Exploring Redang’s Underwater Wonders
Diving in Malaysia is simply an outstanding experience since awesome marine life and corals can be found in particular places throughout the country. The country itself is separated into two distinct regions that offers great diving experience: the Malaysian Borneo with diving hot spots like Sipadan, Layang Layang and Mabul; and the Peninsular Malaysia with destinations like Perhentian, Redang and Tioman islands that are covered with lush tropical jungle, white powdery beaches, thriving coral reefs and marine life like reef sharks and turtles.
In collaboration with Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTAC) and Tourism Terengganu, 10 experienced divers participated in the recent Ship Wreck Dive 2015 programme held in Pulau Redang, Terengganu, with the objective of encouraging underwater ship wrecks diving around the island. We were informed that these ships were sank close to the island to serve as artificial reefs to boost marine life population.
The divers were briefed before the first dive in Pulau Redang while setting up their diving equipment at Coral Redang Island Resort’s dive center. As a reminder, divers need to wear fins for manoeuvring and protection. As precaution, they are also urged to wear diving boots since corals can cut the feet.
They were then divided into three teams. To ensure everyone understands the flow of the dive spots, rough sketches of a map was drawn by the dive master. Divers then hopped into speed boats and brought to a spot about half an hour away from the resort.
The first ship found was the maritime ship wreck with the number 3134, still in good condition. The maximum depth at the spot was 22.6 metres, 44-minute bottom time at around 30 degrees temperature. It was a newly-sunken ship, hence the numbers of marine life is still limited. According to Firdaous Fadzil, a diver from The STAR, he managed to spot yellow snappers, some snake eels’ head, anemone shrimps, white nudibranchs and moray eels during the dive.
While the divers explored the waters surrounding the wreck, some of us managed to go for snorkelling at the marine park. The water was clear and we were delighted to be able to see various kinds of fish right after we submerged such as a group of clown fish, ikan buntal (pufferfish), gamat laut (sea cucumber), including corals. The snorkelling trip was exciting but we needed to save energy for the next spot where our guide said that we could see baby sharks!
Pulau Lang Tengah
Pulau Lang Tengah is located between Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian. The visibility of the waters surrounding this island is usually great, often up to 30 metres. Unfortunately, during our dive, the current was strong and the visibility failed us that the divers could only go down as far as 25 meters, allowing them to only see a huge puffer fish, a stone fish and a lion fish. The divers were unlucky to see only parts of the shipwreck, which was a badly damaged fishing boat that was split into two. They managed to photograph the back deck of the boat and resurfaced after half an hour.
For the rest of us who snorkelled at a spot 150 metres from the shipwreck, we managed to witness the baby sharks as promised! Snorkelling next to sharks, even if they were just babies, still gave us adrenaline rush. We pulled out our cameras and took photos non-stop while swimming freely. We were told that sharks only consider attacking humans if they were to smell blood – we quickly swam back to the boat afterwards…
Pulau Redang is very much suggested for divers who are looking for memorable diving experience due to its white sandy beaches coupled with outstanding underwater marine beauty and diversity – rarely rivalled anywhere else in the world. There are many dive centers in Pulau Redang that are well-equipped and certified by internationally recognised diving agencies. From shallow drift-diving to advance wreck-diving, Pulau Redang is bound to have something for all divers!
Thank you MOTAC and Tourism Terengganu for giving Gaya Travel Magazine the chance to experience diving and snorkelling in Redang.