Welcome to Mapur Islands! Smile and Wave :)

Get excited you underwater explorers, because this is the chance we have all been waiting for!

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Beautiful Colors Underwater

That is a chance to explore dive sites that have rarely been seen, or have never been seen. Very soon, MV Nautica will start making trips to this adventurous location!

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Underwater Sightings

When you have to be above the water, might as well spend your time in comfort, relaxing with great dive buddies aboard the 24 meter long MV Nautica. After a great buffet relax in your cozy cabin or lounge on the Sun Deck!

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Sailing with MV Nautica

While underwater, spend it in the water of Mapur Islands, in Indonesia, as one of the first divers to see the many dive sites in their most pristine state! Whenever diving, always make sure to keep out of physical contact with all marine life, so that it is as natural when you leave as it was when you arrived!

Healthy corals in the area

16 kilometers east of Bintan Island, Mapur Island is famous for its dive sites, including Igara, or Turtle, wreck. Starting at 11 meters underwater, this wreck descends to an amazing 40 meter depth!! A great site for a deep wreck dive! Although current may be stong and visibility at 10 meters, soft coral and sponges have taken over the exposed wreck. Truly a place where one can witness nature overcoming man.

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Whaleshark Sightings around Mapur island

Igara isn’t the only possible dive sight MV Nautica might visit. So be prepared to be stunned and amazed at the exploration and adventure that awaits you while you ride thru the water aboard the MV Nautica on your way to Mapur Islands, Indonesia!!

Hidden Giant Clam

The soft corals, sponges, and hydroids aren’t the only sites you are bound to see here. These aquatic plants support a vast array of marine life, including barracudas, turtles, and an assortment of sharks! This includes whale sharks, the sight that will ensure a story of a lifetime. Of course, you will probably see nudibranch everywhere so make sure to smile and wave to them!!

Check out Mapur Islands Trip Itinerary and Schedule now!!

For more information about diving In Mapur Islands with MV Nautica, call 9677 3627 or email enquires to [email protected]

– Written by Marcus Oliva.

Remember The Swan Island Of Malaysia?…..

Remember the time when I first talked about Pulau Tenggol?

Tenggol Bay!
Tenggol Bay!

And I promise that I’ll share my experience on my trip that was on 6th to 9th of March 2014?
Now here’s the REAL DEAL about Pulau Tenggol!! 5 reasons why it’s it totally worth the trip to Pulau Tenggol!

1: The Environment
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Green Island, Blue Sky, White Clouds & Clear Waters…

The sight of greenery, smell of fresh, crisp air, decorated by the clear blue sky… These are some of the perks of being in Nature. Pulau Tenggol is one such place. Put away your mobile phones and other high tech devices, this place is a total getaway from the city…

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Walk down the clean white, sandy beach to immerse in the beauty of clear blue waters with birds flying past from time to time, adding tunes to this serenity. Either lie by the beach or climb into the hammock for a real good chillax feeling and I personally, can do this all day long!

Moments Before Dusk
Moments Before Dusk

Everyone also get to enjoy the beautiful sunset daily when the skies are clear. This adds on lots more mood for the evening dives as we walk westward towards the dusk and dive under into the blues.

The heart capturing Sunset.... Get it daily...
The heart capturing Sunset – Get it daily…

Certainly, this environment calms the mind and relaxes the soul!

2: The All-In-One Dive Site
Diving Tenggol
Diving Tenggol

Imagine one all rounder dive site that provides conditions good for the novice to adventures that the veterans will take on?
Look no further – right in front of the Tenggol Island Beach resort is one such dive site – Teluk Air Tawar (translate Fresh Water Bay)

Starting from a shallow, sandy site that is good for confine water practice.  The bay extends to a patch filled with staghorn corals at about 6 to 10 metres deep. Great for Open Water Diver training. Going further westward, from 11 to about 18 metres, there is a sandy patch at the centre of the bay, great for buoyancy & navigation training.

Moving towards southwest at the same depth, where more soft corals are found, is the divesite Turtle point. Yes! We did saw the turtle there!

