Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lembeh Straits, Manado (CNY 2009)

This entry is way, way long overdue - a fact that hit me only yesterday, as I was driving to Mid Valley with Azlin. As this was the opening of my dive season 2009, I'll say a few words.

Fact #1 - Man Overboard!I nearly did not make it for this trip (glad I did, but that's another story). Being concious of  2009's dive budget and annual leaves (the latter a bigger concern than the former), I was more than happy to give this a miss. However Shana sealed the deal when she highlighted that we were required to take only 1 day of annual leave since the trip was during CNY. I am onboard!

Nevertheless, as with my Sipadan trip the year before, the road to Manado wasn't a smooth one. Two weeks before the trip date, I was informed that my annual leave was not about to be approved. Shocked beyond disbelief that I might have to forego an all paid-trip, an on-the-spot-negotiation with my supervisor somehow bore fruit, and I was onboard again!

Fact #2 - Stressful Take-OffThe events before our flight took off from LCCT is something I do not wish to go through again. Being a long CNY weekend, a lot of holiday-goers had the same idea as us - to take Friday off and fly out to our respective destinations. LCCT was F-U-L-L of people, I could hardly breathe. There was a queue for everything - to check-in, to pay excess baggage, McDs, to pray in the surau and of course to board the flight. Stressful take off for me.

Fact #3 - Lembeh Straits, World of Funny Creatures
The diving would have normally been good for me - no current, not deep. I didn't like it being muck diving tho. There were times I was bored, cause we couldn't find anything and only saw miles and miles of black sand!

Loads of frog fishes, nudie branches and if after this trip, I am not able to tell/identify/know where I can find a pygmy seahorse, someone should slap me left-right & center!

Fact #4 - Friends: Old & New
As with all dive trips, we tend to bond with the other divers on the trip. From old friends to close friends, from strangers to friends.

Fact #5 - Man Overboard (for real)
Do not undermine the importance of being able to swim!

Fact #6 - Theme Song
Cinta Ini Membunuhku by D'Masiv - just because erm, maybe it was popular during that time. Hahaha.. ok la, the truth is, I fell in love with this song.