MORE than 30 divers from the media, dive centre operators and travel agents from Malaysia and Brunei, who were invited to Sarawak Adventure Dive 2014/15 in Miri, took to the ocean yesterday to have a first-hand look at three interesting dive sites and wrecks.
The divers, who were split into three groups based on their experience and expertise in diving, prepared their equipment before adjourning to their intended dive sites.
The first group journeyed to the nearest dive site. A mere 30 minutes from the Marina Bay jetty, the Anemone Garden lies at depths ranging from zero to 10 metres deep. At the site, divers got to witness anemones and their symbiotic clown fishes, which are found in abundance.
The second group, on the other hand, headed to Belais Reef, which has a reef top of about 15 metres. Deemed a photographer’s dream, the site is an open zoo in the sea with large gorgonian fans of over four metres span spreading over a 19,000 square metre complex while Batfishes hover gleefully over outcrops whilst being serviced by an entourage of cleaner wrasse and shrimps.
Meanwhile, the third group headed out to Siwa Reef where leopard sharks and huge marble rays hung out along the lower reef slope during the day.
Tourism Malaysia’s Director of Domestic Marketing Division Datuk Musa Yusof spoke to The Brunei Timesabout his first time diving in Miri.
He said: “Miri can become a good alternative for diving compared to Sabah. Despite the fact that Sarawak is relatively new in the diving industry, the sites offer a variety of diversity and accessibility of corals and other marine life on the reefs.”
Senior Assistant Director Industry Development Division of Tourism Malaysia Hairi Mohd Yakzan, who was also diving in Miri for the first time, said that the ambiance is different from Penisular Malaysia.
He went on to say that there are more wreck dives than its West Malaysia counterpart.
“My dive in Anemone Garden was astounding as I saw 16 different types of clown fish and seven were species that were hard to find,” he said. Meanwhile, Anne from SeaMonkey Dive Centre, Selangor was impressed by the arrangements made during the dive.
The participants will be heading to Gua Niah (Niah Cave) today for caving and prawn fishing activities.
(Source: The Brunei Times, Thursday, October 2, 2014 by Rebecca Ooi)