Dec 22, 2009

On my Assignment

  • 4th week of Disember
the super tiring 40km jungle ride trails

Just came back from Monsoon Ride in Semuji Agro Resort in Pahang, Malaysia.

An inaugural event that gathered almost 400 cyclist.

A pure 40 km jungle ride. The trail are tougher than anyone imagine. Cycling on roots and rocks, crossing river and swamp.. for now i am so tire to write. will upload photos later.

  • 3rd week of 2009

Kawasaki KLX 150 S

Just came back from Kawasaki KLX150 Test Ride in Bonah, Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan, Msia.
Im not writing the review now, but just as a splash of information, I think this going to be a new offroad bike that will be preferred by many.
After more than 200 km of riding (including 60 km offroad section) nothing much can be complained except hard cushion (not mean for long ride though :P) . Everything works just fine...

- light control
- very trustful brek
- suspension is playfully good
- good gear ratio/ powerful enuf for offroad
- is too good to be true...on road of offroad. tell u later!

i lost my Oakley Monster Pup at this event, not so happy about 'the way' I lose it.
Why people still have to take others' belonging if they can't buy it ?

Updates : Here is the link for the KLX250 S as were published in Utusan Msia.

Dec 18, 2009

Unplugging myself from the real world....

Hear nothing but the sounds of bubbles
I remember my first underwater breath quite vivid. It was on a calm evening where the water was so clear. After taking trial diving course-Discovery Scuba Diving (DSD), I went to Pulau Perhentian for the Panasonic Marine Conservation program back in 2008.

An anual program that already started since 2005 where they planted an artificial reefs (AR) in the marine park.
I met some very nice people from Panasonic and event member. (in fact, they are those who brought me 'underwater').

tagged in 2006, the growth is now (2009) doubles

My first diving experience wasn't a nice moment to remember because I had a serious problem in equalizing. The dive when well except for the evil pain in my right ear, with cracking noise that sound like I am bursting my eardrum everytime I go deeper. I went up with bloody mouth, in my mind "diving is nothing compare to cycling!"..leaving a big question mark on why more and more people start learning to suck those valve in their mouth?

So, I've tasted scuba diving experience at short trial dive. As a conlusion at the time, diving is not something very great to do but yet there is alot of unexplored rooms..and so, I not interested about going 'deeper' into it.

I used to dive(DSD) in Mamutik, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah as well, with Syed Rahman from Kids Scuba for his anual Scuba Rangers course. Graduating young divers from the early age of eight.

Long after, about a year if i recall correctly..during the 'days of trouble' previous DSD instructor, Lee Boon Leong from Dolphin Scuba called and offered me to take an Open Water course, in return I have to come out with an article for his dive recruitment.

"Yes I'm in, put me on the list," that was my quick answer to Lee without telling him that Im not really into diving but at least it can keep me busy with something. In my mind, i still have my bike to keep me going and trashing all the shits happen into the jungle, which it happen most of the times on the roadside.

The Open Water course in Shah Alam Panasonic Stadium's pool started and went well. After the PADI written test, we all off to the island. and It's Redang. On the 2nd of May 2009, I'm officially an Open Water diver and not to forget the rest of the Lee's students. Special thanks to Lee, Cyrena, Saiful, Seetho n Bee that makes up Dolphin Scuba, the best and most happening dive centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Dolphin Sport Adventure Dive Center (available on Facebook and www.dolphinsportadventure.

Four compulsory confine water dives (part of the course) went smooth except during the CESSA (emergency ascend) because going up and down at 12 meter deep wasn't something comfort with some sinus problem, that why I had a problem equalizing.

After my third attempt, Cyrena finally shacked my hand and gave the OK signal, meaning that I've passed the test..(when I already tasted vertigo)-situation when you have no idea which way is up and which way is down.

We went for our first boat dive to Stingray City, and after four dives my equalizing problem became more handy. From a painful ears to great goodtimes with peers.

My very first underwater shot.

Some people bring their dive log and show it around. So here, Im doing just same, maybe by sharing the dive detail, people can get some information about the same dive spot from me.
I did 29 dives from Mei to Disember 2009.

