[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“Too beautiful to forget.
No proper jetty, just get off the boat and walk on soft sand and salty water. Blue sky, crystal clear water, no mobile network. The perfect time to mingle, no chance to escape from awkward moments.
In this place, the simplest things became meaningful. Just toast and butter, plain porridge and salted egg, even jelly became so delicious.
Then I learnt that memories are kept not only in photos, but in a safe corner in my mind.
I remember. The moment when we are almost attacked by a trigger fish. Those times we lie on the rocky boat star gazing. The time that I screamed cos I saw a dolphin. “
– Kaylene Tan[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It is quite amazing to see how far passion could bring you. Or rather, passion coupled with influence. It stemmed from an idea of collective fun, of bringing people together through scuba diving. And then it became a constant, and the constant into an annual tradition. Each year, we see the return of this massive group of people, and each year the number just increases and with each passing year, the destination of gathering became more and more exotic.
It was a bustling scene at the dive centre. An exodus of people milling about and getting ready, the air buzzed with excitement, anticipation, and ecstasy. Even as an overnight ride awaits them, everyone is still one Energizer bunny.
Off we go to where time stops!
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The veil of darkness lifts as we journeyed through the night, when night parts way for the day. As the sun rose, the sky became a glorious shade of blue while it went from light yellow to a more intense color mixing in with purples and breaking-up the deeper shades of blue from the previous night. There is a moment — a pause — before the spilling of golden light upon the waters. It was as if we were transported to another dimension of time.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The ferry ride to Tenggol was spent in contemplative silence as we cruised through the waters with the horizon trying to make up her mind on which outfit she should put on for the day.
The sight of the island was definitely a welcoming one after the overnight journey. The rooms and facilities definitely did not disappoint.
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]All geared up and ready to roll for the weekend. Against the backdrop of the ever-changing horizon, the boat crew proceeded to load our gear onto the dive boats, we picked up our gear and made our way to the boat, watching our footprints etched in the sand and washed away by the waters gently caressing the shore. Much like us, who are just here for the weekend, with our traces of existence disappearing as fast as it had appeared.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In-water, we were blessed with visibility of about 30 meters. It was a little surreal, as the weightlessness in the water caressed my half-asleep soul, a dark silhouette slowly loomed into view, it was a wreck standing still, with visible traces of time etched on its body.
Coral growth has already begun on the hull and superstructure; it houses a good collection of reef fish, including lionfish, wrasse, triggers, butterflies and damsels. Barracudas occasionally cruise by in search of a meal.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Rajawali is a reef well-covered in dense soft and hard corals, with massive coral heads, some good branching forms, and a nice selection of colourful soft corals. Morays hid in reef crevices, popping their heads out occasionally, and hiding back into their comfort zone when they see divers approaching. Large turtles paddle lazily along the reef slope along with reef fishes and schooling species.
Marine life was a whirlpool of amazement. It was a visual feast underwater, especially Moon Rack, a most deserving name for the dive site. It was as dreamy as the name promised, jacks, fusiliers, surgeons and barracudas school off the reef, and needlefish shimmering near the surface.
Time stopped for a moment right here. These were the private moments between Nature. A spiritual conversation with Nature that no one could interrupt.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Out of the water, surface intervals were about the time spent with friends.
As the song goes; we had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun. We also had selfies with our sleeping friend.
And in this case, we had sunshine under the armpit too. If I had to choose the best trip photo, this is it.
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]We mingled, we joked about the funny moments underwater and exchanged stories of diving and our life in the urban jungle. For most of us, this is a conversation with what I deem as the Elixir of Life – alcohol. A little incoherent perhaps, but we rely on our other senses to amplify the experience and keep both sides of the conversation going, with fellow human beings and the world where the Elixir brought us to.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Time just seemed to slip away when you are having fun. Goodbyes are always hard. Two days on this island were not enough to experience the full beauty of this place. Tenggol, we will meet again for sure. And fellow friends and divers, we will see each other again in that void beyond time created underwater, where the future, the present and the past blend into a swirl.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Thank you to the following peeps for the photos in this post:
Tan Ping Chie[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]