The Swan’s Island in Malaysia – (By Nicholas Tan)

Still remember why Scuba Divers continue dive education and diving the PADI way?

Meet People! Go Places! Do Things!

I am pretty sure most of the divers I met has enjoy this new adventure and made lots of new friends during their dive trips – Especially after completing their Open Water Courses!

2 common topics are usually discussed after the Open Water Course.

1: When are we taking our Advance Course?

2: Where are we going to Scuba Dive Next?

Amazing Dive has been actively looking for new, exciting diving destinations. Like to know where are we bringing you this year? Check out Our 2014 trip Calendar Here!

Too Spoilt for choices now? Let’s start looking at the closer destinations one by one.. =)

Start off with our neighbour one causeway apart – Malaysia!

East Coast Dive Sites
East Coast Dive Sites

Which areas in Peninsular Malaysia have you dived before?
For me personally, I’ve been to Sibu, Tioman, Dayang, Perhentian. Mostly on the eastern coast.

Every place offers a different experience. Even if I were to return to the same place again, there is always new discovery.
This curiosity for new discovery always make me want go venture into new places.

One of these “new places” I’m looking forward to is the “Swan Island” – Pulau Tenggol. (Tenggol in Bahasa Melayu means “To Perch”. ‘Swan Island’ is the name local Malaysian Chinese calls it.)

Tenggol - To Perch - Rest & Relax
Tenggol – To Perch – Rest & Relax

I’ve heard a lot about Pulau Tenggol, mainly from my Malaysian, Diver friends. As the name suggested, Pulau Tenggol is a place “for a good rest”. Located very near to nature, it is a good breakaway from our routine city life.  Even my brother, who is a fussy diver, praised Pulau Tenggol for its peaceful environment, clear waters, beautiful corals and good variety of marine life.

However, I have yet to visit Pulau Tenggol. Situating near to nature has its setbacks. My attempt to plan for a trip there turn out nothing as going there is quite a hassle. No direct public bus from Singapore, unfamiliar with roads and traffic conditions, fixed ferry transfer timings during the day, all and all has created too much uncertainty and to little margin for errors. So eventually, i drop the plan to travel up alone.

However, I did not give up!! I was still paying attention to how to get there in a convenient manner and was looking if there are any Live-aboards  or any dive operator who brings divers to Pulau Tenggol. I was sooooo thrilled when Amazing Dive decided to arrange group departures to Pulau Tenggol!

Why the thrill? Imagine the convenience of having a transport that brings you straight to the destination, ferry transfer timings catered to your arrival and return, and achieving these without the need to lift your own finger. So having a group departure is good! Transport, food, accommodation pre-arranged, lots of uncertainty removed from a dive trip. =)

From my research on the place, I also found out that diving in that place gives me the chance to meet my favorite whale shark and mantas!! Well not a sure encounter, however, I personally love little surprises with marine life!

In fact, Pulau Tenggol is also famous for marine life such as eagle rays, leopard shark, bumphead parrotfish, turtles, yellowtail fusilier, nudibranchs, giant clams, other stingrays, batfishes and many more!

hawksbill
Turtles in Malaysia!
Spotted Eagle Ray
Spotted Eagle Ray

 

There are over 20 dive sites to choose from. Be it the novice who just got their dive certificate or the experienced ones looking for challenges, Pulau Tenggol have something for everyone!

Looking at those findings above, they are definitely attractions that pulls me, likewise many other divers, to want to visit that place to experience it’s serenity and the beautiful environment.

What adds on to this excitement for the upcoming Pulau Tenggol trip – IT IS MY FIRST DIVE TRIP IN THIS YEAR’S MALAYSIAN SEASON! WOOHOO!! =P

So definitely looking forward to my departure to Pulau Tenggol!

Tenggol Divesite Map
Tenggol Divesite Map

And if you like, you can do your Advance Open Water course at Pulau Tenggol too! Deep dive, wreck dives, shore dives, night dives and many other adventure dives are waiting for you at Pulau Tenggol.

So many reasons to join me to Pulau Tenggol from the 6th to the 9th of March! It will definitely be more fun if we have more people on board!

Unable to take time off in March? No worries! Amazing Dive will be organizing group departure to Pulau Tenggol on a bi-monthly basis to the end of the year.

