Pulau Tenggol was where it all got started back in 2004, I got my PADI Open Water & Advance Open Water diving license together with Terence and Saint.
When my colleague Richard (he was at xmas eve party 2009) told me about this diving trip, the memory from 6 years back found it’s way from my secondary storage and told me I had to go back there, and Terence agreed too. This despite having just came back from Sipadan less than 2 months ago.
breakfast at some Malay restaurant at Dungun
Together with Richard, San San, Jonathan, Joe, and Terence, we packed our gears and drove up to Dungun last Friday. Spent a night at some cheap hotel, and headed to the Jetty after the excellent breakfast with nasi minyak, roti canai, and nasi lemak at some Malay restaurant by a junction (there aren’t many junctions at Dungun).
Tenggol Island Resort, precisely where we were back in 2004!
Some 45 minutes on pretty choppy water later, we arrived at Tenggol island, and as fate had it, we checked into precisely where we did some 6 years back.
The island still looked exactly like it did when we first got here. It was still relatively untouched, with virgin jungle embracing the sandy bay that has 4 very small resorts housing not more than a few dozen divers at any one time. It is nice to see that the place doesn’t turn to another over commercialized island.
this is Charlie, our resort operator & dive leader
We got our room keys, unpacked, and immediately suit up for the first dive. Our resort operator and dive leader, Charlie Lee, and I share a similar talent in drawing. While I draw maps to food, he excel in underwater topography, and drew maps of every dive sites before we visit them.
The maps come with depth, underwater geological features, path, and so on. Very impressive!
Ahh, being underwater, I miss it already
Our first dive was at Turtle Point, located at the Southern end of the bay, it is protected from the sometimes vicious current at Tenggol. With a maximum depth of 18 meter, the site is usually chosen for check-out dives.
My log book told me that it is also the place where I had my very first dive, though at that time we only went to the relatively safe depth of 9 meter.
Joe busy working, baby barracudas, Terence, blue coral fish
- dive #1: Turtle Point
- date/time: 27/3/2010 11:26 am
- depth: 17.6 meter
- duration: 43 mins
- visibility: 10-20 meters
- temp: 29c
Four out of six of us brought cameras with casing fit for underwater usage, which makes for plenty of photos. You can check out the photos I took at this FB album
giant sea cucumber, tang fish, evil crown of thorns star fish
It was nice to get underwater again, Turtle Point was very stress free. We saw a school of baby barracudas, and unlike their grown up counter parts, they looked so cute when they’re at only 1-2 feet in size.
Sea cucumber, tang fish, and various other coral dwelling fishes were spotted too. There’s also the crown of thorns star fish that actually eats coral.
Phyllidia varicosa (scrambled egg nudi), Suunto D6, moray eel
We went on shore and had a very good lunch of curry chicken, vegetable, and rice. Usually lousy food is expected at dive resorts, but the meals we had with Charlie were all rather good, way beyond expectation.
Shortly after that it was our second dive of the day. We were pumped!
- dive #2: Tangjung Gemuk
- date/time: 27/3/2010 2:20 pm
- depth: 26.9 meter
- duration: 44 mins
- visibility: 10-15 meters
- temp: 29c
Nemo and cousins, skinny puffer fish
Tanjung Gemuk is located a bit further away and had a bit of current going on. We took advantage of the current and did a very enjoyable and relaxing drift dive for the most part. Spotted puffer fish, two different types of clown fish, the “scrambled egg” nudi branch (sea slug), and more.
We probably covered 4-500 meters in 44 minutes. It was another excellent dive on just the first day.
There are 6 more dives on this trip, and I shall continue on the coming posts. For now, time to sleep!