Pulau Hantu - A celebration of marine life

Secret lives and secret worlds hidden in Singapore's most popular coral reef.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Our boatman retires

Since the Hantu Blog began taking the public out to our Singapore seas, and in fact, on my very first local dive, the boatman I've enjoyed trading stories with and learning about our seas from was Uncle Chua, or Ah Chua, or Mr Loh. He goes by a few names, and I recall when we first began using him regularly, we'd debate about what his name was, and often ended up confused!

Though the Hantu Blog uses Ah Chua's traditional bumboat on a regular basis, our regular isn't quite regular enough for him. Over the past 3 years, he's supplemented his boat services with part-time technical jobs. The cost of running and maintaining a boat gets more expensive in Singapore, as the need for traditional bumboats such as Ah Chua's becomes obsolette; replaced by more sophisticated and speedy vessels, though which may be more efficient, have little if any character.

The traditional bumboat has given trips to Hantu, a special, nostalgic touch. Allowing divers that visit our seas an experience that's truly and uniquely Singaporean. Otherwise, we'd all be diving out of the same-old fibreglass boats, with so much less stories to tell.

"He was part of the Hantu experience." - Paul Cheng, diver with the Hantu Blog

Related story:
Uncle Chua