Here’s the schedule for 2014.

Group Trips:

6 – 9 March 2014 (Filling up fast – Happening in 2 weeks time!)

9 – 12 May 2014

25 – 28 July 2014

25 – 28 Sept 2014

So many reasons to be on the trip, don’t miss the chance and grab this convenience to explore a diving in Malaysia that you don’t get to go on normal days!

Now, remember why Scuba Divers continue diving and dive education?
Go Places, Meet People, Do Things!!

SEE YOU ON BOARD!

– written by Nicholas (who can’t wait go to to Tenggol!)

Do you know Sipadan, Malaysia?

Name me the first phrase you have for diving in Sipadan. World class? Best? Wonderful. Oh well, thats nothing new.

But HERE, We DARE DEFINE the meaning of a SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS diving experience in SIPADAN!!

Yes YES! Its going to be as breathlessly fantastic & exciting as it sounds!

super
SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

 

As an appetizer, let’s take a quick peep on what makes Sipadan Island one of the top dive site.

map
Sipadan, Mabul &
Kapalai

Geographical Location

Located off the east coast of Sabah, East Malaysia, Sipadan Island is protected under conservation laws imposed by the Sabah Parks. Many might not know, Sipadan Island was declared a bird sanctuary way back in 1933. Since 2004, all residents and resorts have been shifted to the nearby Mabul and Kalapai Islands. Today, Sipadan Island is a peaceful & serene heaven to wildlife above and underwater.

Being the only Oceanic Island in Malaysia, Sipadan Island raises over 600 metres from seabed. Located in the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin makes it a habitat to more than 3,000 species of fishes and hundreds corals species.

To properly conserve the area, The Authorities restrict the number of scuba divers at Sipadan Island daily. 120 dive permits are distributed to all dive operations in the area. Each permit fee is rm40. So one may not be able to dive everyday in Sipadan Island. However, this doesn’t mean that fun stops here..

Reef Octopus hidden and relaxing
Reef Octopus hidden and relaxing

The Neighbours – Mabul and Kapalai Islands

Housing tourist from all over the world, Mabul and Kapalai islands are the 2 most popular islands for divers to gain access diving in Sipadan Island. (Another option would be stayin at the town of Semporna and access by speed boat which takes roughly an hour.)  These 2 beautiful islands offers good muck and macro diving, giving a good balance with seeing the big guys at Sipadan Island. Not just that, the irresistable white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters in the area has made Mabul and Kapalai popular to the beach lovers and snorkellers.

boxes
Box Fish!! Cuties!!
blue ringed
Spotted at Mabul Island. WHAT IS THIS?!
Pygmy Pygmy~!!
Pygmy Pygmy~!! At Seaventure House Reef
lobster
At Lobster Wall
frog fish
Frog fish at Stingray City
leaf fish
Leaf fish as well
coral crab
Seen Hiding..
featured
Flamboyant Cuttlefish
newly born!
Newly Cuttlefish…
man made wrecks
Man made wrecks
mantis
MANTIS SHRIMP!!

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort

We can sense your burning desire for our sneak preview, so here you go!

Eat, Sleep, Dive…. Eat, Sleep, Dive….

First thing in the morning, wake up to the warm sunlight with a sumptuous spread of International Buffet in Borneo Diver’s Mabul Resorts. While clean and comfort are just the basic, they have won numerous guests’ heart with their attentiveness and service with a sincere SMILE; always ready to go that extra mile just to light up that smile on your face.

With only a little more than a giant leap away from the jetty, you will be greeted with an astounding array of lively marine life in their very own house reef – Paradise 2. So… what’s words without evidence??

Jumping into Paradise
Jumping into Paradise
Paradise 2
Views from Paradise 2

 

Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo

Right after your dives, the walk back to your rooms for a refreshing shower is accompanied by a gentle breeze.

 

The bridge to "Paradise"
The bridge to “Paradise”
sunset at mabul
Sunset at Mabul

If it’s the right time, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the setting sun as well. One of the best way to end the day.

Inside Borneo Divers Mabul Resort
Across the long bridge, you’ll see the lovely beach bar which serves as a great hang out place for all divers at night. A good place to chill and relax. At certain days in the week, BBQ dinner would be served in the bar. A nice combination to the international buffet style meals served daily.

