow the shot line down and tie off!
When they were ready they went down a very short rope as we had pulled the buoy off the wreck! So sorry to Star divers from Labuan
we will put a buoy back - promise! We had to shot the wreck after all, but at least Martin and Fleur were ready now. Oriel came over
all environmental and wanted to let the poor barnacles on the buoy live and cast them adrift, causing "a small boat shipping hazard" in
the process (props caught on rope etc...). We set Martin and Fleur onto the task in hand - to tie us off, in they went, Martin had
agreed 10 mins to do the job [just getting my defense set - Ed].
Once we had recovered Oriel's barnacles we got back to the buoy after the allotted 10 mins and tied off the boat. Divers were busy
getting ready when we all heard the sound of a strange seabird, and then again, it turned out to be the call of a lesser spotted
Australian wreck diver who had had the shot ripped out of his hand just as he was about to tie it off! I will let Martin tell his side
of the story on Tuesday night about how he and Fleur used 100bar in a 13min dive, sounds like fun! Still fleur got to practice her DSMB
skills and Martin has a great scenario we can use as part of his DL course! We decided as the weather was not getting any better and the
waves were occasionally 2m we would head for safer water and tie off on the buoy on the Cement wreck for what turned out to be 2 great
dives. As I have said more than enough already I will leave the dive details until the meeting on Tuesday, enough to say that we were all
safe back at the club by 3.30 and the storm didn't arrive but it was a very wet trip back.
SUNDAY 17th of AUG
Looked like a perfect day for diving. The sea was calm, sky clear, 11 divers and the tides that should have (maybe) given good vis on the wrecks. First stop was the Australian Wreck and when we arrived on scene Todd threw the shot and shortly after Paul and Matt went down to tie-off. It was a good throw and Paul tied the line off on the high side of the starboard rail. So far, so good.
Cat and I wanted to go out away from the wreck and look on the sea bed for debris that's out there but the vis was very poor, maybe 3-4 meters at a depth of 36 meters. I tied a line to the wreck and we went out and made a couple of sweeps but didn't see a thing then went over to the port side and did the same but again saw nothing. So back up to the deck and swam around until it was time to ascend. Others may have a better story to tell on Tuesday evening.
Onward and upward to the Cement Wreck where there was a marker buoy so all we had to do was tie up and start diving. From the surface you could look down and see the gantry and the water was a pretty blue. Below 25 meters the vis ran out and the color disappeared. Cat wanted to look for the big ray that we had seen a few weeks earlier on the starboard side so on the bottom I clipped a line on her and sent her out to explore while I kept the shadow of the wreck insight. No luck so a fast run to the bow and back to the stern where the vis was better at a shallower depth. Saw a small octopus and a large fish hoovering just inside the wreck but couldn't ID the fish type. While doing the safety stop we spotted a large frog fish below us so Cat went down to take a look but couldn't get a picture ot it. Once the last divers were back it was a quick trip to Serasa to end a pretty good day out.
SUNDAY 3rd of AUG
The boat departed Serasa shortly after 8 am with 5 divers for scheduled dives on the American Wreck (USS Salute) and the Cement Wreck. The sky was clear and the sea calm which was a pleasant change from the beating the south China Sea gave us the Sunday before. We threw the shot and Martin and Andrea went down and tied-off. Once they returned Paul, Fleur and myself went in. It was rather gloomy for the first 10 or 15 meters going down the shot line but the wreck appeared below and we actually had pretty good vis right down to the sea bed. We checked out the stern and found the plaque and generally did the tour to give Fleur the "Big Picture". I was mainly looking into the wreck and not paying much attention to the fish life but did mention to catch sight of two sting rays in the sand. All in all a pretty good dive. Fleur managed to get some practice deploying a DSMB for the first time and experienced some of the pit falls of this skill. Not as easy as some of the professional dive guides make it look, is it?
On to the Cement Wreck where I was hoping to make it during slack tide and better vis but I guess we were right at the time the tide started moving out as the vis was terrible with a slight current moving from the bow to the stern. With only about 3 meters vis I didn't see much but at the bow several Big Eye Travallies came out from beyond visual range and swam by to check us out. Also a good number of large Bat Fish were hanging out. Fleur got to do another practice deploy of her DSMB and that was about it for the day.
There may be more to this story that Paul might want to share on Tuesday night that may be worth a laugh or two.........................
SUNDAY 27TH of JULY
With the tide forecast and past experience with this dive site not too many of us expected good diving conditions today. Sadly it was as advertised........
We departed Serasa shortly after 9 am with 12 divers and our marine engineer (Chia) onboard for the trip out to Rig Reef with a second scheduled dive at Abana Reef. (who says we don't dive reefs?). The ride out was pretty rough with 1 to 1.5 meter waves and it took about 1 hour to arrive on station. The shot was thrown and Matt and Ben went down first to tie-off and 15 minutes later Cat, myself, Jeon and Chiong went down. Although there was a strong wind and waves on the surface there was no current below but the vis was only about 4 meters. There were fish in large numbers but you had to look quick before they passed and were out of sight. Blue and Gold Fusiliers, Rabbit fish and Cat saw a small sting ray plus 3 bumphead wrasse.
While we were down the wave action picked up and were running about 2 meters when we boarded the boat. In these conditions with the boat still tied-off, getting back on the boat without getting knocked around by the ladder can be tricky but all the divers handled it without any problems. Martin and Andrea (NITROX Divers) were last up and had the difficult job of releasing the shot line from the rig. At this point we all had given up the idea of doing a second dive.
With Matt at the wheel and Chia jockeying the throttles we started our 1 hour and 10 minute ride back to Serasa with a following sea. Great job, guys, of getting us home safe and sound.
SUNDAY 6TH of JULY
Boat left Serasa at 0815 with 7 souls on board...........
55 minutes later we arrived at the Blue Water Wreck..........
Weather great although there was a slight chop during the ride out.......
Vis good. Saw a small marble ray or blotched fantail ray and very small octopus. Lots of small barracuda and other bait fish. Pretty good dive.....
The NITROX divers untied the shot line........
2 hour surface interval.................
Motored over to the American Wreck (USS Salute).........
Rob threw the shot then Rob and I went down and tied-off......
Shot was dead centre mid ship. Vis was fair to poor........
I had to work back to the stern to orientate myself then wondered back to view the plaque. Still there and looks to be in very good shape. Not much in the way of marine growth and I was able to dust it off......
The Nitrox divers untied the shot line........
My question is:
If NITROX is so great, why can't the NITROX divers tie the shot and wait then untie?
All in all another good day out.
Thanks to Martin and all the other divers.
SUNDAY 13TH of JULY
SUNDAY 6TH of JULY
LOCATION: BOLKIA & RIG REEF
Cox: Martin ?
Dive Manager: Paul ?
With the excellent conditions and the high tide we decided to repeat the dives of 2 weeks ago - Rig reef and the Bolkia, only this time we
righted the slight reverse profile and dived the Bolkia first.
The conditions were indeed excellent; all the wreck was visible from about 4m, it is covered with stunning soft coral growth and schools of small bait fish - hence the real big signal on the echo sounder, I can't understand why I have found this wreck hard to find in the past. Martin and Andrea (the Nitrox mob) tied the shot and myself and Tom untied, an easy job on the Bolkia as it has a perfect bar near the bow.
Whilst mentioning the Nitrox mob, Stuart, Oriel and Adam have now qualified to breathe the magic mix during dives - well done! Now go and speak to Martin who for a small upfront fee will mix you up some of the dive elixir every week (technical note - we don't mix we continuously blend!).
With the calm sea conditions getting calmer and calmer we headed off the 2km to rig reef, again we shotted the rigs to perfection. The viz was good but getting worse, still it didn't spoil a great dive.
Its a pity that this site gets so many fisherman as I don't remember seeing enough fish down there to warrant the cost of getting boat and gear to that location!
One very keen fisherman – from RBYC (not to mention names but the boat name is - Ah Jimmy!) needs to learn what a dive flag means!
Anyway the nine divers on board had a good day – we won't mention the diver who forgot his weight belt – Bruce Willis Ruins All Films –
isn't that the PADI mantra!
We were back at the club for 2.30 enjoying some large cans of Loan Service Nitrogen Scrubber……
SUNDAY 29TH of JUNE
Left Serasa at about 8:15 with 12 divers onboard and 55 minutes later arrived at the Blue Water Wreck. The weather was beautiful and the ride out fairly smooth. There was a buoy there to mark the location but it was decided to deploy our shot line as an extra precaution. On descending through 5.5 meters I could see the wreck on the bottom so the vis was pretty good. Didn't see much in the way of fish life so did the "tour" and took a few pictures.
On to the Cement Wreck. Just when you think that it will be just another routine, ho hum dive that we had all done a 100 times before we were in for a surprise today. Moving from the stern towards the bow some large barracuda cought our eye and then a fish that was half again bigger than the barracuda and shark-like in appearance. They were following a large marble ray swimming along the sand and heading towards the bow. We were able to follow the ray until it got nervous and moved out of sight. We continued to the bow then back along the port side and after a few meters cut across the deck to the starboard side to see if the ray had returned and sure enought it had. Cat was able to get some pretty good videos of the ray the the other fish, which we think was a Cobia.
(see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobia#Description ed) extract:
Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) — also known as black kingfish, black salmon, ling, lemonfish, crabeaters, aruan tasek, etc. — are perciform marine fish, the sole representative of their family, the Rachycentridae.
Attaining a maximum length of 2 metres (78 inches) and maximum weight of 68 kilograms (150 pounds),....
Cobia feed primarily on Crabs, squid and other fish. Cobia will follow larger animals such as Sharks, Turtles and Manta Rays in hope of scavenging a meal. Cobia are intensely curious fish and show no fear of boats. ........
All in all, a pretty good day out.
Thanks to the boat divers (Drivers ED), shot line handlers and all who helped out. You know who you are so I won't mention names..................................
SUNDAY 22nd of JUNE - The Bolkiah, first dibve in a long time
First we must give Paul a big "Thank You" for re-fueling on Friday and then volunteering to captain the boat and remain onboard in the interest of safety during our dives on Sunday. With only one boat driver and the possibility of squally weather conditions it was in everyone's best interest.
First stop was Rig Reef. With 10 divers onboard we left Serasa just after 8 am and arrived at the dive site on schedule. The sea had a slight rolling swell and there was a high overcast and I was wondering what the vis would be at a dive site that normally has fair to poor conditions. John and Ben tied the shot line and when I went in I could look down from the surface and see the rig structure. So far so good! The vis was good and it was easy for the first-timers on the rig to get accumulated and venture out to the reef that lies north and northeast. The colors were pretty but there was an absence of fish life and that might have been due to the presence of a local fishing boat that deployed a solo diver with an interesting pair of fins. This guy had fins that looked like the tops of small trash cans but he swam around checking his fish traps and carried a small can of something that I can only assume was a poison of some kind to stun the fish.
After finishing with Rig Reef it was off to the Cement Wreck but just as we got up to speed Paul throttled back and asked if anyone wanted to do the Bolkiah. Seems that when he was setting up the GPS for a course to the Cement Wreck the Bolkiah Wreck coordinates came up and we were going right over the top. After a short discussion it was decided and the shot was thrown and John and Ben went down to tie-off. I really couldn't remember tha last time I dived this wreck and wasn't sure what it looked like however on the way down the shot line the wreck came into view and you could see the entire ship's features. The vis and colors were beautiful and there was enough fish to add to the enjoyment of the dive. The wreck sits upright and rests on a sandy floor in about 25 meters of water. I went inside and found a room with a sign over the door that read "Maurice slept here"......................................................
Towards the end of the dive the vis started to deteriorate but I think that was due to the divers stirring up the sand and silt.
Later I went back into my log book and found that I last dived this wreck on 27/May/01 and not sure if others in the club have dive it after that. My notes showed that the wreck had a 060-240 degree orientation at that time and now it has a north-south position and you can see how the sandy sea bed has been cut out by the shifting of the wreck.
According to the tide tables and slack time period it should have been the best time to dive on these two dive sites---and it was. Ain't it great when it all comes together!
SUNDAY 14TH of JUNE - THE NEW WRECK
Q - How do you know you are a tech diver?
A - When you have a full set of spanners and Allen keys in your dive bag!
A group of 10 techies and 3 "normal" divers from Panaga, Miri and BSADC, met on Saturday to dive the Baiei Maru, a new wreck that has
not been dived - as far as we know.
The wreck sits on the Brunei side of the deep water chanel about 2km away from the Australian wreck in
60m of water.
The weather was far from perfect as a squall was forming as we went down.
Green river water sat on the top 5m of sea reducing the low light to almost nothing at 55m. It was very dark at the bottom - almost like a night dive. Neil and I opted to head left when we arrived at the wreck, I tied the reel line onto the shot, I wasn't going to get lost on this dive! We headed off along the wreck, it looked to me like it was upside down, but trying to identify anything in the darkness was very difficult. Mark later confirmed that it was upside down, he and Billy had gone a few meters right at the shot and found the 3.5m propeller. 20 mins on the wreck and it was time to start our 40 mins of ascent. When we reached our 6m stop we could see that the squall had arrived as the sea had chopped up a lot.
All back on the boat and we headed out to the Auz wreck for the 3 "normal" divers, Brigitte, Jo and Guy to have some fun. The weather was
improving all the time.
A final dive on the cement wreck followed by some degassing on Kuraman rounded off an historic day.
Note: fro the DO
It was Great to have located and dived ( with PANAGA) a NEW Wreck, our first in many years as a club. It is a pity it is so deep and on this occasion very dark but Hey it is a New Wreck!!!.
I should also mention (Paul conveniently forgot) that the last Buddy Pair that went in on this Wreck (60M unknown wreck very dark) got separated after 12 mins and whilst returning to the shot line. One diver made it back to (found) the shot line and waited and searched from the location for his Buddy until he had to start his ascent up the shot on his own. The other Diver of the pair never found the shot line and after searching for his buddy and the shot and finding neither abandoned the dive to make a Solo free ascent using a DSMB.
Why did Paul develop selective memory lapse in his report? If you red Dicks tips/comments at the top of this page you have already put two and Two together and ?
Yes I was the one who lost my Buddy and the shot and Had to do a free (as in no shot line or buddy) ascent.
This was my fault.
There are many things that contributed to the separation but the primary reason was I was not checking often enough that my buddy was with me or keeping him in continuous view as far as possible. A moments distraction, or lack of concentration and I lost my Buddy.
There was no excuse for it and I make none.
That said I look at the positive aspects of the event and what ha s been learnt.
The potential for a serious incident was very much there, waiting, but did not happen because of the training that had been given, and followed.
To find myself doing a sole ascent on my first Tri-Mix (NOT Nitrox) dive from that depth with no visibility and under training is not something I would wish on anyone.
However due to Mark Tuttle (Panaga DO) and Dave Locks (BS-AC National Instructors)Training and experience gained with Mark on the KK trip I was well prepared and followed that training without being unduly concerned (panicking) and did a standard abandoned dive solo ascent with no problems.
I will post a more detailed account to share the things learnt from this incident in a separate posting when I have time.
SUNDAY 8TH of JUNE
American and Cement
"Sunday the 8th of June will be the 63rd anniversary of the loss of the USS Salute (American Wreck) so I'd like to do a commerative dive to replace the plaque and take some pictures to send back to the USA for the annual reunion of the Salute families.
Report 1 (Dick)
We had 11 divers and 4 of us were taking pictures so I hope that you receive more photos soon.
Unfortunetly the underwater visibility was poor so the quality is not what I had hoped for.
Paul and his son, Matt, went down first to tie-off our down line and 10 minutes later Catherine and I went in with me holding the Plaque and Catherine taking pictures. Once on the wreck I met up with Paul and Matt and we selected a section of the hull and attached the Plaque. I think that it is probably near the aft engine room on the port side of the ship. Over the winter months the wreck has shifted and settled some and more of the interior is accessable for viewing. Later on we will try to get some better shots to help determine exactly what we are looking at.
In one of the photos I grabbed a handful of 30-06 ammo and had Catherine photograph what I think is part of a hedgehog business end but I am not sure. Other hedgehogs are lying around and in better shape and I will photograph them next time. Nigel says that the forward gun barrel is lying not far from the Plaque. I saw it but thought it was a pipe of somekind.
At the end of the dive we scattered some flowers in the water over the final resting place of the USS Salute AM294.
Report 2 (Dick follow up)
Sunday, the 8th of June, was the 63rd anniversary of the sinking of the USS Salute AM294 (American Wreck) and the club did a memorial dive to remember those who gave it all for the liberation of Borneo from the Japanese in 1945. Also the families and former crew members of the Salute were holding their annual renunion back in the USA and from the feedback that I am getting our efforts were greatly appreciated.
After a couple of stormy days of heavy rain, thunder and lightning Sunday was a beautiful day to be out in the boat. The sea was calm and the sky clear. 11 divers turned up and we left the Yacht Club just after 8 am. Dave drove us out to the wreck site and the shot line was thrown. Paul and Matt were first down to tie-off and about 10 minutes (maybe 15 as Cat was a little slow gearing up) later Cat and I went down with the Plaque. The wreck came into view at about 19 meters but the vis wasn't very good with lots of stuff in the water. We met up with Paul and Matt near the stern and moved along the port side about 15 - 20 (I'm guessing) meters to secure the Plaque. Matt and Cat were busy taking pictures while Paul assisted me in securing the Plaque. While I was trying to secure the D Shackel bolt through the wire cable loops someone tapped me on the arm and pointed to the Plaque. Seems as though I was going to install it with the back facing out. Rookie mistake! I quickly changed it hoping that no one would notice and Cat wouldn't get a picture of it. Never live that one down if she did........
After that we had some time to swim around and I checked out the mast looking for the ray but I guess he has long gone. The wreck has opened up alot since last year and you are to see more of the interior of the ship. Wouldn't it be great to have 50 meters visibility of this dive?
After the dive and the shot line was untied, Paul brought us directly over the wreck site and flowers were scattered on the water in respect for those that lost their lives.
On the way over to the Cement Wreck Paul brought the boat to some GPS coordinates of a new wreck discovered by Shell and he got a positive reading on the depth finder. It's a deep, technical dive and some will do an explortory dive on Saturday.
The Cement Wreck was the Cement Wreck. What more can I say?
24th May to 9th of June BS-AC National Instructor at Panaga
Paul, Rob, and Nige,l completed their Open Water Instructor ratings (NQI - Nationaly Qualified Instructors)
Paul & Nigel also Qualified as Advanced Nitrox and Extended Range Divers
with Paul also completing the Sports Mixed Gas Diver qualification (NORMOXIC TRI-MIX)
SUNDAY 11th MAY 08
TBA Auz and the Cement
SUNDAY 4th MAY 08
The day started out beautiful with a slight chop and high overcast and it only got better as the day progressed.
We had 8 divers and left Serasa at around 8:15 for the 50+ minute drive out to the Blue Water Wreck. After the last 3 or 4 dives on the Blue H2O I swore "never again" but Cat and I wanted to do a tune-up dive before we left for Layang Layang in mid May. Dave skillfully navigated us to the Blue Water and the shot was thrown. I tell you, having this sore back excuse has put me on "light duty" and I'm rather enjoying it. Martin and Andrea were first down to tie-off and after a few minutes we could tell by all the extra line floating on the surface that they were successful. When we went down it looked promising and after 10 meters the wreck started coming into view. Very clear and you could see all the way to the sea bed and off into the debris field several meters away. The soft coral colors were very pretty and a school of small barracuda just hovered near the bow and a large group af several bat fish moved in from the blue to check us out. Back on the boat we were informed that they (whoever they are) wanted to do a second dive so we waited patiently for the 2 hour surface interval to wind down. Well, some of us were patient but there was some grunbling from one of the divers, who shall remain nameless but you know who it was. She's small, maybe 40 kilos, Chinese and drives a dark Merc sports car. But Martin took it all in stride and ignored us like he usually does. Once the 2 hour bell sounded it was back in the water for round two.
I noticed an improvement in the vis and at 7 meters the boat came into view. Matt said that he saw it at 3 meters. Who are you going to believe? Me or Matt????? However at 30 meters it got a little cloudy so we stayed high taking some pictures and just enjoying a relaxing dive in preparation for Layang Layang. Some of the other things to see: octopus and several large scorpion fish.. There is now a fuel leak coming from the wreck which leaves a surface slick and annoying sickning smell so best to give your dive gear a good cleaning with soap and water and not leave it up to the amah.
Dave drove us home while most of us relaxed and off-gassed.
Thanks to Martin and Dave for getting the boat ready and to Dave, Martin and Rob for putting the boat away. It was a good day out and the Blue Water Wreck has redeemed itself for it's name and good vis.
Oh, did I mention that Cat and I will be going to Layang Layang?
SUNDAY 13th APR 08
With 10 divers on a pretty nice day we headed out to the Blue Water Wreck with full fuel on board.
OK, enough about the Blue Water Wreck, then we motored towards the USS Salute (American Wreck).............
The Blue Water Wreck really isn't living up to it's name or reputation, in my opinion, and I'm thinking of petitioning for a name change. We arrived on station and the shot was thrown and Kerri and I went down first to tie-off. It wasn't really blue and there was a lot of "things" in the water to give it a greenish flavor. The shot must have hit the bow and slid down to the sea bed so all we had to do is haul it up and secure it to the anchor on the wreck. In 4 minutes it was "mission accomplished" and we were ready to start the tour. Starting from the bow and cruising to the stern and back you realize just how big this wreck really is. The colors of the soft coral on the hull were pretty but where were the big fish? I need big fish! Not today but there were plenty of smaller bait size swimming around. Not a bad dive overall.
Now for the American Wreck and the question of the day, which will be answered later, is: "how much does a lift-bag weigh when filled with water"? There was a marking buoy on the American but we our Skipper wanter a more secure line to tie-off on so a plan was made to lower our shot line using the marking buoy's line as a guide. Kerri and I got in the water and stayed clear while the crew lowered the shot then on cue released it to free fall to the bottom. I always wanted to be underwater when the shot was thrown (please don't ask me why) to see just how fast the shot drops with the down line trailing behind. I'd guess 2meters/second. It moves! On the stern we looked for a suitable place to tie-off and I selected a beefy chunk of structure and Kerri swam over with the shot. No problemo---not yet.
I wanted to get some pictures of the wreck in it's present state but the water clarity was not the best so I looked inside through a few new openings but really couldn't identify what I was looking for. I wanted to give Kerri the "big picture" tour trying to point out some of the items of interest and at the swim through by the sonar pod I saw some large barracuda and jacks underneath the hull. Moving back towards the stern and shot line we actually saw the shot line coming towards us at a high rate of speed dragging part of the structure where I had tied-off. It went past us and snagged on another part of the wreck and stopped. There was a trailing piece of line that I used to tie to the heavy wire cables on the wreck hopping that it would hold until all the divers down had surfaced. I gave Martin and Andrea a situation report and they went down to dive and untie or cut loose the line. Martin did cut the trailing line and tried using a lift bag but in the end the shot and attached structure was free and now it was time to haul everything up to sort it all out. The answer to the question is: when a lift bag inverts and fills with water it weighs a lot. It took 4 or 5 of us to haul everything up to the boat, dump the water in the lift bag and free the shot line from the heavy metal. It was gut-busting and where was Richard Hills when we need him???????
In case you didn't know we have our own version of Wikipedia if you have any questions concerning the USS Salute. If you have a question you can email me and I'll forward it to some of the guys that were there that day the ship went down.
5TH TO 9TH OF MAY 08
KK trip- Semi Club / Personal trip
Kota Kinablu - Gaya & Usukan Bay wrecks
Nigel & Mark from Panaga KK Trip
Take a look at the Dive Centre site report
5th to 6th APR 08
Cebu - Semi Club / Personal trip
Paul, Guy & Nigel
SUNDAY 6th APR 08
And there we were; 20 minutes out from the Blue Water Wreck and the port engine suddenly went very quiet. There seemed to be a fuel issue or lack there of so we used our emergency fuel and proceeded to the Cement Wreck for 2 dives while waiting for fuel to be tankered out from the Yacht Club.
Ben threw the shot and Cat and I went down first to tie-off. Almost a perfect placement but it slipped over the side of the wreck down to the sea floor. After hauling the shot back up to the wreck and tying-off we headed towards the bow. Being first does have it's advantages as we were greeted by a Giant Grouper swimming across the wreck then moving back out into the greenish blue. Also out there were some large tuna, barracuda and the normal assortment of smaller fish that we all expect to see. Returning to the shot line I heard another boat approach overhead but was surprised when surfacing to see 3 boats all tied-off to ours. It must have look ed like Grand Central Station down there with all the divers but again, being first does have it's advantages. The second dive was more of the same and very relaxing with the vis improving slightly from the first. The 3 boats left us after completing their dive so it wasn't as crowded as before.
Ben had made a few calls on his mobile and right on cue over the horizon appeared the cavalry in the form of Danielle bringing the much needed and appreciated fuel to get us home. When you think about it we somehow lucked out on this one and we owe Ben and Danielle our thanks for saving the day.
SUNDAY 29th MAR 08
SUNDAY 23rd MAR 08
only 4 divers so canned it (Paul)
SUNDAY 16th MAR 08
Dear All We had 12 on the boat for the first trip of the year to the "Blue" wreck. The sea had a biggish swell but only now and then so Martin decided to give it a go.
We arrived at the site and the wreck was shotted. Matt and I had the honour of tying off the line. The vis at the surface and down to about 8m was bad at less than 2m the good news was that below that the vis was fantastic at 20m+ and bright blue -
now the bad news, only down to a depth of 20m below that is was 1m or less with the big swell sucking up the sand at the bottom. We arrived at 35.4m only to see the shot weight resting where it had been dropped - no line in the sand to indicate it had moved. There was no sign of the wreck - we may of just seen it if we had banged into it! We had a look around and decided to abandon and headed up to do a 3 minute stop. At 6m I sent up a DSMB to alert the boat crew that all was not normal (we have not missed a wreck for a good few years so I didn't want them pulling the line up whilst we were doing our stop). As the 10mins allotted to tying the shot was up before we surfaced we were very surprised to find the boat was miles away, anyway this may make it into the scenarios section on the DL practical course we will be running later in the year!
Back on the boat we decided to head for the cement wreck and do 2 dives on that. It was after 10AM by the time we got to the wreck and we found we were last in the biggest dive day on the cement I have ever seen - we were boat 5! We tied off on the back of Kula's boat.
The first wave of divers (everybody except Matt and I) didn't need much encouragement to get diving. They all came up raving about the conditions, the viz was reported to be great yet when we went in it was poor being very bad at the bow (<3m).
Our first dive was bad in the viz area but we were very lucky to see a green giant frogfish neat the stern area, the first I have seen on this wreck. On surfacing we were a bit hesitant about doing a second dive but we had gone to the trouble of getting out here and that whale shark may have been lurking out there waiting for its chance to come through and give divers the dive of their life. Besides I had forgotten my camera so it was a certainty!
The second dive for most was not good, they had the poor vis of our first dive but by the time we did our second dive the vis had improved significantly. We didn't see the frogfish again but we were rewarded by the sight of an octopus (I have not seen one on this wreck for over a year). We had an excellent dive down to the propeller area - an area I don't often go to, it was well worth it.
When Matt and I surfaced the wind had blown up a bit and Martin decided to head home - a good call as we arrived back at base at about 3pm after an excellent days diving.
It turned out to be an even better day for Matt and I as Nick informed us later, over a cup or two of tea, that an 11 min trip down to 35m could be claimed as a dive - at least PADI instructors would claim it - so we did and recorded 3 dives for the day.
P.S. BS-AC regard any dive over 9M longer than 10mins to be a recordable club dive (should be at least 3 BS-AC divers involved… cough ….cough) or that is how it was in my day. Would have to check current definition.
SUNDAY 9th MAR 08
It was a busy Sunday with 13 people onboard.
Dick, Cat, Rob, Guy, Mark, Matt, Martin, Todd, Fleur, Andrea, Simon, Dave and myself - Nick.
The first dive had us set out on our adventures to the American wreck!!
There was a slight swell as we got out from the cut, which made for a bit of a roller coaster ride out to the American, but luckily no green faces and all happy to dive...
Matt and I were first in to tie the shot. The water seemed rather green and murky and there was quite a rip of a current off the buoy. We descended slowly with Matt trying not to drag the shot line off the wreck, but I had to hang on to the line to fight off the current and to save air!!
After Matt had stitched Martin up good and proper with a shot tie off that would puzzle and dumbfound the best of Boy Scouts!...we got down to midships and it seemed really miserable, murky and gloomy!!
Matt's first intention of finding his weightbelt had to be scrapped, as there was just no hope in this poor vis. We mooched around, clearing our masks, trying to de-fog, thinking that the vis would get better but no luck.
The current was still pretty strong, so we tucked into the close confines of the wreck to streamline ourselves and I followed Matt to the tip of the Bow where all of a sudden the dive turned into one of the best ever mass fish sightings off the American...well for me anyhow!
A huge school of large adult Round Batfish, Platax orbicularis, there must have been well over a hundred of them, streamlining with the current, jetstreamed off the Bow of the American Wreck.
I motioned to Matt, with an imaginary camera click, as if to say this would make an awesome photo, but sadly neither of us had a camera!!
A pair of Moorish Idols, Zanclus cornutus, hung nearby the bow, with a backdrop of Batfish, it would have made an excellent photo, but still all this, captured in my mind, really made for a most amazing first dive of the day...
We returned to the usual banter onboard, one person commented that the dive was more like a "military operation" than the normal calmer currents experienced!
All good training...
The Cement Wreck was as expected much better vis with a less severe and slight current.The wreck as usual is blossoming with colour, dominant with whip corals of many different colours and clumps of soft corals...
What a beautiful dive.
I must say that the season seems to be on its way with some more unusual residents coming in to seek protection and to find a mate...
My first sighting of a Titan Triggerfish Balistoides viridescens, patrolling the territory watching her nest. The last time I had to fight off these beasties was off Koh Tao, Thailand where they are in huge numbers and are quite aggressive...
Also spotted were, Surgeonfish, Acanthuridae, flitting by on their winglike pectorals.
Small shoals of juvenile Barracuda, Sphyraenidae, and some very large mean and menacing looking fish...Trevally, Carangidae of some kind...These in particular had three black spots underneath the lateral line and mean looking mouths.
Back onboard it was all happy faces, a great dive off the Cement yet again!!
I'm sure all of us look forward to some awesome, stunning dives this summer, once the turbidity has cleared up and the visibility is nearer that of 30 metres!!
A spot of light refreshment off the spit, along with some civilised crackers provided by the girls from Temburong, had us all in good spirits as we returned to reality back at Serasa...
Keep your eyes peeled for the only shark you might ever see in Brunei waters, the one we all hope to see this season, the spotty graceful giant, the Whaleshark!!
SUNDAY 2nd MAR 08
We had 12 divers eager to get out whale shark spotting – it's the right time of the year and one has been seen in KK last week. The
lucky lot were; Fleur, Andrea, Brigitte, Dave, Maz, Tom, Paul, Dick, Cat, John, Matt and Cecelia.
We started at the Australian wreck wherewe were very surprised at the visibility on the surface, still we have been conned by that before! The shot line was sent straight into oneof the holds – well done to Matt who put us spot on the wreck (mental note to self: club GPS is about 60m off to the N). The vis wasexcellent for this wreck being about 10-15m with a gentle current going from stern to bow. With it being Tom's first dive on this wreck we did the grand tour staying above the wreck the whole dive, what a day for the tour, the Jacks were spectacular and the chevron barracuda were all huddled in the wreck about ¾ the way to the stern, mind you with Marlin being spotted from the dive boat – I don't blame them!
On to the Cement wreck with a big swell rolling in we stopped at Barret Banks to search for the illusive BSB Hash trophy (if you don't
know about it ask Matt) – we didn't find it. At the Cement, the buoy Matt had put on the wreck about 5 weeks ago was still there so it made
for a relaxed tie up. Again the visibility was excellent about 15m+ allowing divers to see the barracuda patrolling around the wreck with
the giant trevelly steaming in to have a go at the bait fish. Dick took some photos and I have put a few on the Yahoo site have a look
at http://sports.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/Brunei_diving/photos . The best dive seemed to be the trip to the bow, but I guess anything you
fancied would have been great, an excellent dive – the best of the year so far.
We headed to the isle of K for some cultural readjustment and ritual Nitrogen scrubbing and then back to the club for about 3PM. A great
day out – where were you all?
PS we didn't see a whale shark but we might next week!
Pulau Tiga trip- 22-24th Feb 08
It was at 7:25AM on Friday morning that a very heavy dive boat set out to "Survivor Island" 56 n miles up the coast of Sabah. On board were 14 people, we had the divers Martin, Nigel, Nick, Andrea, Fleur, Paul, Matt, Tom and Todd and the non-divers John, Alison, Marian, Gordon and of course Mr Chia our resident engineer. Also on board was enough fuel to start a small war - 1060 liters, dive gear and all the essential items to make for a civilized weekend.
The route to Tiga takes you NE to Labuan with the infamous island on the left-hand side, N through the Labuan channel and the final 26 n miles NE to Tiga. Luckily the sea was kind to us with only a slight swell and we arrived at Tiga at 10:10AM.
The first dive was scheduled for after lunch, the site being West End reef. Julius, our trusty dive guide, directed us to the site and all 9 divers were eagerly awaiting their first Tiga dive. First in were Tom and I quickly followed by Nick and Fleur. The boat was anchored in the sand to the SW of the reef so we had a short swim NE to arrive on the reef. Visibility was a reasonable 5-8m the water being milky with silt from the swell. The reef ran NW/SE so the navigation was easy. After about 40minutes Tom and I navigated our way back to the boat only to find the anchor had dragged leaving a large furrow in the sand, the boat was 250m down wind and we started a long surface swim, until the crew came to get us.
For the second group the boat was repositioned in a slightly different place and the remaining divers had a fantastic dive reporting cuttlefish egg laying, turtles and many other wonderful sights - an excellent start to our trip.
The second day started late, with most people preferring to stay in bed until well after nine - the previous days early start of late finish much in evidence. The plan was to dive Dunlop Corner followed by Mid reef with a possible night dive perhaps at Asmarqa Point. It was about 11AM by the time we arrived at Dunlop, we tied off on the buoy and were surprised to find a very strong surface current - this was going to be a drift dive, so we rethought our plans to dive one wave and split into two, allowing the crew on the boat to spot and chase the divers when they surfaced. Martin and Andrea and Nick and Fleur going down first with myself and Todd and Nigel and John later. John had arrived at Tiga just as we set off to dive and was lucky to catch us. The current turned out to be only at the surface an 8m down on the reef there was very little. All divers reported very healthy reef with lots to see. The best part was west and south of the buoy with the reef to the east in poor condition. Nick found evidence of dynamite fishing in that direction, very sad considering the reef's position well inside the National park! A happy boat of divers returned to the resort just in time for lunch.
Next it was off to Mid reef, unfortunately Julius could not locate the reef so we went back to West End reef. We dived one wave with Tom and I going last. Matt had abandoned diving as he had developed a cold and Tom was on the edge of a cold with a slightly blocked nose, but we thought it worth a try. Unfortunately he couldn't clear his ears at 4m so we sat the dive out. A great pity as Andrea reported the dive her "best ever" and Martin rated it as "four excellents".
Todd, Nigel and Julius also enjoyed what must have been a bit of a drift as an hour after they started they surfaced half way to the resort. Even though conditions were excellent they were still very difficult to see. Thankfully they had a bright orange DSMB which was just visible.
Back again to the resort where the beer was already flowing, Julius informed us that the possible night dive was off the park authorities would not let us do a night dive saying they don't allow it as we might be using diving as a cover for illegal fishing. and so we joined the beer drinkers and sat watching the sun go down on an excellent days diving.
Sunday was a very different day with the wind having moved in from the South making the boats jump around alarmingly - good job we had a good anchor. There was no possibility of getting a dive in so we all sat around trying to ignore the boats attempts to end up on the beach. I went for a long walk so I could stop worrying about it. Most other people sat around drinking large amounts of tea. The weather improved a bit and we left the island about 1:45. The trip back was lumpy but fine taking about three hours. All in all the diving was much better than I thought it would be, it was a shame we didn't get to do a night dive as I am sure it would have been excellent. There is enough diving there to attract us back but when shall we go?
PS have a look at http://www.asiadivesite.com/malaysia-dive-sites/tiga/ for the dive sites
SUNDAY 3rd FEB 08
Well another good turnout with 13 divers showing up at Serasa for the trip. Welcome to Steve and Allison for their first trip on Down Under
III. The trip out to the Australian was a bit lumpy in the Cut but no more than expected, the swell easing as we headed to the wreck. Sam
drove the boat under the watchful eye of Matt and the shot was positioned to perfection, Martin and your correspondent tying off the
shot only a few meters from the bow of the wreck. There are many advantages to tying the shot you get the first go at the relatively
silt free inside of the wreck – useful for treasure hunting and you see more things before they are scared off by divers! The viz was
typical for this wreck at 10m or so and the water was a chilly 26 degrees. Again typical of this time of year were the numerous jelly's
and "sea snot" in the water, lets hope that the whale sharks are on their way to help clear it up. On to the Cement where the vis was
better than the week before but still poor at the stern end. The bait ball was still there but a lot smaller than the previous week – shows
that there are big fish about? Still a nice dive, Matt put a buoy on the gantry – let's see how long it lasts. Next was the Isle of K where
Nick and Fleur did some training whilst the rest of the crew commenced a concerted effort of Nitrogen scrubbing!
Don't forget the AGM at Danielle's house on Tuesday night house 61D Spg 1046 Jln Muara BBQ (bring meat and a plate!) 7PM
SUNDAY 27th JAN 08
YES WE DID IT - FIRST DIVE 2008 AND IN JANUARY WITH FULL BOAT!!
This is a first for recent years, a dive report in January. The boat was brought back from its refit and as if on cue the NE blew again.
There was no let-up yesterday as the wind got stronger throughout the day. There were 16 divers on the boat - another record for recent
years. A few new faces, with Stuart, Andrea, Kelly and Tom joining us for the first time. A few old faces Celia, Sam and Ray returning. Our
new treasurer Rob, Fleur on her 3rd trip with us and the usual crew, Dick, Cat, Matt, Dave, Oriel, Martin and your corespondent. A full boat!
The plan was to do the Cement and Rig Reef. On our way to the Cement wreck we decided to abandon all hope of Rig Reef until the calmer
weather returns. The swell was not to bad but built up all day as the wind grew stronger. What to say about the diving - not much really, we
did it! The vis was poor at 4-5m but there were more fish on the wreck than I have seen before, with divers being lost in the bait ball as it
zoomed around them. The bigger fish were feasting on the bait ball but with the vis being so poor it was hard to keep track of them. We did 2
dives on the wreck with the second being a little better than the first. We headed back to base with all happy to at least be out diving again.
Not sure what we will be up to in the next few weeks but the NE can last until the middle/end of March. We will dive when ever we can.
PS don't forget the AGM on the 5th Feb at Danielle's house Spg 1046
Jln Muara (don't know the house number) bring a plate it will be a
BBQ. Bring your $120 subs as they are due.
