Workshop: Marine volunteer training 2015

Octonauts-FacebookShareJoin MNS Marine Group (Selangor Branch) for its two-parter World Oceans Day celebrations!

We will be conducting a 1-night, 1 morning workshop in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan from 12-13th June 2015 for MNS members who wish to volunteer at our annual World Oceans Day event.

You will learn about marine life, fish identification, animal symbiosis, how to conduct a low-tide beach walk, how to carry out a clean coast index study, an underwater clean-up (for divers) and many more exciting activities!

The itinerary looks something like this: On Friday, arrive in Port Dickson in time for dinner, low-tide beach walk (be prepared to stay up late!), overnight at accommodation, continue workshop next morning till lunch time then head back home.

Requirements: you must know how to swim proficiently, be comfortable in the sea, have a desire to share your knowledge of the marine environment with adults and children, and after “graduating” from the workshop, be able to volunteer at least once a year for a MNS marine event/WOD event.

For more information about costs, detailed schedule, car-pooling, accommodation, what to bring etc or to register, please e-mail Wee Liem at wlwong983[at]gmail.com with the following details:

1) your full name
2) valid MNS membership number
3) mobile number
4) specify if you are a diver / non-diver
5) any other qualifications you have e.g. reef check diver, SSI snorkel diver, first aider, etc

Note: If you are not a MNS member, but would like to join this workshop, sign up as a member here first. The WOD 2015 location and dates will be announced later (hint: it’s not in June).

Update: Due to things beyond our control, the training has been postponed.

Results of Dive Against Debris 2014

Six divers led by Adeline Loh conducted a Project AWARE underwater clean up in Teluk Dalam, Pulau Perhentian Besar on 8th of June 2014.  The survey took about half an hour in 5-6 metres of water resulting in 32.4 kilogrammes of debris collected. Please click here for a breakdown of the debris.

 

 

WOD: Pulau Perhentian 2014

Dates: June 7—10 (Sat—Tues)
Pre-trip briefing & full payment due: 15 May (Thurs) at 7pm, online (via e-mail)
Boat leaves from: Kuala Besut Jetty 10am (June 7); Arwana Jetty 12pm/4pm (June 10).

GreenRevolution_WOD_CHLai

Photo by Lai Chong Haur

Join the Marine Group (Selangor Branch) to celebrate World Oceans Day (WOD) at Dive! Pulau Perhentian. We’ll stay at Bayu Dive Lodge and dive with Alu Alu Divers.

PACKAGE 1: Snorkel Diver Course
Are you comfortable in the water? Can you swim proficiently without the aid of a life vest? If yes, then this course will teach you how to snorkel and duck dive properly without harming yourself and the marine environment.

Day 1: Academic – Introduction to Snorkelling and Marine Life Identification
Day 2: Confined water skills training and Marine Life Identification
Day 3: Snorkel training 
and completion of course
Day 4: Free and easy

Cost: RM795/adult and RM398/child 8—12 years old includes return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, course fee, *MNS sessions, Marine Park conservation fee and a nominal donation to the marine group fund.

WOD-Logo-2013jpgPACKAGE 2: Fun Dives
Six day dives with free equipment rental. Additional day dives are RM60/dive and night dives are RM90/dive.

Cost:
RM850/pax includes return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, *MNS sessions, Marine Park conservation fee and a nominal donation to the marine group fund.

PACKAGE 3: Non-Divers/Snorkellers

Family members who are accompanying members signed up for either Package 1 or 2, can also join the land-based activities.

Cost: RM550/adult (5-12 year olds RM275) includes return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, *MNS sessions, Marine Park conservation fee and a nominal donation to the marine group fund.

*MNS sessions consist of after dinner fun activities, beach clean-up and data recording, and for divers – an underwater clean up / Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris, and a not-to-be-missed guided nocturnal beach exploration. For the low-tide walk, please bring torchlight(s) and wear slippers/sandals/booties for your own personal safety.

ProjAwareLogoTo enquire, book/or pay: Minimum 8 pax required to guarantee trip, so don’t delay. A RM250 deposit will book your place and if the trip is cancelled, we’ll refund your deposit, less the transfer fee. An additional joining fee applies for non-MNS members/families. Please e-mail H.Y. Leong at mnsmarinegroup-perhentian(at)yahoo(dot)com for payment instructions or further enquiries.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1) An adult must accompany all children under 21 years old.

2) Every participant must sign a waiver of liability form; parents can sign on behalf of children under 21 years old.