Beach Bar Entrance
Beach Bar Entrance
Beach Bar Interior
Beach Bar Interior

Than finally back to your room, to relax, to freshen up and get ready for the night.

Inside the room!
Inside the room!
Resort Room
Resort Room

A couple of things one can do at night. Relax by the beach watching the stars, gathered at the main dining hall for some celebrations or go to the beach bar for a lovely cocktail.

Xmas Party 2013!
Xmas Party 2013!
Dinner under the stars!
Dinner under the stars!

Wherever you are or whateer you do, night time is the best time to review through the dives done in the day. It’s very usual to hear divers sharing and discussing among each other on what was seen, or on the photos or videos taken earlier. Best part about night time here: every day, the discuss is on a different experience. The sharks, the turtles, the marcos, the schooling fishes.

The Hottest Topic: Diving in Sipadan Island!!
SHARKS
World’s Famous Barracuda Point
hawksbill
Turtles!
cheese to the sharks
Sneaking behind the White Tips
barracudas
Close up with the big schools!
be wow
WOW!!!
with turtle
More Turtles!!
white tip and dentist
A white tip at the “dental clinic”
crocodile fish
CROCODILE!!…
Fish…
HUMPheads
Humphead, Bumphead, Knock our heads…
white tips
Relaxing under the sun..
flounder
You cannot see me…
You cannot see me… 
wrasse
Napoleon Wrasse..

There is really just so much to find at Sipadan!! Looking for some challenges? Try out some technical diving into the caves on Sipadan Island. Or explore deeper beyond the recreational limits. That’s one way that made some diver going back to Sipadan for more! =)

Enter Safe with proper training and equipment!! =)
Enter Safe with proper training and equipment!! =)
Inside Turtle Cave.
Inside Turtle Cave.

THERE IS JUST TOO MUCH TO DO, TO SEE AND TO EXPERIENCE IN SIPADAN!!

The place earns its deserving world class ratings. No wonder it became Diver’s paradise. The travelling and queuing up for dive permits made every single dive on Sipadan Island worthwhile!

Come Experience Yourself!! Join us on our hassle free group departures!

(Filling up fast!) Group Departure dates:

24 – 29 April 2014

15 – 20 May 2014

27 Jun – 2 Jul 2014

Ask Us! Amazing Dive at [email protected] or call 96773627 for more information!

See you Underwater Soon!! CHEERS!!
See you Underwater Soon!!
CHEERS!!

 

~above post written by Nicholas (Visited Sipadan twice, amazed by the place everytime!)~

Counter Darkness With The Revenger

Are you scare of the Dark? If you are, than you have yet to live life to the fullest!!!

Those words above would have remind those born in the 80s about the Guinness Stout advertisement by George Lim.

Today we will be talking something that is very related about Light and Darkness – Dive Torches!!

So let me take a chance to share with you a great product that is in Amazing Dive Store!!

Imagine a dive torch that is……. Light Weight, Compact, Durable, Bright, Multi Functions, Stylish, Sleek Metallic Finishing, Environment Friendly. Reasonably Priced. Does that sounds like too good to be true?

I would say after using the NITECORE SRT 7 dive torch for about 9 months now, the torch has been amazing and it has became one of my must-bring dive equipment along my dive trips.

First let us look at it’s hardware and features: (For now, we let pictures do the talking)

NITECORE SRT 7 ‘Revenger’
Features
SRT 7 Features
 Built
SRT 7 Built
Dimensions
SRT 7 Dimensions
Smart Selector Ring
SRT 7 Smart Selector Ring

 

NITECORE SRT 6 ‘Night Officer’
SRT 6 features
SRT 6 features
SRT 6 Built
SRT 6 Built
SRT 6 Dimensions
SRT 6 Dimensions
SRT 6 Smart Selector Ring
SRT 6 Smart Selector Ring

 

Not yet impressed by it? Of course! Well, I guess we will want to see real performances ourselves…

You can take a look at the impressive result it yield from the Depth Test Video & the Dive Demo Video.

Also you can take a look at my personal videos with the SRT 7 Revenger.

Black Blotched Stingray Night Hunt Video and Sharks, Moray & Jacks Night Hunt Video both videos are taken during my trip to The Maldives. Sorry for the shaky video. Lots of big fishes are hunting base on where our hot spots are shining, currents were strong, so the night dive was pretty intense for me.

