Diving Cert, Pulau Aur or Tioman?

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:01 am

Most, if not all, reputable diving sites/centres, etc will recognize all the major diving certifications like PADI, NAUI, BSAC, SSI, IANTD and NASE.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Stevie_W » Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:07 am

So this is what my company thinks of SMS's dive center:
http://i.imgur.com/TyVp014.jpg

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Post by the lynx » Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:15 am

Stevie_W wrote:So this is what my company thinks of SMS's dive center:
http://i.imgur.com/TyVp014.jpg
LOL!

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:50 am

SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by taxico » Fri, 06 Jun 2014 8:51 pm

anyone clocked any dives this year? i'm thinking about it.

i tell you what i don't like about most singapore scuba shops - they pretty much try to make you go for all dives that you qualify for.

sometimes... i don't like doing a second dive very soon after another - nothing to do with tables; i just don't feel like it. other times, i prefer not to dive at all on sunday and just take the day easy at the beach or on the boat... but i take a lot of flak from the DMs/SIs who always ask "why why why... just dive lah!"

a lot of pointing and whispering then makes me feel uncomfortable - as if i don't stick out enough already.

it's supposed to be fun/relaxing. i don't care if i miss out on a dive or two.
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Post by JR8 » Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:30 pm

I’ve been too busy so far this year. But last year saw me up at Tioman a couple of times, and also diving Gili Air off Lombok.

Since the calendar is counting down on us being here (a year to go?), I’m starting to think carefully about places I want to dive, old and new, before we head home. For example, getting somewhere ‘quality’ can be challenge enough from here, but tack it onto a flight to/from Europe and it becomes quite an expedition. Hence right now I’m boiling it down to the harder to access and word-class destinations I have to do once in a lifetime; Raja Ampat and/or Komodo, and Yap Atoll in Micronesia. I’m fortunate to have a very old dive buddy of mine running a hotel/diver operator on Yap, so ... that warrants being a pretty big and special trip for me, a once in a lifetime treat.

I’d sketched out a rough plan for the next year. You know how it is, you’re given an ETD and suddenly only then you see the possibilities slipping away. The plan was both of the above, plus perhaps 3 long weekends up to Tioman, the latter being 101% RnR diving; just the best for chilling out amongst nice people, good food, and SO simple to get to etc. However, to my dismay I have just learned that the Berjaya flight from SIN-TOD has been cancelled. That leaves you with the choice of flying via KL, or bus to Mersing, and ferry to TOD, with an overnight in Mersing. I’ve done that once and never wish to repeat it. So for now I’ll consider Raja Ampat and/or Komodo and Yap, and see if the Tioman flight gets resurrected later this year.

I’ve never dived via a SG dive shop. The impression I get is they’re kids on commission taking a bunch of weekenders away. Max the diving, fit as much as possible into 48hrs, usually with a 12-18hr transfer on each end. Not fun. You can see it too in how such groups of SGns dive... you sometimes encounter them underwater... all the new gear, all the knives and stuff lol bombing around at full speed in all directions. Lol... some things don’t change even underwater...

A guide should never push you to do and dive what you don’t want to, that is horrendous. Sometimes your body is just subtly telling you that your last dive was enough for the day. End of discussion. Taking a day off now and again is the smart thing to do, just to completely ‘off-gas’, but hey, also to chill out, after all it is a holiday. I’ve never gone via a SGn dive operator. Rather I’ve decided upon a destination, and then DIY’d everything from there. If I was in a dive club in SG, if there were one worth joining (?), and I liked the crowd, then I’d very happily go and dive with them. But there’s no way I’m off on any trip with 6-12 randomer SGns, with the kids in charge on commission.

[/]i take a lot of flak from the DMs/SIs who always ask "why why why... just dive lah!"[/i]
Stunning, shocking! I would never dive with such people again. Amateurs on commission! My advice is find better quality people to dive with. I’ve heard of what you describe, but I have NEVER personally encountered it.

There are so many good places to go to ... you don’t need to put up with that kind of stuff.

Perhaps we could collate a dive-destination short-list? Short trips, and longer excursions. I used to have a book which was sort of an ‘encyclopaedia to dive destinations in the SE Asian region’. Will have to try and dig it out again, as it gave a useful frame of reference within which to decide and plan a trip ...

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Post by Dert42 » Fri, 13 Jun 2014 8:45 am

We dove Bali in September with Bali Jet Set Dive and Marine Sports. Awesome. I'm diving them again to get underwater camera cert in late July.
In a year and 1/2 when my son turns 8, we'll be going there for him to get his open water. I really like the staff and the center.
The dives were good. Tons and tons of coarl. Viz was good. Didn't see any MolaMolas though. It was colder then I anticipated!