Date: 4/5/09
Location: Redang Island
1st dive: Redang Bay House Reef
time in: 4.30
time out: 5.00
depth: 5m
viz: 5 m

2nd dive: Redang Bay House Reef
time in: 6.30
time out: 7.15
depth: 5m
viz: 5m

3rd dive: Redang Bay House Reef
time in: 10.00
time out: 11.00
depth: 7m
viz: 5m

4th dive: Stringray City (boat)
time in: 3.20
time out: 4.00
depth: 16m
viz: 7

5th dive-unrecorded

6th dive-unrecorded


Dive with Marine Police Region 2
Location: Soyak, Salang,Tioman
Location: Salang

8th dive
Location: Salang


9th - 6 dives Panasonic Marine Conservation
Location: Perhentian
Teluk KK, Lang Tengah,

Tokong Laut (The Temple)
This is the place where I start to love scuba diving. The place where I know how interesting this recreation is. It was early in the morning. Dawn dive.
White moray eel, school of snappers, huge moray eel under huge tabletop coral.
Doing safety stop while sucking the very last breath. Up to the surface with manual BCD inflating. Learn some mistake.


Instructor Nafi breaking a school of snappers

White moray eel
Location: Tioman
Teluk KK, Lang Tengah,

15th dive- Tioman Mega Dive

16th-Tioman Mega Dive

location: nearby Pulau Ringgis

17th-Tioman Mega Dive
dive a ship wreck,
location:walking down from the Salang Beach


Perhentian Kecil Island-arranged trip
operator: Panorama Diver
Date: 15/8/09

18th - Dlagoon
A Good start. Water viz was about 20 meter. The site was great. I found a table sized stingray, turtles, alot of clown fish anemone, bigger butterfly fish, prawn and one bigger fella having teeth cleaning by two tiny fish.

19th-Batu Layar
Another amazing site.

20th-Batu Layar
Same site but this is my first night dive, went down in a group of more then 10 divers. Nothing much, cuttlefish, prawn and a bamboo shark. But the touch light gave a different atmosphere, everybody looks likeholding a sabrelight.
The other diver spotted a huge turtle.

descending the dark water for the first time

21th-Terumbu Tiga
Rocky site, half caving, a lot of fish and world of colorful corals. With some current, its a bit rushy to catch all those nice coral, from purple to pink to green to blue.
The spanish guy did some friendly focusing on the face of titan trigger fish which he may be dont realise that nice looking fella can smash his mask. Sometimes no matter how hard we try not to touch the marine life, there came an ignorant diver.

Panorama Diver Team

Redang - RedangKalong Anual Reef Check
operator: RedangKalong Dive Centre
Date : 24-27/09/09
5 conservation dives
1 fun dive

Perhentian : Perhentian Island Challenge
10 & 11 Oktober
Operator: Quiver Dive, Perhentian Kecil
28 dive
Location: unknown, bcos water wasnt so clear, more likely because the change of season. Stronger and higher tide disturb the water, a lot of particles.

29th dive
location: Tokong Laut
Dawn dive at Tempel again. Not as good as my first dive in with Panasonic's guys and Nafi.

Live onboard in Komodo Islands on MV Blue Dragon

9 dives

30th dive at: Sabayor Kecil, North Komodo

Date: 21/2/2010-25/2/2010

Max depth: 25 meter

Sabayor Kecil

The first dive or purposely ‘check out’ dive begin at Sabayor Kecil. Not a good start since I had a seasick just before the dive start because of strong current. Never had seasick before, this time maybe because of less sleep and heavy breakfast. Plus we spend too much times setting up our gears on the boat.

Buddied with Peter, I help him to bring down one of his cameras. To check if there is still flooding (leaking) problem. After pushing some of the bottoms and did some checking, that Canon G11 underwater case still filled with water. So we only left with one camera. The Canon G9.

Diving with almost 20 years old diver. I am the last diver to reach bottom but the dive was great. My first friend in Indonesian waters was a black lionfish, moving around tenderly with a group of a tiny fishes.

After descending down to 25 meters, I started to noticed the different between Indonesia and Malaysia sea life, here in Flores Sea I saw less anemonee, less giant clamp but a lot of colorful soft coral. That Sabayor Kecil.