 

SRT 7 at work
SRT 7 at work.

This is taken during a day dive at a dive site with low visibility. There is able a Strobe, Beacon, Red & Blue light mode that will come extremely handy in event of the unforeseen. What I really love about the torch is, it allows me to be seen easily by my buddies or students and I can also lower the brightness so that I will not scare fishes away during my night dives.
The next thing that appeals me is the accessories that comes in the box – quality holster, removable clip, tactical ring and a lanyard. These accessories allows me to customize the use and placement of my torch easily. Save the trouble of going down the Army Market to look for something that fits my setup. The spare tail cap button and spare O-ring also make self repair on wear and tear damages easier.

Out Of The Box - SRT 7

Out Of The Box – SRT 7

 Next convenience that NITECORE brought to me was rechargeable batteries and the very versatile battery rechargers!

First, my Li-Ion battery with 3100mAh capacity is able to last for nearly 2 hours on a full charge. Than, the Intellicharger I2 and I4 besides able to supply power to my SRT 7, I can easily charge up the AAA size batteries for my secondary dive torch. Not to forget, the use of rechargeable batteries means lesser wastage and less time spent on shopping for replenishments. So a little investment solves 3 problems for me! The best part is the chargers can be use for a wide range of sizes, so in future even if I require batteries of different sizes, my Intellicharger still stay with me providing me with power every dive.

i4 Specifications
i4 Specifications
i2 Specifications
i2 Specifications
Intelligent auto-detect & select charging modes.
Intelligent auto-detect & select charging modes.
Charges Li-Ion, Ni-Mh & Ni-Cd batteries.
Charges Li-Ion, Ni-Mh & Ni-Cd batteries.

So remember I said my NITECORE products has became my must-bring equipment for all my dive trips?

See what I meant earlier? These little gadgets light up my dives, allows me to GO Greener and gave me the confidence during my dive as it plays the role of not just a torch, but a safety device.

As for the SRT 6, ‘The Night Officer’, I would say it’s very very similar to the SRT 7. Only difference? It would be the RGB lights which the SRT 7 has. However, in terms of brightness and dive performance, it’s clearly shown in the demo videos. I did tried to play around with it at the shop, it was really good too. Same quality, same feel, similar size. The 930 lumens that the SRT 6 offers is equally powerful for lighting up the place. So I would say one will not lose out if they have the SRT 6. However looking at the price difference, who won’t want more features? =P

With all the above packed in a single device, investing in a NITECORE does not burn any holes in the wallet. Retail price for SRT 6 at $150 and the SRT 7 is $175. Rechargeable batteries starts from $19 and the all versatile i2 charger is only $28!!

My personal experience on my little investments on the NITECORE series? Very worth it and long lasting! =)

Come take a look at it yourself to believe!! Stocks are in Amazing Dive Store!! Call Amazing Dive at 9677 3627 for an appointment to try out the torches!!

See You Soon!!

– above post written by Nicholas

An Amazing 2013…

With everyone crowding around the table enjoying a pot of delicious steamboat, inevitably, it made us think. Drifting our mind back to 2013's excitement....

A sudden outburst of excitement and enthusiasm came pouring on the dive trip made last year... Sweet memories!

Looking back on what happened in 2013, lots of activities went through here in Amazing Dive.

Let's take a quick recap of the events and happenings in 2013.

Quater 1

ADA'S CREW TRIP!!

ADA Crew Awaiting Departure

 

Kick start the year with ADA's Crew Trip to Anilao, Philippines. A privilege to be on the trip. This trip is one of its kind with over 20 dive professionals on the trip. The trip all pack with underwater action, fun, laughter and experience!!

Arriving at Clark Airport

Arriving at Clark Airport

NEW AMAZING STORE!!

Moving Out!
Moving In!!

Than Amazing Dive have a relocated to a new store!! Still in the same block, Amazing Dive shifted to a brand new unit at ground floor! New Place, new look and new starry logo!

Brand New Place! Brand New Look!

