PADI: East Marine Dive, Langkawi, Malaysia (Days 3 & 4)

I’m now a qualified Open Water Diver!!! Woot! Woot! 🙂

PADI: East Marine Dive, Langkawi, Malaysia (Day 3)

Today we had our first open water dive. The dive boat took us to Pulau Payar off Langkawi in Malaysia. We dived in two sites: Coral Garden and House Reef.

Dock at Pulau Payar off Langkawi in Malaysia

Dock at Pulau Payar off Langkawi in Malaysia

Dive site map, Pulau Payar, Malaysia

Dive site map, Pulau Payar, Malaysia

As anticipated, diving is a magical experience… after completing the Discovery dive in Tobago a little over a year ago, I knew I wanted to pursue diving a bit more…. As quickly as our training started… it is nearly coming to its’ end… this makes me sad…it’s all going by so quickly!

Though initially hesitant about Langkawi as a good location for PADI-training, I would highly recommend it. East Marine Dives – our PADI-accredited dive school – are highly professional; kind; organised; and well-resourced (they have clean, safe equipment; their own very large dive boat; a good instructor-to-student ratio [3:1]; and great customer service).

I suppose choosing the right location to complete the Open Water training depends on your own requirements. Speaking with two diving instructors (one currently based in Gili Air off Lombok in Indonesia and the other based in the Tioman Islands off the east coast of Malaysia), I was warned visibility would be below 5m and that choosing an alternative location would significantly improve the quality of my experience.

However, though both instructors were correct to say that visibility would be low (it ranged from 4m to 6m), this range is actually quite wide and divers are still able to see and appreciate the coral, marine life and the seabed considerably. Having swum in clear waters in Tobago and the Gili Islands, I must say diving/ swimming with low visibility is also great – it is simply ‘different’… it isn’t necessarily better or worse. (At least, this is my view – I’m sure experienced divers would beg to differ).

Nonetheless, we dived twice today… had a packed lunch on Pulau Payar in between… and when walking along the dock to the tables where lunch was served… we looked in awe below us… as there were about a dozen (if not a few more) small and medium-sized…. Sharks! 😉 I’m not 100% sure what type of shark (harmless, nonetheless)… one of them (I never thought I’d ever say this) looked particularly cute as it was so small and more proportional than other sharks…..

After lunch… we returned to the boat…. Got our scuba gear ready… put on our wetsuits in preparation for dive 2… Little did I know that we would complete a boat dive straight into the waters by the very dock where I witnessed the dozen or so sharks….

No. I wasn’t nervous at all.

Instructors preparing equipment for dives at Pulau Payar off Langkawi, Malaysia

Instructors preparing equipment for dives at Pulau Payar off Langkawi, Malaysia

… After the dive… I had mixed feelings. I worked myself up about the sharks to such an extent that I feared them and strongly desired to swim with them… unfortunately, I didn’t see any of them when 10m under the water…

See details of dives as recorded in our new diving log books below.

(Nico just looked over my shoulder whilst writing this… he thinks I’m a geek… tell me if you find this as interesting as I do).

Dive: 01 Date: 29.12.2011
Dive site: Coral Garden, Pulau Payar, Langkawi, Malaysia
Air in: 3000 psi Air out: 600 psi
Time in: 11:40 am Time out: 12:25 pm
Type of dive: boat dive Weather: sunny
Sea condition: calm Current: none
Visibility: 5m Wetsuit: 2mm
RNT: 0 ABT: 45 min
TBT: 45 min Depth: 14m
Dive:  02 Date: 29.12.2011
Dive site: House Reef, Pulau Payar, Langkawi, Malaysia
Air in: 3200 psi Air out: 1200 psi
Time in: 14:05 Time out: 14:45
Type of dive: boat dive Weather: cloudy and warm
Sea condition: calm Visibility: 5-6 m
Wetsuit: 2mm Surface interval: 1 hour 4 minutes
Depth: 10 m RNT: 20
ABT: 40 TBT: 60 min

 

PADI: East Marine Dive, Langkawi, Malaysia (Day 4)

What a wonderful day! Having completed our diving skills training the day before, we were able to complete two ‘fun’ dives without all the stress of putting on and removing our masks underwater… removing and wearing our BCDs… mask clearing… la la la and all the rest… we were simply able to do what divers always travel the world and pay to do: dive, float, slowly sink and descend to the sea bed, and explore the corals and marine life before them…

Scuba diving off Pulau Payar near Langkawi, Malaysia

Scuba diving off Pulau Payar near Langkawi, Malaysia

Whereas, in Gili Air, when snorkelling, I discovered Gill and a few of his family… and I met Nemo and some of his extended family… In Langkawi, whilst diving, I saw an entire school of Gill fish… I found the volume of Gills to be particularly amazing.

Likewise… we saw these large, ugly-looking fish with huge lips that appeared-to-be permanently open… though I didn’t have an underwater camera to hand during my dive, I’ll try and hunt down an image from the web and upload this to the post for you to get an idea of what we saw.

Grouper fish in Pulau Payar, Langkawi, Malaysia

Grouper fish in Pulau Payar, Langkawi, Malaysia

I asked the instructor – before our dive – whether divers saw any sharks at our respective dive sites. He replied: ‘of course!’ When asking which type, he said: ‘whale sharks… but only if you’re lucky’.

Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky… and neither Nico, nor Jonathon (our Swedish buddy that was in our diving team of 3) nor I sighted a shark during our final dives of the open water course.

Please see details of our last two dives below… after these, I can proudly announce… that both Nico and I are officially qualified scuba divers! 🙂 🙂 🙂

PADI Open Water Diver Trainees at East Marine Dives, Langkawi, Malaysia (Mr Wong, Japanese friends, Nico, Lina, Jonathon)

PADI Open Water Diver Trainees at East Marine Dives, Langkawi, Malaysia (Mr Wong, Japanese friends, Nico, Lina, Jonathon)

Dive: 03 Date: 30.12.11
Dive site: Coral Garden, Pulau Payar, Langkawi, Malaysia
Air in: 3000 psi Air out: 800 psi
Time in: 11:40 am Time out: 12:20 pm
Type of dive: boat dive Weather: sunny
Sea condition: calm Current: slow
Visibility: 3-4 m RNT: 0
ABT: 40 min TBT: 40 min
Depth: 17m  
Dive: 04 Date: 30.12.11
Dive site: Sponge reef, Pulau Payar, Langkawi, Malaysia
Air in: 3250 psi Air out: 1250 psi
Time in: 14:10 Time out: 14:45
Weather: Sunny Sea condition: Calm
Current: Slow current Visibility: 4 m
RNT: 13 ABT: 35
TBT: 48 min Depth: 15m
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3 thoughts on “PADI: East Marine Dive, Langkawi, Malaysia (Days 3 & 4)

  1. Pingback: Free and Easy Tioman Island Package (4Days/3Nights) | Hibiscus Travel & Tours

  2. We had less than a meter of visibility on one of our Lake Michigan dives. I remember getting disoriented and relying on bubbles to know which way was up. Needless to say, we didn’t stay in the water long. Nice Lina photo in the scuba attire. Actually, all the photos are cool. Congrats to you and Nico on your PADI certification.

    • Eeek, less than a meter? I’ve heard that’s usually the case in Lake dives… is that actually true? 🙂 THanks – I’m pleased we have a new thing in common now! I look forward to sharing future dive stories! Such a shame diving is so incredibly expensive!!! It’s about £60 for two fun dives, plus or minus… so there’s only so much diving I’ll be able to do in the next 5 months… fortunately, it’s only the beginning. 🙂

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