SUNDAY 2 nd of DECEMBER 2007
TBA no report to date
The boat should be going out (weather permitting) with a group from JIS.
Tuesday 27th of November 2007
Christmas Dinner at RBYC
Thanks to all the hard work of our Social Secretary, Danielle, the end-of-year dinner at the Yacht Club was a great success. The decorations and setting were very well done and I'm sure Ben had a hand in helping out too. The food was good and plentiful and we had around 30 attend. You can hear more about all that went on at the meeting on Tuesday evening.
Thanks again to Danielle.
Missing dive reports
SUNDAY 28th of October 2007
Weekend 27th-28th Oct Sunday (sat see below)
Sunday Sites: Petani Mistral and Australian Divers: JohnE, MarkT, MattN, Brigette, Martin, Grant, Richard, Nigel, Dick, Cat, Nick and Paul
This was the dive we have been talking about doing for two years, to my knowledge the club have not dived it for at least 8 years. Its not hard to see why as it is 35 nmiles away and sat in 47m of water, way past champion oil field and out where you can see no land, defiantly logistically difficult and a good weather window needed. The sea was lumpy on the 1 hour 50 min trip to the wreck, but not enough to slow us down much. Even with 12 divers, 4 twin sets, 700 ltrs of fuel and more gear than you can poke a stick at, we were still doing 20knts through the rain. We arrived at the wreck only to find it was getting a soaking from a rain squall, we waited for the rain to leave and then shotted it - the shot line had been extended by 5m to allow for the extra depth. There was no mistaking the wreck on the sonar - easy to spot with the fish clouds all over it. First divers down were John and Matt - one hour later when they came up (long deco dive) we found out how accurate the shot throw was. Anyway so as not to rub it in for those not on the dive - we all had a fantastic dive with excellent visability in blue water. The number of fish on the wreck was amazing with some very large snapper and barracuda as large as those seen at Sipadan (should of worn my bandana!). Defiantly worth all the effort of getting out there. It will not be the last time we dive the Petani Mistral, Martin was talking about another trip this year, I'm in! Second dive was the Australian - what a contrast to the vast blue of the Mistral, the dark green 3 - 5m vis of the Auz, still it was a good dive, not as good as Saturday but the schools of fish on the wreck are defiantly benefiting from the lack of a Brunei fishing fleet - long may it continue! Back at the club by 4pm and all done before the rain squall hit.
An excellent weekend diving, Regards Paul
SATURDAY 27th of October 2007
Weekend 27th-28th Oct Saturday
Sites: Australian and Cement Divers: Martin, Richard, Simon, Matt, Guy and Paul
A small but select group of divers for the first two dives of a four dive weekend. The sea was a little lumpy as we headed for the Australian wreck, about 0.8-1.2m with little wind and reasonable bright skies. The wreck was shotted and Martin and Richard tied off. The wreck had goodish visability being about 5 - 8m the school of jacks seem to be there every time we dive and they are getting more entertaining the more we see them. Treasure was found by Matt - his bedroom is getting full of little trinkets, this time he found a small brass door sign with the inscription "Mandoer" we thought it might be Dutch (have a look at mandoer.nl) but turns out that it is a Malay word meaning "overseer or foreman" I suppose it is derived from Dutch - so it must of been on one of the doors, it has polished up nicely. On to the Cement wreck, the seas were calming quickly now. The visability on the wreck was very good - not unlike the week before with very good vis to the sea bed all round the wreck, so that was the dive for us, we went to the bow along the sea floor at 30m and down to the scour area at the bow 33m (getting ready for Sunday's dive!). At the bow about 5m off on the port side (10 o'clock from the bow) lies a memorial to a diver who perished on the wreck last year - a somber sight. We tried out the "disco bar" or decompression trapeze to give it its proper name. It all seemed to work, with the bars at 9m and 6m a little too low for Suunto computers as they don't count down your stop if you are below 6m, this problem was rectified by resetting the knots that hold the bars to 5.5m and 8.5m. We were back at the club by 1.30 after a very relaxing pair of dives and a superb start to the weekend.
Excellent diving, Regards Paul
SUNDAY 21st of October 2007
We set off with the weather report from the previous day still fresh in our minds "wave height 1 - 1.7m". Still the sun was shining and the sky was blue and so it proved that the weather was very good, a slight swell that reduced throughout the day.
We almost cancelled the day before and that would have been a great pity as it turned out to be one of the best days we have had for some time.
We had a full boat with 13 divers on board for the trip to the American wreck. The wreck was shotted to perfection by Richard and helper. The shot tiers - John and Dave finding their job easy even in the poor visibility of 3-5m. All had good dives as most divers know this wreck very well the poor vis did not hamper many dives.
Second dive was on the Cement wreck - this wreck has caused us a few problems over the last couple of attempts to dive it, not so on Sunday. The vis was unusual as it was not as good as normal on the stern end but was much better than normal on the rest of the wreck. A good dive plan had you diving near the sea bed all the way up to the bow. At the bow the sea bed could clearly be seen - most unusual.
Dick and Cat were amongst the divers that enjoyed this rarity. Martin found treaure - Simon's dive slate lost 30 mins earlier and a knife donated to me - which I left on the boat.
After the dive a vote was taken and a cultural experience was called for, we enjoyed 2 cases of culture! A great day out. Next weekend we are doing a training dive with the Panaga club on the Petani Mistral, the boat is full, however there will be a dive on Saturday.
See you tonight (Tuesaday). Regards Paul
SUNDAY 14th of October 2007
SUNDAY 7th of October 2007
We started out with 13 divers, a calm sea and on arriving at the Blue Water Wreck we found that someone had placed a buoy for us to tie-off. The only thing missing from this picture was good vis on the wreck.
It was poor where the down line was tied and improved only slightly going toward the stern. It was almost colorless but some large barracuda and bat fish were around plus a few jacks.
Onward and upward to the Cement Wreck and let the games begin! Did anyone see the wreck? I'll let Paul tell the rest of the story on Tuesday night.
One good point is that we are getting more divers to assist in the boat handling and learn the in's and out's of the shot line duties. But in the next few months we we be losing a couple of key members so we still need people to learn some new skills. After diving with us it will make diving at your next dive resort look like child's play.
SUNDAY 16th of September 2007
Well only 6 passed muster to set off to the Australian wreck. The sea was ok if a little lumpy. The new(new) shot line was employed to perfection with the weight going straight inside the wreck. The vis on the wreck was about 3-5 meters. The current on the surface was absent on the wreck. Not as many fish on the wreck as 3 weeks ago but the school of jacks are still zooming around the deck structure - but were not that easy to see. We did a long swim at 30m along the seabed on the starboard side to the bomb hole and from there to the "secret place" and looked for treasure - didn't find any. A very typical dive on this wreck and most enjoyable.
On to the Cement wreck where we discovered 6 divers down so we waited for them to finish before shotting the wreck - I was nervous about this as we had had trouble the week before with the new shot line, however, the new(new) line did the trick again and it was an easy tie on on the port side stern davit. As my buddy and I were waiting for our turn to dive (last) we were joined by Eng and the crowd from the Empire, they were in the ski boat and it was said that their bags were packed for a night in Labuan.
The light on the stern end of the wreck was an eirey green, the vis was very good at about 15m or so, things got much worse as you ventured further towards the bow. My buddy and I did a trip round the interior and I was looking to practise my new skills - learnt at Steve Oakley's lecture on Tuesday night. I found all sorts of things I thought I knew the name for acidians - solatory and colonial and what was the other stuff.... oh yes yellow fish!
On the way back just to top off a great day diving we were treated to a squall on the way into the cut vis was not much better that the Auz wreck! Excellent day and such a pitty that only 6 of us were out there.
This weekend we are very busy. On Sat the Panaga divers are going out on our boat. They will be diving the Blue Water and the cement, I am told there will be a few places spare - please let me know if you are interested.
Also on Sunday we have 4 divers from Miri joining us, they would also like to do the Blue and Cement, again, please let me know if you are interested.
SUNDAY 9th of SEPTEMBER 2007
26th AUG NO Dive ???
SUNDAY 19th of AUGUST 2007
Dear All Ten divers were on board the boat as it headed off on the stroke of 8AM to the Blue Water wreck. Much anticipation over the reported rough sea was in evidence from the rumblings down the back and it wasn't from the engines - oh yes Nick was on board!
Truth be told the sea was fine, there was a slight swell but nothing to worry us. We were shotting the Blue at about 8:50 and a poor effort it was!
This scribe and his assistants were at least 40m (they were on nitrox 32 weren't they - Ok 40m FROM wreck NOT depth thank goodness I miss red this first time [DO, ED]) away from the wreck when we went to tie off and it was only from following fish that we got anywhere near. (GOOD SENARIO ITEM maybe) Where is Eng when she is needed I would love to learn the "dragging the anchor" technique. Anyway we were tying off on the wreck after about four mins so I suppose I cannot complain too loudly. The dive was very good, it would of been excellent if we had had a bit of sunlight (if we had good sunlight I think i would have see one of the best vis dives o this wreck in a long time DO, ED - dived last). The viz was about 15m or so and there were loads of fish - schools of yellowtail barracuda with a large one (1m+) eyeing us up from the wreck. Everybody seemed to have a good dive and we headed off to the Cement wreck for the second dive.
This time it was shotted to perfection and Matt and I had it tied off 3 mins after leaving the surface. The vis was good on the stern with the usual murk lower down on route to the bow. Danial (not Parry but our new Trainee - who Qualified the next dive! - welcome on board) seemed to enjoy it - he certainly breathed a lot of his air! After the Cement, Nick and Dan did a short training dive on Barret Banks and then we headed off home and arrived back at a very early 2:30. Welcome to the club to Frank and congrats to Danial who completed his open water. Also welcome to Richards guest Marian who trusted R to take on the Blue Water after not diving for 3 years - brave woman! Some great banter on the boat - another excellent day diving. Next week if the weather is OK we will try and do Auz and another - if Clint is kind to us we could go and look for the barge that went down out the cut.....
(ED, DO Nigel)
SUNDAY 12th of AUGUST 2007
What a difference a week makes! After an attempt a week ago on Friday to dive the Salute, Sunday was a near perfect day with calm seas and about a 4 hour window of slack tides. We had 11 divers. All went well with Paul skippering the boat into position while Dave deployed the shot line. John and Grant were first down to tie-off and 10 minutes later Nigel, carrying the plaque around his neck and looking like a rap singer with heavy jewelry, quickly descended chased by myself and Cat. John and Grant had us tied on the stern so it was a short swim over to where I had placed a rope marker a few weeks ago and in a minute Nigel had it secured and locked in place. Perfect! We believe that this is the spot where the old plaques once were located: mid ship and a few meters above the sonar dome. Please go to www.panagadivers.com to see John's report and look at the pictures.
We did a second dive on the Salute and although the conditions were starting to deteriorate it was still OK. It takes many dives to get orientated on this wreck and the more you dive it the more you see. The GAP students did great and seemed to enjoy themselves with their first wreck dive in Brunei. Mission Accomplished.........
It was off to the Island for a brief stopover then quickly back to Serasa to beat the low tide. All in all a pretty good outing for the club.
Mail From Wayne Shafer, who's brother died on the USS Salute
Wayne Shafer wrote:
From: "Wayne Shafer"
To: "Dick Pomeroy"
Subject: Re: [Brunei_diving] Sunday's Dive on the USS Salute
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2007 17:30:10 -0400
I'm so happy the seas calmed and diving went well for all on your dive this past Sunday.
We, the Salute family who have gone to the web site and have seen the new plaque are all very pleased it looks really great so if you will please thank all involed for us and don't forget to thank "rap singer look alike while the plaque was around his neck" Nigel for giving up his prized jewelry leaving it with Salute for all humans who wish they were fish to see. :)
Also thank John for his report and the corrections on your web site they are much appreciated. I as well as others will continue checking out the web site from time to time.
Who knows you may have some of Salute's crew members children and or grandchildren show up looking for you asking you to be their dive buddy.
I do hope you keep coming to us with questions concerning Salute we wouldn't want you going anywhere else. Who else could have told you right off the bat that Salute didn't have a stack (funnel) that its exhaust was piped out the side of her hull while most of her sister ships had a stack?
I may be asked for your email address by JPAC. If so do I have your permission to give it to them?
I don't believe this is possible but just in case. For those who may not have checked out the web site yet here it is once more:
Dives 3RD and 5TH AUGUST 2007
Well it was a wild day as we went out the cut - inside it was flat and calm. Still the swell was long and not too bad - if the peaks had got closer together ... We arrived USA wreck and shotted it to perfection tied on by John and Lucy - they were the only two to see any bits of the wreck! When they surfaced the next team were about to dive and after a chat with John it was decided to abort, the vis was about 1m! The sea bed being lifted by the swell and the vis lower down was v bad. Dick and Guy untied the shot and had a very spiritual dive. We turned round and headed home with our tail between our legs. A very disappointing day for this correspondent as he is seriously in need of a nitrogen fix! On a good note we were not able to supply our gap students with their normal night out in a Labuan police cell........
As Paul had such a bad trip Martins was advised and cancelled Sunday dives.
Sunday 17 th of June 2007
It was that kind of day..... There was something for
From not finding the Blue Water Wreck in about 3 meter
vis to striking a submerged log to Cat falling off the
boat and Nick being attacked by some marine organism
at the Isle of K. Also the port engine locked in gear
as we were approaching the Serasa Yacht Club and we
went sailing past.
There is some good news to report and that is Paul was
released from RIPAS, at least for the day, but still
has to undergo further tests just to be on the safe
We did manage to get 9 divers and thanks to Matt for
taking the boat out.
Monday 11th of June 07 NIGHT DIVE "EMPIRE"
Last night a few of us did a night dive at Little Dale Reef and it turned out to be a very nice dive.
Eng did a good job of making all the arrangments and it was professionally handled by the staff at ScubaTec.
It was a beautiful night with a calm sea and the underwater vis was about 20 meters. You can hear more on this dive and the dives on Sunday
at tonight's meeting.
If you have club tanks please return them to Martin's ASAP. Last count on Monday there were 8 tanks still out so we need them back for servicing for Sunday's dive.
SUNDAY 10 th June 2007
We were a bit late setting off - don't ask! The sea was flat calm as we headed to the Auz wreck. The shot was tied off by Cecelia and Matt
(nice to see you both out diving again), the vis was better than average with only slight current from bow to stern, lots of jacks
swimming through all deck levels - an excellent dive. Nick was taking Nigel (new member) through his open water 3 and 4 dives so we stopped
at Barret Banks for the surface interval it was then off to the Cement wreck for another excellent dive with the best vis of the year (for
me) on this wreck. Again lots of fish - including 2 very big Titan Trigger fish (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_triggerfish) best
to stay away from them at this time of year - ask Eng! Nigel completed his Open Water - well done and welcome to the club. We all headed off
to the Isle of K where the bar is now open again and we celebrated Richards birthday by helping him to finish a case - great days diving.
Tonight a few of us are doing a night dive with the Empire ($30 with your own kit) I will report back to you about it.
Sunday 4th June 2007
After about a three hour rain delay and a stubborn engine we departed Serasa with 8 divers. The first stop was Rig Reef and with a calm sea and the rain clouds starting to breakup.
There was a pretty strong surface current and after surfacing from your entry you were just about at the last grab ring on the boat. Looking down from the surface the reef was in view so the vis must have been 15+ meters. Better than I have seen it in a long time.
I did tour looking for the reef that is located southeast and after a 7 minute swim on a heading of 150 degrees, found it. This reef is prettier than the
reef that is located northeast of the rig legs and the depth on the reef is around 12 meters. Makes for a good navigation training dive also. At the end of my dive I thought the vis was going down and the current getting stronger and that was later confirmed by Nigel so we moved on to Abana Reef.
Abana Reef was pretty and the vis was very good. I have never been a big fan of Abana but this spot was a good reef dive. The current did pick up nd a couple of divers drifted off heading for Singapore.
More on Tuesday night.....
Interested in a Night Dive on Little Dale?
Eng will be at the meeting on Tuesday and will give us the details of diving with ScubaTec.
Also Eng has some info on the new wreck that sank somewhere near Abana Reef.
A third dive was attempted. As the boat had to pick up the last divers before they reached Singapore - was now off station on Abana, and with the current increasing Nigel and Ian Barker (on walkabout from UK) had still to complete their second dive. It was decided to forget Abana and as Ian had come to see the wrecks we would do the last dive on the cement .
Paul shot the wreck and Ian and Nigel went in and straight down due to possible currents. On the way down Nigel's Octopus was blowing off uncontrollable and the vis was very bad down to 2-3 meters at the bottom at 34.8 meters and no wreck in sight. As Nigel octopus was still leaking and air was down to 130 Bar already the dive was abandoned
NO dive, boat Crook
SUNDAY 20th May 2007
It was another on-time departure from Serasa of Down Under 3 with 11 souls on board. Another beautiful day for our first dive of the year on the Australian Wreck.
The shot was thrown and Richard and Martin went over the side to tie off. So far so good. For the first two minutes it was really picture perfect going down the line in beautiful blue-green water with the silver bubbles coming up from the divers below. Then at 18 meters someone turned out the lights and things got dark and the water turned to a murky brown. Vis dropped to about 2 meters and stayed that way all the way to the wreck. I did a couple of short runs out and back from the shot line then figured enough is enough, threw in the towel and came up. Others had a better
experience and you can hear all about it on Tuesday.
The Cement Wreck was beautiful. From the surface down to 20 meters with good vis and brilliant colors. This would have been the perfect dive for Open Water divers...
SUNDAY 13th May 2007
What a difference a week makes regarding the sea conditions heading out to the dive site.
We departed Serasa shortly after 8 am and made a quick pick up at the public jetty then headed out with 11 of the faithful on board to the first stop, the American Wreck. The sea was calm, the shot was thrown and John and Stan went in to tie off. It was a little gloomy going down the shot line but at about 16 meters the wreck came into view and as we got closer you could see all the way to the sea floor. The forward vis was maybe 8-10 meters and the definition of the wreck features was excellent. Cat and I immediately went to the mast to look for the marbled ray but no luck there so we so we continued around the perimeter Checking the sea bed for debris and then at the stern checked to see if the props were still attached. The port prop remains intact with just a portion of one of the blades sticking up thru the sand. Hopefully no more of the wreck will be destroyed and sold off for scrap. There were lots of barracuda and other fish which made for a pretty dive. Returning to the shot line we managed to catch a glimpse of a white tip reef shark swimming by.
Over on Rig Reef the colors of the coral on the structure were nice but again, where have all the big fish gone? In the past Rig Reef was the home to many barracuda and jacks but I didn't see any that day. I used to be able to find 2 additional reefs located in a southeast direction from the structure but after about a 3 minute swim I figured I must have missed it and came back and went to the reef at the northeast end of the rig. Not much there as far as color and fish life so came back and enjoyed a leisurely dive around the rig. Sand Fly City was the next port of call then back to Serasa to end a very nice diving day.
SUNDAY 6th May 2007
We left Serasa on time with 13 divers and headed out for the Blue Water Wreck. The Sea was choppy even before the cut and got worse the further out we went.
It wasn't the worst ride we have had to endure but not a pleasant trip with 1 1/2 to 2 meter swells arriving at the wreck site. We threw the shot and Danielle and Grant tied us off. The vis on the wreck was OK, maybe 10+ meters, with a very slight current running from the stern to the bow. The colors were pretty at the 26 meter depth but there was a lack of big fish and I really don't remember many fish of any size. One of those days, I guess. Anyway the real trick was getting up the ladder and back into the boat without getting injured or losing a fin. A few of the divers starting
feeling queezy with the rough sea and we had a missing diver scenario but fortunetly he had a DSMB we were able to spot him befor we had drifted out of visual range.