 

Hawksbill Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle

Than moving out even further, at about 25 metres, this is where current can pick up slightly, one of the 5 sister’s wreck can be found here. Considering that, this one area serves as a training ground for deep dive, wreck dive, drift dive,

Swimming through 5 Sisters Wreck
Swimming through 5 Sisters Wreck

From an Instructor point of view, as the bay itself has so much to offer, lots of underwater training can be conduct here. Not just that, leisure diving became more fun as it feels like going to the “same place” to do “different things”.

During my visit there, I witness some tech divers doing their shore dives too! As they are easily identifiable by the sophisticated equipment that they carry, they just made me wonder what is there further out there. Something which I’m definitely looking towards to exploring!

While The Adventurers are resting..
While The Adventurers are resting.

So that speaks! From a novice to the adventurer divers, the packs a punch to serve all the divers from the resort. No need for complicated arrangements, simply gear up and start diving!

 

3: The Marine Life
Yellow Tail Barracudas
Yellow Tail Barracudas

Turtles, Nemos, barrucudas, Jenkins Whipray, blue spotted stingrays.. just some of the fishes seen during my visit there. Our guide, Robin, also pointed out to us the “PIKACHU Nudi”, something that I had some hard time trying to capture it (and gave up eventually, so this photo shown here is definitely not from me! =X )

PIKACHU!!
PIKACHU!

Not to forget, many reef fishes, nudibranches, various star fishes including the crown of thorns.

Danger - Crown Of Thorns
Danger – Crown Of Thorns

And we all know, Tenggol island lies in the migratory path of the whale-sharks and manta rays. Despite not having a chance to meet them during this visit, I do believe that this opportunity increases if I were to go more often.. haha ok maybe I’m just finding excuses to go back again. =P

4: The Resort
Dining Hall
Dining Hall

Tenggol Island Beach Resort – I personally feel that it’s a the ideal resort for a simple dive holiday. A spacious dive centre has lots of space for us to gear up and prepare for our dives. Lots of hanging space just near by the dive centre so that equipment or clothing can be dry easily. Ample shower heads and washing points all over the resort to let us clean up after our activities. Not forgetting the big basins for the cameras and a dive site map on the board for us to use for dive briefings.

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The Newly Built rooms!!
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Seaviewing Bunglows…
Hanging Area
Dive Gears Drying Area
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Clean, Tidy, Spacious, Comfortable, Well Equipped Rooms.

 

My dive group also felt very comfortable with the tidy rooms, clean toilets, powerful air conditioning and most importantly – Hot Showers!  Clearly the resort staff has put in great effort to clean up the rooms and maintained it in such lovely conditions. The dining hall serves local food daily for our meals and we were happy to enjoy the BBQ dinner that was prepared for us one of the nights.

Clearly, Tenggol Island Resort is design to provide high comfort levels at the simplest format.

5: The People

Meeting New People! This is why many divers dive right? My trip to Pulau Tenggol was blessed with the assistance with Great People!

The trip started with a group of friends mix strangers.

Before Departure!
Before Departure!

Than we have 2 dedicated bus drivers to ensure the safety on the road. Completing the bus journey is this passionate and thoughtful tour guide on the bus! (Sorry I forgot his name. However I know the 2 drivers are Kumar and Ah Hao) =)
Our tour guide did not just give very good introduction to the State of Trengganu, he even talk about the various turtles found along the east coast of Malaysian, the hatching season, the conversation efforts to save the turtle population and much more!!
Not just talking – He even made the effort to make us little handicrafts with simple materials like coconut leaves and also, show us the ariel photo of Pulau Tenggol, which from that exact angle, it looks like a Leatherback Turtle.

busguide with lovely handicrafts
Lovely Handicrafts

Reaching the resort, we have the friendly staff from the resort who moved our luggages, prepare rooms and cook meals for us! Help was always within reach when needed, all because of the friendly resort staffs.

Not to forget, our lovely dive guide – Robin who take care of us during diving. Explaining details of the dive sites, finding interesting marine life for us.

Robin - Our Lovely Dive Guide
Robin – Our Lovely Dive Guide

Finally, another group of Malaysian divers who share their dive stories with us and recommend us Trengganu’s famous Hoi Peng Coffee Shop. (OOOHHHH MY GOOODDDD…. COMFORT CREAMY CURRY CHICKEN!!!! YUM YUM!!)

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Looking at the above, the trip was definitely fulfilling, fun, full of laughters, enriching and relaxing!!

