On 11th July 2012 took AirAsia flight from LCCT KLIA to Banda Aceh. The time was 10.45am. Meet up with Mr Steffan or Pak Tua at the gate. Arrived at Banda Aceh around 12.30noon. Had to wait for 2 other frenz from Penang. They taken the firefly. Never met this 2 before. Only chit chat thru email. Told them that i will be waiting them at the arrival gate entrance. While waiting for them, me and Paktua talked about how he opened his dive shop at Pulau Weh. How he handled the peoples perception towards aceh and the unstable condition of the occasionally tremors. Around 2.30pm they arrived. We introduced each other briefly who was Shah and Ajoy and we headed our way to the car that was waiting for us. A few minutes later we arrived at the Ulee lhee Jetty of Banda Aceh. we then had to take a fast ferry to pulau Weh (IDR65k). The fast ferry only available at 8am and 4pm daily. So our ferry departed at 4pm. An hour later we arrived at balohan jetty. We took a taxi van. We were joined together with a Korean Lady Name Nusia. She stayed next to our guesthouse. We stopped at Sabang for a late lunch. Ate bakso (IDR28k). Then we move on to the paktua’s place (steffanseasport). Around 6.30pm finally we made it to the guesthouse. The view was breathtaking. My room was 2 bedded. I stayed alone since one of my fren had to cancel her trip with us. We then had our dinner at the next door restaurant where Nusia stayed.The restaurant service was pretty slow. We only had mie goreng (packet noodle mix with vege = IDR15k). We went to sleep early that night cause our 1st dive the next day will be at 9am.
12th July 12 (Thursday)
I woke up early at 5am local time. I look outside my window whether the sun already rise or not. It seemed calmed and so i decided to go out and have a rest at the front lawn bench facing toward the sea. The sea breeze really made me feel relax and stress free. Later on the 2 guys woke up and joined me at the bench. We talked and get to know each other much better. Then pak tua woke up and joined us. He then offered to show his room on the 1st floor. He had a personal touch to his guesthouse and his own rooms. For breakfast we ordered with his staff to help us buy at the local stalls. After breakfast we started to prepare for diving. 9am we started to move.
1st dive West Rubiah P.Weh
bottom time: 52min
Marines: frogfish, leafy scorpion fish, lots of garden eel at the sandy bottom.filefish, Ribbon Eel, Spotted Travelly. The place was a slope then sandy bottom. Not that many nudibranch. Common were from Phyllidiidae family.
Remark: We entered the water maintaining the reef on the left side. We exit the water near to the jetty of rubiah island.
2nd Dive West Seulako P.Weh
bottom time: 44min
Marines: Ribbon eel, Scorpion fish, Lion fishes, puffer fish, trumpet fish, angel fish, Octopus.
Remark: we enter near the center of Seulako island and then we maintain the reef on the left. About 27min bottom time we were guided to a little cave. Under it we found pair of ribbon eel.
3rd Dive East Seuloka P.weh
Bottom time: 38min
marines: ribbon eel, morray eel,shrimp, pipefish. nudibranch from the family glossodoris.
Remark: We enter from the east at the middle of Seulako island. we follow the current maintaining the reef on the left. Shah had difficulty during the dive and both of them tried to fight the current. The current was not that strong. We exit near a big giant hard coral looks like a mushroom from the side. i still had 100bar of air but i decided to ditch the dive since i saw Shah dont look that ok during the dive. Dont want everyone waiting too long on the boat. Over here in weh the style is open the BCD on the surface of the water and hand it to the boatman.
13th July 2012 Friday.
It is a custom for Banda aceh people to stop working and no water activities during the Friday prayer. They stop from 10am till 4pm. So we decided to have no dives on that day. Instead we planned to have a trip round the island of Weh. Took us the whole day to venture aorund the island. Along with us on the trip was Nusia and another new fren from US Katie. We went to the KM Nol, waterfall, mini volcano, Sumur tiga and Anoi Itam. Rent driver and car the wholeday cost IDR500k(IDR100k perperson).
14th July 2012 saturday
4th Dive Batee tokong P. Weh
bottom time: 48min
Marines: Lobsters, Turtle, octopus and more morrays and ribbon eels. Whitetip and blacktip sharks.
Remark: we entered negative entry. Remain the reef on the right. Near to the edge of the reef on the north side , we hit with a little bit strong current. Where we saw a big lobster. I signal Ajoy to move in between rocks to hide from the currents. This time Katie came along with us in the dive.
5th Dive Arus Palee p.Weh
Bottom time: 60min
Marine: Morray Eels, Ribbon Eels, Oriental Sweetlips, Honeycomb Giant eels, Giant Morray Eels out fm its nest (scarry), Cleaner shrimp,
Remark: i exceeded the safety stop more than 3min. The view was undescribable. The school Giant Spotted travelly was swimming around me, with blue fussilier together in a school trying to get away from the travelly and then with a lonely baracuda swimming close by. Lucky it didn’t attack me. The viz was so clear crystal.
6th Dive Underwater Hotspring P.Weh
Bottom time: 47min
marine: Spotted Puffer fish
Remark: This is an underwater hotspring with bubbles coming out from underneath the sand. Very shallow diving. The viz was not that clear. Need to fin properly in order to avoid sand storm. I could feel the sand a little bit warm and the air on the surface was smelled like a bad egg. Surprise to see there were still a few coral fishes around the hot bubble. We were happy with this one cranky puffer fish which seemed to be unafraid with the divers. It chase any diver nearby and try to bite on the diver but it was not any harm to any of us. it was just trying to scare us away from its home. Quite cute though. Tried to get a nice and clear pic with the AIRASIA LOGO “I AM HERE!”
7th Dive the Canyon P.Weh
Bottom time: 48min
Marine: Only coral fishes. No pelagic. Many Giant Seafan at depth more than 25m.
Remark: Descend to a shallow depth at 10m with rocks formation and then head 240N straight. Found 2 pinnacle. I look out to the deep. Was told that a few sightings of Mola-mola(sunfish) back in march. Doubt could be seen during this month since the water was not that cold. The viz was a little bit poor. I guess maybe because of the shadow from the cliff of the Pulau Weh. The sun was still not that high to give better light rays to the pinnacle. Best to dive starting from 11am onwards. We went aorund the pinnacle instead of moving like a formation of no 8. This was because there was no strong current at all. Lucky me and Shah decided to add another additional dive that day.
On 15th July 2pm we said goodbye to Pak Tua (mr Steffan) and headed off to Banda Aceh by fast ferry IDR75k (Economy). We stayed at Hotel Medan at the center of Banda Aceh (IDR185k pernite exclude breakfast). For tour trip around the Banda Aceh famous site such as the tsunami museum, The Baiturrahman Mosque, The Kapal Apung, and other famous site , and also for booking any hotel at banda aceh, can go through Pak Is at +6281269426564. As for round trip around Pulau Weh can contact with Mr Rijal at +6285260555300.
Budget Flight from Penang or KLIA
Airasia.com & http://www.fireflyz.com.my
Hotel bookings and round trip tour of Banda Aceh and ferry information
Pak Is Hp: +6281269426564
Lodging bookings and round trip tour of Pulau Weh and ferry information
Mr Rijal hp:+6285260555300