This was my first time doing a live-on-board (LOB) dive trip, where instead of staying in a resort, I stayed on board a boat for the entirety of the trip.
The LOB was in the vicinity of Kuantan and Tioman – we took a bus up to Mersing where we hopped onto our boat and into our cabin. I was diving once again with P, and luckily she had done a similar dive before, because once they assigned the rooms, homegirl zoomed her way down there and booked us both the bottom bunks in a 4-bedroom hole.
And when I say ‘hole’, I mean hole. The room is exactly wide enough for 2 bunkbeds side by side, and they didn’t even bother with a ladder for the bed because the wall next to it is close enough to boost yourself up. And it was imperative we sleep on the bottom bunk because there was more headspace on the bottom and the aircon in the room was blowing directly at the top bunks, brr.
You’re definitely not looking for comfort when you stay on these boats! Unlike my nice boat on my Halong Bay trip, this boat was leaning towards the grotty side of things. We had fresh water for showers and drinking, but when the boat stopped and the engine wasn’t running, the toilets didn’t flush so man things sure stank when we weren’t moving!
It’s so small I didn’t even manage to get a picture of the room! But on the bright side, because you’ll spend most of your time diving and napping on deck, you’ll only squeeze into your room late at night so don’t worry about it!
Saw lots of moray eels on this trip and a sea snake swam realllllly up close to us, but no big creatures like whales, sharks or turtles, and the night dive was quite a bust because of the lousy weather! It was kinda choppy and stormy and we landed in the wrong area (sandy bed, no coral), and while the water was warm, getting back up on the boat was near impossible as we hung on to the dive lines for dear live and couldn’t even swim to the boat because of the waves; you kinda just had to float over and the guys would haul you onto deck.
But overall it was an interesting experience! There’s definitely something great about not having to take an hour’s boat ride just to get to your destination – you don’t have to lug your stuff anywhere, you just suit up and pop in the water… and you’re there! I think if the boat was just a little bit more comfortable, everything would be perfect, so here’s to more LOBs in future! I really want to do one to the Raja Islands some day!
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