Malaysia: Perhentian Besar Island; Leza diving & snorkelling with Sharks!

We saw sharks today!!! Black Tip Reef Sharks; we spotted quite a few of them whilst snorkelling at Shark’s Point; a group of large rocks about a 90 minute swim out from the beach. We took a taxi boat out there with a young Dutch couple and snorkelled around a while whilst the boat waited for us. There’s a lot of coral and tons of colourful fish; absolutely loads to see. Parrot fish, needle fish, clown fish etc. The sharks were swimming around right under us and quite near to the rocks. We had been assured by the Swedish dive instructors at Bayu Dive Lodge where we are staying, that this type of shark does not attack humans – hence our being so keen to go and find them. I don’t have an underwater camera so I’ve included some photos below of what they look like. The ones we saw were approximately 4 feet long.

Getting back in to the boat was a bit of a farce. There was no ladder so we had to try and climb up this side of it, and over the top and in to it from the sea. Not easy at all; Dave had to wedge his hands under my bum and shove me over the top, hard for him to do whilst treading water, and after a few attempts I landed flat on my face head first in the boat. Dave managed to get in under his own steam but also landed flat on his face. The boat driver obviously though it was hilarious.
I went out on a Discovery Dive for about 40 minutes before I had to give up as I kept getting bloody cramp! I saw a few things and some great coral, but visibility was quite low on the day I went out. I know you want a good laugh, so here’s some photos of me in diving gear. I had to put on the tank (14 kilos) and the weight belt (about another 3 kilos) and wade out to the boat wearing it all. Not easy!
No photos of him in full dive gear unfortunately ‘cos he does look quite impressive; Dave has completed his advanced diving course – whoo hoo as our mate Bruce would say back in Seattle! It included a night dive which Dave liked the best of all his dives – even though the end of it took place in a massive thunder and lightning storm. Back in our glorified shed on the beach that we are staying in ( a posh shed I might add), I was getting a bit worried about him but as Dave has come over all James Bond recently I reckoned he’d be able to fight his way out of anything. He’s looking a bit skinny round the edges though – almost 8 months of travelling and 3 months of Asian food have whittled him down. I however, seem to have remained the same – I might even have put on a few pounds as I have an uncanny ability to seek out chocolate wherever we are.
Stefan makes sure that everything fits and is fastened correctly and checks the tank, weights, regulator and hand held dive computer etc.

Maybe I can just hold my nose and free dive….yeah right.
This is where we often go next door to sit on the beach and have breakfast or lunch/dinner. Allegedly run by a load of local squatters; but they serve good grub and very quickly and cheaply. Getting served quickly is a rarity on this island. We sometimes wait up to 40 minutes for 2 drinks. This is also the only place on the island where you can get beer.
Lots of wildlife around; we have seen a couple of large monkeys running around in the trees on the beach. Not quite sure what they are as we couldn’t get a clear look at their faces. I don’t think they are Macaques. There are some HUGE bats, one of which starts making a very loud sqeaking, wheeze of a racket every evening around 8pm in a tree right outside our room, every night like clockwork he kicks off and he is loud! A german couple saw a pretty big snake coiled up on the pathway behind our huts, I haven’t seen him yet but want to have another look to see if I can find him. There are also giant monitor lizards in the area, allegedly very common and up to 7 feet long. I still haven’t seen one of the big ones, only a small one basking in some long grasses; about 2 feet long.

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