So, you’re a scuba diver, but you’re married and with kids in tow. You’d like to dive, but it’s difficult to find a place that offers loads of fun to both divers and non-divers, so you ended up at home most of the time while the rest goes on diving trip everywhere. Listen up, buddies! If you’re like me; would like to dive but it’s inconvenient for you to just ditch your family, this is just the thing that you need.
I just found the dive centre that caters to both divers and non-divers divers alike; the Big Blue World DC, Terengganu. They usually organized scuba diving and freediving trips in Bidong and neighbouring islands around it. Located just about 5 minutes walk from Merang Waterfront Jetty, this is the one DC that I’ll recommend. One thing I would like to highlight about this dive centre is that apart from accomodating non-divers, they are special needs and differently-abled individuals friendly as well. And another brownie point? Big Blue World DC is pretty much flexible can customise trips for you upon request; eg- private weekday group trips. Now, that’s really cool, isn’t it?
I did 6 dives with Big Blue World DC and explored plenty of dive sites around Pulau Bidong&Merang areas. Here are some dive sites that we explored over the weekend;
-Bidong Underwater Gallery
-UMT Christmas Ghost Wreck
-Pulau Yu Kecil
So, was it a yay or a nay? I must say that it’s really exciting. We did plenty of deep dive and drift dive, and I can tell you that it’s definitely an unforgettable adventure. But before I share with you my adventures, here’s sharing with you all about the Big Blue World DC first, in case you are curious about their facilities.First of all, it’s not exactly a high-end resort but more to a cozy place for divers to crash for the night during their diving trip. If you’re looking for some high end resort with full room service with bathtubs and jacuzzi in the room and whatnot, then forget this place. It’s not for you. If I were to describe it, I’d say it’s homey and comfy with above and beyond hospitality.
Big Blue World DC have 4 contena cabins turned into cozy rooms. These rooms can accommodate up to 3 pax each and each rooms are well equipped with clean bathroom+hot water shower and air cond. And yes, for all of you social media addicts out there, the DC does offer free WiFi, so no worries about being disconnected from the rest of the world during your trip.
The rooms are clean and cozy. Great for a family of 3 or a group of 3 each. My room was equipped with 1 queen sized bed and 1 single bed.
Towels are provided, along with extensions. So yay to that.
Bathroom ensuite, with hot water shower. But as a scuba diver, I won’t exactly recommend you to shower with hot water immediately after your scuba dives. You should know better what it does to your body.
What else do they offer apart from comfortable rooms? Well, there’s common areas for you to gather and chill and kitchen where you can cook your meals.
Free flow of hot drinks and tidbits in the common area.
You are welcome to use the kitchen to cook your meals, but you are required to clean up after yourselves or cleaning fees will be imposed. It’s absolutely convenient to prepare your own meals over here, there’s stove and refrigerator and stuff here but if you’re not into preparing your own meals during your holidays or diving trips, then just walk over to the restaurant in front of the dive centre or drive to the local restaurants nearby.
There’s also BBQ pit ready should you wish to have a BBQ night party, but this have surcharge as well if I’m not mistaken.
The DC offers equipment rental, so no worries if you don’t have any scuba gears with you. But if you do have own scuba gears with you and prefers to use your own gears during your dives, you’re welcome to store your equipments in their equipment room with no extra charges.
Place to clean your equipments after your dive is also available at your disposal.
Common toilet& shower room. This is for you to shower after your diving trip and wash off all the salty sea water and the sand before going into your room.
Those who prefers a quiet and laid back place should they go diving around Bidong Island and Merang areas, then this is the place you would wanna go. Now, enough about the dive centre. Here’s sharing with you the exciting part; the diving trip itself. There’s so much to tell, but I’d start by telling you that our trip is very special, as the trip caters to scuba divers, adaptive diver and snorkelers. It’s unlike any other trips that I used to join, where they usually accommodate divers only.
Diving Day 1
Breakfast is provided on diving days to ensure you’re full of energy for your dives, and we head out with the dive centre’s van as shuttle service is provided to the jetty. There’s no need to walk or drive to the jetty on your own.
We head out at about 8.30am in the morning.
The dive centre have 2 comfortable boats that can accommodate up to 12 pax each, and they can customize diving trips according to your timing and needs.
