Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Pulau Aur - Diving, ODG and Moon Cups

Hello all -
As promised, here is my catch-up blog from the Pulau Aur diving weekend with my friend Sarah. (This is Jenny by the way.) So we planned this a while back when Sarah suggested it after completing her certification. Given that I hadn't dived in 9 years I thought it wise to do a refresher course. Having that done I could now dive in open water. Our original trip was to Tioman, off the coast of Malaysia but at the last minute we were put on the Pulau Aur trip, also off the coast of Malaysia. We assumed we'd get in late Fri night and start early on Sat. Well, we were pretty wrong on that assumption. The dive outfit we booked with gave us practically no details of the weekend other than where to show up at 7pm on the Friday. We then set off about 7:30 and over the next few hrs pieced together the trip:

- Stop for dinner at 10pm for 45 min (we'd already eaten because we didn't know we were going to stop)

- Get to the ferry terminal around midnight only to wait around for 1.5 hrs until 1:30am, at which point we could then sail to Pulau Aur because the tides were optimal

- 4 hour ferry ride with nothing resembling a bed. Although we made do: Sarah ended up sprawled across a huge cooler and I was curled up on a seat indoors with terrible diesel fumes

- Arrive at 5:45am, get our key to our room on the very top of the hill, asleep at 6:15am

- Alarm at 8:15am to start the day with breakfast and 1st dive at 9am (3 dives today)

- On Sunday, up at 8am for 2 dives and then off by noon

- Back to Singapore at 9pm

So needless to say this was not a restful weekend. The diving was good not great and some of the areas were pretty much coral rubble. But we did see some really cool aquatic life, the best being the bumphead parrotfish, turtles, a stingray and baby yellow boxfish.

The best story of the trip came in the 1.5 hrs we were waiting on Fri night for the ferry to go, almost sick with exhaustion. This loud South African, let's call her Opinionated Dive Girl (ODG) was one of those that couldn't let anyone say anything without disagreeing somehow and explaining why her opinion was the correct one. So Sarah and I are chatting with her and another girl we just met, when the topic somehow gets onto feminine products. Well, ODG knowing best, tells us she has recently switched to a reusable cup. I immediately thought, oh my gosh, I'm witnessing someone who actually uses the Moon Cup! No wings, no strings, no gimmicky things! (Sorry for all those not familiar with this joke from our London days.) So she proceeds to give us details of how to operate it, how long it lasts, how she cleans it, why it is good for the environment and then...SHE OFFERS TO SHOW IT TO US!!!! AGH, we draw the line. The look on Sarah's face is priceless. I thought she was going to vomit. I'm sure I looked the same. Anyways, there you have it. There is somebody out there who is a Moon Cup believer. Who knew?

So that is Pulau Aur in a nutshell. For all you divers out there, don't go out of your way to get to this one. Glad I did it but thankful I don't have another one of those booked!

- Jenny and drinking a green beer at Red Dot Sam

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