Hello everybody from the spanky clean country of Singapore! It's been a mad couple of days since we last updated you all so here we go with another one of our updates:
Wednesday 1st August
We were up and out of the hotel early this morning as we were picked up by the dive team from Beqa Adenture Divers. Upon arrival at the dive centre we had to sign a declaration that said we were aware of the inherent dangers of diving with the worlds most dangerous sharks without a cage (heart pounding quickly as we signed our names) and then we were quickly donning our wet suites and boarding the dive boat aptly named 'Predator'. The dive equipment we were using on this dive was really good including split fin flippers making it easier to swim in the water.
The first part of the journey on the boat was pretty sedate as we travelled out along the lagoon to the opening at the sea but it was here that the gods were obviously against us for our journey out to the dive site. It was raining constantly and the nasty weather made for some huge waves as we got out into the sea. The boat was tipping all over the place, which ended up causing Kerry to be sick a number of times over the side of the boat. I don't usually get sea sick but even I was feeling a little bit queesy from the motion!
As we approached the dive site the main shark feeder 'Papa' gave us important information regarding the sharks including their behaviour patterns, how close we were going to be getting (VERY) and stipulating once again that this was a dive with the most dangerous sharks in the world WITHOUT a cage. As he was explaining this the other dive staff began throwing dead fish from three big wheelie bins at the back of the boat. As soon as the fish was hitting the water you could see the sharks thrashing about and chomping down on the meat. It was seriously like watching Jaws and I was now crapping myself! I don't usually get nervous about a lot of things and it's usually Kerry that has the panic attacks but I was now seriously wondering why I thought diving with sharks was such a great idea! Our first dive was also going to be going down to 30m (100ft), a depth that technically we're not qualified to do but seeing as there wasn't going to be much swimming around once we got down there we were allowed to go down.
Once I jumped in the water though I managed to calm myself down as I realised that the sharks that were eating the fish were only reef sharks and not likely to try and attack me. We then descended below the rather rough surface of the sea to the surprisingly calm depths below, and followed the dive masters down to the 30m mark. Once we had swam down there we all had to kneel behind a knee-high man-made coral wall. Literally one metre in front of us in a clear space was 'Papa' now opening one of the big wheelie bins that had been brought down from the boat. A huge shoal of Trevalli fish were now circling constantly around him as he hand fed them. Trevalli fish for those who don't know, are pretty huge fish at least 2 metres long and with a rather nasty looking set of teeth! Then from the murky depths in the background we caught out first glimpse of a Bull shark. Before we knew it there were now at least 5 or 6 Bull sharks within inches of us, swimming up to Papa and checking out what was being handed out. These Bull sharks were huge, at least approaching 5 metres in length and both our hearts were pumping like mad having them this close without a cage! It was then that the dive master looking after us motioned to us to swim over the wall and come closer!! We did and what an incredible experience it was to be even closer to these incredible creatures! At one point one of the Bull sharks literally swam inches above our heads with our regulator bubbles tickling the underside of her belly. It has to be pointed out at this point that Bull sharks are considered by the experts to be the most dangerous sharks in the world due to their close proximity to inhabited shorelines and the fact that the swim at fairly shallow depths unlike Tiger sharks and Great Whites who swim much further away and at much deeper depths. Despite this the dive team constantly made sure that we were safe and never did we feel like we could have been attacked. After about 10 minutes at this depth we ascended to about 10m to another coral wall and here were slightly smaller White Tip and Black Tip reef sharks. Papa hand fed these as they came up to him and as they swam off they came in really close to us. After about another 15 minutes at this depth we ascended back to the surface with huge grins on our faces although rather cold once we got back on the boat.
After about an hours rest with tea and biscuits, we changed to our second air tank and changed location to the second dive site. Before jumping into the water were given a warning by Papa that it was likely we might see a Tiger shark on this dive as a large 6 metre female nicknamed Scarface had just returned from the breeding area. For this dive we were going to have to lay down on the bottom of the sea for safety as Tiger sharks are extremely dangerous and territorial and if Scarface turned up then were going to have to wait down there until she had swam back out of the area. With this rather jolly news we jumped back into the water and descended down to 17 metres and did as instructed and layed down on the sea floor within a metre of Papa again. He again had the wheelie bin full of dead fish and again within seconds even more Bull sharks arrived on the scene, this time not just checking out what was being offered but actually taking it straight from Papas hands! Unfortunately we didn't get to see the Tiger shark however it was thrilling enough to be in the water with hige Bull sharks. After about 30 minutes ascended back to the surface, where the boat was being tossed around by the waves and we struggled back aboard. The return journey was even more choppy than coming out and Kerry was once again sick, meanwhile I got thrown to the other side of the boat as we hit one of the waves! I was starting to think that it was more dangerous being on the boat than in the water with the sharks!! Back on dry land the reality of what we had just achieved sank in and we couldn't stop grinning that we had been that close to sharks. We have paid for a DVD, that was filmed while we were down there, which shows us watching the sharks and this is being sent home as we type. Anyone who is reading this who is PADI qualified (or equivalent) then we highly reccommend doing this dive with Beqa Adventure Divers.
