flights of fancy

By: kichi kenterong

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Sunday, 5-Feb-2006 04:36 Email | Share | Bookmark
perhentian trips

it would be something i looked forward to on the weekends, when i was still based at kota bharu. waking up really early in the morning, around five-thirty, wasn't easy at all, but the cold water would soon get my senses reeling. the night before would be spent packing my equipment and checking my underwater camera housing. i'd be out by 6.30 latest, to be sure that i managed to get the earliest boat out to the island. the first time i arrived after 7.30, i had to wait close to two hours for the next boat.

at the jetty, i'd search out for pok ya. he'd always make sure that everything was in order. i would be on my way soon enough, and anticipating the morning dive upon arrival.

the people at flora bay were always friendly, and would wave when they see me trudging across the beach towards them. i would always hope that i'd get hari, my instructor, to be the divemaster for my dives, but that never happened. nonetheless, mark was just as capable, although he's a bit more rigid about rules.

putting on the wetsuit (even though only halfway) was always a hassle, especially when it's already wet. then, there'd be the pre-dive briefing and pairing up with someone. after that, we'd be on the boat to the dive spot, hoping to sight a whale shark or two hehe. and for good visibility too. but of course, even if we didn't see a whale shark, we were almost always assured that we'd see interesting things. perhentian is just like that.

a minute before reaching the spot, we'd start prepping ourselves for the dive: zipping up the wetsuits, spitting into our masks, putting on the weight belt (three weights for me). the rest of the equipment go on when the boat is stationary. then, we'd backroll into the water and wait for everyone.

it all begins as soon as the divemaster gives the okay sign to go down.

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