The dive begins with me being bummed about how I do not have a camera. My camera flooded during a dive in September and I've yet to get a new one. Thankfully, there were others on-board like Keith, Ricky and Eddie, who brought their cameras, and we look forward to seeing their pictures!
Our last dive at Hantu was in July, so it was extremely refreshing to be back, and it helped that we were blessed with great vis and bright sunshiney weather! Especially considering how its been raining torrentially lately!
Saturday's dive was a full carriage of 10 divers and 2 crew. The divers comprised of returning divers, new divers, new divers to Hantu, divers who had already been to Hantu but on land, and divers who had studied Hantu! It was an incredible dynamic and it was throughly engaging with lots of questions and interest buzzing about!
On the first dive at about 11am, we made our decent and as we did startled some travellies near the surface. There were heaps of nudibranchs such as Flabellina, Pteraeolidia and Phyllidia. Divers also spotted a Seagrass filefish, which was shy yet curious as it hovered behind an angle iron and peered at the divers. My favourite Paradise whiptail was all over the seabed with a variety of wrasses and Frill-finned gobies. The obvious animals aside, the most outstanding lifeform must've been the coral, which without its splendour the reef would not be! Goniopora or Anemone coral as it is commonly known, may appear like a soft coral but is really a hard coral. There was a whole meadow of them along the reef, waving their joyful colours. We also noticed a single Pocillopora or Cauliflower coral. Divers observed zooanthids, tubeworms feeding and a hermit crab or two!
Following lunch, the second dive, though shorter, was due to be more spactacular with Sand divers and octopus, tons and tons of Gobies, some with their shrimp companions. Huge Tomato clownfish bobbing in their anemones, big and expansive coral colonies that concealed the well camoufladged Rubble pipefish and schools of juvenile cardinal fish and their HUGE adults, hovering confidently on the reef. There was also a single flatworm (Pseudoceros), a bunch of shy Swimmer crabs, Emperor soapfish, Yellow-finned and Six-banded angelfish, and a handful of the iconic Icon seastar! Diver also learnt more about ascidians and sponges, as these often over-looked lifeforms were pointed out all along the dive!
Wish you could've been there!
Divers from the NUS were at Pulau Jong at the same time for a study trip. We look forward to hearing and seeing their account as well, as I heard they had a particularly EXHILLERATING dive!
Stay tuned for pictures from the dive!