3) For non-MNS members, please add RM70 for one-year MNS membership or for families (parents and children up to 18 years old) add RM80.

4) We find roommates for those travelling solo.

5) Transportation to/fro Kuala Besut is on your own. See below for options and speedboat departure time.

6) Divers, please bring your dive card! If flying, divers are advised to wait a minimum 24 hours after the last dive before boarding a plane.

How to get to Kuala Besut: 

Car-pooling arrangements can be made at the pre-trip briefing. Please offer to share travel expenses and driving duties.

Flight: Air Asia / Fire Fly / Malaysia Airlines to Kota Bharu, taxi/van to Kuala Besut. Pre-arrange with other participants so you can split the taxi fare.

 

KTM Train: Due to early morning boat transfer, you’ll have to overnight in Kota Bharu first, or head straight to K. Besut where there is a budget hotel. Check KTM’s website.

 

Bus: Long-distance buses serve Kota Bharu and Kuala Besut. Check with your nearest bus station.

Speedboat Departures

Boat transfer is included in the cost and is about from 30 to 45-minutes. Actual time of departure also depends on the tide; the journey can be bumpy so plan accordingly if you’re prone to seasickness. We will be dropped off at the Arwana jetty, and it’s a 500m walk to Bayu Dive Lodge.

Besut Jetty Meeting Point: Please arrive at the jetty by 9.15am on June 7 and congregate in the seating area next to the Marine Park office where you will meet our event volunteers/facilitators: Gary Phong and Adeline Loh.

Arwana Jetty:Boat(s) pick-up is 12pm and 4pm from the island on June 10. Please plan your onward travel accordingly and inform the hotel staff/MNS facilitators a day before.

 

 

Results of Dive Against Debris 2013

Twelve divers led by Lai Chong Haur conducted a Project AWARE underwater clean up in Teluk Dalam, Pulau Perhentian Besar on 2nd of June 2013.  The survey took about half an hour in 5-8 metres of water resulting in 8.75 kilogrammes of debris collected. Please click here for a breakdown of the debris.

WOD: Pulau Perhentian 2013

Dates: June 1—4 (Sat—Tues)
Pre-trip briefing & full payment due: 15 May (Wed) at 7pm, MNS HQ Auditorium KL
Boat leaves from: Kuala Besut Jetty 10am (June 1); Arwana Jetty 12pm/4pm (June 4).

Join the Marine Group (Selangor Branch) to celebrate an early World Oceans Day (WOD) at Pulau Perhentian Besar!! Open to all MNS members and the public (joining fee applies). We’ll stay at Bayu Dive Lodge and snorkel/dive with Alu Alu Divers/SCUBA Schools International (SSI).

Click here to read about our WOD event last year.

Snorkel Diver course (Package 1): Are you comfortable in the water? Can you swim proficiently without the aid of a life vest? If yes, then this course will teach you how to snorkel and duck dive properly without harming yourself and the marine environment.

Day 1: Academic – Introduction to Snorkelling and Marine Life I.D.
Day 2: Confined water skills training and Marine Life I.D.
Day 3: Snorkel training
and completion of course
Day 4: Free and easy
Cost: RM795/adult and RM398/child 8—12 years old includes return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, course fee, *MNS sessions, Marine Park conservation fee and a nominal donation to the marine group fund.

Testimonial by Mary Chan, snorkel diver 2012: “I took the course even though I have snorkeled hundreds of times before! No regrets though; it was good to go through a systematic snorkeling course as they not only teach you the basics (which, of course, I already know) but also the safety and ecological side of being in the sea.” 

PACKAGE 2: Ecological Diver course

Open Water divers will learn two specialty courses – Perfect Buoyancy (how to hover with correct finning techniques) and Underwater Naturalist (identify marine life).

Day 1: Academics/Briefing
Day 2: Perfect Buoyancy (PB) module + Reef clean up (ecological module)
Day 3: PB dive/underwater naturalist and completion of course.
Day 4: Free & easy
Cost: RM1,230/pax includes return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, course fee, *MNS sessions, Marine Park conservation fee and a nominal donation to the marine group fund.

Testimonial by Valle Sinniah, ecological diver 2012: “I signed up for this course mainly because I wanted to improve my buoyancy. Instead I got more than I hoped for. I learnt about fish, coral and other marine life and at the same time an opportunity to contribute something back to the reef.” 

PACKAGE 3: Fun Dives

Six day dives with free equipment rental. Additional day dives are RM60/dive and night dives are RM90/dive.

