…And the eagle has landed!

Ahhh finally! Sunshine! Warmth!
I arrived in Lumut just north of Kuala Lumpur 5 days ago. The first day I didn’t do much except for eating rice and chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner (not by choice I have to say!!!!), looking at the sun, talking and warming up my frozen bones!!! Oh that’s not true there was some excitement: They called from the boat and asked us to get the O2 ready because they had a diver with suspected DCS. Luckily it was false alarm…
The second day they asked if I wanted to go for a dive and of course I wanted so we left around 9 am. Jamie had two open water students so I went with him. The visibility was 30-50 cm, very interesting and after Jamie had done the navigation with the first student he signalled me to take one student and he would take the other and then he disappeared. Unfortunately I misunderstood him so I was a bit confused. Did he get lost or what?!! So I finished the navigation with my diver and then we swam around a bit and surfaced. It was very uhm interesting to swim around at a new dive site with zero viz and an open water student but we managed without getting lost (kind of impossible when the boat picks you up where-ever you surface, but still!), loosing each other or bumping into rocks. For the second dive we went to another site but the viz was still the same. This time we split the divers between us from the beginning and I finished the skills and swam around again with one hand on the bottom and a very good eye on my student so I didn’t loose him. We saw not a single fish, crab or other living creature on any of the dives (except for when we bumped into the divers doing the tec course) but I really enjoyed being in the water again after 5 months:-)!
The last few days it has been very quiet but this morning it was busy busy! 25+ divers went diving but they were all certified or doing courses with other instructors so I’m not working. Tomorrow I’ll guide some of them, yeah back in the water:-)! We are going to some sites that should be very nice and with okay visibility.
Monday some of us go back to Perhentian Island and I’m looking forward to that. The only thing there really is to like about Lumut are Tesco and the hot showers…
So come Monday no more shoes, no more cars, no more worries:-D

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Hello again Malaysia:-)

Okay I know it! I’m not too active on my blog. I’ll try to change that in the new year! So a year has passed without any blogs….
So what’s new? Well I’m counting the days till the 22nd of January when I’m going back to Malaysia!
In July I ended up on a small island in Malaysia called Perhentian Island. I only worked there for a few weeks then but now I’m going back. They are actually closed right now because of the monsoon season so I’ll start working on the west coast of Malaysia at a place called Lumut. It’s still for the same company and then when the islands reopen I guess we’ll all move back there.
I’ll hopefully be teaching everything in diving from open water courses through specialties to dive masters and who knows maybe I’ll end up as Master Instructor:-)!
Right now I’m just staring out the window at the pouring rain packing and dreaming about the sun and the diving!!!
More to come when I’m back in Malaysia….

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A holiday from my holiday!

I decided to take a little break from island life so I took the night bus to Kota Kinabalu. Normally I sleep very well on buses but not when I sit next to a 200 kg Malay guy who kept elbowing me in the ribs and squashing me against the window so I couldn’t breathe but after kicking him back a few times I managed to get a little sleep!
Arrived in KK at 5 am and tried with my limited Malay to find the ferry to Labuan. Found a guy who spoke English and was going to Labuan as well and I joined him. He said it was cheaper to take the bus so we did that. The bus left at 6.30 so he invited me for breakfast first. It was a 2 hour bus ride to Menombok where the ferry departed for Labuan. My companion payed for the boat ride and I was getting a little suspicios and wondered how to get rid of him but when we arrived to Labuan he said goodbye and left…
I walked around for a few hours trying to find the backpackers but gave up and checked in at a hotel. Ate at KFC, read a little, took a three hour nap, read some more and went to bed!
Next morning I took the boat to Brunei. Had decided to treat myself to a nice hotel but when I saw how run down and dodgy it looked I changed my mind and checked in at the youth hostel that looked a lot nicer and was 70 $ cheaper… There I have a 10 bed dorm all by myself and can use the pool for 1$!
The center of BSB, the capital of Brunei is maybe one square km so including lunch break (sandwich, coffee and a chocolate cheese cake to die for), internet cafe (with a connection so slow even the most patient person would explode) and a detour it took less than three hours to see all!
After more reading I went to meet some friends that had just arrived with a little survival package from DK with brown bread flour mix, pate and Haribo ( I’m in heaven)! After talking a few hours I went out for dinner and that is where I am now enjoying wifi and a coffee;-)!
Tomorrow I go back to KK and then Mabul…

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A New Years Eve to remember!

A lot of people are very traditional in how they celebrate New Years Eve! I must say I did NOT have a traditional evening!
First there was a wedding at sunset. A Swedish couple had planned to get married here on the beach at Mabul. Unfortunately they lost all their luggage on the way with wedding dress and all. So what to do? Well, you buy 5 meters of white fabric, a golden ribbon and some safety pins and voilá you have a beautiful dress for less than 20$. He borrowed a shirt and a pair of troussers. Never mind about shoes! No-one wears shoes at Mabul…
The minister was one of the instructors from the resort who filled out the right paperwork and is now allowed to marry people so it is legally binding and the organ was replaced by the manager with a guitar! The flower girls were two of the local girls, the altar was two palm tree leaves made into an arch and decorated with flowers found on the island flanked by two upside down baskets covered with a white cloth and a bouquet of flowers and the guests were everyone staying at the resort plus whatever else came by! After the ceremony there were cocktails and that was more or less the end of that wedding except for the wedding cake (chocolate cake with icing) served after dinner (pasta Bolognaise)!