Pictures taken while I was diving last weekend with Big Blue World DC.
Dive no: 2
Dive site: Pulau Karah
Sorry, I have to start my story with this dive site. Our first dive was at Bidong Underwater Gallery, but I have no pictures of that cuz I did not bring any camera 😭. It was an excellent dive site, by the way.
The current at Pulau Karah was mild and we were drift diving along with the current. I’ll be honest with you, being someone who dives in the lake more than anything else, I was quite terrified when I was told that the current in the sea can be quite unpredictable and we’ll most likely be drift diving throughout our trip if the current is strong.
But once I’ve jumped in and started blowing bubbles, I discovered that drifting along with the current is extremely enjoyable and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Yes. I want to drift dive again. Preferably in every dive cuz it was not only exciting but terribly relaxing as well cuz you don’t even have to fin that much.
All you need to do is just drift along together with your buddies and you practically get to see just about everything in the dive site. It pretty much feels like a free train ride in the sea. All you need is just sit tight, and just enjoy the ‘ride’ with beautiful view. We dive for almost 1hr, and I still have more than half tank left by the end of the dive, cuz it was simply energy and air efficient. It’s perfect for lazy ass diver like me.
Special thanks to our guide and Instructor Figo for introducing drifting to me. You’re right. It’s really fun. And I’d do it again in the next opportunity presented to me.
Surface interval and lunch time at Bidong Island. One thing that I commend about Big Blue World DC is that lunch meals comes in a lunchbox instead of disposable plastic containers. That’s very thoughtful and environmental friendly.
Those who wish to do some snorkeling during lunchtime can do so at the jetty. I did some snorkeling with my son at the jetty and I can assure you that the underwater view at the jetty is breathtaking, with corals and loads of friendly fishes around. We proceeded to our third dive of the day after lunch.
Dive no: 3
Dive site: UMT Christmas Ghost Wreck
I have always wanted to see sunken ship wrecks, and this time, I was privileged enough to see not only one, but two of them at the same dive site.
There are two shipwrecks at this dive site and the ships were sunk at about 24-26m. I was abit nervous about the strong current and was watching my NDL closely. I’ve done 2 dives prior to this dive and I was diving conservative this time. I didn’t want to hit my NDL as it would be nasty if I have to perform a deco stop before ending the dive cuz my air wouldn’t be enough to complete my deco stop obligation on top of the safety stop at 5m since this is already a deep dive to begin with and air consumption is definitely alot more than my previous dive, which was a drift dive. I heard divecoms beeping from other divers in the group, but I’m glad mine didn’t til the end of the dive, despite ending the dive with just 50 bar of air to spare.
The vis was excellent. I can see the entire ship, but there’s no penetration cuz I’m not a trained wreck diver and I didn’t really explore at the bottom side of it. I tried to just maintain my depth at 22m and explored the ship from that depth, but even at 22m and above, the wrecks are mesmerising. It has become a habitat to all sorts of marine creatures and schooling fishes can be seen swimming around.
The ships has also become somewhat a home for beautiful white corals. I’m no coral expert, so I’m not sure what these white corals are called, so I’d appreciate if any of you out there can ID it for me. All I know is that the wrecks gives somewhat a wintry and Christmassy feel, with snow white corals everywhere on the wrecks around alongside with the strong current and cold temperature.
I’ve seen wrecks at other sites before, but not as big and as beautiful as this one. Hopefully this will not be my last shipwreck. 🙏
Diving Day 2
Again, after breakfast and loading up our gears into the van, we were shuttled over to the jetty where the boat awaits us to bring us to the dive sites. Our location for the day; Pulau Yu Kecil and Pulau Tengkorak.
Dive no: 4
Dive site: Pulau Yu Kecil
Here’s presenting to you the mesmerising Pulau Yu Kecil. Not quite a well known or overly commercialised dive site, so the ecosystem there remains quite untouched despite having spotted some old ghost nets lying around the site.
All things considered, this is the green lungs of the sea, people. It’s a huge green garden down there. Definitely a sight for sore eyes. The current was quite strong, hence we drift dive again instead of fighting the current when we were there.