Over on the Cement Wreck we had to wait until another dive boat vacated the site before we could tie-off and start diving. This really didn't help those with a weak stomach. The vis was so so with thousands of bait fish and many barracuda and a few jacks.
After that we were all ready to throw in the towel so we headed straight back to Serasa and called it a day......
SUNDAY 29th April 2007
Well, after a sighting earlier in the week of a whaleshark on the Cement Wreck we decided to do two dives there on Sunday in the hope that maybe, just maybe, we'd get lucky.
The score at the end of the day and two dives:
We got skunked but the odds were against us and actually seeing a whaleshark in Brunei Bay is a rare event. But you have to try....
It was a good day none the less with 10 divers and good weather with a slightly choppy sea. The boat looks and runs good thanks to Martin's hard work and all that it needs is more divers to fill the spaces.
The vis on the wreck wasn't crystal but about what we have come to expect and at the upper levels where the sunlight gets through it's colorful with plenty of bait fish and barracuda lurking just within visual range. (See John's pictures in the Panaga web site).
The water temp was a comfortable 29c and not much current. The were some jellies and other things that sting in the water so you need to protect yourself at all times. Our window of opportunity to see the whalesharks pass through is starting to close but I think we might have a couple of weeks left so come on out and dive.
SUNDAY 22nd April 2007
We had 11 divers for the first trip of the year to the Blue Water wreck. Eng drove us all the way out there and we arrived at about
9.15, sea conditions were excellent. The wreck was shotted although not that close as Martin & Richard had to use a reel and distance line
to go off and search for the wreck. The bad shot throw can be defended as the visability near the bottom was no more than a couple of meters
- most unusual for this wreck and so what would have been an easy job with normal vis turned into a more difficult job in bad vis. The vis
at the top of the wreck (26m) was good and masses of anemone (Cnidria Anthozoa?) type things were clinging to all the whip corals around the
stern end of the wreck, I have not seen these here before. Nigel and I explored the wheel house area, it looks to have collapsed and has left
various dangers exposed - things look very unstable, take care if you find yourself in that area. All in all a good dive, the extra time the
Nitrox 30 gave us confused me as I arrived back at the shot line with 100bar and 8 minuets before deco remaining so we poked around on the
upper part of the wreck for a few more mins before untying the shot and heading back - we arrived back on board with 60 bar each having
done a dive with a total time of 41mins - the benefits of Nitrox!
Next it was off to the Cement wreck, the water was cold at 25 degrees.
The shotting this time was very good with the gantry visible on the echo sounder and from the surface. We all expected the very good vis
of the week before. Nigel and I dived last and we had very poor vis on the way to and from the bow. The wheel house roof area was fine and
the octopus was very happy to play a rope game with Nigel - get him to explain on Tuesday!
A great days diving ended up with a debrief on the
spit with Stan providing some excellent smoked meat.
FRIDAY 20th April 2007
Sunday 15th April 2007
As Dick is away diving in the Maldives I better do the dive report. We had 14 divers on the boat including 2 new members, Simon and Albert.
If you think you have to get up early on a dive day spare a thought for these guys who drove from Limbang to be with us at 7.30AM! After
picking up the people at the floating jetty, we headed off to the Cement Wreck. Shotted to perfection the "Nitrox squad" tied off on the
top of the gantry giving us a clasic Cement wreck dive. Vis was very good on the stern but murky down lower. Many jellies were sighted and
the octopus was out on tourist duty only to return to his usual place for the last divers. Second dive was on Rig reef, the structures were
exactly where Matt's GPS predicted, the vis was not as good as it can be but ok. The sea state was good all day even though 1.2m was predicted.
We returned to the spit for a few cans of Limbang nitrogen scrubber - thanks go to Simon & Albert for the donation of a case. I have a
question why did the "Nitrox squad" need more tins of nitrogen scrubber than the air lot it should of been less?
And So as Dubbed by Paul "THE NITROX SQUAD" is Born - thanks Paul.
Nigel (DO & Ed)
Sunday 8th April 2007 (First Dive of 2007 !!!!! & First NITROX for the NITROX
SQUAD Squad ?? See 15th April report by Paul
All I can tell you at present is the Dive went ahead, the Vis on Cement was Good, and long for those in the NITROX group (First for the Club). The Reef was not so great Vis OK but not much fish life.
I missed the whole thing as I still had a Cold. Te above came from Martins SMS telling me that I had not missed the whale sharks.
I will be there next week. Will the Whake Sharks? we will see.
I pinched a copy of John's report from Panaga
Cement Wreck and Abana Reef
Massive balls of swirling fry were seen on the Cement Wreck as Bandar divers made its inaugural dive of 2007. There were octopus, morays, lionfish and unusually, a sleeping turtle.
The second dive at Abana Reef showed excellent hard and soft coral development, much like our own TKS and Porter Patch but more so. The only downside was the almost complete lack of fish.
A stop at the spit for nitrogen scavenging rounded off a brilliant start to the Bandar season.
Friday 2nd March 07 (Non Club, info)
But some club members got wet
Though not technically a club dive 3 club members and the commodore of RBYC braved the swell and headed out to the Cement wreck. There was no bouy on the wreck and we didn't want to anchor in 30m so we operated a "live boat" as the Panaga divers do (i.e. we dropped off the divers and drove around waiting for them to come up). Martin and Dave were dropped off right over the stern but the viz was so poor that they missed the wreck and had to perform a search to find it - they only found it 5 mins before they hit deco so only had time to tie on the reel and send up a dsmb for the 2nd wave of divers to go down. Mike and I descended the line only to find viz of 2m at 25m. We headed to the stern where viz was much improved at about 5-7m. A very large number of bait fish were swimming about attracting a few trevelly. The big trigger fish seems to have grown and will be worth avoiding come nesting season! We returned to the bow and surfaced to find a squall had hit and the sea was rough. The local divers who had joined us were looking decidedly green!
Not a bad dive but lets hope the viz improves before we head out there again in a couple of weeks time. The club boat is due back at Serasa next weekend so we should be diving on the weekend of the 18th March.
The Committee retired, put out to pasture, told to take a hike; and a NEW Committee was voted into office. Strangely enough, the NEW Committee looks exactly like the old Committee. If we are going under the theory of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" then that might work for awhile. What we would like to see is more input from the Club Members. Paul and other members touched upon this topic and the only way for the club to grow and remain in operation is for the members to take an active part
If the numbers remain good we are considering doing dives on Friday as well as Sunday. But we have to know who is available and willing to commit once a dive is scheduled
Searching for new dive sites sounds simple but is more involved than that. It is time consuming and expensive but if the members are willing and ready to support these trips then the club will do it
Need to upgrade your qualifications or diving skills? We have two instructors, Eng and Danielle
Diving insurance: the club does not require that you have dive insurance but it is highly recommended
Check out the DAN AsiaPacific website or if you are a BSAC member see what their insurance offers. If you get hurt while diving then one phone call will start the process of medical treatment or evacuation. As soon as the weather and sea conditions settle down then we will start diving again. Dick
Sunday 10th December 06
We had a slight delay departing Serasa due to the traffic management fiasco caused by the Brunei marathon but shortly after 8 we were on our way to the "bouncing jetty" to pickup the rest of our group.
In all we had 14 divers. One diver had to cancel due to a cold and another was in the marathon. If what I read in the paper is true, he maybe still running the streets of Bandar trying to find his way back on the course.
The ride out to the Blue Water wasn't too bad and after about an hour ride we were on station and the shot line deployed. John and Mark were first down to tie-off. Descending down the line I was encouraged that the visibility might be pretty good but once on the wreck it was fair to poor. I guess I'm spoiled now after all the good dives we have had this year. During the surface interval John was conducting an emergency scenario for dive leaders-in-training.
Kirsty really has to do something about all those uncontrolled buoyant ascents!! Everyone learns from these drills and we hope to conduct more classes next year.
Over on the Cement Wreck: After first trying to tie-off to a floating plastic jug we tied-up on the remaining permanent buoy. The vis was poor at 25 meters but OK at about the 20 meter mark. I did the "tour" and tried to keep my finning speed down to acceptable limits as to not incur the wrath of my dive buddies. I guess I sometimes get bored and want to keep moving. Sorry about that....
Paul, Matt T and Kristy had a great dive though and Paul said "it was better than Sipadan"
Then it was over to the Isle of K detox centre for some much needed nitrogen scrubbing and the fact that a very large line of thunderstorms was approching was another good reason to seek shelter
The ride to Serasa was quite choppy all the way home but Paul did a great job of "driving" and we were back around 5
Many of the regular divers have or will depart Brunei for the holidays but a few of us will be around and there may be a dive on for next Sunday. We'll keep you posted
and now Here is Kirsties description of our dive on Sunday, hold your breath.......
Another week bites the dust. Wasn't too bad a week too. Sunday I went out diving and had the best damn dive EVER! It was totally amazing and Im not sure if it would sound good if explained but here goes.
The first one was average, but on the way up me and my two dive buddies spotted this MASSIVE jellyfish, like bigger than a football, with stinging tentacles about five metres long, in every direction and god that scared me. but it was a beautiful thing to look at, it was so alien-like, with the jellyfish looking as though it was breathing and thses long thin tentacles floating around it. that made that dive. And again, in between the dives, we did anouther rescue scenario thing where I was the unconscious victim. but this time, there was a bit of a swell so being dragged onto the boat wasn't so smooth and I was bashed around a bit.
Anyway, the second dive started out fine. We got down to the shipwreck and were paddling around the stern of the boat when I spotted some cool fish. One was a trumpet-fish (use your imagination as to why its called that) and it let me get really close to it. I actually touched it! Then I saw a file fish, which is a really thin stretched fish that likes to think it looks like coral. So as I was trying to show my two buddies the fish they were looking somewhere else, away from the wreck and were pointeing to me to look the same way. I focused and could see small tuna fish darting around everywhere, chasing something too small to see. So we sorta just hovered there watching these fast fish when all of a sudden, a massive schaol, of about three million, small glass fish came round the corner of the wreck and we were engulfed in them. It was stunning! I was so excited I could help but squeal with delight. There were so many you couldn't see anything around you but fish, and when you stuck your hand out you could feel them swimming through your fingers. And it turned out they were being chased by bigger fish, the tuna fish. So this massive cloud of smaller fish went darting roudn us in total unison, it was amazing to watch. they went inside the wreck for cover then came back out and surrounded us again. And then even bigger fish, like a foot to two feet long came into the picture and were chasing the tuna fish aswell as the small glass fish. It was a feeding frenzy, there were fish everywhere going completely mad. A few of them actually started attacking the side of the wreck, they were all going phsyco! It looked like something off of national geographic, I cannot explain in words how breath taking it was, the fish paid no attention to us, surrounded us, engulfed us. The three of us spent the whole dive just in that spot, watching this wonderful dance in front of us.
The tuna fish would surround the ball of galss fish, concentrate them and one by one dart in and snatch their meal. Unfortunately we had to go as there was only so much air in our tanks, but all the way up we could see this act of canabilsim which i couldn't take my eyes off.
And again, on the way up we saw another big jellyfish. Not as large as the first one but the tentacles were longer so we got out pretty sharply and were totally high after the dive, none of the guys on the boat could shut us up!
Then when we got the kuraman for our beer stop, or as one of the divers call it, "Nitrogen scavenging", he believes beer is good for you after a few dives; it homes in on any nitrogen bubbles and eliminates them. Sounds good to me! We were there for longer than normal because there was a big storm heading out way, we couldn't drive home in it so we waited for it to pass over. Wow it was great. It was PISSING it down, the wind was blowing...lighting was flashing and thunder was booming. Like a twister or storm movie!
When it died down enough for us to drive home in, we went. But the sea was still quite rough, that was fun! I really enjoy going through seas like that, its adrenaline boosting I tell you! Yeh......
Sunday 26th November 06
Maybe we can attribute the weather and sea conditions to global warming or whatever but we have had some
excellent dives in the past few weeks. The northeast monsoons have held off, at least for awhile, and the under water visibility has been good to very good.
We wish that could be said for the condition of the wrecks as some salvage operator is slowly and systematically destroying the remaining structures of the Australian and the American wrecks.
On the Australian Wreck they have rigged several 55 gallon drums as a lifting device in preparation to bring a large pipe to the surface and on the American Wreck one of the propellers has been cut off and removed.
The dives on Sunday were great and we had 14 divers.
The sea was calm but a strong current was present on the American Wreck. The marble ray was on station under the mast but you had to fin hard to get there.
Most divers abandoned the attempt and stayed on the wreck pulling themselves along against the current.
Better come to the dive meeting on Tuesday to hear the rest of the story and get on the list for next Sunday.
Martin will be away for the entire month of December
so if you have left your tanks at his house then
please retieve them for safe keeping.
Sunday 19th November 06
We got off to a late start from Serasa due to an engine not starting but Martin spent a good 30 minutes troubleshooting the problem in sweltering heat to get us going. We should all thank Martin for his effort.
Motored down to the public jetty to pickup the other divers and then we were off for the Australian Wreck.
In total we had 14 divers
What a surprise (again) as the vis on the wreck was pretty good for this time of year. Eng and Ashleigh tied-off the shot and did a good job as there was a pretty good breeze on the surface with the swells coming from the northeast. Martin and I were last down and did a tour of the debris field several meters from the wreck. Where did that anchor and chain come from? First time either of us had seen it! We finished at the bow and had to race to near the stern to untie
Once we released the shot line it was an express ride with both of us hanging on and moving down to the end of the line as it was swinging up by the pull of the boat. The ascent alarms were beeping pretty good for a few seconds then everything settled down for a normal ascent
Over on the Cement Wreck we were able to tie-off on the stern gantry buoy and the Empire folks were a few meters away tied-up on the other buoy. There was a strong surface current that continued down for a few meters. Three divers from the other boat surfaced near us. We called for them to take our drift line but they either didn't understand or had another plan but in the end they drifted away headed for Singapore. Their boat had to retrieve them then return to the buoy to wait for the other divers. Still not carrying a DSMB and whistle?? You should have been there to see just how quickly things can unwind. Martin estimated a two knot current and it only took a couple of minutes to put these divers at the edge of visual range
After a quick stop on K we returned to the Big Island
Eng is getting some practice in handling the boat and did a good job getting us home
Next week we will have some low tides at departure time so the boat skipper will decide on a plan and let us know on Tuesday.
Sunday 12th November 06
It was a beautiful day and we left Serasa with 5 divers and motored down to the public bouncing jetty to pickup 4 divers, who are not RBYC members. It was like going through Checkpoint Charlie as we drove through the gate at the Yacht Club But rules are rules so we had to comply; it's as simple as that!
The Australian Wreck was the first stop, the shot was thrown and Richard and myself were first down to tie-off. It was a perfect spot so all we had to do was lift the shot to a high point, make a double granny knot for the guys that had to un-tie, and start the dive. It was relatively clear for this time of year and with the tide conditions I didn't expect much of a dive but I was wrong (again). This was Richard's first time on the wreck so I wanted to give him "the tour" around the outside to get him orientated. John and Paul went deeper into the wreck and noted that some of the brass around the port holes has been cut away.
You might want to check out Panaga's web site to get a better report of what's happening with the wrecks.
After that it was off to the Cement Wreck where the vis was not so good. The big octopus is gone now but we saw a few large barracuda near the bow and there's always the bait fish that come in to check us out. There's a stainless steel weight and chain at about 21 meters near the bow on the port side that would be nice to recover so maybe next time we could bring a lift bag and get it back to the surface.
There was some training going on and DSMB's were popping up as divers were coming to the surface. A good skill to learn and practice.
Then it was off for nitrogen removal at the detox center on Kuraman. Since they were out of the main ingredient the visit was cut short and we headed back to the bouncing jetty and Serasa.
Sunday 29th of October 06
The Sites were Blue Water and Cement
Sunday 15th October 06
Blue Water Wreck
Two Thunbs UP!
Lots of other divers in the water
Vis not so good......
Celebrated Martin's 39th birthday........
No dive scheduled for Sunday the 22nd......
Probably forget the dive meeting on the 24th.....
Dive scheduled for Sunday the 29th
Martin will be away so contact him after the 26th if
you need equipment......
Sunday 8th of October 06
Martin will take the boat out on Sunday. Right now we
are planning on the American and Cement wrecks however
if by some miracle the weather and seas clear up then
maybe we can go out to the Blue Water.
Contact me or Martin to get on the list.
Panagag are looking to charter our Boat for Saturday 7th of October 06
Not much info yet, but looks like it is on and Paul will be Boat Captain. It appears that it will be a PANAGA DIVE DAY. If the boat is not full then there will probabley by some places available. If you are interested then Paul will have more info.
Saturday has been reserved for the Panaga Dive Club in
appreciation for the many times that their members
have come to dive with us and helped support the use
of our boat. There may be a couple of spots available
for our club members wanting to get out on a Saturday
however Paul is needing help with the boat handling
so if you go be prepared to throw the shot line or
haul in the anchor. Contact Paul for details.................
The Plan was a repeat of last weeks plan - to look at a seldom dived wreck off the south western end of Pulau Pappan - just outside Labuan harbour. The wreck is in 16 meters of water and should be interesting as to my knowledge it has not been dived by the club for at least 7 years.
Again we were intending to do two dives on the wreck and again just like last week it did not go quite to plan although we did dive the wreck on the first dive. Unfortunately see was rough day was overcast and smoke hazed so no sun penetration and the Vis was not Good. The bottom is mud and after one dive the Wreck vis had become to bad to make a second dive. With the weather conditions and the wreck location there was not many options for a second dive location. In the end we decided the closest was Kurts Knob at Kuraman. So off we went it was a rough 30 min trip but Matt got us there safely and on with the second dive.
The wreck is a ship. Steel construction. Lying on its Port side (very similar to Blue Water wreck) but Half of it appears to be buried in the sand/mud bottom. Appears to be Single Screw. Prop is missing. The wreck is basically whole but has some Large holes in it. The interior of the hull is completely empty in all the areas I looked. It seems to have very large open plan decks/holds. It also appears to have an aft and a mid Superstructure. It also has a Large Cargo Door on the Starboard Side Mid section.
With the vis and only one dive it is difficult to tell what it is but with the open decks and the big cargo door mid section it might be a Car ferry.
I enjoyed the New wreck even though the vis was not to good. It has good potential for training in a number of different disciplines in reasonably shallow water. It was good to dive a new wreck but being the only dive site we know (at present) in this area and being a long trip to get to it makes dive planning difficult. We must find some more sites in that area!!
The second Dive at Kurts Knob, was also one I enjoyed being totaly different from our normal dives. I went in and actually just brushed a rock out crop which was only 1m below the surface almost under the boat. The actual bottom was 2.9m. Oriel and I moved off to do a circular swim around the Knob. We move off down the slight slope onto the fringe of the reef in about 5m of water. The vis was good and we just casually moved along looking at all the life of which three was plenty. The bottom is a bit barren but the out crops of rocks are all the better for it. This was the first time I can actually say I have seen a large Stone fish in Brunei. I very nice specimen which I found shading under an overhang on a rock. He refused to accept that I knew he was not a rock and refused to swim so I could show him to Oriel. I had to push him across the bottom just like a Stone. After making sure his was back were h came from we slowly made our way back to the boat and found everyone else one board and waiting to move off for refreshments.
In summary the days diving had a mixed reception from the divers as a group. The weather was not good the Haze did not help I think all enjoyed the day some enjoyed different aspects of the two dives and some found it just another 2 dive in the log. But WE GOT OUT and WET!!