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After dinner the New Years Eve fun started! First there was a fireshow (except they forgot to get fuel so they used glowing balls). Three staff members took turns and they were really good. After that there was traditional dancing performed by three local members of staff.
Then the REAL fun started: The Miss Mabul Fashion show performed by all the local male members of staff!! It was hilarious and some of them were really scary in a way so I’m glad I’m not a man and had to figure out they were NOT woman…. They came in one by one and had to answer a question: “What makes you the most happy” and the three winners got a various amount of free dives.

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Then Rohan played guitar and sang and after that we had our very own DJ also an instructor to play music until late. When everybody started to dance and jump around the floor suddenly threatened to cave in so we all had to move the dance floor. Luckily the bar is still standing… Around two o’clock the music stopped and I was going to bed but instead I got dragged down to the beach where the party continued!

That was my New Years Eve! How was yours???????

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Roskilde day two – Nephew concert

Late Friday night Nephew was playing on Orange stage! They are my favourite Danish band and I missed their last performance here so I was so excited. I got up in front, right under the big screen, in front of the huge loudspeakers and okay close to the real stage. The concert kicked off and you could feel the rhytm in the entire body:-)! They played hit after hit with energy and enthusiasm, entertained and delivered the concert of the year. I’m still high!! And just to put me over the moon I managed to get the lead singers autograph and a picture of him and me today:-)! I’m so happyyyyyy…

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Roskilde day one

9 minutes more! Sitting in the sun with a cold beer waiting for the Music to begin. Patti Smith opens with a kind of memorial service for the 9 young men who died here 10 years ago. Then non-stop music until sunday night where Prince closes the festival. People everywhere, half-naked drinking beers and ready to party:-)! I think it’s gonna be a great festival!!!
Let the music begin…

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Fundiving at AWAS, Mabul

Had a wicked dive today. My diver didn’t want to do the last dive so I decided to go out on my own and look for some of the cool stuff that is hanging around.
So first I found two robust ghostpipefish. They are not very common and look like a leaf. Then I moved on to where the two harlequin ghostpipefish are hanging out and found them together with a very small dwarf lionfish, about 2 cm, and a spotface moray. Then I swam on to where they had found a Halemida ghostpipefish the day before. They are very rare so it is very cool that we have them on our house reef.

halemida ghostpipefish

Got my pictures and swam on to see what else was down there and while I was looking for stick pipefish (didn’t find them, though) I saw a ray in the blue. First I thought it was a common bluespotted stingray but then I saw the tail that just went on and on and I knew it was an eagle ray. They are so beautiful and graceful. I put my camera on video mode and filmed him while he was just swimming around me.

I even got some pictures after before he took off again. Then by one of the buoylines there was a massive green turtle, about 1,5m from head to tail, and I got really close and he was just LOOKING at me like he was saying ” What are you doing here? This is my turf!” Swam on to a pile of tyres where there was another massive turtle, a juvenile emperor angelfish and some shrimps. On the way back to the jetty I came by a lionfish, two more robust ghostpipefish and a marbled snake eel.
I was down for 67 minutes and could have stayed an hour more but I had to get up because the boat was going back to Semporna.
But what an amazing dive:-)

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Simillan live-aboard

Just returned from a veeery nice and relaxed trip to Simillan and Richelieu Rock. 6 nights, 5 days where we got up at 7, ate breakfast, went diving, had a second breakfast, talked, went diving, ate lunch, relaxed, went diving, had an afternoon snack, went nightdiving, ate dinner, talked and drank beers, went to bed and the next day the same tough program…

I can definitely recommend www.jonathan-cruiser.com if you are thinking about live-aboards from Phuket…

And check out my gallery, there are some very nice pictures :-)…

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Ordinary life? No way…

It is tough to be enjoying life! I don’t have time to the more serious things as writing on my blog or stay in touch with friends and family…

But, here I am for a short notice!

I finished my dive master course in September and started working right after and it is great fun. Of course you meet all kinds of divers, some good some really bad. The bad ones are tough while it lasts but they make the best stories afterwards… Like when I have six divers going in six different directions at six different depths and ignoring all my requests and signals so all I do the entire dive is counting people to make sure I don’t loose any! Or when a diver suddenly signals me he is low on air after 15 minutes and we are at 20 meters so I have to take the entire group up immediately. Or when I find some really cool stuff and all the customers want to do is look at the Nemo fish…

Recently I have seen a lot of reeeally nice stuff at Mabul. Just to mention some of it: a lot of different kinds of shrimps, morays and lionfish. Hunting bluespotted stingrays, giant morays, a lot of frogfish, giant turtles, tiny baby lionfish, baby crocodilefish, snake eels, pipefish, big schools of jackfish, the cutest little yellow clown frogfish and so on and so on! At Sipadan i finally saw the barracuda tornado and it was amazing to see maybe thousand barracudas swimming around above my head. I also got bitten by a moray when I was getting a manicure by some cleaner shrimps. Oh and today I tried to retrieve half a sea urchin from a customers foot. I was unsuccesful so her foot looks like a pin cushion…

Above water we have fun too. Friday nights are getting kind of legendary. There is a local live band playing and they are really good. We are dancing all night then and sometimes we throw each other in the big dunk tanks where we wash our equipment and then we just lie in there 4 or 5 people drinking beer and laughing and all the locals are gathering around us to watch those craaazy foreigners. Or the police stops the party because people are getting naked. Or we go to karaoke and sing some worse than others but all having fun. Or we stay at mabul and play drinking games all night and goes skinny dipping…

Life as a dive master is definitely NOT boring or ordinary…,

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So far so good

… Just uploaded some photos from the underwater world! Some writing will follow soon…

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