Immediately after moving to a new house, Amazing Dive also have an additional of a new Instructor!! -Shaun Gilmour. Shaun came from New Zealand and undergo the Instructor Development Course here in Singapore. One of the favourite instructors among the students, Shaun has patiently guided students into the amazing underwater journey. Although he have relocated back to Kiwi land, his spirits stayed and and we believe his students will always remember him, the big Shaun!

Instructors' Exam Feb 13
New Instructor Feb 2013
New Instructor Feb 2013

Not to forget, the long weekend holiday in March, we see through 3 long weekend trips to Tioman, Dayang and also, REDANG!!!

Quater 2

IDC April 2013

April was greeted with the commencement of the Instructor Development Course (IDC). Graduates of the April IDC will be able to sit for The Instructor's Exam that is scheduled on 25th and 26th May. This give candidates about 7 weeks to complete the course requirements and which is ample time to learn and practice effectively.
Main components of the IDC are: Emergency First Responder Instructor (EFRI) course, Class room lessons, Dive theory, Knowledge Reviews presentation, Confined Water teaching & Open Water training. For this April batch, Amazing Dive has 2 candidates participanting in the course - Reymar and Nicholas

IE May 4
Reymar (in white) and Nicholas (in all-black)
at EFRI course.

Sipadan Trip May 2013!!

Barracudas!!
Barracudas!!
Visiting Me!!
Visit Me At Sipadan!!

While the IDC was on going, Amazing Dive also went over to Sipadan!! One of the world class dive site located in Borneo, Malaysia. We see 1 week of action packed dives! Sharks, turtles, flamboyant cuttlefish, barracudas, jack fishes.. Lovely resort, beautiful dive sites & fun loving people!

At Sipadan Island
At Sipadan Island
Remember! No Drinking before Diving!! Cheers!! =P
Remember! No Drinking before Diving!!
Cheers!! =P

P/S: Want to join us for more Sipadan in 2014? Read here!

After spending a lovely week in Sipadan, we quickly see the commencement of PADI Instructor's Exam (IE). Lots of nervous, intense moment.  However Amazing Dive's candidates graduated with flying colours! Great Job Reymar and Nicholas =)

iemay 2
Confined Water Assessment Passed!!
New Instructors May 2013!!
New Instructors May 2013!!

They say the real learning journey starts after Instructor's Exam. That is very very true for the new Amazing Instructors, teaching theory class, demonstrating in confine water and conducting Open Water training. It is sure challenging and brain teasing, however the satisfaction from the students who enjoyed and complete the course is priceless. =)

Happy Students!!

Happy Students!!

Nicholas's First Batch!
Nicholas's First Batch!

Quater 3

Looking back, this is most likely the busiest quater in 2013.

DMA Dayang 9-days Training

Lift bag training
Lift bag training
Buoyancy training
Buoyancy training.
(Objective: Do not stir up a sand storm! hehe..)

Q3 started with 9 Dive Management Associates (DMAs) going through a 9 day intensive dive training at Pulau Dayang on 2nd week of July. The Dive Management Associate (DMA) program is currently the one and only Dive Business training program in Singapore. During their 20 weeks stay with the company, the DMAs go through a series of business management, customer service, logistics handling training on top of the dive training. As part of the planned program, all 9 associates spend a fruitful and memorable time at Pulau Dayang, going through the eat-sleep-training-dive cycle. All came back with more refined scuba skills, higher confidence and better composure as a Divemaster.

Amazing DMA - Jared Underwater!!
Jared Underwater!!

IDC August 2013

Shortly after the DMA's intensive trip ended, a new batch of IDC candidates gathered together and started their journey of becoming a PADI instructor.

IE Aug Candidates
IE Aug Candidates

The most intensive month is August. Long weekend trip during National Day Holiday to 4 different places on the same week, 1 long haul trip to Maldives on MV Eagle Ray, confined pool and Pulau Hantu Open Water training for the IDC candidates, EFRI course,  Instructor's Exams and not to forget the usual weekly courses conducted. The whole month was action filled.

Malapascua with Thresher Shark Divers!
Malapascua with Thresher Shark Divers!

Than shortly after, a group set off to Malapascua, Philippines, for their date with the Thresher Sharks. The dive group were there for about a week, relaxing, looking out for Thresher Sharks, strengthening friendship, planning next dive trip! haha...

Busy month indeed. However, all the effort is proven worthwhile as the 9 DMAs got their Divemaster certification, the IDC Candidates cleared their IE with flying colors, customers and divers all return back from the trip safe, happy and craving for more!!

New Instructors!!
New Instructors Aug 2013!!

Quater 4

Live-aboard MV Nautica

Approaching the 4th quater of the year. This would means the start of the rainy monsoon season in the Malaysia region. On usual circumstances, dive operations will slow down and we will rearm ourselves and prepare better for next year. However, this year, with the new partnership formed with MV Nautica!

Amazing Crew on MV Nautica.
Amazing Crew on MV Nautica.

Yes! the ideal dive trip is here! Comfortable travel on board, wake up at your favourite dive site, spend relaxing moment during the surface intervals. These are reasons why live-aboard holidays is very popular among divers. 4th October marks the special moment where Amazing Divers tried the live-aboard experience through this newly form partnership. The feedback were Amazing!! Our Amazing Divers not just enjoyed the comfortable boat trip. The events held on MV Nautica made the dive holiday even more meaningful. Let it be the Spooky Halloween, the Generous Christmas or the Charged Up New Year. It's heart warming to see divers and course takers coming back with the satisfied glee.

Graduating on Halloween!!
Graduating on Halloween!!
BOOO!!!
BOOO!!!

Merry Christmas!! (where's the presents?)
Merry Christmas!! (where's the presents?)

CRAZY NEW YEAR!!!
CRAZY NEW YEAR!!!

IDC Nov 2013

In the meantime, another batch of IDC Candidates, once again, geared up to prepare for the scheduled IE in end November!

EFRI Instructors!!
New EFRI Instructors in the house!!
New Instructors Nov 2013!!
New Instructors Nov 2013!!

The year than see a good closing with a group of new Instructors, a week of adventure in The Maldives on board MV Sachika, Christmas and New Year's trip on Nautica a big success!!!

Maldives Dec 2013

MV Sachika Main Boat..
MV Sachika Main Boat..

Dive Dhoni..
MV Sachika's Dive Dhoni..

Whaleshark Spotted!!!
Whaleshark Spotted!!!
Sending wishes to the Heaven..
Sending wishes to the Heaven..
YUMMY!!!
YUMMY!!!

ADA Christmas Party 2013

Not to forget - The ADA's annual Christmas Party!

All Ready For Presents!!
All Ready For Presents!!
One of the Lucky Draw Winners!
One of the Lucky Draw Winners!

Amazing Crew Members!

Feeling the over flowing passion from 2013 already? It has not ended! 2013 would not be so successful without the help of our Amazing Dive Crew!

First, congratulations to our Divemasters graduates in 2013!

Evans
Evans
Larry
Larry
Sarah and Jared
Sarah and Jared

Not to forget the Instructor Course candidates.

shaun
Shaun
Nicholas imprisoned??
Nicholas (imprisoned??)
Reymar Diving with MV Nautica!
Reymar Diving with MV Nautica!

And all other Amazing crew members!

Vanessa & Shaun
Vanessa & Shaun
Andy
Andy
Chad
Chad
Elton
Elton
Jackson and Melody
Jackson and Melody
Jason, Alvin and Nicholas
Jason, Alvin and Nicholas
Kian Ming
Kian Ming
Larry & Georgienne
Larry & Georgienne
Mitch and Thomas
Mitch and Thomas
Phoebe
Phoebe
Rick
Rick
Skye (extreme left)
Skye (extreme left)
Xiu Fang
Xiu Fang

Looking back, 2013 was really exciting and filled with memories! Thank you all who Amazing Dive has met. It is the relationship forms and memories kept that has made this journey fulfilling! Looking ahead! We believe there will be more fun ahead!!

Just a little preview of 2014. Starting March, we have bimonthly trips to Tenggol and Redang! Not just that, MV Nautica will sail towards Tioman to bring more diving actions to the Amazing Divers. Looking to go further? Join us on long haul trips to all around the region all year round!! Did I forget to mention that exciting new dive gears are coming your way into Amazing Dive Store?

Scuba Diving never stop with Amazing Dive!! We hope to have you with us on our journey!!

Have a great 2014!! Wish you the Best of Health,  Wealth and Happiness Always!!!

See you soon!

Lots of Love from Amazing Dive!
- above post written by Nicholas