Cost: RM850/pax includes return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, *MNS sessions, Marine Park conservation fee and a nominal donation to the marine group fund.

Testimonial by Jelli B., fun diver 2012: “We learned from each other as well as about each other, for example, a talented artist and a passionate beach-comber (who enthusiastically led the group on a beach-combing night-walk along the tide-receded beach).”

NEW PACKAGE 4: Family Members

For accompanying family members (non-divers/snorkellers) of participants taking up at least one of Package(s) 1-3.
Cost: RM550/pax includes return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, *MNS sessions, Marine Park conservation fee and a nominal donation to the marine group fund.

*MNS sessions consist of after dinner fun activities, beach clean-up and data recording and guided low-tide beach exploration. For the low-tide walk, please bring a torchlight and wear slippers/sandals/booties.

To enquire, book/or pay: Two pax have signed up but a minimum 8 pax required to guarantee trip. Deposit RM250 to book your place. If trip is cancelled, we will refund your deposit. Please e-mail H.Y. Leong at mnsmarinegroup-perhentian(at)yahoo(dot)com for bank-in instructions.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1) An adult must accompany all children under 21 years old
2) For non-MNS participants, please add RM70 for one-year MNS membership or for families (parents and children up to 18 years old) add RM80.
3) We find roommates for those travelling solo.
4) You can also make full payment at the pre-trip briefing but please bring exact change.
5) Every participant must sign a waiver of liability form; parents can sign on behalf of children under 21 years old.
6) Participants who complete the courses will receive a SSI certification card.
7) Transportation to/fro Kuala Besut is on your own. See below for options and speedboat departure time.
8) Divers, please bring your dive card! If flying, divers are advised to wait a minimum 24 hours after the last dive before boarding a plane.

How to get to Kuala Besut: 

Car-pooling arrangements can be made at the pre-trip briefing. Please offer to share travel expenses and driving duties.

Flight: Air Asia / Fire Fly / Malaysia Airlines to Kota Bharu, taxi/van to Kuala Besut. Pre-arrange with other participants so you can split the taxi fare.

KTM Train: Due to early morning boat transfer, you’ll have to overnight in Kota Bharu first. Check KTM’s website.

Bus: Long-distance buses serve Kota Bharu. Check with your nearest bus station.

Speedboat Departures

Boat transfer is included in the cost and is about from half hour to 45-minutes depending on the tide, and is likely to be bumpy. We will be dropped off at the Arwana jetty, and it’s a 500m walk to Bayu Dive Lodge.

Besut Jetty: Please arrive at the jetty by 10am on June 1 and congregate in the seating area next to the Marine Park office where you will meet our event volunteers/facilitators: Lai Chong Haur and Siva Prakash.

Arwana Jetty: Boat(s) pick-up is 12pm and 4pm from the island on June 4. Please plan your onward travel accordingly.

Celebrating World Oceans Day at Perhentian

Main story by JelliButz
Photos by JelliButz, W.L. Wong, H.Y. Leong and Samuel Beer

Finally, after a 10-hour car ride and 30 minutes on a speedboat, we finally landed on Pulau Perhentian Besar. What a welcoming sight it was!

Organised by MNS Marine SIG (Selangor Branch), this annual dive-snorkel-beach clean-up (June 2—5) is one activity I finally got to participate in. Organisers Hon Yuen and Wee Liem got down to the business of settling us in. A small team we were, just the six of us, a cozy bunch.

Samuel Beer P1000953

After lunch, each of us got into our respective modules, be it the snorkelers or the divers. I got drawn in with a group of leisure divers and off I went for my first dive on the very same day. The abundance of marine life in pristine waters literally took my breath away! It was a different world altogether, with fishes and corals right before my eyes, within an arm’s length away.

Being the sole leisure diver in the group did not give me immunity from the assignment given by our organisers – to identify what marine life we had seen and to present to the group. 

It was a night of discovery. We learned from each other as well as about each other, for example, a talented artist and a passionate beach-comber (who enthusiastically led the group on a beach-combing night-walk along the tide-receded beach).

To celebrate World Oceans Day (June 8), both Marine SIG and Alu Alu Divers (and the staff and guests of Bayu Dive Lodge) participated in clean-ups over two days.

We were briefed on the do’s and don’ts of the reef-dive clean up initiated by the dive centre.

It was another first for me. We came up with numerous plastic bottles, aluminum/tin cans, fan belts, polystyrene, a kettle, a pot, etc from the sea. It was heart-wrenching to find such rubbish in these pristine waters in a protected marine park.