We started out with 13 divers (1 no-show that didn't bother to call and cancel) and headed out to a new dive site abeam of Labuan. This is a wreck that hadn't been dived for several years by our club and none of us had much information to go on but we thought we'd give it a try anyway. Took about one hour and 10 minutes through a choppy sea and once there the shot was thrown and the first group went over the side to tie it off. The wreck, now known as "Mattz Wreck", is in 16.6 meters of water and, on a good day might offer a site to do some wreck diving for those limited by experience or certification requirements. It was rather hazy on Sunday and not much sunlight was able to penetrate down to the wreck. There was a nice school of silver jacks and many juvenile barracuda plus a large solo barracuda swam past.
The original plan was to do 2 dives there but it was decided to move on to Kuraman for a dive in the protected area just out of earshot of the Tiger beer call. Actually it could have been a pretty dive but I elected not to change tanks and with only 60 bar and at a depth of 3 meters I was too buoyant to stay neutral so I came back to the boat early.
After a brief stop on the island we came back to Serasa through some pretty good swells and made a quiet no-engine approach to the jetty at the Yacht Club.
The plan was to look at a seldom dived wreck off the south western end of Pulau Pappan - just outside Labuan harbour. The wreck is in 16 meters of water and should be interesting as to my knowledge it has not been dived by the club for at least 7 years.
Original plan was to do Two dives on Pulau Pappan but on the day the Boat Captain (not briefed on the two dive plan) had preplanned to do Australian Wreck and the the Pulau Pappan.
As with all plans this did not go as intended. After diving the Aus, Due to starter problems on Port Engine we could only start the Starboard Engine . with one engine it was decided to abandon the trip to the Pulau Papan and just go to the American Wreck which was very close.
Martin placed the shoot and John Elder (ex, act Panaga DO) and I went down to tie off. Strong surface current had me breathing hard to get to shot and down it with out dragging it. Shot was placed nicely slightly aft of mid and we tied off. Vis was very good considering we had no sun at all. I followed John. We went aft along the top deck and then Down through all the decks to the lower deck then forward through various holes in bulkheads then through a companionway to the engine room. Then up a couple of decks and forward again. John took plenty of PICS and there was quite a bite of life. Having used a lot of air getting to the buoy and down, I was now low on air and indicated to John that we should start up. Just as we got to the line and started up my DECO warning started
Martin again placed the shoot and John and I went down to tie off. Surface current was not to strong but pulling buoy. Current reduced on the way down but was still running slightly at the bottom. Vis was not to bad about 10-15 m but NO Wreck in sight. There was however a Portable Generator sitting on the bottom and the shot was passing it slowly being dragged by the Surface buoy. Tried moving the shot forward but could not fight the surface current. So before I lost the generator I tied off to it. The generator was attached to another line which was in very poor condition but headed off up current into the gloom and disappeared also into the sand. John whipped out his reel and attached to the gen set and off we went laying line and going up current.
About 40 m and out of the gloom came ... The Wreck. Tied off Johns reel and off we went. Couple of circuits of the wreck. Vis was on the better side of good for the American. John was taking pictures so he can update the Wreck drawings. He had also briefed me that he wanted to to a penetration through the port aft access hatch. This was done with me following him in through the deck hatch and waiting and watching him whilst he went through the second hatch (quite small) and into the bunk room. 1-2 mins sweep and the we extracted ourselves and went forward. I showed John the Gun Barrel and the we moved forward. On the upper forward section we found 4-6 Depth Charge Primers complete with the Timer heads placed on the deck along with two other timer heads. There was also a number of other items including packets of welding Rods. All of these items have been collected from around the wreck and brought out into the open and placed/left there.
With air getting low and DECO approaching we started back along Johns reel Line keeping as high as the line would allow us until we had the shoot line in view then crossed to it and up. Very Nice Dive and first penetration of the American wreck for me.
Again I had a DECO warning on the beginning of the ascent. John and I had compared warnings from the first dive and He had 3-5 mins left. Again this dive my computer was telling me DECO "STOP 5M 3 Mins" just as I left the bottom. John again confirmed that his Computer was 4-5 mins away from DECO.
I confirmed later that my Computer was (as I suspected) selected to Conservative mode.
Someone is/has been working this wreck. Martin reported and has pictures of copper cables/Rods that have been cut and one assumes removed. I have also noted on recent dives on the Cement that there were a lot of items placed on top of the wheel house, cable, Electric units, Switch boxes etc. and John Elder when we spoke informed me that he had also noted that one of their wrecks also had similar items placed stacked out in the open. Looks like other divers are in the area and working or at least searching all the wreck in the area.
Twelve divers left the RBYC jetty at 8am for the first club dive for 3 weeks, a couple of days hard work saw the gearbox working (thanks go to Chia and Martin).
The sky was clear after the last few days rain (would this affect the viz?). We arrived at the American wreck at about 8.30 and Matt and Paul were soon zooming down the shot line to tie off what was an excellent shot deployment (tied off with a nice double sheapshank to aid in recovery!), it went through a hole in the wreck superstructure. We needn't of worried about the viz as it was well above average making for a very pleasant dive. Large numbers of barracuda were seen, the depth charge still on show as was the large lobster.
Having Chia on board meant that the dives were finished fast and at 10:55 Matt and Paul were again heading down the shot line onto the Cement wreck, again fine shot deployment meant that the line was just off the wreck stern on the portside 3 feet away from the davit, again tied off well to ease recovery. Again viz was above average and being first down we were treated to excellent viz inside the wreck. Copulating octopi were sighted near the access to the engine room. The weather turned windy and was lumpy for the divers waiting on the surface.
A short (lumpy) ride to Kuraman saw us enjoying the usual cultural experience the island has to offer, I think we got the prize for the most inappropriate time to leave as we had a rough trip back - but all were safe and benefited from some club bonding through shared adversity! A great day out.
Next week we are planning to look at a seldom dived wreck off the south western end of Pulau Pappan - just outside Labuan harbour. The wreck is in 16 meters of water and should be interesting as to my knowledge it has not been dived by the club for at least 7 years.
Sunday 3rd & 10th SEPT 06
No Diving as Boat unservicable
Sunday 27th AUG 06
The dives on the American Wreck and the Cement Wreck have to rank right up there with the best diving this year. It's not that often that you get the clear visibility we had on the American Wreck and it was wonderful to be able to see the details of the remaining structure while descending the shot line and then to rest on the sea floor several meters away and take it all in. There was too much to see and not enough time. Matt was busy taking pictures and we're sure that with a little help from Photoshop his pictures of the USS Salute will look like the battleship Missouri......
The Cement Wreck was equally as good.
More at the dive club meeting on Tuesday.
Sunday & Mon 20, 21 Aug 06
Again we had plans but weather etc was against us, Chinese group was going to go out on the Monday but was also cancelled. No diving this weekend
Saturday & Sun12, 13 Aug 06
The weather is worse than when I sent the email on Tuesday - the sea is now 3.5 4.5m the other side of Labuan. It does look like it will improve slightly by Sunday but I think rather than us sit around RBYC on Sunday morning drinking coffee and tea waiting for a hole in the weather it is best to forget about any diving this weekend and for us all plan other things!
Sunday 16th JULY 06
Sunday was a beautiful day and we left Serasa just after 8 am with 6 divers and headed out for the American Wreck. Paul carefully maneuvered the boat into position and Eng threw the shot line and 10 minutes later the first two divers were in the water.
It looked very greenish descending the line but once on the wreck the vis was actually pretty good. Not great but good enough and I'd estimate somewhere around 5 meters and the features of the wreck were plainly visible. The shot landed squarely on the wreck close to the area where the plaque is attached so tying-off was quick and simple. The marble ray was still hiding in the sand under the mast and there were large numbers of small barracuda swimming in schools. Also saw a large fish with an orange-red head hiding inside the wreck and I have no idea what it was. Maybe a grouper or sea bass??
Then off to the Cement Wreck. The vis was poor but I heard from Paul that towards the end of the dive that it seemed to be improving. Must be due to the incoming tide or something, who knows. Eng reported that on Saturday the vis was terrible. Anyway, normal stuff to see on the Cement and all in all a pleasant dive and a good day out. This was probably Bruno's last dive with us as he will be departing soon to spend a year in Bali getting his PADI Instructor Certificate and diving the spots there and in Komodo.
I saw an article in Scuba Diving that may be of interest to you: Log on to www.scubadiving.com and click on the article "The Final Ascent". Something to think about.. Dick
Sunday 6th AUG 2006
Martin Boat Captain TBA
Sunday 30th of July 06
With so many of our divers away we were lucky to have John, Anna and Stan join us from Panaga to help fill the boat. We left Serasa just after 8 am with 7 divers and 1 non diver under overcast Sky's and a slightly choppy sea for the short ride out to the Australian Wreck. Paul guided us into position while Martin and Claire threw the shot line. Martin and I went down first and the shot was sitting on the bottom just off the side of the wreck. So while Martin did the heavy lifting I waited patiently at around 27meters for Martin to bring the shot up to tie-off. The privileges of having a tennis elbow injury!! Anyway, we did a swim towards the bow and the vis inside and out was OK. Not crystal clear but pretty good and there were lots of barracuda large and small following us along.
Then over to the American Wreck. On a good day this is one of my favorites (for obvious reasons) and this was a good day. Martin and I again went down to tie the shot line and again the shot hit the sea floor just off the wreck. When we tried to tie-off on what looked to be a solid beam the thing gave way and a two foot long piece broke off taking it and the shot back down. But is was "Mission Accomplished" and soon we were tied-off and hunting for the marble ray. Unfortunately for us the ray wasn't in the usual spot under the mast and we didn't see him. However John and Stan saw it under the wreck on the other side and it swam right past John. John has the pictures to prove it.. The vis was good and the features of the wreck were plainly visible. How good was the vis, you ask. I was able to spot a frog fish, that's how good the vis was. Normally I can't see them even when someone is pointing them out. OK, so it was a white frog fish against a dark background but I did see it first.
Paul got a picture of it to show everyone on Tuesday evening....He also has several thousand pictures of nudibrances that he will show also..... A good day out for everyone.
Sunday 23rd JULY 2006
Divers: 11 - 6 BSADC and 5 Panaga Site: Australian and Cement
Well we needn't of worried about the weather as it turned out to be fine, there was a large swell but nothing to worry about. We were on flood spring tide and were hoping for resonable viz - it turned out to be excellent on both wrecks with about 15m on the Auz and 20+ on the cement. It was, for me the best days diving in Brunei this year (remember I didn't see the whale shark!). On the Auz wreck the shot line was thrown perfectly (down one of the holds!)on the decent to the wreck divers could be seen inside from about 15m. The viz was good enough to get some very good views of the wreck whilst staying some distance away from it. I had some excellent views of the stern that I had not seen before. To cap off our excellent dive Matthew found a very nice small Japanese rice bowl (I cannot tell you where he found it as its our secret!).
Then off to the Cement wreck where we were again rewarded with excellent viz the best I have seen on this wreck this year. Again we elected to stay away from the wreck to get the views we never normally see, I even went all the way down to the prop as it was all clearly visable.
It was then off to a nearby island for a short cultural experience and still back at the club by 2.10pm! Excellent day out - where were you all?
Sunday 16th of JULY2006
Sunday was a beautiful day and we left Serasa just after 8 am with 6 divers and headed out for the American Wreck. Paul carefully maneuvered the boat into position and Eng threw the shot line and 10 minutes later the first two divers were in the water.
It looked very greenish descending the line but once on the wreck the vis was actually pretty good. Not great but good enough and I'd estimate somewhere around 5 meters and the features of the wreck were plainly visible. The shot landed squarely on the wreck close to the area where the plaque is attached so tying-off was quick and simple. The marble ray was still hiding in the sand under the mast and there were large numbers of small barracuda swimming in schools. Also saw a large fish with an orange-red head hiding inside the wreck and I have no idea what it was. Maybe a grouper or sea bass??
Then off to the Cement Wreck. The vis was poor but I heard from Paul that towards the end of the dive that it seemed to be improving. Must be due to the incoming tide or something, who knows. Eng reported that on Saturday the vis was terrible. Anyway, normal stuff to see on the Cement and all in all a pleasant dive and a good day out.
This was probably Bruno's last dive with us as he will be departing soon to spend a year in Bali getting his PADI Instructor Certificate and diving the spots there and in Komodo. Come by to the dive meeting on Tuesday and say good bye and wish him well.
I saw an article in Scuba Diving that may be of interest to you: Log on to www.scubadiving.com and click on the article "The Final Ascent". Something to think about..
Sunday 9th JULY 2006
TBA no report yet
Martin will take the boat out on Sunday (9th) for a planned dive at the Australian and Cement wrecks. Better check with Martin for actual departure time from Serasa and if an island stop is planned.
Sunday 2nd JULY 2006
The day started out OK and the plan was to do the Blue Water and the Cement Wreck. The theory being that if the vis is going to be any good any where, it will be good on the Blue Water Wreck. Plus we had a shot line recovery to do on the Cement Wreck. So a little after 8 am "we had liftoff" and blasted through a rolling swell into the blue. Arriving at the dive site there was a buoy still there (surprise surprise) so that part was easy. Once in the water and looking down it definitely did not look good. All the way down the line we were hoping against hope that it would clear but it really never did. I would guess that the vis was in the 3-4 meter range and that would be generous. Probably the worst that I can remember for this wreck. So much for theories
...Next stop was the Cement Wreck and shot line recovery 101. Visibility was terrible all the way down with a current and surge to make things more interesting. To be continued at the dive meeting on Tuesday.....
I think there was 12-14 Divers on the trip [Ed]
Saturday 1st JULY 06
Matt took the Boat out and due to vis original plan was changed to do Two rig Reef dives. The reports were that those that actualy found the reef had a great dive with good vis and life down to about 12m after which it turned to Soup. John who found the reef and stayed above 12m on both dives said they were great dives. (6 or 7 Divers)
17th June to 25th JUNE 06
It was a Great Trip Report to come.
Sunday - 11th JUNE 06
We probably looked like the walking wounded as we loaded the boat at Serasa Yacht Club today. Paul with his foot in a cast and covered with a Hua Ho plastic bag, Nigel with a knee brace and sore shoulder and me with my elbow wrapped didn't present the healthiest of images....
But anyway, Nigel dove right in and skippered the boat over to the jetty where we loaded up and were off to the Australian Wreck. Welcome back, Nigel, good to have you back diving.
There was a slight chop to the sea and a little off-shore breeze but a nice trip out. The buoy was missing so we threw the shot and Eng, Nigel and Bruno tied it off. Vis going down was just so so but on the wreck it was about what you would expect. Not the greatest but good enough. The shot line was tied at about 28 meters so our group mainly did a tour from the stern to the bow (outside the wreck)and then it was time to gather everyone up and return to release the line.
The plan to dive the American Wreck was cancelled due to the vis conditions so over to, "everyone's favorite", the Cement Wreck. The buoy was still there so we tied up and waited for the surface interval to wind down. From the surface you could see the gantry and a little lower so this was probably the better choice today. There was a little current and surge but we swam to the bow to see the resident barracuda and bait fish then drifted back to the stern. Vis below 20 meters was poor so we hung around the deck area looking for whatever.....
We completed our dives around noon, so back to Serasa to end the day early.
While waiting on the Cement Wreck a live-aboard, based out of Thailand but diving these waters, came over and anchored a couple of hundred meters away and was going to wait until we were finished before putting their divers in the water. So people are really paying big bucks to dive the Cement Wreck.....??
We have a new PADI Rescue Diver-John Yates and Grant is closing in on his Dive Master's certification.
See you Tuesday.
It was Great to get back in the water after 8 Months!!! I cried off last week as The Blue Water is a bit to Deep for anyones first dive after a long break I almost went but scence prevailed, in the end (I also wondered what the DO might have to say about it).
Dick summed it all up nicley. I spent the two dives just checking out gear rigging and fit (I forgot how to put most of it together). I had a few bits still left in the bag but it seems I did not need them. I took the oppotunity also to make sure I was familiar with my new Dive Computer ready for the Diving Trip next week.
It is Great to be Back in action with the Club ( and away for the first week)!
Sunday - 4th JUNE 06
Got off to a later than planned start due to one diver, ( we won't mention names but his initials are N.I.C.K.), forgetting to bring his tanks. So Martin was good enough to drive to Matts and secure a couple of tanks for N.I.C.K.
Ok, so off to the Blue Water. The sea was rather smooth and with the cloud cover it was an enjoyable ride out. Cat and I were selected to tie the shot but upon arrival at the site we noticed that someone had placed a white buoy to mark the location. This is getting too easy---- but I still want credit for a shot tie..
The vis on the Blue Water wasn't crystal clear but pretty good and the outline of the wreck came into view about 10 meters down the line. The fish life was wonderful. Barracuda, jacks, tuna etc etc etc. Never disappointed on this wreck.
Off to the Cement Wreck and again our buoy was still there plus another. Someone had place a second white buoy several meters from ours and it must be tied off at the forward gantry as I didn't see a downline as I swam to the bow and back. The vis was about what you would expect for the Cement Wreck and at the bow the fish were plentiful. Barracuda large and small and many bait balls that would completely surround you.
Was a good one....
Then off to K so N.I.C.K. could buy a round of drinks and Eng could finish up her training of two new Club members.
Thanks to Paul for driving the boat and waiting onboard at K while Eng conducted training. Also to Martin for all his hard work in getting the boat fueled and for hauling rental gear backwards and forwards.
CNX Sunday - 28th May 06
We had to cancel Sunday's dive as not enough divers signed-up to go.
Sorry about that and we will try again next Sunday.
Looks like we did ourselves a favor by not going out last Sunday 28th as the sea conditions were reported as very rough by some of the boaters at the Yacht Club.
Sunday - 21st MAY 06
Sunday's dives were two reefs and it was too painful to talk about.
Still don't carry an SMB and a whistle? Hope that however your buddy is that day will be carrying all that safety stuff? Might be a good idea to invest as you never know when the opportunity to use it might present itself...
CNX - Sunday 14th May 06
Unfortunately Paul Broke his ankle on the Hillathon Saturday afternoon, and Martin was still out on the 22k so no Boat Captains available CNX at 18:00 Saturday night.
Would have been:
Sites: wrecks (if blue is good on sat will do again)
Time: 8am - return 2pm
We had 13 Divers on the list
CNX - Saturday 13th May 06
Panaga divers pulled out last minute. As the dive was arranged early and short day for their benefit (Hash Hillathon in afternoon) the dive was cancelled.
Would have been:
Sites: Blue and Cement
Time: 8am - return 2pm
Contact: Paul 8188904
We had about 5 Panaga divers (inc. 2 BSAC National Instructors)
and about 4 of our divers
contact: Paul 8188904
Sunday 30th April 06
TBA - Paul & Martin took this one VIS was PPOOoooooorrrr.
Saturday 29th April 06
TBA - Mat took the boat out & Eng was on it, VIS was Good,
Paul was visiting Panaga and had a great Dive in one of the far out Platforms VIS was excellent.
Friday 28th April 06
TBA - Paul took Boat on exploratory and put a Buoy on Rig Reef ready for Sat/Sun
SUNDAY 23rd April 06
The boat left Serasa just after 8 am, fully fuel and 9 divers. First stop the American Wreck. The seas had a slight chop but it was a short ride and Paul and Martin manoeuvred the boat while John threw the shot.
It looked good with several meters of line floating on the surface and Cat, myself and Martin Ackner were first in to tie-off. By the time Cat and I had reached the wreck Martin had already secured the shot line. It was a little brownish yellow going down but once on the wreck the vis was quite good. Swimming around towards the mast a large Eagle Ray ( I think) was resting in the sand. The best I can estimate it was about 7 to 8 feet across and had a long tail with a large barb. It remained there throughout the dive so most of the divers had a chance to see it. This was a first for me and well worth getting up at zero dark thirty for the 8am departure.
