Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

Gasping for compressed air

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Daniel Yap took this pic - he named it Nigel and Allan - B****rd! ;-)

Allan and I had dithered all year about diving in the Lembeh Straits last October.Sigh!

Daniel Yap took this pic - he's a damn good photog

Were we ever sorely tempted! But with Hari Raya coming and the rest of the busy season peeking round the corner, we decided that discretion had to be the better part of valour and we needed to earn some money instead of haring off on what was a glorious adventure with Allan's brother Daniel, his girlfriend Chui, and our madcap divebanana bunch!

Daniel Yap took this pic - crab feeding in anemone

If it were not for Allan's sensible arguments about well, being sensible, I would have dropped everything packed one pair of shorts, one pair of underwear and headed off on Air Asia. Sometimes, in your musings do you still wish you were 15? If you’re 15, don’t bother answering. If you’re in your late 20s and on up you know exactly what I mean. Actually, if you asked Allan he probably would say that I haven’t grown up…yet. Hey, we all live in hope.

In any case, at that point in time, our godson Jeremy was about to sit for his A levels. After hearing about our diving escapades he expressed an interest in learning how to dive…someday.

Serendipity strikes at times like these and since we were hankering for some bottled air as well as casting about for a “graduation” present for him, we thought what better than to get him certified and we would have one more thing to do together.

Fast forward to early February and we began searching for dive spots which basically had to conform to certain requirements. We wanted a 5 star Padi centre, a good instructor for the newbies (eventually there was more than one), decent lodgings, and beautiful dive sites.

Enter Redang Kalong and Alex.

Redangkalong promo pic

Along the way we also accumulated some new groupies. As things stand 9 of us will be heading up to Redang.

I’m chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel of our CRV and drive off into the night only to arrive at dawn at the Merang jetty to take the early boat over to the island. It’s for times like these that the phrase “sense of adventure” was coined.

It’s been almost 8 months since our lungs felt the rasp of metallic air through a regulator and it couldn’t be more timely. Diving is truly one of the miracles of our modern world. When you take the step off the boat and your head submerges you are instantly transported to another realm. A realm where weightlessness takes on true meaning, a realm which has inhabitants of its own in a social circle you will only ever be able to peer at but never to join. It is an alien planet peopled by the strange and the beautiful. The poisonous and the mundane. It is all blue/brown/grey at the depths we visit and that’s just up to 45m. But when you shine a light on them all manner of colours leap out at you. It's voyeuristic.

While we live on the fringes of the truly hard core divers (who hop from dive site to dive site and then return home for 3 months to accumulate enough money to barely survive for the rest of the year diving) it is without a doubt one of the most exhilarating sports that I’ve ever experienced. Skiing would be a close second.

Now if you’ve seen me, you’ll know that I’m not an athlete. As a matter of fact, the word “athlete” seems to have been coined with me in mind as the antonym. I was built for comfort, not speed!

Since December I've also been resigned to the fact that I would not be able to take any more underwater pictures this time around. I'd given up looking for our little digital camera. 2 days ago, my Uncle asked me what camera I'm using now and when I mentioned that I'd lost my camera my Dad pipes up chirpily "oh, you leave it all over the place so I thought I'd keep it for you." For 3 months! Without telling us.

Roll on 28 Mar and rubs my hands together in glee!


so many pretty fishies!~!!!

oooo! Wish I was going... been pining for beach holiday and our "organiser" ... um, "forgot" to do anything for this March / April.

Sigh. :)

Bon voyage! look fwd to your photos

oh nigel,

click here: http://ykls.blogspot.com


jase; LOL! That's what you get when you go diving! ;-)

sneexe; aiyo! kick up the bum time!

anon; thanks Joel. ;-) Am assuming that it's young KL singers blog. ;-)

Now u make me wanna take up the sport too. My finances will scream murder.

Nnudibranchs...heheh. Kewl Pics. Have fun working on your breatihng on your next dive trip :)

tummy; come, come, come!

unkaleong; will do. Intend to. Just added on an another friend so now we've got 10 people on a road trip. Should be ace fun!

Great to know u guys are into Diving at those paradices !

V r infact planning to go
Redang on National Day 07 !

you young fellas of today all so spoilt. such luxury diving, 5 star padi centres...in the days of yore, when i did my NAUI certification (1993), we had to virtually help fill our own tanks thru the night, of course, lug the tanks mile upon mile to the dive boat....of course, aircond rooms were unheard off, and generators only came on at night... meaning day time naps had to be under the tree...
ah, those were the days. may we never go back....
(but the fish life was certainly more abundant)

team bsg; great! Am sure you guys are looking fwd to it! ;-)

fbb; you don't look that old. ;-) When I did my certification in 89 I did it as part of my summer courses in Uni. That was really fun. And well, reason we chose Redang was cos we wanted our Godson and friends to learn properly from good instructors. And so we chose Diver's Den. ;-) But you're right, Redang Kalong is quite spoilt. But gone are the days of camping out under the stars. ;-)

No!! Stay away from the deep sea! It's evil!

Paul; you drama queen. Wat so evil about the deep sea? and by the way, 45 m ain't deep. Not when the sipadan wall goes down 2 miles.

nigel, how come your chynna post cant put comments one?

guffaw, about "there is only so much you can do with dried shrimp"...yup, nothing like good old haram charsiew to add flavour to lormai kai...

FBB; I just realised. I must have accidentally switched off comments. I did Chynna as a draft and only published it later. Might have inadvertantly done it then. Anyways, it's corrected now. Comment away! ;-)

wah~ diving~ i have been thinking of getting a diving license since like decades ago~ haha but have not come around to it... phuh~~ Well, you guys enjoy your dive~ should be super fun... Last time i wandered far from the redang beach... to a very deep area and saw a massively big fish~~ and i swam back to shore as fast i could... big fish eat frogs~!! me scare~

haiyo FF; most stuff in the ocean will flee at the sight of anything unfamiliar and that includes you. Just don't look like a seal. ;-) Sharks eat seals! ;-) GET CERTIFIED! ;-) Oh our godson's dive instructor very cute.

haiyo... cute dive instructors... *sigh* ... you really make me reconsider the decision NOT to take up diving...

Ha! Sneexe; Went on this one dive trip. Had this divemaster. Looked like cross between Michael Owen and body like Brad Pitt from Troy. ;-)

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