Favourite moments from 2019

Date December 1, 2019

What makes Pulau Hantu special? “It is an island with dive sites situated right next to a very busy city such as Singapore,” shares diver Veronica Alcantara, who did her first dive in Singapore at Pulau Hantu. “On 19 May 2018,” she remembers exactly. “I have dived at Pulau Hantu 63 times since. I haven’t dived anywhere else in Singapore except in the pool! I enjoy going to Hantu because of the wide variety of nudibranchs, and the convenience of going there. When I only have a weekend for rest and recreation, I don’t have to travel for hours to immerse myself in a beautiful sea.”

Kissing Doto sp.

Meeting two Doto nudibranchs “kissing” was Veronica’s favourite moment from 2019.

“The joy I find in potting beautiful critters is echoed in this shot of two very ‘loving’ Dotos, kissing for all the world to see… if only you care to look past two-meter visibility.”

– Veronica Alcantara

“I’ve made a lot of friends while diving at Hantu, and they’ve helped improve my diving and underwater photography skills. Hantu is a good place to practice my navigational and decision-making skills given the [low] visibility.” Of the challenges of diving at Pulau Hantu, Veronica describes, “Hantu is also a seat for dive education – from navigation, spotting, underwater photography, and basic dive training. Hantu prepares its divers for other dive sites. If you can dive safely in Hantu, you are ready to dive almost anywhere!”

Veronica Alcantara navigating the reefs of Pulau Hantu.

But what keeps her returning? “Hantu’s reefs are home to a lot of interesting creatures! Rare nudibranchs from the genus Doto can be seen here consistently! Not just by chance or luck. Its waters may not be as clear as in other places but it only adds to the mystery and the surprise!”

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Divers at Pulau Jong – one of Veronica’s dream destinations!

“I want to try Pulau Jong since I have seen a lot of awesome pictures from that place.”

– Veronica Alcantara


 

Silver moonies

Silver moonies or Silver batfish school around the pillars of the north jetty at Pulau Hantu.

“My first dive in Hantu was with the Hantu Blog in 2008.” Laval Foo was a tourist then, but he is now a volunteer dive guide with the Hantu Blog. “At that time, our dives were from a wooden bum boat without a toilet. The dive was at the jetty with a guide named Marcel. The greenish water and visibility were not compelling.”

Glossodoris

“The first nudibranch I saw was a Doriprismatica atromarginata.”

– Laval Foo

“The appreciation of diving in Singapore came only after several exposures. It was an acquired taste, the excitement didn’t grow instantly. But at that time there was a bunch of regular divers with Hantu blog that helped me to understand muck diving.”

Meeting this sea turtle during a night dive was Laval’s favourite moment from 2019.

“Nowadays, I try diving once a month. As seasons change so do the critters. Any experience is a good experience in Singapore. Be it the hydroid stings, the visibility, novice diver’s sand storms and new records of nudibranchs.”

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The reefs at Raffles Lighthouse are amongst the richest in Singapore waters.

“One site that I would like to visit again would be Raffles Lighthouse. The reef patch is quite small and the corals are healthy. Unfortunately, it is accessible by invitation only.”

– Laval Foo


 

Oceanapia sagittaria

“Sponges as beautiful and delicate as flowers.” Galen pauses to appreciate a Pink puff ball sponge.

“There’s so much to love about Hantu – every trip is an adventure, and part of that is because Hantu doesn’t give up her secrets too easily,” Hantu Blog diver Galen Mendez shares very enthusiastically! “You have to be an active participant on every dive; this means that it doesn’t matter if it’s your 5th or 500th dive at Hantu, there is always going to be something new or exciting to find.”

Hypselodoris bullocki

Encountering this Hypselodoris bullocki nudibranch was Galen’s favourite moment from 2019.

“Brought a childhood friend on a dive to Hantu and this Bullocki was his first spot – his excitement in spotting it was so rewarding.”

– Galen Mendez

“Critter-wise, coral-wise and seagrass-wise there is just so much to see; there’s so much to be mindful of. While our reefs are resilient, they need attention, awareness and protection.”

Divers chatting during surface interval

Communal wildlife interactions, above and below the surface!

Do you have a favourite moment from Pulau Hantu to share? Tell it to us in the comments below!

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