The beach clean-up by Marine SIG was another eye-opener. The beach was systematically measured into 100 10-metre wide transects, and we collected and logged the rubbish in 30 randomly selected transects. This technique was based on a system by Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) to determine an index for the beach cleanliness.

It was another heart-wrenching sight to see the kind of rubbish we recorded, amongst many – baby diapers, cigarettes butts, cans, plastics, etc.

Though we were disgusted with the apathy of many beach-goers, it is heartening to know that there will be a group of eco volunteers who are willing to put aside their time for a clean-up.

Time zipped by too fast, and it was time for us to be at the jetty again for the boat back to the mainland. The weekend had been an eye-opener to us all; not forgetting the great camaraderie that would go a long way in years to come.

Now, let’s hear what the three course participants had to say about their experiences:

Photo by W.L Wong DSC_7599

L to R: Valle, Steven, Mary – W.L. Wong

 

Mary Chan, SSI Snorkel Diver: I wanted to join the trip, but the only non-dive package available was the Snorkel Diver course. I took the course even though I have snorkeled hundreds of times before! No regrets though; it was good to go through a systematic snorkeling course as they not only teach you the basics (which, of course, I already know) but also the safety and ecological side of being in the sea.

On the practical side, I got to skin dive a lot (for a better view of corals and fish). That was some challenge! How deep can you go?! And how long can you hold your breath for?!

I had expected a lot of other MNS members to come for this trip, but there were only four participants and two volunteer organisers. We had the chance to get to know each other much better this way! I’m definitely very glad that I joined this trip.

Photo by H.Y. Leong IMG_2026

Getting ready for skills training with Colin Von Klingeren (centre) – H.Y. Leong

Steven Lim, SSI Snorkel Diver: This was a good opportunity for me to give my support (to the environment) and at the same time learn a new skill. After all, how hard can a snorkelling course be? I learnt later that it wasn’t as simple as swimming with a life jacket and doing a theory test. It required swimming in open water and diving into the sea without wearing a life jacket!

For two days we went through our theory lesson and snorkel practical in a confined water area near the dive centre. We practiced the kick, the method to dive into the water and the proper way of clearing the snorkel after submerging. It was a mixture of fear, fun and excitement.

However, my fear of deep water did not vanish with these newly learnt skills. Fortunately my instructor Colin understood my concern and we started our “experiment” – swimming in shallow water to build up my confidence, and it paid off! The next thing I knew, I was swimming in open water without a life jacket. It was a great relief and a happy moment.

Valle Sinniah, SSI Ecological Diver: I signed up for this course mainly because I wanted to improve my buoyancy. Instead I got more than I hoped for. I learnt about fish, coral and other marine life and at the same time an opportunity to contribute something back to the reef. It is a well-known fact that most dive sites in Malaysia show significant reef and ecosystem degradation. In that sense, the course has thought me the importance of being not only a better diver but also a responsible and caring one.

I had to complete the Perfect Buoyancy and Underwater Naturalist specialty courses.

The Perfect Buoyancy specialty course helped me to sharpen my skills in hovering and streamlining with emphasis on the finning technique and the Underwater Naturalist specialty course thought me to identify more of the many different species of marine life found.

As part of the course I must also participate in one clean up dive which was so much fun. And I learnt another important lesson – ‘respect and stay close to your buddy’.

Loh Wan Yeng Perhentian 2012 - 369 High Res

Beach clean up volunteers from Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. – Steven Lim

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOD: Pulau Perhentian 2012

Dates: June 2—5 (Sat—Tues); New student divers: June 2—7 (Sat—Thurs)
Payment due: 14 May (Mon)
Pre-trip briefing: 23 May (Wed) at 7pm, MNS HQ Auditorium (KL)
Trip starts from: 2 June at 10am, Kuala Besut Jetty

The Marine Group (Selangor Branch) is having a double event at Pulau Perhentian Besar to celebrate Dive in to Earth Day and World Oceans Day.  Open to all MNS branches; we are staying at Bayu Dive Lodge, and snorkeling and diving with SCUBA Schools International at Alu Alu Divers, Teluk Dalam, Perhentian Besar.

All packages include return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, *MNS sessions, Marine Park’s conservation fee, insurance fee, marine group fund, and course fee EXCEPT for Package 2 (5 nights accom) and Package 5 (no course fee).

*MNS sessions are open to both snorkelers and divers and include a beach clean-up and data recording, low-tide beach exploration and after dinner activities.

