After a leisurely breakfast on the beach and talking a walk across the island to the beach of Coral Bay, today Vikki and I each did our first wreck dive early this afternoon. A "wreck dive", as the name connotes, is an underwater dive to explore a submerged ship. Today a group of 7 of us - including our divemaster - dove at a local site known as Sugar Wreck. Here, at a depth of 18.9 meters underwater, lies an old wrecked boat sunk several decades ago. We swam through the hull of the boat and had a quick look around, but as visibility was limited to only about 3 meters, we did not take a break in the ship's air pocket - i.e., the spot of the ship which has not been filled with water and there exists a cavity of very stale air. Other divers we had met had taken a breather - no pun intended - there. Well, to be exact, they had taken their dive masks off, as you can't breath the stale air in there and need to continue breathing through your regulator
. Given the limited visibility we had today, and coupled with the fact that this was my first wreck dive, I was just as happy to take a pass on taking a break in the air pocket. After 51 minutes underwater, we completed our dive and returned to shore.
It is now almost midnight, and I am writing this entry from the open-air restaurant at the Panorama Chalets. While I am one of the last stragglers still here - as this part of Malaysia
is allegedly populated by very devout Muslims
, alcohol is forbidden on the island, so the party scene here seems very subdued - , earlier tonight this place was overflowing with patrons. Long Beach is packed with tourists - mostly from non-Asian countries - , and my understanding is that there are no vacancies anywhere on the Little Island. This makes it kind of hard to believe that there is a global recession going on right now. There is also a sizable contingent of tourists from Asian countries here as well. I suspect that as economies such as Malaysia
continue to grow, these resorts will become even more crowded through the arrival of even larger numbers of local tourists. I suspect owning a resort right now in Malaysia
is not a bad position to be in...
Tomorrow night we are taking an overnight bus to the city of Melaka
on the Indian Ocean
side of peninsular Malaysia
, but we will be doing a final afternoon dive before we hit the road. We have really enjoyed our beach break here. After spending all that time in the high altitudes in and around Ladakh
and elsewhere in India, these last few days at the beach have definitely been a nice change of pace.