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Tag / lang tengah

Following last year’s positive experience at Lang Tengah, we made a returning visit to the same island again. After Similan Islands live aboard and the trip to Pulau Sembilan (had good seafood, not so great diving), this is my third diving trip for the year, and that’s 24 dives logged this year. Can’t say I’m complaining. 😀

arriving at Redang Lang Island Resort's Jetty
arriving at Redang Lang Island Resort’s Jetty

We charted a bus and left KL at around 10pm on Thursday night. After spending a night largely freezing our asses off in the bus and had breakfast at Kampung Cina’s kopitiam, we hopped on the transfer boat, and 45 minutes or so later, we arrived at Paradise.

The fine white sand and crystal clear water always has a way of making the journey worth it.

and here's a slice of paradise here in Malaysia
and here’s a slice of paradise here in Malaysia

After lunch, we started diving. There were 5 dives in two days, and they are:

  • Day 1, first dive: Karang Nibong, 60 mins, 18m max
  • Day 1, second dive: Tanjung Terunjuk, 52 mins, 23m max
  • Day 2, morning dive: Terumbuk Kuning, 46 mins, 26m max
  • Day 2, second dive: Karang Nibong, 63 mins, 21m max
  • Day 2, afternoon dive: Karang Baha, 54 mins, 22m max

finally, a photo of us underwater
finally, a photo of us underwater

We were pretty fortunate on our dives and managed to spot leopard shark on two separate occasions. First at Tanjung Terunjuk on day one and again at Karang Baha on our last dives. However, the sharks were pretty shy, and on both occasions swam away before we could approach close enough for a Kodak moment.

By rough estimates, the sharks were at least 8-9 feet in length, and absolutely stunning.

a shy green turtle hiding beneath a boulder
a shy green turtle hiding beneath a boulder

This was also Haze’s first real diving trip, the two leisure dives at Pulau Sembilan she did (and I participated) had visibilities so poor that there isn’t actually any hint of leisure in them.

On these dives, we were blessed with visibilities in excess of 20 meters on all dives except the two occasions when we veered off to the slightly more challenging areas to spot leopard sharks.

those elusive razorfish
those elusive razorfish

At Redang Lang, like most other resorts, food is included, they are edible and very average. Breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner served at the “canteen” area everyday, and dives are usually scheduled in between meals.

a relative of bad joke eel is found here too
a relative of bad joke eel is found here too

Luckily for Haze and a few others, Redang Lang’s rental gears are all new this year. Often times at budget dive trips the rental gears can be quite… disappointing. This was one of the reasons I bought everything I need sans weight belt and scuba tank.

Lydia making friends with Nemo and family
Lydia making friends with Nemo and family

It was a good couple days of divings. We boarded the bus again on Sunday and left Paradise reluctantly. It was another 10 hours or so before we reached KL (traffic was a bitch, and we made too many stops).

Guess it’s time to plan another trip. 😀

nemo, sea fan, plenty of fish, and this interestingly shaped dead coral.. ermm
nemo, sea fan, plenty of fish, and this interestingly shaped dead coral.. ermm

James helping out divers taking off their fins before boarding

James helping out divers taking off their fins before boarding

KY, Haze, Terence, Celine, James, baby and mom, Lydia & the rest
KY, Haze, Terence, Celine, James, baby and mom, Lydia & the rest

p/s: all photos taken with Olympus E-PL3 with this set of gears.

 Olympus E-PL3

This is the follow up to the previous Lang Tengah dive trip post.

After two dives on the first day, we spent Saturday going underwater three times. The first dive in the morning was a deepish dive that bottomed out at close to 30 meters.

The visibility going down was excellent, but once we reached the bottom we literally couldn’t see anything past 3 meters, sometimes you’re lucky, other times you aren’t, and this is an example of the latter.

blue spotted stingray
blue spotted stingray

However, even with the lackluster visibility, we did spot quite a few creatures at this dive site. A beautiful blue spotted stingray were found laying at the bottom, and there were juvenile bamboo sharks hiding in the reefs too. We also spotted a huge cuttle fish who wasn’t too thrill to see us, I did manage to snap a couple pictures of the undersea alien before it jetted off from us.

cuttle fish, not looking terribly happy
cuttle fish, not looking terribly happy

this is 1/3 of a bamboo shark hiding within the coral reef
this is 1/3 of a bamboo shark hiding within the coral reef

We spent some 20 minutes at the bottom and another 15 minutes or so slowly ascending to the surface. The temperature at the bottom was a chilly 26 C, making it the coldest I’ve been (other than Aquaria KLCC)

underwater thugs wannabe
underwater thugs wannabe

After brunch, we had another dive, and on this second site, we found what we were looking for – the magnificent leopard shark.

Leopard Shark at Lang Tengah
Leopard Shark at Lang Tengah

I’ve seen leopard shark while diving at Aquaria KLCC, but seeing a beautiful specimen in the wild is something else. Ed and I navigated slowly to the side of the resting leopard shark to take a closer position for photography, and just as we were settling down, Terence landed at the back of the shark, thus startled the creature, it took off..

