Thursday, 22 January 2009

Pulau Weh 2009

Date: 22 Jan 09 - 28 Jan 09
Location: Pulau Weh, Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia

Pulau Weh is a small active volcanic island to the northwest of Sumatra. It was originally connected to the Sumatran mainland and became separated by sea after the volcano's last eruption in the Pleistocene era.[1] The island is situated in the Andaman Sea. The largest city on the island, Sabang, is the westernmost outpost of Indonesia.
The island is known for its ecosystem; the Indonesian government has declared 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi) of inland and sea around the island as a wildlife protection area. A rare megamouth shark species was found on shore and the island is the only habitat for the threatened toad, Bufo valhallae (genus Bufo). Coral reef areas around the island are known for their large variety of fish species.
Weh Island is located in the Andaman Sea, where two groups of islands, the Nicobar Islands and Andaman Islands, are scattered in one line from Sumatra to the north up to the Burma plate. The Andaman Sea lies on an active moving small tectonic plate (microplate). A complex geological fault system and volcanic arc islands have been created along the length of the sea by the movement of the microplate.
There are four islets surrounding Weh Island: Klah, Rubiah, Seulako, and Rondo. Among those, Rubiah is well known for diving tourism, because of its coral reefs. When traveling to Saudi Arabia was only possible by sea, Rubiah was used as a place of quarantine for Indonesian Muslims during the Hajj pilgrimage season.

Dive information
Accessibility to dive sites: 8.8
Marine Animal Density: 7.5
Dive site terrain Quality: 8.8
Marine Animal Diversity: 7.8
Visibility: 6.8
Overall Score: 8.0

No. of dives: 11
Entry: Boat
Difficulty: OW - AOW
Dive Sites: Fringing reefs/Wall/Deep/Wreck

Favorite dive sites:
- Pantee Peunateung
- Canyon
- Batee Tokong
- Sea garden

Camera: Fujifilm FinePix F100 fd
Underwater casing: Fuji WP-FXF100 Underwater Housing
Underwater strobe: Fantasea Cool Flash Nano
Post editing: PS CS3
** Special Thanks to KL Tan who was generous enough to lend me her Fuji F100fd camera + underwater casing. My old friend the Canon Powershot A80 passed away 2 weeks before this trip, I was heart broken….. RIP my dear friend.

Firefly: Penang-Banda Aceh-Penang - RM390.00
Dive cost - 11 dives: RM695.00
Food, accommodation, transport, tax, etc: RM410.00
** We saved a lot on accommodation, coz the beach hut cost around RM15/night. … food price was reasonable, we had all our meals on Iboih beach at “MamaMia”, run by an elderly couple who cooks splendid Acehnese dishes. Dinner was especially warm every night with the company of other divers and travelers, exchanging stories and experiences made dinner a time to look forward everyday…

Beach huts at Ibioh Beach – Fatimah’s beach huts, run by Mamamia’s sister; Fatimah
Guest house at Banda Aceh – Hotel Prapat , run by local Hakka Chinese, they speak Hakka, Hokkien(like Penang) and Mandarin, they are very friendly and helpful...
Dive center – Rubiah Divers, run by the legendary Pak Dodent and sons. Pak Dodent is the founder of scuba diving at Pulau Weh and has been diving there since 1987.