PACKAGE 1: SSI Snorkel Diver course (June 2—5)


In the past we had the Marine-friendly Snorkelling Programme. This time, we are upgrading to certification level provided by SSI.

Day 1: Academic – Introduction to Snorkelling and Marine Life ID
Day 2: Confined water skills training and Marine Life ID
Day 3: Snorkel training
Day 4: Snorkel training and completion of course
Cost:
 RM795/adult and RM398/child 12 years old or below.
Minimum age: 8 years old.

PACKAGE 2: Open Water (OW) combined with Ecological Diver course (June 2—7)


For members new to diving with a nature perspective; after completing open water, you will stay back to continue Perfect Buoyancy (how to hover with correct finning techniques) and Underwater Naturalist (identify marine life species).

Day 1: OW academic
Day 2: OW confined water skills training
Day 3: Training dives, final exam on academic
Day 4: Training dives and completion of OW course. Start Eco Diver
Day 5: Eco Diver
Day 6: Eco Diver/Completion of course
Cost: RM2,190/pax
Minimum age: 15 years old.

PACKAGE 3: SSI Advanced Adventurer (June 2—5)


More info: http://www.divessi.com/aa
Day 1: Free and Easy – no dive
Day 2: 2 adventure dives
Day 3: 2 adventure dives
Day 4: 1 adventure dive/completion of course
Cost: RM1,295/pax

PACKAGE 4: SSI Ecological Diver course (June 2—5)


For OW divers, this is a new course being offered, combining two specialty courses – Perfect Buoyancy and Underwater Naturalist.

Day 1: Free and Easy – no dive
Day 2: Start Eco Diver
Day 3: Eco Diver
Day 4: Eco Diver/Completion of course
Cost: RM1,230/pax

PACKAGE 5: Fun Dives (June 2—5)

For members with a certified dive card, 6 day dives with free equipment rental.
Additional day dive is RM60/dive and night dive is RM90/dive.
Cost: RM850/pax

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1) An adult must accompany all children under 21 years old
2) For non-MNS individuals, please add RM70 for one-year MNS membership or for non-MNS families (parents and children up to 18 years old) add RM80.
3) Confirmation is based on a first come first fully paid basis. If you are an individual, we will find a roommate or two for you.
4) For PADI OW divers: Both PADI and SSI are similar in terms of skills set and recognized globally. You can take the SSI Advanced Adventurer (equivalent to PADI Advanced OW) and then take the next PADI course i.e. PADI Rescue.
5) Every participant who completes a snorkel diver or dive course will receive a certification card from SSI.
6) Transportation to/fro Kuala Besut is on your own. See below for transport suggestions and speedboat departures.

To BOOK with PAYMENT: contact Gary Phong garyphong@netscape.net or by mobile phone: 013-3836288.

For ENQUIRIES only: contact HonYuen at mnsmarinegroup-perhentian@yahoo.com.

Transport Suggestions:
How to get to Kuala Besut
Transportation is at your own cost to/fro Kuala Besut. Here are some options for you. Be sure to book early as flight prices increases closer to the date.

Car-pooling: If you are driving and want passengers, arrangements can be made after we conclude the pre-trip briefing. Please offer to share travel expenses and driving duties.

Flight: Air Asia / Fire Fly / Malaysia Airlines to Kota Bharu, taxi/van to Kuala Besut. Divers are advised to wait a minimum 24 hours after the last dive before taking a flight.

KTM Train: Due to early morning boat transfer, you can’t take this option unless you overnight in Kota Bharu, but you should have enough time to take the overnight train back to Sentral KL. Check KTM’s website for other destinations.

Bus: Long-distance buses serve Kota Bharu. Check with your nearest bus station.

If you wish to overnight in Kota Bharu before or after Perhentian, there’s a Hotel Politan conveniently located in town on Jalan Doktor, right in front of the taxi terminal and a 2-minute walk to the long distance bus terminal. One of the facilitators will be staying the night before the trip here so you can share a taxi to Kuala Besut instead of hiring one on your own.

Speedboat Departures

Boat transfer is included in the cost and is about 45-minutes long, and is likely to be bumpy. We will be dropped off at the Arwana jetty, then a short 500m walk to Bayu Dive Lodge where we will stay until June 5, but for students taking the OW-Ecological Diver course, you will stay on until June 7.

Besut Jetty: Please arrive at the jetty by 10am on June 2. Boats will depart once filled with passengers.

Arwana Jetty: Boat(s) pick-up is 4pm from the island on June 5 and June 7. Please plan your onward travel accordingly.