Over on the Cement Wreck there was a surface current but not bad down on the wreck. The vis was OK and the resident octopus was waiting on the deck just below the gantry. The vis at the bow was good also so a swim there and back was enjoyable with lots of bait fish moving in formation.
No Kuraman Island today so it was back early.
The divers that went out on Saturday did see a whale shark (ya right) at rig reef so maybe they will bring some pictures on Tuesday.
SATURDAY 22nd April 06
TBA - but they did see a whale shark and I have seen pictures. But strangely no one has written any words on the trip. Most still be recovering from the shock.
A whale shark was spotted on the cement wreck on Wednesday (12th April 06) afternoon by the Scuber-Tech divers from the Empire. I have uploaded the photos to the photos section of the yahoo group.
And again by us on Rig Reef Last Saturday .
SUNDAY 16th April 06
SATURDAY 15th April 06
We departed Serasa at 3 minutes and 22 seconds after 8 am (but who's counting) and headed out to the Blue Water Wreck with 14 divers and a new depth sounder that was making all kinds of beeps and noises. The ride out was a little choppy and twice Paul spotted the fin of a sailfish on the surface. Eng threw the shot and Helen and I went down to tie-off. I guess we need to calibrate the new depth sounder and when we hit the bottom the wreck was nowhere in sight. The vis was poor for the Blue Water so we just took a WAG and headed into the current and after a couple of meters saw the shadow of the wreck. Still the wreck was colorful with lots of fish and you are never disappointed.
Arriving on the Cement the Bomba dive team from Labuan was tied up to our buoy so we tied along side them.
The Cement was OK and the vis at the bow was pretty clear with many GT chasing after the bait fish. Wanted to get a look at the whale shark that was seen on Wednesday but no luck today. Before all of our divers had completed their dives we were joined by two boats from the Empire and several of their divers jumped into the water.
Off to The Isle of K to relax and collect money.
We had two Australian divers, James and Rob, plus a past member, Helen, who now lives in the USA diving today. Also Bruno and Emmanuel joined the club for their remaining months in Brunei and Garry renewed his membership so looking forward to seeing them out diving with us in the future.
Was a good day out.
FRIDAY 14th April 06
TBA As only 2 of the Auz Divers made the trip Paul took they out on a Friends Boat. Club Boat did not go out.
TUESDAY 11th APRIL
The "Birthday Dive" on Tuesday was a good one with 11 divers and beautiful weather. Since we had that many divers and the sea was calm we decided to head out for the Blue Water Wreck. Arriving on location we noticed that the buoy was missing so the shot was dropped at the GPS coordinates and Paul selected two volunteers to tie off. Eng and Martin did the honors and we were all diving in about 20 minutes. A little greenish going down but it was well worth it as vis on the wreck was 15-20 meters. Lots of fish and no current making a very nice dive.
Next stop was the Cement Wreck. Also a good dive and the vis at the bow was better than on previous days.
Since there was a couple of divers new to the club we decided to give them the full treatment so a short visit to the Isle of K was included. It must have worked as Roland and Jill are now new members and Rachel has renewed her membership.
Since the boat is not available this Sunday (9th) and Saturday is a normal work day here in the Kingdom we didn't have much of a response for a Sat dive. But it seems that Tuesday is a holiday for government workers so if anyone is interested in diving that day email me or contact Martin or Paul. Still need to confirm that a boat captain will be available but we can get a list started in the meantime.
Got to get this in before Dick does! Well we got to the blue water wreck easily enough but as I was driver I noticed that the sonar was not working. We got to the wreck and messed around and couldn't fix it so as Dick and Cat were down to tie the shot we gave them the option of going on a gps co-ordinate alone - they took it and they put a lot of effort in to tieing the shot line on the wreck. Boy were we rewarded! what a fantastic dive! Vis was not the best but we had turtles and squid - as good as it gets. Many thanks to Dick and Cat!
The cement wreck I will leave to Dick - but what a great day diving 13 divers all had a great day - doesn't get better than this!
SUNDAY 26 March - American and Cement
I'd like to say that these dives were the best I've ever done. But I can't! We left Serasa shortly after 8 am with 8 divers and an overcast sky with a calm sea. Went by the Australian Wreck on the way out and checked to see if the buoy was still there and it was. Found the American Wreck and threw the shot then Cat and I went down to tie off. I guess there is something to say for being first down as it was a little greenish on the descent but the shotline was right on with the weight just over the side. The vis was typical for the American and there was a current. As others started coming down the vis began to deteriorate and finding the shotline for the return was a challenge as some would find out.
The rest of the story at the dive meeting on Tuesday. The upshot is that a buoy was set on this wreck so all that remains is to tie a buoy on the Blue Water and hope that they stay intact. The Cement Wreck was not as good as last week but Eng managed to complete the open water skills for our newest member, June. We had another diver, Guy, join the club today so all in all it was a good outing. The boat is running good and we had a curious sea snake surface a couple of times at the American and look us over. Probably impressed with the new paint job!
It was a beautiful day and we managed to leave Serasa about 8:20 with 14 divers and 2 non-divers and headed out for the Australian Wreck. The boat looks great and runs great and I think the Club should be proud of what Martin has done in getting the boat ready for this season.
At the Australian Wreck Eng and Kimmy tied the shotline and we were in the water a few minutes later.
It was chilly on the surface and a few of the divers were wearing multiple layers of sting and wet suits but once down it didn't feel that bad as long as you kept moving. The vis wasn't the greatest and about the only thing I saw was a large lobster. Eng and Kimmy untied the shotline and we were off to the Cement Wreck. You're probably wondering that if Eng and Kimmy tied the shot why did they untie it? Paul will explain in detail on Tuesday evening.........
The Cement Wreck was very clear down to about 23 meters and the colors really stood out. The lion fish are fatter than ever and the octopus is still there but hiding in a different place. Saw a couple of small morey eels and there were lots of bait fish. After about 20 minutes I was cold but stayed for another 15 and by then was uncomfortable. Not sure what the temp was but I think I heard someone say around 25-26. But that's a good thing that the water is cold now and will gradually warm throughout the next month or so.
Something to do with the normal cycle of the ocean currents and temperatures but Paul can explain that too.
Then off to K Island to collect money and have a surprise birthday cake for Cecilia, who turned -- on Saturday.
We were back at Serasa around 4pm.
A couple of changes were adopted by the Committee and some other idea were discussed that will be of interest to the general membership.
The rate for a Guest Diver will increase from $45 to $50 per day effective this dive season.
Also the "Normal" departure time from the Yacht Club will be moved up to 8am (tide conditions permitting).
Also visits to Kuraman will be at the consenus of the divers on the boat that day. To go or not to go or a time limit can be decided prior to departure.
We will try to vary the dive sites, more reef dives and increase training. Not as easy as it sounds. You have to be actively involved.
The boat will be out for another 3 weeks. This will be a good opportunity to have your personal dive gear equipment inspected. The BSADC requires that all dive tanks be tested every 4 years. Tanks can be tested in Brunei by Brunox and back to you in about 7 to 10 days. Also when is the last time you had your regulators serviced? Changing an o ring or replacing a hose is not complete. The factory or authorized service center will also check and adjust the intermediate and cracking pressure plus the flow rates for a particuliar model. Think of it as Life Support when you are down at 30 meters inside a wreck.
White smoke was seen rising over the Berakas Loan Service Community Centre after the AGM last night so it looks like a new Committee was chosen to serve for this coming dive year.
The first meeting of the new committee will be held next Tuesday evening (7pm) at the Sea Food Centre followed by a general meeting at 7:30.
So even though the boat is still out of the water and the diving conditions are not the best right now, you might as well come out and meet the NEW Committee and hear about the status of the boat and our plans for the future.
Sounds like when the dive season begins that we will be in excellant shape (equipment wise) to go out and maybe spot the whale sharks. All we need is member participation.
SUNDAY 8th JAN 2006 (Martin)
On Sunday (8 Jan 06) we had a pretty good group for the first dive of 2006. There were 9 divers plus Chia and we were away from the jetty at about 9:15. The ride out to the Australian Wreck was choppy with a rolling swell of about 2 meters; but not too bad for this time of year.
The shot was dropped and we found it just off the wreck but fortunately there was a large shadow to guide us in the right direction to tie off. The vis was poor but typical for the Australian Wreck and there was a surge inside. Saw some jack fish and barracuda and Paul found a plate. Next stop was the American Wreck and the shot was right on-on the bottom but lying next to the wreck. Where we tied-off there was a large cuttlefish that kinda hung around the area and everyone got to see it. Dave actually got some very nice pictures with his new camera. The poor vis made navigating back to the shot line a challenge but no one had any problems. It was off to a neighboring island but we had major problems after arriving. The staff at the restaurant was on leave and the place was closed for business. After an hour of eating peanuts and collecting money for the day's dive we headed back to Serasa. All in all a pretty good day..........
SATURDAY 10th DEC 05 (PAUL)
On the surface it looked like a nice day so armed with the GPS coordinates for Rig Reef and a not-so favourable marine forecast we set out from Serasa at just after 9 am with 10 divers and 3 guests. The boat ride out seemed to take forever with choppy seas and moderate swells and it kept Paul busy handling the boat. But we arrived at the spot and depth finder showed a reef at about 8 or 9 meters with a drop off to about 18 meters so we threw the anchor and hoped for the best. It didn't look good going down the anchor line and looked worse once on the bottom. I let go of the line to look for Justin and Emmanuel and when I turned back I couldn't see the line. The vis was only about 1 meter so I aborted the dive and returned to the boat. I think Eng did manage to get some skills practice with her students but no one was down for very long.
With the choppy sea conditions and poor underwater vis we headed back to Kuraman and anchored in the protected water on the backside of the island. At least Eng could complete her instruction and the open water divers could dive the shallow reef. The vis wasn't the greatest and there was a little current but we got a couple of dives in and after a short stop on the island we motored back to Serasa.
All in all it was a pretty good day to be out on the boat and it gave some of our newer members the chance to join us.
More info when available
CNX - Sunday 3rd of Dec
The run up notice said "Next weekend should be rather interesting with a .3 meter tide at 0900 on Sunday 3rd of Dec. Come on Tuesday to fund out what is happening." In fact it was decided not to arrange the dive due to tide, weather, and with only a few divers available.
SUNDAY 27th NOV 05 (PAUL)
After what looked like a gloomy start of the day we departed Serasa at 0900 with 8 divers and our engine technician, Chia, aboard and headed out. The plan was to do the Australian and a reef but due to the recent rains and the slack tide we determined that the vis was not going to be the greatest so we decided to do two wrecks.
It turned out to be a pretty nice day motoring out to the Australian Wreck with calm winds and a rolling swell to make the ride interesting.
Paul and Iain tied-off the shot in some very poor vis and they said that they lucky to find the wreck even though the shot was just a few meters away.
About the only thing I saw was a couple of large bat fish and Bryan.....
Over on the Cement Wreck it was more of the same with Paul and Iain doing a good job of tying-off high on the wreck and making it easier for Bryan and me to untie at the end of the dive. There was a little current both at the surface and on the wreck and the vis below 20 meters was rather poor. Saw a couple of small moray eels inside and two large lion fish but somehow missed the resident octopus.
Did the island stop then back to Serasa to end the day. It turned out to be an enjoyable day out on the water!!
Next weekend should be rather interesting with a .3 meter tide at 0900 on Sunday.
Come to the dive meeting on Tuesday.
Diving weekend Fri & Sat 18th and 19th With the Auz Divers
Friday 18th (Martin & Eng)
Australian divers arrived from Darwin and Martin and Eng left the Serasa Yacht Club earlier than planned and headed out for the Australian and the American wrecks. From what was mentioned last night at the meeting the vis was OK and the divers enjoyed their dives and commented that our club was "run very professionally". After the boat returned several members pitched-in to prepare for the next day's diving. The boat had to be fueled and tanks were transported to Martin's house and filled.
Saturday 19th (Paul)
Paul took the boat out and the very low tide conditions made for a difficult loading operation with the boat about 2 meters below the end of the jetty and an arm's length away. But everyone did their part and they got under way just after 9 am. The first stop was the Blue Water Wreck with calm winds and a smooth sea but a rollng swell made it somewhat uncomfortable. The vis varied going down the shot line but once on the wreck it was good and made for an interesting dive.
The Cement Wreck vis was terrible according to Eng but that's to be expected this time of year and you never know until you get there what it will be. But our guests enjoyed themselves inspite of the conditions.
There was a short stop at a neighboring island followed that evening by a border run and a Malaysian cultural experience at KL hosted by Paul and Martin.
Thanks to everyone who helped out and donated tanks and weights to make this work and to the boat captains and Jerry for refueling and transporting tanks back and forth.
Interested in a trip to Louisa Reef next year? You can read about the diving there in the Panaga Divers web site. The Australian divers are interested in joining us so we'll see what happens..
updates pending? missing??
Dive 30th October - SUNDAY
After changing out one of the batteries and running down some extra fuel we still managed to pull away from the dock at 0910 and headed out for the Blue Water Wreck.
The vis had a greenish color going down the shot line but not too bad with about 15 meters on the wreck.
there were many fish and large groups of jacks and juvenile barracuda plus other fish I don't know their names. There was a large green frog fish, which alone was worth the price of admission. We had seen frog fish on this wreck before but unless someone points them out to me I'd never spot them.
Then it was off to the Cement Wreck.....What can one say about the Cement Wreck? I spent about 30 minutes circling over the same spot in poor vis that my Oriental dive buddy got disoriented.
Then it was off to a neighboring island for a short visit and back to Serasa at about 4:30.
Committee meeting on Tuesday at 7 followed by the normal meeting at 7:30.
22nd October - SATURDAY
Arrived at the Yacht Club before 8:30 And found a few others had arrived also. Matt and Ray were busy getting the boat untied and positioned at the jetty for loading. Thanks to Paul and Martin for coming down during the week to fuel and move the boat out in the channel as the tide was very low at that time.
At 0850 we left with 9 divers and a guest.
First stop was the American Wreck. Going down to set the shot line it didn't look very promising but once on the wreck the vis improved and it made for a nice dive.
The Cement Wreck was another story and going down the shot to tie-off we had to follow the line all the way to the bottom. Vis was about a meter and no wreck in sight. Headed out in the general direction (WAG) of where we thought the wreck should be and after about a
5 meter swim a shadow appeared and some debris spotted along the sea floor. Tied off at about 24 meters still not knowing exactly where on the wreck we were. As it turned out we were about 10 meters from the bow on the port side--not the best place to tie-off but by then we could hear the dive boat coming back so it was too late to change. Didn't see much at all. If you went back to the bridge and a shallower depth where the vis was better you had to eventually decend back down to follow along the side to find the shot again.
At a stop at a nearby Island Eng and Gary completed a training dive and Gary is now a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver. Congrats to Gary and thanks goes to Eng.
So all was not lost.... Except
In the future Matt may be arranging a treasure hunt dive to recover a lost camera!
On Tuesday evening the final arrangements for the Kuraman outing will be set and we shall see if there is any interest for a Sunday dive.
16th October - SUNDAY
Sunday's dive was pretty good. Vis on the not-so-blue Blue Water Wreck was still OK and some of us had a good look at a very large cuttle fish.
The Cement Wreck had a strong current with limited vis but still a good dive with the resident octopus still alive and well.
15th October - SATURDAY
9th October - SUNDAY
WAITNG ON REPORT
Dive did go out but had a 2 hour deley due tides The Diving was good.
plan was is to go back to Blue Water and Old Faithful The Cement Wreck.
2nd of OCTOBER - SUNDAY
If you missed out on the Sunday dive, you missed two good dives. The Blue Water Wreck really lived up to it's name and the Cement Wreck was very good also.
Date: Sunday 2nd October
Dive Sites: Blue Water and Cement
Divers: Dick, Matt A, Martin, Asleigh, Eng, Paul, Alex M, Michelle
Unfortunately 3 divers had to cancel because of sinus type problems (John, Rachael and Martin A) they will all be really fed-up when they hear how good our day was!
We left RBYC jetty at the usual 9AM, with a good weather forecast and engines running well and producing an excellent amount of smoke we set off for the 50 min trip to the Blue Water wreck. The sea had a slight swell and a good breeze was blowing. Once at the wreck Paul took some time to locate the correct shot dropping point, Martin threw it and it turned out to be an excellent throw indeed as we hit the wreck midships and almost got the weight down one of the scuppers - so much for 8 weeks lack of practice! Eng and Ashleigh did the honours and tied us off, Paul and Alex were next down, visability was 25m+ with the wreck fully visable from about 5m down, Alex had never dived a wreck before and will now be totally spoilt has it doesn't get much better than this. Not much life on the wreck for us - we must of scared it off, several scorpion fish and excellent soft corals still made the dive interesting for the nature lovers. With the water clarity as good as I have seen we were able to stay off the wreck and get a good view of the whole ship. Martin dived with Michelle and Louise who are both new to the dive club and were diving this wreck for the first time, does it get any better?
Everybody enjoyed the dive so much we are planning to go back next week so all those that didn't go can get a chance to dive this excellent wreck. After our surface interval we headed off to the Cement wreck which proved another excellent dive as the visability was also very good. Lots of life, the octopus was spotted by Michelle and Louise (but not Martin) and everybody had yet another great dive. It was then off to a nearby island to help them empty their fridge!
What a great day.......
Report from Dick on Sunday 25th Trip
Looks like we are back in business!
We had 8 divers plus our engine man, Chia, go out on the initial shake-down cruise and it was decided to do two dives on the Cement Wreck for this first outing after the gearbox and engine repairs.
The weather couldn't have been better and the vis on the wreck was pretty good at about 20-24 meter depth.
The lion fish appear to have grown during the past two months and there was a large octopus near the bow.
Paul spotted another octopus at the bridge area.
After the dive we stopped at Kuraman for an hour or so to unwind. The damage to the island is rather extensive with several trees down and severe beach erosion.
More news on today's dive and info for next week at the meeting on Tuesday evening.
Dive Report from Paul
Date: Sunday 25th September
Dive Site: Who cares we were out again! (Actualy Cement X 2, [ED])
Well, after a long time of no diving I for one was drying out! The boat was made ready by Mr Chia and Martin by working a very late stretch until midnight on Saturday night. There were 8 divers and 1 engineer on board by the departure time (9.00AM), after a few minor problems we were on our way to the Cement wreck, it was decided to do 2 dives on that wreck followed by a "cultural" experience on a nearby island to give the new powerhead more time to run-in! So with heaps of smoke poring out of the newly rebuilt port engine [Starboard I think -ED] (this is good on a new two-stroke - trust
me!) we were off. The diving, well as I said at the start - who cares, we were out, but the cement wreck was great as always with various types of dive being completed; wreck penetration, circumnavigation, clearing up rubbish, wildlife spotting and treasure hunting all taking place. We left the wreck at about 2.30 all very happy with that part of the day.
Off to the afore said nearby island - which has been attacked by the tide and is much smaller than last time the club was there - the erosion is getting very serious with the NE corner of the bar now being on the beach! We arrived back at RBYC at 5 ish and Chia and Martin started work again!! A great day out and a big thank you goes to Martin and Chia for getting the boat ready to go out. We will be out next week and weather permitting every week from now on.
4th of SEPTEMBER - SUNDAY (CLUB or LOCAL BOAT - MARTIN)
DIVE CANCELED DUE TO SEISMIC SURVEYS IN AREA
Regardless of whether our club boat is ready or not we will Dive Sunday. If required Martin will make the same arrangements with the same local boat which was so successful last Sunday.