It left a great sense of achievement when everyone returned from the trip safe, happy, bonded and looking for more!!! =)

New Friends Found....
New Friends Found….

Definitely one of the best trip I had and definitely looking forward to go back again!!

Join us in our next trip!! Planned group departure is in 9th to 12th May 2014. If you like to make custom arrangements, send your request to [email protected] or call 9677 3627 and we’ll be glad to assist you!!

Ask Amazing Dive!!
Ask Amazing Dive!!

 

I am a PADI Dive Instructor! :)

Eight years since I last worked in scuba diving and I can’t be happier than I am at Asia Dive Academy(ADA) in Singapore.  Especially since the rollercoaster of the Instructor Exam is over! : )

before

I was most thankful to find out that this opportunity was real. On my flight over from Texas I was worried that this might be a gimmick and I might arrive in Singapore and find no one at the airport to pick me up! Thankfully I was wrong and upon arrival, there he was, Nicholas a friend from Asia Dive Academy came to pick me up.

With the great guidance offered by ADA’s Staff Instructors whom are assisting us through our Instructor Development Course(IDC), our learning curve doesn’t seem as steep as it should have been. After arriving here, a fellow diver (now a fellow Dive Instructor), Maggie, told me about how some other Dive Companies would train you for a week before the exam! That just still seem impossible to me. In no way can I believe that the majority of the PADI Dive Masters that went to take the Instructor Exam would have passed with only one week of preparation.  At ADA, we were given 3 weeks of training alongside current PADI Dive Instructors and PADI Course Directors. Lucky for us, with ample preparation, our group had a 100% pass rate this season, and if I had to do it again, you would surely find me with Asia Dive Academy!

pose

After the weeks of preparation for the exams, I felt at ease even at the morning of the exams.  I would say I am surprised I didn’t become more nervous as the day went on, but when I think of how well prepared we were, I aint that surprise at all.

We started off Saturday with an orientation from our Instructor Examiner, Rob.  It was nice that he presented the two days of exams in a relaxed manner.  I’m sure this definitely helped all the candidates’ nerves relax a bit prior to beginning the written test.

Once we finished the written test and presentation, everyone was ecstatic.  It didn’t matter if the candidate was from ADA or another dive group, everyone was happy and you could see the relieved faces of Instructor Candidates walking out of the testing classroom.  Some faces looked a little paler than others during the test, but after completing the test, everyone had a shine about them and their worries were washed away.

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Finished with the written exam and presentation, we were off to the pool.  I’m sure everyone was ready to get wet after spending the last few hours stressing about the written exam.  I know I was looking forward to the water all day long.

We completed our circuit skills and individual skills before we finally called it a day.  I was a little unwilling to leave the pool which seemed to have ended a bit too quickly compared to how much of the day we spent in a classroom, but we had Sunday to look forward to, as the open water portion of the exam would start in the morning.

Everyone had a little more spring in their step on Sunday.  The last hurdle to jump in our path to becoming Open Water Scuba Instructors was before us.  (Side note: I just found out if feels just as good writing Open Water Scuba Instructor as it does saying it.  I bet all the newly certified Instructors agree with me on this one!   Back to the point… Where was I?)

Sunday was a fun day; that is for sure. We sailed to Pulau Hantu for our Open Water Instructor Examination. Water was a nice temperature, visibility and current were fine too. Most importantly we were diving in the open water. This is the moment that I have been yearning for!

In the ocean we went thru our individual skills again and rescue breathing on an unresponsive diver at the surface. It was a good day with a good tan!  Like most diving days it ended too fast, and I can hardly contain my excitement for my next open water!

jump

It is funny how slow time seem to move at the beginning of the training, but now that it is done it seems to have flown by in an instant.  Now that I am in the stage of training students and working at the dive shop, I am hoping time goes by even slower instead. Though, I doubt I will mind if it seems to have gone by too quickly because of all the great memories I will have by the end of my time in Singapore with Asia Dive Academy.

So far I can only speculate how great it will be to teach students on my own, since right now I am sitting in on an Open Water class and learning through observation of one of ADA’s PADI Instructors, Nicholas Tan!

A special thanks to our PADI Pros with Asia Dive Academy who made it possible for us to become PADI Instructors!

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Well that’s it for me today : P  Hope you are staying wet and diving every opportunity you get!

Signing Off,

Marcus Oliva