Open Water Dive Experience – As told by Hairie

Hello! I’m Hairie, a DiveMaster in-training here at Eko Divers. I would like to share with you about my Open Water Diver course experience to Dayang Island, Malaysia. It was my first time diving as well, and it definitely proved to be an interesting weekend. So, let’s start from the beginning.

I started assisting the customers in checking their bags to make sure they had the right sizes and that all the gear are in good condition. Once we checked everyone’s bags, we had all the students accounted for and boarded on the bus. After loading the bags onto the bus, we set off. Now this is where the adventure began!

We drove on in the night, napping securely on the cozy bus. After we reached Mersing Jetty, we boarded the ferry to Dayang. Upon arrival at the shores of the island; the minute my feet touched the sand, I instantly thought – “Hey, this has got to be the softest sand I have ever felt!”. We then settled into our rooms, which was dormitory style – bunk beds for 12 pax!

I woke up feeling refreshed and ready for an exciting dayA view of Pulau Aur ahead. After breakfast, we made our way to the dive boats. With the help from the morning sun, we can see the whole island and the view was indeed spectacular! The water itself was beautiful – a combination of blue and turquoise and the visibility was good. It is definitely an island paradise!

First Dive! That moment when I descended down for the very first time just left me speechless. I was worried yet excited at the same time. In your head, you’d go “Oh my god, I can breathe underwater!” and “This is scary” – a mixture of emotions just rolling around in your stomach. Our instructor and divemaster were very professional, guiding and assisting us. That calmed me down. This remains to be a wonderful memory for me as a diver.

The bay was calm with around 10m visibility and a sandy bottom – an ideal location for an Open Water student’s training dives. After the first dive of clearing some skills and swimming around, I was ready for more! But hunger calls and thankfully, it was time for lunch! We headed back to the resort for some food.

On the second dive, I faced some challenges while performing the mask clearing skill because I felt a little bit uncomfortable underwater. But with the help of my instructor, who was patient and shared some tips, I eventually managed to clear it the second time.

After 3 dives on the first day, we got back to the resort for dinner and free & easy. This gave us time to bond with the other divers that were on the same trip. One of them brought playing cards and we played games that broke the ice between us!

The next day came and it was time for our last dive. We went to Rayner’s Rock. Definitely a different experience as we went down to 17m – much deeper than the previous dives! Though I didn’t see anything special (wasn’t so sure how to spot them), the marine life was good as there are healthy corals and many small fishes (which I am still learning to identify them).

Over the weekend, the dive sites that we visited for my open water course were Sebukang, Telok Miriam, Lang Bay, and last but happens to be a well-know one, Rayner’s Rock.

Map of Dayang & Pulau Aur

If you want to learn diving, I’d say GO FOR IT! Monsoon is ending and the Malaysia season is starting soon – we are running our first trip on the first weekend in March (4 – 6 March). Feel free to ask for more information or to find out more about other diving courses that we offer! Just leave a comment down below and I will be glad to answer!

Shoutout to my OPEN WATER GROUP, Instructor Raymond and DiveMaster Arif (who is now an instructor too!)

Open Water Group

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