Living and Diving on a Boat

In Malaysia, Scuba Diving by Jaclynn Seah2 Comments

That's.... me!

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!

Here's the boat we lived on! There's a dining room on the main deck and the rest of the rooms are tiny little boxes below deck.

Most of my time was spent on this upper deck of the boat. No idea why everyone else liked to stay in the stuffy dining room...

Tioman from the boat! We have a little respite while watching the Search and Rescue divers do their certification swims

Our gear and tanks stowed in the back of the boat. Everytime we reached a spot, we just strapped in and jumped in the water!


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.

Well we saw lots of moray eels on this trip. Usually you just see their heads poking out of holes, but this time we managed a couple of full body shots!

Other critters on this trip: a sea snake that swam right under us, a bat fish that came THAT close (no zoom!), random nudibranch and the first time I've seen a puffed up puffer fish!

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!

Interested in more diving posts? check it out here!


  1. Let’s do a luxury boat dive trip next! I’m SO TIRED of roughing it (pre-emptive for Malapascua trip).

    1. Author

      Raja Islands!! babe we work hard for our money, and to quote “i’m too old for this shit”

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