For our last dive, Tim took us to a coral bommy sticking out in the middle of the sea. He told us that it had very nice soft and colourful coral that couldn’t be found anywhere else in the other Redang dive sites. We exited the boat and dived down to the coral bommy. We immediately found a very pretty pair of lionfish down there.
However, we were also dismayed to find a large stray net had draped itself over the beautiful table coral! Immediately we swung into action, tearing away the net and trying not to damage the coral in doing so.
It was really cool how everyone was willing to forgo their dive and carry out a clean-up operation without any prompting. No words needed to be said here – it’s the duty of every diver to do their best to clean up the dive environment, and stray nets are some of the worst bits of trash left by humans in the sea. Left unattended, such nets will kill the coral, trap fish and other sea creatures and even entangle unsuspecting divers. Disposing of the net was the only decent thing to do.
Tearing off a net’s pretty hard though, especially without gloves. Due to the encrustation, the net can be embedded with sharp objects that will tear at the skin if you’re not careful. After a while, we also had to get the knife out to remove some of the more stubborn bits of netting.
We worked for many minutes to clear the net, but eventually the table coral was finally free of the man-made menace.
It was with a great deal of satisfaction that I ended my final dive in Redang. I’d accomplished something good that day.
Redang is a great place with some nice dive sites. Well worth a return visit!
The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course comprises several specialty dives, but the main reason why people take it is to dive deeper than 18 metres (up to 40 metres for a qualified advanced diver) and to do night dives. I love night dives. Once you get past the spookiness of utter blackness surrounding the nimbus of your torch, you get to enjoy a whole multitude of sealife that you can’t ordinarily see during the daytime, as well as a whole set of different behavioural patterns. Because of the pitch-black nature of the surroundings, camera flashes also fire at maximum efficacy, which makes for very beautiful photos. For my first night dive, I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
See how the flash brings out the beautiful purple highlights of the anemone? Another example of the vibrant purple can be seen in this picture of a flibonella.
WS also uncovered a cute false clownfish that was outside its protective anemone home.
The poor little critter soon realised that it was attracting unwanted attention, and ducked into its home for cover…
… until it was completely covered by the anemone’s stinging tentacles.
Nighttime also brings out the ambush predators, such as this spiny scorpionfish. The sharp spines on its back contain a poisonous toxin that can really hurt.
We also saw this beautiful, and aptly-named twinspot lionfish.
Overall, this was a great introduction to night diving.