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Scuba Diving in Perhentian, Malaysia
Dive Site: Batu Nisan (Tombstone)
Location: Perhentian, Malaysia
Description: Reef reached by boat
Depth: 5 - 12 metres + (15 - 40 feet)
Visibility: 15 metres (50 feet)
This is one of those 'Sunday' dives, where you can flop off the boat after breakfast, and just go cruisin'. A short boat ride across the straits between Besar to Kecil, edging on the corner of a large sweeping sandy bay containing a Kecil village, the reef of hard and soft corals gradually slopes away to pure white sand.
One of the best places to stay on this dive is the area that borders the sand, at a depth of 12m. A long bottom time could be had. As it's quite sheltered and shallow, the visibility can be particularly good - up to 25m. The large variety of coral structures (brain, leaf, lobe, staghorn) provides homes for numerous fish and sessile marine species. It was like diving an aquarium, as many of the Malaysian species were featured. Hard corals have Christmas tree worms, and many host brilliantly coloured blue clams, both ideal for macro photography with good buoyancy. This site is ideal for training skills and marine identification as the coral heads stretch from around 4-5m to approximately 10-12m.
At the sandy areas are sightings of blue spotted rays, in addition to the morays amongst the corals. The large acropora coral formations play host to those more timid creatures, soldierfish and big eye. Also, in some of the enclaves copper sweepers congregate in dense numbers. The latter part of the dive, from southwest to northeast, a wall of hard coral occurs. Look out for titan triggerfish, which seem to favour this area. On one such occasion, we spotted a titan swimming along carrying a black sea urchin in its beak!
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