Our world on the surface of the Earth could have been like this; surrounded by beautiful greens and being nourished by green lungs. Sadly, humans are overly populated and on top of that, greed and developments cleared out whatever green land there is in exchange of lifeless concrete jungle. It’s really a wonder that the surface human still does not realize why they’re getting more and more infertile, weaker, sicker, and plagued with all sorts of diseases year after year.
Dive no: 5
Dive site: Pulau Yu Kecil
Interesting thing that happened during this dive; an encounter with a horny, sex deprived Remora fish while we were minding our own business during our safety stop. Okay, okay. Maybe the Remora fish wasn’t sex deprived or even a pervert, but it did somewhat want to hitch a free ride by trying to latch onto our buddy Mamat Samad ‘s crotch.😂🙈🙈🤦
The fish was unprovoked, mind you. It simply appeared out of nowhere and starts checking us out one by one before getting really interested in Mamat. The Remora must have detached from it’s host somewhere and mistaken our buddy for a whaleshark or something. All of us had a good laugh when we got back into the boat after ending the dive, but looking back, it was really a close call. I can’t imagine what we would do if it really latched onto Mamat’s private part. Remoras are known to suck onto it’s host like crazy and won’t let go. What would we do if that happened? This is not something we learned during our certification course. Well, at least we didn’t learn this skill in our Open Water or Advanced Open Water course. Do we learn how to detach sucking fishes in Rescue course or something?Do we pull it off and risk causing injury to our buddy? Or do we stab the Remora with a knife and consequently injure both the host and the sucker? OMG. Either way, it won’t be a good end and Mamat would probably have ended up being stitched up and had to abstain from intimate moments with his wife for months. 😨😩🙈
Moral of the story: Always wear proper, protective clothing while diving. Don’t take it for granted, thinking that you dive in warm waters and it won’t be necessary to wear protective clothing. Wearing proper clothing is not just to protect yourselves against low temperature but to protect yourselves against other elements as well. As Mamat was wearing a proper wetsuit, the Remora had difficulties latching on. Now, imagine if he was just wearing some fancy beach shorts or was diving nude? He would definitely have been a goner. 🤣
Anyway, we had a surface interval on the boat after our first and second dive of the day before heading back to Bidong Island for lunch and some snorkeling for the non divers. For those who are prone to seasickness, please pop some non-sleepy seasick pills as you would need to spend some time on the boat in between dives on the second diving day. I’d recommend you Veloxin. That’s a good one and does not make you drowsy. I was genius enough not to pop some pills in ghe morning and I ended up being miserable during my surface interval on the boat, fighting off nausea.
Dive no: 6
Dive site: Pulau Tengkorak
Our 6th and final dive was in Pulau Tengkorak. Our final dive was an adaptive dive. We dive together with an Adaptive Diver, Mastura Mahamed. She’s a Cerebral Palsy hero. Despite being differently abled and is physically challenged, she does not stop herself from doing what she wants to do. She’s a lecturer by profession, and goes around as an Adaptive Scuba Diver in her spare time- yes, this means she’s also a scuba diver. Her diving license stated that she can dive down to 12m deep with assistance of qualified Adaptive Buddies. She was assisted by Ms. Majidah and Teha last during the dive.
I have nothing but pure respect and admiration for her. If Mastura can learn how to scuba dive, so can you. How many of us are fully abled and yet keep making excuses for ourselves? I bet there are many. At the end of the day, you are your worst enemy, not someone else.Yes. Big Blue World DC does cater to special need individuals and adaptive divers. So if you need to have your dive trip customized, they are the perfect DC for you.
We ended our trip with a BBQ party once we got back from our last dive. Here’s night time at Big Blue World DC.
BBQ-ed fresh seafood for dinner with buddies on our last night there. Nope, we didn’t prep all the ingredients ourselves. The dive centre prepared it for us with just RM38 per pax. A real good deal, in my opinion.
The food was delicious and protein packed, perfect to provide nourishment for famished divers.
One for the album. Beautiful memories made during my diving trip with Big Blue World DC. It was a weekend well spent, I must say. I’ve enjoyed the dive sites that I’ve visited, and definitely will plan a trip with them again in the future. A big thank you to our guide Figo and Big Blue World DC ground and boat crew for your hospitality and service.
For more information on Big Blue World DC, please hop over to their Facebook page HERE.
Big Blue World DC
Address:125, Jalan Jetty Merang, Kampung Merang, 21010 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu