I just left around 11:40AM this morning from the Perhentians (Long Beach more exactly). I just did some snorkeling in the morning to take some more pictures underwater and managed to bump into another turtle. Later on, after packing and drying my gear, I took a fast boat to Kuala Besut (30RM) then a taxi to Kota Bahru shared with other travellers (28RM). I bought my train ticket to Singapore (48.5RM 2nd class sleeper upper bed) and I'm waiting around as it leaves at 7:50PM. I found an internet shop not far from the station and surprisingly it is extremely fast and cheap (2.5RM / hour) so I'm trying to keep up to date. I just have to deal with kids and adults fighting to get their speakers as loud as they can when playing Counter Strike, FIFA Soccer or just playing music. All this topped with screams all over the place.
I went back to Temple of the Sea. I could not leave without trying it again to take pictures with the camera and luck was with me as I had a flawless dive. I was diving with Frank, another french that just bought a Sony DSCP-10 in Singapore and who was in the Perhentians for vacations and a cool divemaster named James, he is a slow diver so all was good for us. Franck and I were very happy to dive with him. Conditions were slightly worse than last time but still it was awesome.
I first heard of this place when hanging out with people in Capetown. A Capetonian diver/backpacker told me about this place as a must-dive spot. Well he was not wrong, dives are simply amazing here if you're lucky enough to dive in a good visibility (conditions are very changing).
I did Mullet Deep in the morning with a visibility ranging barely from 2 to 15m and with 2 different thermoclines (basically we were freezing at the bottom). I managed to spot a giant eagle ray passing by over us despite the crappy visibility. In the early afternoon I went back to Twin Rocks. The first time I did it it was in about the same condition as Mullet Deep with a visibility well below 5m. Today however was simply amazing. Of course we were attacked by those nasty titan triggerfishes hanging around. In the late afternoon I went snorkeling in front of the beach and bumped into a green turtle that was kind enough to allow me to touch her belly and take loads of pictures. She did not seem to bother too much.
It was one of the best dive I have ever done, if not the best. We saw loads of fish all over the place (bamboo sharks, moray eels, giant moray, stingrays, triggerfish, parrotfish, anemonefish, scorpionfish, trevally, nudibranchs, and the usual suspects), good visibility, amazing soft corals. Simply stunning. Of course the camera was not working .
Pretty miserable camera day as well. It seems to eat batteries like popcorn, I have the power icon appearing after about 10 minutes and the camera shuts itself down. This is the normal behavior but it might be due to a current leak or a contact problem. Hard to say. I have the increasing feeling to crash the camera with a hammer to solve problems for good. I managed to take a few pictures however, and you will also see the squirrel hanging around Coral Sky Diver. He is very attracted by cakes and is usually there when people are back from the dives.
Loads of problems with the camera today. It's shutting down intermittently and I need to remove the batteries and play on/off game a few time to reactivate it. Contact problems probably, it's okay to do this on land but removing the batteries underwater is more challenging . I just have to accept it. The first dive at Mistery Reef was however very nice. Flat bottom around 24m, so bottom time is barely 30 minutes before deco. There are loads of critters however, it's very promising.
I just arrived in the Perhentian Islands around Long Beach. I took the night train from Chumphon to Songai Golok where I met Anya, a cool aussie girl that was going to the Perhentian as well. The trip was quite cool and managed to sleep well, so no regret at all. We teamed up in Kota Baru to share a taxi with 2 other people to Kuala Besut (RM24) and then took the slow ferry to the Perhentian Islands (RM40 2-way). I'm staying in a room in Rock Garden (basically a shithole) for 15RM. Internet here is expensive RM4/min so don't expect load of news before I'm in Singapore at the end of the month. FYI US$1 = RM3.8