Sunday, June 17, 2012

Working in Perhentian Island, Malaysia

It has been a long time since I have an oppotunity to write. I apologised for the long delay. That's because I didn't have a  laptop and I was off on a remote island in Malaysia working as a Dive Master. Yes I have been off my travelling trail for 3 months now but it is just a break in between. :-)

In April I went for some dives in Perhentian, an island located north east of peninsular Malaysia. This island is magical. I came here every year since 1997. It's my little paradise. At that point in time, I didn't have enough money to continue my travel to Africa, so I have to find a temporally job. I had 3 options, One, I was considering whether  to leave to South Africa in May and work as a volunteer in Botswana for a month, that will safe some cost while visiting the country. Two, find a temp job in Singapore for a month  then leave for South Africa in June. Three, work as a DM in Perhentian then leave for South Africa later. There are also other reasons behind that kept me back, it is still winter in Africa in June and I don't like cold. If I leave in June, I will finished my trip end of September, then it's a difficult time to find a job. Then I received message that  the volunteer job in Bostwana is available anytime of the year so that means I don't have to be there in May and well...who wants to go back to office work in Singapore so I  decided to stay and work as a Dive Master. :-) I got a job on the last day with Turtle Bay Divers so  that's how it  all begins.

At the beginning I just wanted to work for one month. I didn't know if I was able to take the long hour and hard core work. Work starts at 8am and finished not earlier than 6:30pm everyday, the first few days were physically tiring for me. I did 2 to 3 dives a  day and need to carry loads of tanks in and out of the water. I crashed at 9pm every night. As I was based in the  big island branch it was quiet and peaceful. I had a good night sleep every night but I still felt tired the next day. After a week, after getting a hang of it  I started to enjoy what I am doing. It started to feel like a holiday job. :-) But 2 weeks later, I had to moved to Long Beach branch in the small island. At the beginning I wasn't happy to move because Long beach is a party place, music is loud till 4am in the morning but the accomodation is cheaper so I really had to move in order to safe some money. The first few days were a night mare for me, I couldn't sleep with the loud music blasting till 4am in the morning, after a week eventually I got used to it.

Here at Turtle Bay Long Beach I met the rest of the team, we were 6 DMs and 7 Instructors. We are from all over the world, Turky, England, Germany, Norway, Spain, France and Malaysia. Everyone is friendly and the team spirit is good. I like it here too. We have 4 boats and 4 trips a day, starting from 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Each boat can take between 7 to 12 divers. During a fully booked day, each DM will make 3 dives plus 1 night dive sometimes. We take care of a maximum of 4 divers per dive. Doing 4 dives is not a problem for me, what's tiring for me is having to take care of bad divers. :-) 

Diving has been good so far, I have seen Sargassum Frog fish, eagle rays, loads of Black tip reef sharks, loads of turtles, big school of barracudas and now on Pinnacle there is a Clown Trigger fish, my favourite fish. :-D My favourite dive site is Terumbu 3, a site that has loads of different nudis and loads of swimthru. Sometimes during my off day, I am allowed to go fun diving with my camera, I will always choose to go T3. 

Over the last 2 months I have made loads of dives, is nice to get paid for diving. :-) In May itself I did 56 dives, that's an average of 2 dives per day, on the 10th June 2012 I clocked my dive no. 1000. :-) We went out at 11:30pm and dove for 99 minutes over to the next day. I love this job so much but I do need to continue my travel too. :-( 

My plan now is to work till end of July, leave the island and start to do my training for Nepal trip in September. I would like to hike to Annapurna Base Camp and then visit Tibet if it is not too expensive. After Nepal, I will probably continue to Africa. Let's see how it goes. Stay tune!

To view photos of Perhentian, click here :-

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