All those that want to go contact Martin, Hurry List is almost full already. We will leave as usual Meet 8:30 at RBYC
28th of AUGUST - SUNDAY (CLUB or LOCAL BOAT - MARTIN)
Well our Boat was not ready (still waiting some spares) however Martin had arranged hire boat which went out with 5 divers.
Unfortunately the weather was not good and got worse as they made for the dive sites. Martin made the decision to abandon which was seen as a good decision as on the way back things were a lot worse with driving rain (apparently like being hit by rice) and large sea swells. Boat got back with no problems and that was then end of the days diving - Until next week.
21st of AUGUST - SUNDAY (LOCAL BOAT - MARTIN & PAUL)
As the Boat missed the first target (last weekend) Martin Hired a Local Boat and took 10 Approx divers out to Aus and Cement. I am waiting for the formal words but from the quick conversation I had with Martin all had a good time including a quick refreshment stop on the way back.
CNX - 16th of JULY - SATURDAY (MARTIN)
Canceled due boat unserviceable.
15th of JULY - FRIDAY (NIGEL)
American and Cement
Boat Captain: Nigel
Dive Marshal: Nigel
Divers: Mat, Eng, Nigel, James, Neil, Lilly
The first dive was the American. The wreck was shot and dive was on. The visibility for the first groups was Very Good some of the best ever seen by Mat. Every one had a great dive. Nigel and James went in last and buoyed the wreck with a heavy duty plastic drum. Vis was not quite so good at end of the dive as some silt had been stirred up in general and quite a bit at the back end were Mat had rescued a Large Fish from the net. Apparently the fish put up quite a fight as it thought Mat was trying to stab it in the eye with the knife.
Second dive was Cement again wreck was shot but this time BC was about to go around for second try when Mat said he had visual and the shot was placed. Turned out that what we assumed was the Gantry (visible from the surface) was in fact the mid Mast cross beam. The vis was Very Good.
As Mat and the Boat Captain believed that the shot was on the Wheel house Mat went in using the shoot line but taking the new Buoy down with him to chain to the wreck directly.
As has all ready been mentioned the shot was found at the base of the Mid Mast and as Mat was down with the Buoy that is now were the new Buoy is attached. It is a bit low and may have to be raised to the top of the mast but it was decided that it would stay amidships for now as it gives a different approach to the dive and wreck.
Again the vis was very good all over every one had a good dive. Nigel came up with his left arm looking more like a porcupine were a particularly aggressive Black sea Urchin had jumped out at him and savagely attacked him whilst he was waiting for mat to pull up the shot line. (Ed - Mat had forgotten and Nigel squashed the poor sea urchin against the mast whilst lumbering around with the shot line receiving 20 to 30 spines in the upper arm in payment).
Well every one had good dives and Eng managed to do some more training with Neil towards his advanced.
We made the usual stop for refreshments on the way back and it was on leaving the island the a Great Day turned to Disaster.
I was Boat Captain for the day and at the helm when we left the island. Mat had brought us in from the cement moored on the far side of the spit. I therefore departed and gave the spit a wide berth and made off down the left hand side of the main channel between main Island and the two smaller ones. I was deliberately staying over to the left to avoid the rocks that come out on the right and the rocks that are at the end of the channel.
However I was to close in on the left. Mat came forward to advise me that he thought I was to close in and had no sooner got the words out when there was a Large thump from the back.
Both engines were brought up to check the very quick inspection did not show any obvious damage. However left engine would not go back down.
Right engine was lowered and started OK. We made for deeper water and and safer place to review the left engine. This was done whilst keeping on track for the cut on the right engine put it was intermittent to start with jumping from 3000 to 4000 RPM at max throttle. The L/H engine was stuck in fwd and so there was no start circuit and trim was not working down even at the engine. I managed to get the engine back into neutral and the engine was lowered manually. I started fine and we were very surprised to find that it operated in fwd gear with no noise or apparent problem (but Reverse could not be selected). The right engine had settled down and was now running at 4000 RPM max throttle (steady) but would not go above 4000. There for we came back on both engines apparently running OK but with both set to 4000 RPM . We were making 21 Knts and got back to the RBYC with out to much delay or further incident.
However both engines have been damaged and the extent is yet to be determined. The Saturday trip had to be canceled as will next weeks. Hopefully we should have a better idea of what course of action we will be taking to get back on the water as soon as possible this Tuesday night meeting.
9th of JULY - SATURDAY (BRYAN)
Two or possible more Shallow reef and Training dives
10th of JULY - SUNDAY (PAUL)
Martin, Eng, Paul, Dave (Panaga), Ashleigh, Catherine (Perth), Graham (Perth), Yeo (Tutong), Agasi (Japan) + Cheryl and Gareth(both training)
Site 2 x Cement by popular demand! (Original plan American and Cement)
The second week in a row that we have done two dives on the cement wreck and no complaints, in fact this wreck really needs two dives to do it justice. Martin was in charge of the shot line, the request was to tie it off on the gantry so with consummate skill the shot team managed to throw the line straight over the gantry and tying it off was a straight forward affair (thanks to Paul and Dave). Nice to see Yeo out with the club again after a 10 year break! He brought a guest - a Japanese photographer who spent a total of 2 hours 10 minutes on the wreck during his 2 dives is that a record? Not much else to report, the viz was normal on the stern end, better on the second dive as the sun had come out lighting the wreck nicely and towards the bow it was poor, but this made for an interesting dive, Paul and Dave explored the bow locker but didn’t find anything worth reporting apart from silt! Ashleigh and Catherine had a lot of fun taking pictures of a big bat fish that was following them and Eng was the only person to spot the octopus. All in all an excellent couple of dives. We then went to a nearby island for refreshments and dive training, Eng put Gareth and Cheryl through their paces and it was back to the club for tea!
3rd of JULY - SUNDAY (MARTIN)
Blue Water and Cement, PLUS.
Divers: Dick, Cat, Eng, Neil, Chrystal, Teh, Nigel, Sue-Ling, Martin (J), Hermone
First dive was Blue Water. Arrived to find a buoy! (two plastics cans) unfortunately they were attached to the main rope by twine and the main rope would not reach the surface. In the attempt to get the main rope up the buoys got caught in the fairlead and were ripped off!! So no the fishermen will be going around scratching their heads as to why the divers are now cutting the buoys off!!
The wreck was shot and the dive was on.
Eng went down with Neil under training.
Weather was a little over cast when we went in with the threat of a storm coming. The vis on the wreck was actually very good but still gloomy as there was no Sun penetration. Nigel and Sue-Ling did some penetration, entered through port on upper side of Hull and down across the entire width of the wreck and then explored mid hold and back out. When we came out there was the largest shoal of Immature Baraqudar I have ever seen anywhere.
On our return to the surface we spent 3 mins at 5 meters watching the torrential rain playing on the surface. When we got back into the boat the storm was over us and it was wet and COLD.
When the last pair of divers (no names) came up Dick and a couple of helpers went to pull up the shot. I noted that they were having great difficulty and the boat was moving forward against a moderate current. I asked the the last divers if they had untied the shot line, the response was "were we meant too!" Having advised Dick that he was trying to pull the wreck up we now had to address how we were going to get the shot up. As Eng and Cat had come up first and had the most air left they did an hour surface interval and went down and released the line.
Off we went to the Cement Wreck. As most of us had already done the require surface interval the idea was to shot and dive straight away. The shot was placed but a recheck with the sound indicated that we had missed and we noted that there was quite a current. The shot was lifted and we tried again. Nigel and Sue-LIng were going to tie off but due to the current things did not got at all to plan. Ended up with Sue-Ling not making the buoy whilst Nigel was on the way down following the line to the shot in 31m with no Vis and High Current. After walking the shot forward over 100m the wreck was found by bumping into it. It was almost pitch black. After scaling the nets the Vis started to clear showing that I was actually on the stern. The shot was tied off and I waited for Sue-LIng whilst trying to get my breath back. After about 5 mins and just about to abort and go back up the line Sue-Ling was seen coming down.
The vis ON the wreck was again mixed varying from not bad to poor. There was quite a current running on the wreck. The Octopus was again spotted in its hole on top of the Bridge and another big one was seen by Dick and Cat were the shot was tied off.
Eng was again training Neil.
The dives were again quite good but would have been a lot better if we had more direct Sun light and no current. The overall feel was that it was a good days diving.
Off we went for some refreshments, Martin Dropped those who want a drink on the island then took the boat with his son son's companion and Eng to do more tarring. The training turned out to be two dives each and took quite some time to complete. This took most of us by surprise as we all believed that they were only doing one dive at the island. Well they got their two dives in. Martin picked up the divers who were ashore (some of whom where getting a little more than bored, but did not say anything) and we went straight for home arriving with a little light left but not for long.
Water was AGAIN very low. Boat was off loaded and and moored in front of the club again.
Martin (J) and I where again the last to collect our and the club gear from the end of the jetty. Whilst packing it all in we discovered that someone left their Dive kit bag complete with Reg and BC.
Some one is trying to out do Martin (A) !! :-)
2nd of JULY - SATURDAY (PAUL)
CEMENT WRECK 2 Dives
Dive: Cement wreck x 2
Divers: BSADC;Paul, Matt, Martin A, Daniell, Hermoine + 10 Garrison divers
Box Crew: Paul and DIck
The British Army Garrison Seria brought 10 divers to sample the delights of the Cement wreck.
They were out to do some training and wanted to show the wreck to the newly qualified BSAC Club divers. We on the other-hand were happy to tag along and do two dives on wrecks without the hassle of moving the shot line between dives! Dick managed another left-hand spin shot throw and with the underwater help of Martin the shot was attached to the top of the gantry, since we have lost the buoy I have not had a look at the gantry so it was very nice to see it again. Nothing much to report on the dives themselves, the octopus was spotted trying to make itself look like the rough deck of the ship (and succeeding very well!), the viz was not bad but inside the wreck was excellent.
For the second dive we ventured up to the bow, some kind soul has removed the nets that blocked the gangway on the starboard side (thanks Martin) and it makes for an excellent dive to go through the murk and arrive at the relatively clear bow.
After the dives there was the fines to sort out! The dive leader from the garrison (Daz) had been handing out $1 fines to the hapless chaps who in his eyes had committed some heinous crime over the day and we had to go to a nearby island to sort this out. It turns out that they raised $27 from the guys for crimes like; going deeper on your second dive, low air (below 50Bar), not doing the proper signals, looking at Daz in a funny way etc. I think we should give it a try, all the money they raise goes to some night out they have every now and again.
26th of JUNE - SUNDAY (MARTIN)
Locations: The PLAN WAS - Little Dale Reefs & a Wreck in the area, or another reef dive HOWEVER read on.
Locations: ACTUAL - Rig Reef Buoy and Cement
Boat Captain - Martin, Dive Marshall - ENG
Divers : Sue-Eng, Nigel, Martin J, Martin A, Kimmy (Guest), Iain, Hermione (New Member), Grant (New Member), Graham, Domonic, Dick, Cat, Bryan and Guest.
We had 16 Divers booked but one cancelled Saturday and one did not turn up - so we went with 14 Dives.
The boat depart having decided that the dive plan was the Bolkiah and then Little Dale.
We had three sets of co-ordinates for the Bolkiah. Mine, Engs and Bryans. Mine we tried couple of weeks ago and knew they were no good. Engs were given to her by another diver and Bryans were from Mat. We went for Bryans first and saw the Wreck on the echo sound right were it should have been on the first pass. The co-ordinates given to Eng were about a Nautical Mile away and mine were even further away. The shot was prepared and then Martin did several passes trying to find the wreck which now seemed to have moved! - well according to Martin. After several manoeuvres there it was again - shot away - and Eng and Kimmy (guest) went in to tie off. The normal 15 mins was given and then we moved to tie to the buoy only to see Eng and Kimmy UP!
The vis was so bad they could not see each other! But the wreck was there. Well with NO Vis we abandoned the idea. As Little Dale is shallower it was likely that the strong tides of the last week would have caused bad vis there too and as it was another 12 Nautical miles to get there we decided to take a look at Rig Reef Buoy which was visible not to far away. Off we went
I took a quick look from the surface. It did not look to bad but I could not see the bottom. The decision was made to go for it. Dive was ON.
The dive was nothing special vis was not good but I did get to see all the different legs and small platforms which I had not seen on my only other dive at this site. Most of the other Divers had a good look around and considered it to be on "OK" dive but not much else.
We decided that the only option now was old faithful the Cement Wreck. So off we went - shot the wreck - Divers in.
This was the worst Visibility I have seen on the Cement. I have never seen the top of the superstructure with poor vis but it was this dive. The overall vis was patchy and unusually it was not to bad amidships and forward. The shot had been tied of at the mid Mast which meant that we could explore more in that area rather than ending the dive on top of the bridge.
Most of the divers enjoyed the dive. I found a few places I had not looked in before and had a good dive even with the poor vis. General consensus was it was quite a good dive.
We stopped off fro refreshments on the way back and then made our way back to the Club at 16:00.
Boat went well and all enjoyed the day. The weather was good for the day, but we could have done with better Vis
19th of JUNE - SUNDAY (NIGEL)
Dive Sites: American & Cement, PLUS.
Dive Marshal: Eng
Divers: 14 plus one none diving guest. We actually had 16 booked but one canceled late Saturday and Poor Iain turned up at the boat Sunday only to tell use he could not make it due to a cold and he could not find to DOs mobile number. He also had some equipment for a diver he thought might be coming so came to the boat anyway. Well I take my hat off to him.
The Divers were: Nigel, Eng, Cecilia, Dave, Dick, Gary (New Member), John, Martin A, Mat, Sue-Ling
plus John Elder from Panaga, Paul Shepherd, Justin from Garrison and Phil Parker & Roger Klien from Perth Aus.
It was another Great day. Weather was great. Sea was calm. Boat went really well and was doing 23 Knts with 15 people and kit for 14.
Straight out to American shot the wreck and off we went. All divers had been briefed about the Memorial Plaques placed on the wreck last week. These were seen by most divers. I (as I am sure did others) found the plaques to be a piognant reminder that crew had lost their lives on this ship, and took a moment to pay my respects before moving off to other areas. There was a slight surface current which more or less disappeared before reaching the wreck. Vis was poor (particularly on the way down) and most commented that there was not much fish life see on this dive. For a few it was their first visit to the American and for one or two their first Wreck dive. The consensus was it was a good dive.
Then off to the Cement again the wreck was shot. It was evident that the current was stronger here, which was proven by the BC (Boat Captain) when he dropped the divers off AT the shot Buoy - which rapidly drifted away with the divers (four) now strung out over 50 feet trying to make it back to the Buoy. Buy the time the Boat had indicated to the divers that they were not going to make the buoy, 2 had already given up. The third was attempted to keep up with the fourth, who it appeared was determined to get to the buoy, but still had something like a 100 meters to go and the distance was getting larger!!. The Third gave up soon after and was vaguely heard describing the situation with some choice phrases, which those on the boat were not sure if they were directed at the Fourth diver (still going for the Buoy) or the Boat Captain, who had not dropped them off UP current of the buoy -it was probably BOTH. When the boat picked up the first pair the divers were spread out at least 200 Meter and the buoy was now over 500 meters away. There was Quite a current running!! and another lesson learnt.
Having practiced Diver pickups the Boat Captain then Dropped off the Divers again, this time only 2, and UP current of the buoy!
Dive was on. The Vis was a little better here and again the current had reduced to almost nothing on the Wreck (unlike two weeks ago). A number of Divers including my own threesome swam with no effort against the current up to the bow and barely noticed the current other than it took less time to return.
A couple of Octopus and large fish were seen and although the Vis was not at its best by a long way it again was considered to be a good dive. Most of the new divers saying they saw more interesting things on this dive.
It was then time to go and take some refreshments so with Mat at the Helm (Nice to see Mat out again with the Club, Been very busy) off we went to the local island. Eng and Gary took the shallow water opportunity and went off the shore to do some more Training (Navigation etc.), whilst the rest of use watched and chatted whilst refreshing ourselves. They ran out of refreshments at 15:15 (never seen this before, wonder if Mat being with us had anything to do with it?) so we made our departure at 15:30.
The tidy was AGAIN very low at RBYC. All unloaded the boat and were moving gear to the boat yard end of the pier whilst I, with a great deal of Help from Dick and Sue-Ling, positioned the boat in the channel. Only then to be asked to move it so they could dredge the area in the coming days. Off we went again, Dick and I in the water and Sue -ling handling ropes, anchors and giving us moral support whilst we floundered around in mud knee deep. Finally the boat was moored. Now all that was needed was to load 12 cylinders and 5 sets of dive kit in my truck! Again thanks to Dick, Phil, Justin, Sue-ling who insisted on waiting to help load my Truck and forming a line we soon had it all packed in. JUST!
Another great day had by all, although the Dives (due mainly to moderate to poor Vis) were nothing great; everyone enjoyed them and the day in particular
DO and (I have to put my hand up) BC this trip
10th of JUNE - FRIDAY (PAUL)
Locations Aus and American (Late start NO PLUS)
11th of JUNE - SATURDAY (CLINT)
Locations Blue Water and Cement, PLUS
12th of JUNE - SUNDAY (PAUL)
Little Dale and maybe New Wreck
5th of JUNE - SUNDAY DIVE (NIGEL)
Dive Sites: Australian & Cement, PLUS
Dive Marshal: Eng
Divers: Nigel, Paul, Sue-Ling, Danielle, Dick, Damien, Martin J, Phil, Martin A, Suk Eng, Catherine
Three new Divers 2 Guests Damien and Phil and a new member Paul. Welcome to all but particularly new member Paul.
Mixed Day weather was over cast but dry sea was slight.
Due to being overcast the Vis on the Australian was reduced due to lack of sunlight though the water was relatively clear. Various groups reported vis from very good to poor. But all found the dive good.
Cement was Patchy Vis again but very clear in first hold and inside in general. There was a strong (for Brunei) current which most found a little uncomfortable in the exposed locations.
Stopped off on way back for quick refreshments as we needed to pick up fuel we left early and went passed RBYC and up river to fill up. Nigel tried to bend his arm around the Roof support whilst attempting to through the line to the Fuel Station. Very Painful but no apparent real damage. Nigel's arm appear to be OK to! The off back to the Club and a very low Tide. Plenty of passing bottles and gear across the gap again.
Again another Good day all round
31st of MAY (HOLIDAY, ARMED FORCES DAY)- TUESDAY DIVE (MARTIN/NIGEL)
Dive Site: Blue Water & Cement, Plus
Divers: Graham, Gabi, Nigel, Hubert, Ashleigh,Sue-Ling, Martin J, Dominic, Martin A, Suk Eng, Dick
One new Guest Diver, Welcome to Hubert.
Lovely weather and Sea. Off to Blue Water with Martin A ready to dive all day on his Closed Circuit Re-Breather. The rest of us as usual all on Standard stuff.
Blue Water was shot (no Buoy as usual) Good Vis plenty of fish couple of Divers did a little penetration but nothing deep. Off to the Cement again shot. Vis a little patch as it has been often of recent but very good in places particularly inside. Nigel and Hubert did a quick second deck penetration, first time for Hubert. Then off to have some refreshments.
The Diving was good but the day was Great.
A Great Day all round
29th of MAY - SUNDAY DIVE (PAUL)
Dive Site Littledale, New wreck, Rig reef
Divers: Nigel, Sue, Eng, Dick, Cat, Martin J, Martin A, Matt and Paul
With the boat in top form (almost) and weather perfect we decided to head off for Littledale (out the cut, hang a left and 20 nMiles down the coast between the Champion oil installations and the Empire Hotel) with the first divers in the water for 10.30 we were off to a good start to the day. Littledale is part of a large area of shoals that extend from Nankivell, Silk rock and Iron Duke shoals to the west, Brunei patches and a wreck to the south west and the Champion oil field to the north, the whole area has an average depth of about 12 – 15 meters and looks good for reef area. In the distant past the club has dived this area extensively but we have not been there for about 5 years so this was our chance to explore. All agreed that Littledale was a very pretty reef with lots to look at, not only were we lucky with the weather but the visability was very good as well. Diving reefs is a good way to brush-up on your navigation techniques and even with the “pink streamers” on the anchor line a few divers hap to “pop-up” to confirm their position!
