A great weekend at Mapor and the Northern Reefs around Bintan, Indonesia.
Meeting at Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT) at 7.30pm, we headed over to Batam via the fast ferry before catching the free shuttle bus over to the Seaborne berthed at Nongsa Point Marina. With 10 divers, 1 Instructor and 3 DiveMasters we were a diver short, a reminder to us all on the importance of remembering your passport!
The diving around Mapor provided us with a spectrum of marine life, accompanying that with reasonable visibility a little to no current. Easy diving followed. There was lots of diverse marine life ranging from the intricate macro Nudibranchs and flatworms, to the spectacular displays provided to us by a number of cuttlefish throughout the dives around Mapor Island.
One dive at Sentut Island unfortunately had evidence of cyanide fishing, highlighting the destructive nature of irresponsible fishing practices. Evidence also that removing certain keystone species from reefs leads to population booms in other species which in this case were Crown of thorns Starfish; a species which normally feeds on unhealthy coral, however during population spikes they start to feed on the healthy coral and subsequently causing reef destruction.
The highlight of Saturday night apart from the infamous Seaborne BBQ was a great night dive especially a large blue and white Pseudoceras Flatworm which performed magnificently by going for a swim illuminated by our torchlight.
Sunday provided us with two wreck dives, one on the Nikoi Wreck followed by one on the Sarawak Maru. Nikoi Wreck could easily be dived a few times due to the abundance of marine life and the expanse of the wreck surrounding a central reef. Sarawak Maru had quite strong currents, so only some of our more confident divers made it down to see the sheer size of the wreck with the always impressive huge propeller.
Returning to Singapore via Nongsa on the 4.30pm ferry, after a weekend of 7 dives with a fun crowd of people, it was time to say goodbyes and head our separate ways.
Cheers everyone, James Campbell (GS-Diving Instructor)