Diving @Pulau Satang, Aquabase Kuching

After purchasing my flight ticket 3 months before my travel date, I already anticipate for a diving experience at Pulau Satang. This island is not famous to anyone knowings. However, I would like to try their sea over here. This diving activities are operated by Aquabase Kuching which is located inside the Damai Puri Resort & Spa. They just opened for a year and operated by a Japanese boss. 

The price of the diving are RM300 for 2 dives and RM350 for 3 dives. I opted for 2 dives only because I do not want to left my sister alone for too long since she does not want to dive or snorkel on that day. The instructor for that day was a old Chinese lady who is known as Ms Eng. She is a very annoying person because she kept forcing me to rent a dive computer. It was just a normal dive and not even a wreck dive or night dive. I have been to so many dives and no dive center would make dive computer as a compulsory equipment in a simple dive like this. Oh ya, the price does not include equipment. The equipment itself has cost me an additional RM160 excluding the dive computer. While my sister who is coming along in the boat was charged RM50. Basically everything is chargeable by this dive center. The package does not include food but does include mineral water. Unfortunately, the lady claimed that she was too excited to bring us around and forgot to buy water and offer me the dive computer for free. Not the dive computer again??? Come on!!! How can you dive and does not have a water to drink? Is she a real experience instructor? Diving will cause more dehydration than swimming and she provide no water to us. In the end, I forced her to buy from the hotel which cost her RM8.00/bottle. After that, she started to mumble that it was too expensive and all is from her own money, not claimable. In my mind, I thought..."Like I care."

Off we go with a 20 minutes boat ride and we will see the Pulau Satang Besar on our right. It is not a big dive boat like I used to have at Sipadan Dive and Krabi Dive.
While on the left is the Pulau Satang Kecil. The sea water is so clear and very beautiful. I am really expecting a good scenery in the sea today.
Off I go checking out their coral here and some ikan bilis.
This coral bed is so amazing.
A closer look...what does it look to you?
Okay, here is a larger fish.
More corals...
Still corals!!!
Corals again??? Where are the fishes???
Okay, I am getting fed up after approximately 10 minutes dive. The corals are not beautiful and as you all can see the corals here. Looks dead! Not much fishes habitat at this area too. I signaled my instructor to take me to see a better coral and fishes. She give me the "I don't know" sign. LOL
Never mind, I will just give myself a tour. From 8 meters deep, I went to the depth of 12 meters. All I can see is more rocks and one or two fishes in every 1 meter radius. This is not good. So I thought I have to went deeper to see other types of fishes maybe but all I can see is a wide piece of sand desert under the sea. It is like a dead city. No fish no coral but just the sands. Oh my god, that's horrible!
I can't stand it and I slowly floated up to the surface of the sea. She came along a while after that thought I lost my buoyancy. Without any hesitation, I blasted her that on how ridiculous the dive spot you have taken me. She claimed that this is how it is like to dive in Kuching. I mean seriously? What is the point you opened a dive center then? Just to make one time deal? Look at the picture above...because the instructor and the boatman has no knowledge of any dive spots, so we are moving from one spot to another spot like that. Pretty pathetic experience I would say and they charged too expensive if that is the inexperience service that they provide.
So I moved to 3 different spots and I am setting my expectation to the lowest it can be. Their corals here are at the depth of 8 meters and above. Anything below 8 meters are just sea desert. As you can see the corals are those rock type and hardly to see some soft type of corals around. My experience told me that this spot has been used as fishing spot which most fishes has been drawn away since most of their habitats were destroyed. I can see some fishing net stuck at the bottom of the coral. Most likely cut by the fishermen after their net caught the corals when they were fishing.
After a long journey, finally I saw a palm size coral which is the favorite home for the clown fish. I really like these fishes because they are photogenic. They love to swim in front of my camera. Anyway, this is really a sad case. Large blue green sea with clear water but was destroyed. They brought me to the fishing spot instead of dive spot OR the dive spots are not reserved and some selfish fishermen have destroyed them.
This is the dive center and all their equipment are pretty new. Sadly, they hired a naggy and inexperience instructor/dive master. She has no idea where to dive and all she cares is just hope that the divers she brought under her care are safe and sound. She just do not hope any accident happens. Seriously, we are not there to be just safe and sound. We are there to be impressed with their sea nature. So we had a totally different objective which was ruining the whole trip. I only managed one dive in the end because I already lost hope with their service and capability. She had no intention to refund or whatsoever compensation to us. All she said was our "nasib tak baik" which means we have no luck because she claimed that she dived the day before for 5 hours and the corals are beautiful with lots of beautiful fishes. I wonder how on earth the fishes and corals will moved away in a night. Terrible experience and avoid to use this dive center at all cost. There is another dive center which is opened by the locals in Kuching but I do not know how great he is yet or maybe is the same.
Total Damage: RM510.00
Freakout Level: 1/5
Service: 0/5
Recommended?: Hell No!!!

Tips: One thing I learned from this expensive experience was how to identify a good dive center. Ask the dive master/instructor, what kind of sea creatures that we will be expecting in the sea? Make them to name them. If they can name some unique name such as seahorses, sea turtles, Moray Eel or others...this dive center can be trusted a little because it shows that they know where is the dive spot.

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