Luckily I was able to snap a couple photos before it got away. Sharks are often more afraid of us than we are of them, and if we are to be able to see these beautiful creatures in the wild, do SAY NO TO SHARKS FIN.

leopard shark taking off
leopard shark taking off

underwater photographer at work
underwater photographer at work

The fifth dive of the trip turned out to be our final dive. Terence and I had initially planned to conduct a night dive at the house reef, but thunderstorm that started at around 6:30pm or so pretty much doomed whatever plan we had.

We took it easy on this dive, averaging only at around 14+ meters, with the maximum depth of less than 23 meters. The seascape was beautiful, and again there were plenty of clownfish to be toyed with.

the ever so photogenic clown fish in anemone
the ever so photogenic clown fish in anemone

a fish that looks like coral, or coral that looks like a fish?
a fish that looks like coral, or coral that looks like a fish?

All the photos taken in this post were with the aid of the INON UWL & DOME unit. The ultra wide angle conversion allows me to get to the subject much closer, hence reducing the wastage of light from the external flash unit (I have a single unit of Sea & Sea YS-01).

For those who are unfamiliar with underwater photography, the deeper we go, the more red we lose (hence everything looks blue), and thus underwater flash comes very handy. However, flash units are expensive, and has limited range, a few feet further and all you see is blue again.

All this means that the closer you can get to the subject, the easier you can lit them up. To make matters trickier, water has an amplification factor of about 30%, hence the importance of wide angle lenses.

this would make a good aquarium backdrop
this would make a good aquarium backdrop

sea fan and ikan bilis
beautiful sea fan with them ikan bilis

I hope you enjoy the photos, hopefully there are more to come. What I really want now is another flash unit and some external arms get better pictures. We shall see. Expensive hobby, le sigh.

Can’t wait for the next compressed air escapade.

more photos at my flickr set, and for more posts on my diving trips, click here.

Pulau Lang Tengah is an island sandwiched between the more popular Redang and Perhentian islands, approximately 20+ km from Merang Jetty, which itself is roughly half an hour’s drive from Kuala Terengganu.

Our trip was organized and led by DM/Instructor/UW Photographer extraordinaire Edvin Eng, who was also the first DM Terence and I dived with back in 2004, a whopping 7 years ago.

Lang Tengah with a bunch of jokers
and Derek is now a certified diver, by Edvin the man

Edvin is always one of my favorite dive leaders, the dude  is a joker on ground, but serious and attentive underwater. He also has an eye in spotting weird and wonderful creatures underwater, which is good. However, the very same guy also always poison us in underwater photography equipments, which might or might not be a good thing.

the resort at Lang Tengah
the resort at Lang Tengah, with Derek and Terence camwhoring

The main purpose of the trip was actually to get Derek certified as a PADI Open Water diver, for those of you who are interested to get into this hobby, Edvin is as good as any instructor you can get, you can find him at oceanxplorer.com.my

disco colored anemone
disco colored anemone, true story

We left at around 1 am from KL on Thursday night and arrived at Kuala Terengganu in the morning just in time for a breakfast of roast duck noodle before hopping on the transfer boat at Merang jetty.

We did a shore dive right after lunch, at the same time Derek was getting his exams. The shore dive at Lang Tengah wasn’t anything to shout about, visibility was close to 10 meter, there were corals, giant clams, and the various fishes, including clown fish, of course.

anemone at lang tengah
some sort of anemone?

giant clam
giant clam, good for 100 plates of char kueh teow

We went on a boat dive after tea time, and there were much more to see here. Plenty of coral banded shrimps, red shrimps, moray eel, scorpion fish, and more.

banded coral shrimp
banded coral shrimp

red shrimp among the corals
red shrimp among the corals

moray eel
a pretty small and shy moral eel hiding in its hole

scorpion fish at lang tengah
can you spot the fish?

We were dead tired from previous night’s driving and the 2 dives, and everyone headed to bed and pretty much passed out before 10 pm.

For the last three dives on second day, I had the luxury of using the combination of INON UWL 100 and the DOME unit with my S90 (in Ikelite housing and lit by Sea & Sea YS-01).

Since there are already quite a few photos in this post, I’ll delay the second batch on the next post. By the way, Selamat Hari Raya to all my Muslim friends, and to everyone else, Happy Merdeka!

Just got back from Lang Tengah, plenty of underwater photos to process, some of them turned out quite well thanks to a loaner INON ultra wide angle dome unit.

Here a teaser picture:

a family of nemo at Lang Tengah
a family of nemo at Lang Tengah (click pic for bigger version)

Clown fish (or better known as Nemo these days) is still one of my favorite subjects underwater, and Lang Tengah is home to many of them.

Proper travelog and more photos to be posted once I got them properly processed.