We dove Thailand in April with Aqua Vision in Krabi town. They were good too. Very friendly crew. Our dive was a 2 to 1 diver to dive master ratio. The boat was nice and big. The dives were a bit unremarkable. Water was nice and warm.

In July I'm doing a live-aboard around Komodo. I'm super pumped!

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Post by JR8 » Fri, 13 Jun 2014 10:31 am

Dert42 wrote:In July I'm doing a live-aboard around Komodo. I'm super pumped!
:o

Wow, you'll have to report back on that!
How are you doing it, liveaboard?

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Post by Akimbo » Fri, 13 Jun 2014 1:59 pm

Going on a liveaboard towards Tioman to get my AOW tonight! I'll report back for reviews :)
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Post by JR8 » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 8:27 am

Akimbo wrote:Going on a liveaboard towards Tioman to get my AOW tonight! I'll report back for reviews :)
Ooh, nice!
Which boat is it, as I don't recall seeing liveaboards @ Tioman (not since 5+ years).
Best of luck! :-D

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Post by Akimbo » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 1:13 pm

Hey guys, I'm back from my AOW trip. Did 6 dives in total, 1 night dive and 1 deep dive at 35 m (supposed to be 24 m, but we drifted away from the first location because of the current to that depth). Now recovering from my sea urchin stung in the night dive (couldn't see the little bugger as I descended to the floor at one point)

I took the MV Nautica by Gill Divers shop from Singapore, JR8. There's a few others that came using Deep Blue Scuba shop also. I guess that's why you couldn't find it in Tioman. There were only 6 of us, plus an instructor for me and 1 DM for the rest.

The whole crew's great. Accomodation was decent and the food was just AMAZING!! (Compared to Tioman food anyway) Hail to the chef!

My only pet peeve was the trip from Punggol Marina Country Club down south to the customs to go out of Singapore to Malaysia and vice versa. We had to wait quite a long time. But then again, if you compare it with using buses and a ferry, that trip was way better, cause we can just lounge around on the main deck.

While in Tioman, we also saw another liveaboard ship called The Ark. It seemed to be slightly bigger than ours, and there's plenty of people aboard it, maybe around 14 people or so. Looked a bit cramped though.
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Post by whiplash00 » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 9:10 pm

Is LOB generally more expensive than just diving-from-shore? I am looking to clock dives but don't want to spend too much money

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Post by Max Headroom » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 9:24 pm

Just back from Tioman too. Vis hasn't peaked yet for the year, but the good news is that I finally saw the resident Renggis reef shark. Saw it twice actually, once up-current and once down-current - unless there are two.

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 9:34 pm

whiplash00 wrote:Is LOB generally more expensive than just diving-from-shore? I am looking to clock dives but don't want to spend too much money
Liveaboard has pluses and minuses.

You get to dive places you never will shore-based, as a charter boat can get to places a day-boat can't.
You're stuck on a boat with a bunch of people, some of whom you might quickly dislike.
'Same restaurant/same crowd' every night.
Possibly 5 dives a day, intense, but log-book building, if that's what you're after.
You're on a $1,2,5mm motor yacht, in paradise... it's fun'.

All things considered (flights, hotel, F+B etc), liveaboard might be less than shore-based + hotel + f+b.

It also tends to be very dive-focused, and less so RnR, though the food can be amazing. People go to max the diving, and get to remote places. 4 dives a day is standard, 5 is not uncommon, 6am-11pm, every day. Everything is for the next dive. Be fit, be ready, it's not a holiday (don't take a non-diving other-half, they will HATE it) ! :)

The way I look at it is, I've done a few weeks LaB, and it's as above. Now years later, I don't need that intensity any more. 5am starts. No risk of a beer until 11pm? Phhh. The wild roving can be really fun... but such trip are intense. Do a couple while you're young. Pick your 'zones' and operators carefully (go with quality, rather than quantity). Then, later, be glad you did it whilst young...

Glad I did, and for example had an incredible 'Red Sea Wrecks and Reefs safari' on a brand new 35M 16 pax boat (M/Y Cyclone) . A decade on, I'm glad I never will do 25 dives in a one week trip again either... I'd rather do even only 3 to 5 dives dives a week, and seek to re-connect with that elusive Zen 'sub' moment...

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 16 Jun 2014 9:40 pm

Max Headroom wrote:Just back from Tioman too. Vis hasn't peaked yet for the year, but the good news is that I finally saw the resident Renggis reef shark. Saw it twice actually, once up-current and once down-current - unless there are two.
There used to be two Black Tip Reef Sharks around Renggis, plus latterly a young one. You'd usually see one or two on a typical dive.

Probably helps that the Chinese restaurants directly on shore 400m away got banned from serving shark fin soup (to the ignorant moron cina visitors).

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