Thursday 2nd August
Today was spent catching the bus from Pacific Harbour back to Nadi, where we once again checked in at the Travellers Beach Resort. We spent the afternoon playing pool and Kerry kicked my butt, beating me in three games! We then went for some dinner in the evening and went to bed early for our early flight in the morning.
Friday 3rd August
Today seemed never ending.... we arrived with time to spare at Nadi airport at 6:30a.m. and proceeded to the check in counter. We were then informed that our plane had been delayed until 6:30 p.m. due to a mechanical fault. As we would have missed our connecting flight from Sydney to Singapore the airline said that we could either stay in Fiji for one more night or catch the later plane and stay in Sydney for another night. We decided to go for the later option and make the best of it by seeing Sydney again. We were both secretly thrilled by the delay as we have both missed Australia a lot and love Sydney so much. For the rest of the day we were put up in an expensive hotel in Fiji and treated to breakfast and lunch before being taken back to the airport for our evening flight. At the hotel we met a girl from Ireland called Aileen and we spent the rest of the day talking with her. In the evening we caught our flight to Sydney, arriving there at 10:30 p.m. which gave us enough time to check in to our hotel and have a shower before heading out with Aileen into the city and revisiting the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, which looked as beautiful as we remembered at night. As it was freezing we headed into the city and had a few drinks in a bar before heading back to the hotel at 4 a.m.
Saturday 4th August
We woke up and had a nice breakfast before heading to the airport with Aileen. Surprise, surprise our flight was delayed by 2 hours so we ended up with a lot of time to kill mooching around the shops with Aileen. After a couple of hours we said our goodbyes as she had to catch her flight to Bangkok but we may meet up again in a weeks time in Vietnam as we might be there at the same time. We eventually boarded our own plane where we had some more bad luck as the tv's were not working on our section of seats. Fortunately we complained and got moved to the front of the plane where enjoyed some great movies on the 'on demand entertainment system'. It was 12:10 a.m. by the time we landed in Singapore so caught a taxi and headed straight to the hotel, which turned out to be in the centre of the red light district, however our room was pretty nice even if it does have a view of asian girls selling their wares!
Sunday 5th August
First stop this morning was the hospital as a small cut on my thumb that I got from playing volleyball in Fiji has now become infected and manky. I was quickly seen to and prescribed a list of anitbiotics to take, which have already started having a good effect. By midday we were in famous Orchard street and overwhelmed by the amount of shops on offer. Singapore is literally crammed with huge shopping malls everywhere each containing hundreds of shops at discount prices. I don't particularly like shopping but even I have to admit that it's hard not to get bitten by the bug in a place like this! Singpore has only been a seperate country from Malaysia for 40 years but already it's success is evedent to see in it's immaculately tidy streets, effortlessly effecient (and inexpensive) transport system and incredible architecture. London could learn a lot from some of the ideas in place here. There is no graffitti anywhere, nor litter and even jay walking carries a hefty fine! In the evening we took a walk down to on the harbour before heading back to our hotel/brothel for some much needed sleep.
Monday 6th August
Today we headed to Bugis Street, a huge outdoor market with hundreds of shops selling cheap clothes. Kerry bought a beautiful dress and t-shirt for only a few pounds and i've been eyeing up the cheap computer game consoles! We then headed to the international railway station and purchased our ticket for tomorrow's journey to Kuala Lumpur, which cost only 10 pounds each for a 7 hour journey! We then headed across to Chinatown, where we have been looking around more of the impressive buildings and yes, even more shopping!
Tomorrow we are up early for our long train journey to Kuala Lumpur where we are staying in a swanky hotel overlooking the Patronas Towers as it is my 26th Birthday! I can't even get drunk because of the antibiotics so i might have to treat myself to a few pressies in the city if Kerry will let me! We will probably spend a few days there while we decide what our next move will be.
Hope that you are all well, sorry this update is like reading a long essay but you love it really! We will update you all again soon. Love to you all!