The second dive of the day was on a wreck that appears on the chart – to my knowledge, as a club we have not dived it before. It turns out that the wreck is a barge sat (upside down – I think) in 20m of water – it was covered with fish with some very large barracuda swimming round. The top of the barge at about 12 meters had 3 or 4 fishing traps with several Lion fish on top of them. Underneath the barge was an interesting experience being filled with soft coral and lots a small fish – a great dive. I decided not to waste my new tank and dived it with only 75 bar in the old tank so I only had 10 mins to explore which was a pity as it was well worth more time – this wreck would be a good first dive as it bottoms out at 20m.
Next, we tried to find the wreck of the Bolkia which was sunk several years ago to make an artificial reef. We were unlucky and didn’t find it so for the third dive we went to Rig reef which is close by – we didn’t find the Rig either but we anchored in 10 meters of water on the surrounding reef and decided to have a look. The visability had deteriorated but was still OK. On the bottom the current was strong but on the surface this was not obvious. A nice dive that was elevated to being very nice when I managed to navigate right back to the anchor line without incident! Back at the club by 5PM just in time to go through the edge of a rain storm.
All in all a great days diving with the club now in the position of being able to offer some different dive sites – we missed the cultural experience of the nearby island but there is always tomorrow!!
25th of MAY - Wednesday Evening Boat Work
Martin and Nigel checked out engines Thursday evening after work. A number of problems were found and fixed. The engine compression checks were good. The main problem with the missing cylinder was a bad plug. Both engines were starting and idling well by the end of the evening. So we hope both engines will perform well for Sunday. This being the case and weather permitting the Dive for Tuesday the 31st is also a GO.
22nd of MAY - SUNDAY DIVE (MARTIN)
Location: was to be Little Dale Reef and American, Plus however weather forced us to abandon Little Dale and do American and Cement , Plus
21st of MAY SATURDAY - PRIVATE BOAT TRIP
Paul assisted by Dick did a private trip for a local Group. All report a marvelous day had by all
Twenty people gathered at the RBYC jetty to board “Down Under III” for the day trip to Kuraman. The weather was spectacular and the sea was dead flat. We arrived at the destination at about 10AM and the crew assembled in the “Kuraman Kafe” for koffee! BBQing, snorkeling, and lazing around started very quickly and this continued for the rest of the day. We left the island at about 4.30PM with very happy punters. The sea was again calm and the trip back was uneventful. Great day out nice to drop off happy people at the end of a day trip.
SUNDAY 15th MAY - DIVING, - American and Cement
Place: American and Cement Wrecks
Divers: Nigel, Martin, Eng, Graham, Gabi, Danielle, Sue-Ling
It was another beautiful day. Sea was flat calm, with just a slight breeze.
We again had some problems starting the right engine was not to bad but the left took some work. We also had lots of water in the port tank again and had to clean the carbs out a couple of times on the way out.
The Vis on the American was good which gave Danielle and Sue-Ling their first good look at the American Wreck. There were a couple of other boats at the site when we arrived, one of which had a film crew on it from Labuan.
Off to the cement were Martin shot the wreck. Vis was strange the first 10 feet was green soup but below that it was blue and mainly clear. The Wreck was patchy fair Vis Lots of fish as usual. The inside was clear and Danielle had he first look inside a wreck, with Nigel and Sue-Ling.
We made a stop on the way back for refreshments and that was were we were told that a film crew had been looking to film divers diving /or who had dived the American.
Then off back to RBYC via the cut -couple more problems with fuel which Martin and Nigel cleared and then through the cut AND RAN OUT OF FUEL!!!! @#$#@
Not much Martin and Nigel could do to fix this one - apart from a call to RBYC - Help bring Fuel - and a couple of RED faces!!
Thanks to the RBYC crew we had fuel in about 30 mins and off back to the club.
Not a good end to a Great Day but it could have been a lot worse - Another lesson learned!!!!
TUESDAY 12th MAY - Boat Launch Party/Presentation, 19:00 Martin Jones House
The evening went well. It was a modest turn out but all those that attended enjoyed the evening. We all learn a lot more about this insides of the boat and the extensive work which has been done on the Boat.
There were plenty of nibbles and refreshments thanks to Martin and all those that brought a plate or two.
Thanks Goes to Paul and Nigel for organizing the presentation and loan of equipment..
And of course another great thank you to Martin for hosting the evening and more for all the Work/Time that he put in along with Dick and Paul of course.
SUNDAY 8th MAY 2005
Place: Blue Water and Cement Wrecks
Divers: Nigel, Martin, Dave, Paul, Eng, Dick, Cat, John Y, John E, James, Sue & Olly
Wow! Dolphins jumping over the wake of the boat, I have never seen this before in Brunei – the dolphins round here are usually very timid around boats and steer well clear – but these guys were out for fun, Dave thought they were Spinner Dolphins, there were about 4 of them and they played around with us for a few mins. Jumping and falling backwards, one even sped under the bow of the boat while we were doing about 15 knots (with the new lower window I could see it!).
Well back to the diving, the Blue water wreck was again fantastic – not quite as good visibility as the previous week but still excellent. A massive stone fish greeted us at the shot line tie off point, James was keen to take a picture so keen in fact he forgot to take the lock off the camera and the fish had moved away by the time James sorted it out – typical. A massive school of small barracuda shadowed our trip to the bow – more than I have seen for ages, they stayed around for our entire dive. The keel/prop coral garden was looking as nice as ever being bathed in sunlight – a lovely photograph. By the time we got back to the rope we had only 1 min of no stop time left so we reluctantly ascended the shot line - another excellent dive on this wreck.
Once all had surfaced it was off to the Cement wreck and it was on the way we saw the dolphins. We still haven’t put a buoy on the wreck so we had to shot it again, again excellent shot positioning gave us an interesting unusual approach to the wreck arriving at the stern davit (we aim to please!). The visibility was very good at the stern but poor over the cargo holds (this improved greatly later for Nigel & Sue). Again lots of fish and things to see, a trip through the canteen area shows the wreck is getting very fragile – how much longer will it resists collapse? All up by 2.40 and we were off for a “cultural experience” at a nearby island. Another great day out diving – it doesn’t get much better than this.
3rd MAY TUESDAY Committee &Normal Meeting
A Boat Handlers roster has now been put in place for the next three months. The plan is to Dive every Sunday with Paul, Nigel and Martin rotating handling duties.
A Memo to Paul's Weekend Report
May 1st (below)
The boat is back and we finally had the opportunity to enjoy the results of some hard labour and long hours of planning and preparation to make a success of this weekend.
A special thanks goes out to Martin Jones for riding herd on the re-furbishing of the boat and to Paul, Nigel and Martin for taking the time to bring the boat back from Tutong and getting it fuelled and ready for Saturday's diving. Also the club supplied the tanks and weights for our guest divers so again Martin, Paul and Nigel were busy filling and transporting tanks between dives. Thank you Gentlemen!!
This Tuesday's meeting we will be scheduling our planned dives for the weekend so try to attend and get your name on the list early. (Dick)
MAY 1st 05 - Sunday Dive trip
Site: Blue Water and Cement wrecks
Slight problem starting the engines but this was quickly solved by Matt. Great to see so many divers on the boat, we had our 5 guests from Miri and Singapore again and Martin A with his re-breather, Matt A and Ray Sng, we also had club members Nigel, Martin, Dick, Eng, John and Paul.
The usually slow trip to the Blue water wreck was not slow - the boat now doing 23-24 knots with 14 fully kitted divers! The wreck was found and shotted, again our ace pair of shot tiers, Eng and Dick supported by Martin were in action and we were soon enjoying the delights of the wreck. The visibility was 20+ meters with the wreck almost visible from the surface.
It was great to see the wreck in such superb condition, lots of fish, the soft corals on the hull in great condition, the only thing missing was whale sharks, still we are at the start of the whale shark season, it was a year ago next week that one was last sighted – keep your eyes peeled.
We were soon off to the cement wreck with the anticipation of great visibility, we were only partially disappointed as the viz was not great at the bow end of the wreck but the stern was fine, Nigel reported superb viz inside the wreck round the engine room – perhaps because he and Martin were the only ones to venture in!
Once all had surfaced we were off to sample the delights of a nearby island. Back at the club by 5PM with the boats top end speed being tested at 26Knts – excellent! It was the end of a great weekend diving with the club doing all four wrecks in a weekend, the first time for a good number of years, it makes a nice change to be diving and not boat repairing! (Paul)
APRIL 30th 05- Saturday Dive trip
Site: Australian and American wrecks
The boat is back and we had 5 guest from Miri and Singapore.
The weather was great with sunny skies and calm seas. We had a slight problem starting the starboard engine which delayed the start, but at about 10.30 we set off for the Australian wreck.
It was found quickly and Eng and Dick tied the shot line on to the wreck. Rich, San San and Julian, from Miri were next down and Kevin and Eric from Singapore followed. Paul and Matthew T waited on the boat for Dick and Eng to return.
I can report very good visibility (for this wreck) with treasure found (a pre 2nd world war Maggie mee bowl!).
After Paul and Matt returned to the surface we set off to the American wreck, this was again successfully found and tied onto.
The visibility was very good with lots of fish, strange sounds of laughter were heard as Paul and Matt descended, not the normal sounds associated with this wreck it turned out that Kevin had a small plastic frog fish that he planted on the wreck and all the photographers were fooled into thinking it was a reel one! Great dives and a great start to the season. (Paul)
FRIDAY 29th ARIL - Boat back in the Water
Team will be going to collect boat and bring it back ready for dives on Saturday and Sunday
WEDNESDAY 27th APRIL - Site back UP
MARCH 05 - BOAT TAKEN OUT FOR "D CHECK" a lot of hull and structural repairs required.
Turned out they were more major and required more urgently than any of us thought. A review of all the work carried out during the project, along with photographs etc will be posted here in the near future.
START OF 2005- site not updated in first part of 2005
SUNDAY 15th AUGUST 2004 - DIVE TRIP
Everybody met up at the yacht club at 7.30, but the boat just didn't want to go! The starter motor on the starboard side had packed up. At around 8.30am Terry managed to get it started - hooray - only to find that the electrics at the front of the boat had packed up - booo. By 9 am Clint had fixed the electrics and it was all systems go.
As soon as we left the cut we knew we were in for a bumpy ride. That horrid rolling swell, combined with rough sea from the wind. We found the American wreck and threw down the shot line which was tied off by Andy's group. Once they were up, the rest of us went down and tied off a brand new buoy line which hopefully won't mysteriously disappear. A very uncomfortable surface interval made for 3 of us to loose our lunch to the fish!! Unfortunately, it really wasn't a pleasant day, bad sea and low visibility. We got back to Serasa very tired and at least 3 of us VERY hungry!!
DIVE CLUB MEETING 7.30PM - 10th AUGUST - SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, JALAN MUARA.
Presentations made to all the new divers and the ones who "upgraded" over the weekend. Particularly special was the presentation of our first "lead weight", made from the lead that your cans were exchanged for - which was given to young Sam! Please keep giving us your used drinks cans.
From 16th August, the dive boat will be out of action for 2 weeks for necessary repairs.
SUNDAY 8th AUGUST - DIVE TRIP
A last minute arrangement, yet we still had 11 divers for this trip, including a few from the Panaga club. We went straight to the Cement Wreck in order to do Deep dive training with Tom Elder and Martin Jones, and let the certified divers get their fix. Again, the visibility was terrific and everybody came up smiling and wowing. Not so nice on the surface as again it was quite rough with a rolling swell. Straight to Kuramen Reef for Lucy and Ann's final 2 OW dives, Tom and Martins Navigation dive, and everyone else's pleasure. Much clearer here than it was on Saturday and much marine life was spotted including Jawfish and 2 turtles (only Eng and Dale saw them though). Surfaced to a very irresponsible boat driver taking waterskiers around us - when the dive flag is up, boat traffic should keep outside at least 50 meters - this guy (who's name shall not be named) was within about 20 metres. Talk about just desserts though - his boat broke down on the way back and he asked us for a tow!! It made us very late back to the yacht club after what should have a been quite a short day. Well done to Lucy, Ann, Tom & Martin who all passed their courses.
SATURDAY 7th AUGUST - DIVE TRIP
Another 7.30am start due once again to the tides. A full compliment of divers for the fist time in ages, joined us for a very full day of diving. First stop was the Australian Wreck. Mixed reactions to visibility, ranging from "amazing" from Louise to "seen it better" from others, but this was Louise's first time here doing her Deep Dive for the AOW course. Next stop was Barat Banks to do some Open Water Training dives with Sam, Ann, and Lucy - which despite the rough sea and surge, was very successful. Next stop, the Cement Wreck, to which all divers surfaced very happily after some great visibility. Last stop the house Reef at Kuramen to finish off Sam's OW and do dive 2 for Lucy and Ann. Again no problems and Sam has now become the youngest certified diver with BSADC!! Well done Sam! A refreshment stop on the island, allowed Ann and Lucy time to do their OW exam, which they both breezed through. A bumpy but uneventful drive back to Serasa, and a lot of tired but satisfied divers.
TUESDAY 3rd AUGUST - DIVE CLUB MEETING - SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, JALAN MUARA, 7.30pm
SUNDAY 1st AUGUST - DIVE TRIP
An early start, meeting at the Yacht club by 7.30 and we left bang on 8.00 in the beautiful morning light in a mild rolling swell. First stop was the Cement Wreck, the mooring line of which was playing host to some suspicious fishermen who made no fuss about vacating for us. The mooring line was rather short and so Terry attached a new line and a new buoy to make it easier in future. Visibility varied around the wreck from good on the bridge, to quite poor around the bow. However, Tracy's advanced students, Martin, Suzanne and Louise seemed to enjoy the swirling barracuda, curious octopus, squid, scorpion fish and cowrie shell covered with it's mantle very much.
Dives two and three were made a Barat Banks, in order for Terry take our youngest recruit, Sam, aged 11, on his very first Open Water dives. He received a rapturous ovation on bobbing to the surface after making his first Giant Stride Entry!! Cecilia sat these ones out - trying not to be the nervous mum (she is Sam's mum), and decided to have a snorkel for a while. Other divers were Dick and Catherine, Matt and Tom. Tom is a temporary member who will be in Brunei for 2 months with UBD. The second dive presented us not only with quite a stiff current, but also some rather stomach upsetting surge. Not the best teaching conditions but all students performed with comfort and ease.
By 2pm we were back at Serasa after another successful training day.
TUESDAY 27th JULY - DIVE CLUB MEETING - SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, JALAN MUARA, 7.30pm
Another reasonable turnout! Many of our members are teachers and are currently on their holidays in various parts of the world, so hopefully once they return, both the meetings and the dive trips will be full compliment (one can always hope!!)
The dive club welcomes the return of some past members. Firstly to Ashleigh Seow, a PADI Rescue Diver and also to Cecilia Lee Wan Chin, a PADI Advanced diver. Cecilia's daughter Sofia is also a Junior Open Water diver and her son Sam is doing his Junior Open Water Course with Terry. So, welcome back to you all.
The new dive equipment is being ordered (hooray!!!). Thanks to Andy Nisbet for researching this matter and getting the great prices! Very soon, we shall take possession of 4 brand new sets of BCD's, Regulators, compasses and dive computers. In order that this new equipment doesn't go walkies, we will be introducing a new system (yet to be decided) - but probably requiring some sort of deposit for hiring. Will keep you posted.
Speaking of computers we would like to reiterate that as a minimum, EACH buddy pair MUST have a dive computer (of course one each is even more preferable). If you don't you must inform the Dive Marshall prior to your dive and therefore, you MUST dive from your associations dive planner and let the Marshall know your plan. The dive Marshall has the right not to allow you to dive if you do not follow these safety regulations.
Terry has fixed the starter motor on the boat now, but there are still a few problems which Clint Mills, is looking into to get sorted as quickly as possible.
SUNDAY 25th JULY - DIVE TRIP
Paul Turton took the boat out - here is his write up of the day! Cheers Paul.
There were eight divers and a budding new driver (Martin) , the weather was fine and was expected to stay that way. The first dive was the American wreck, we sent down a shot line and was about 4 meters short of the wreck (not bad!), Ashley and John were first down to tie off on the wreck, the rest of us waited for 15 mins whilst they did this. On the dive the visibility was bad on the way down - the water was very green, but on the wreck the viz was not that bad. Andy spotted a very large sting ray under an object about halfway down the mast. Not much else to report all divers had a story or two to tell and it was agreed that we had seen the wreck under worse conditions. Next it was on to the Cement wreck, with the sea conditions still very flat the trip was uneventful, we tied off on the buoy (thankful that we didn't have to through the shot line again!) and waited out our surface interval. The visibility on the upper part of the wreck was similar to the USA wreck but lower down it was not bad, we decided to head off to the bow and had a great dive with lots of barracuda - both very large and small crowding out everything else. The coral and plant life at the front is thriving and we even found the octopus! he was hiding about halfway down the port side of the wreck. When we got back to the bridge section we explored some of the inner parts of the wreck and then surfaced. A great dive under less than ideal visibility but one of the flattest seas I've seen for a longtime - make the most of this time of year!
TUESDAY 20th JULY - MEETING AT SEAFOOD CENTRE, JALAN MUARA 7.30PM
An excellent turn out!! Current members and a few new ones: Louise and Genevieve are on uni leave and return to UK in August so are temporary members looking to do their Advanced course. Martin Jones, also a new member is also looking to do his advanced course after learning to dive in 1972!!!
Sadly, this was Maurice Davidson's LAST meeting here as he is leaving the country to go back to his roots after 21 years of diving in Brunei, and founding the club - among other things. Thanks for everything you have done over the years Maurice, you will be missed and we hope we can make the club great again as you once did!!
Terry has blended his first Enriched Air (Nitrox) tank here in Brunei!!! So those of you wishing to stay a bit longer on the wrecks, please contact Terry to discuss the PADI Nitrox Course.
The club is now in the process of buying 4 new sets of equipment so hopefully we can start training more beginners and get some fresh faces amongst us.
SATURDAY 17th JULY 2004
A bit of a dull morning as we met up at the yacht club at 7.30am. We headed off bang on 8.00 and headed straight for the American which we found using the fish finder and after Terry's first attempt at shotting a wreck, Andy & Iain went down to tie off the shot line. We were greeted with approx 20 metre visibility much too our delight!! Schools of Snapper, Batfish and Fusiliers swam around as we explored. For all of us, it was the best visibility we have seen on this wreck. From there we headed to Barrett's Bank - a change from the scheduled Pelong Rocks, based on our reckoning that if the visibility was good at the wreck, it SHOULD be good there too - and it was. A flat landscape to a maximum depth of around 9 metres, it was perfect for the navigation and naturalist dives which Matt & Theresa Alcock were undergoing for their Advanced Course. Unfortunately due to an extreme sinus squeeze, Theresa could only manage one dive here, but Matt did them all and is now a qualified Advanced Open Water Diver - Congratulations Matt. Don't despair Theresa - only one left. Lots of whip corals here and some youngish barrel and tube sponges. A smattering of soft corals and a variety of sea squirts. Fish seen included blue ringed angelfish, oriental sweetlips, coral rock cod, variety of damsel fish and a couple of curious squid! Very pleasant. An eventless drive back to the yacht club and all moored up by 1.00pm before the heavens opened