Castle Rock -31th dive is my English version of blog

The dive master told us that Castle Rock will be our second location. I have heard the name before, I remembered it during ‘goggling’ about Komodo Best Dive Spot.

Two dinghy brought us about 1km from away. While Arnold the dive master looking for the mooring rope, we saw a huge dark shiny object at the water surface, then submerged again and come out again.

Without doubt, they are the bottle-nose dolphins, maybe three of them sizing about three meter longs. After a short sightseeing, they dissapeared.

Dive start with negative entrance, descending down to 21 meter depth. Maybe it’s not our day, the current was strong and visibility not far the 15 meters.

However Castle Rock welcome was surprising, 4 men-sized black tip shark was there waiting for us. We were pulled by current quite fast, so 4 of them stay where they were.

Castle Rock is really nice dive site, lot of big fish like Jack.
Some turtle, electric striking blue snapper and beautiful underwater landscape.

Some other divers, were stunned by the appearance of Mandarinfish. The water tempature was about 27′c.

Crystal Rock – 32rd dive
Time in : 12.22pm time out: 1.12 pm
Max depth: 20 m
note: not far from Castle Rock. Surface (pinnacle stone) can be recognized by a small amount of water splash (to the rock). A lot of big fish and garuper.

The Aquarium (The Cauldron) -33th dive

Time is 3 hours before sunset. Our 4th dive begin at the water-gate between Lawa Laut Island and Lawa Darat Island. It’s called the Aquarium.
With negative entrance, we descended with the flow of current, the fastest current so far. A lot faster then when we were at Castle Rock.
Everybody start losing their buddy and we free flew across the mouth of the Cauldron, maybe at the speed of 2 knots. I grabbed some solid rock waiting for Peter, but after realizing of no point doing that I let myself taken away by the pull. Anyways, we have to pass through the ‘mouth’ to reach The Aquarium.
After the current stop, we realized that we were in a tank! A beautiful landscape, full of hard and colorful soft coral. And of course as the name says the Aquarium, with lot of fishes.
Turtle, school of snappers, anemone and nudybranch.
The distance from our entrance to where we came to surface maybe around 300 meters. The place really entitled to the name.

Night dive at Gililawa – 34th dive

Max depth: 19 meter

Date 22/2/2010 Time in: 19.06

This is my first time I saw a Spanish Dancer. They said it is huge compared to normal SP found in Malaysia (10 15-cm). This is more than one feet sized...! I know know the real color but when torched by light, the color is pinkish red..The DM take it to his hand and let it 'fly'. For those who never see SP, this two horned invertebrate looks like a seacucumber (gamat).

A Night in underwater was unbelievable. In a dark area, we can see eyes of the critters, most are shrimp. Their eyes are starry and reflecting like stars in the sky, when no light directed to them.
The site also rich with lobsters. We even saw Octopus hiding inside a rock.This is one of the most interesting nite dive so far.

Batu Bolong – 35th dive
Date 23/2/2010
Max depth: 21 m Bottom time : 40 minit
The dinghy takes us to a pinnacle's peak, called Batu Bolong. Negative entrance to the depth of 20 meter. After 5 minutes descend and my ear are equalized, then in the sudden Arnold the DM knock his tank with a pointer. He gave signal that I cant really understand except I know something is not right. The powerful current hit us.
Me and two divers not taken away by a flush like the rest, because we manage to grab a stone.
After more than 30 minute it still pushing us, roughly no less than 2 knots.
SPG show 100 bar and Im so panick, and in my heart I was afraid, better plan now if the current still there another 15 minutes.
I gave signal to buddy to ascend to surface. But we cant just go up like that because with that strong current there is no chance for safety stop.. So we have to ascend gradually by grabing stone. Sometimes I did lost grab in one of my hand, no glove means lots of cuts when I hit hard coral.
Scaring experience in Batu Bolong but we enjoy the dive because it was one of the most beautiful wall (pinnacle wall) with lot of pelagics like jacks and tuna. But I cant observe them all the time because they were all behind my back... amazing.
A lot of macro critters show up during the hit, fancy nudybranch crawling in front of my eyes, odd crabs.
Anold come to collect us after 40 minutes of panic dive. He sorry for what happen, but he maybe dont know that I like the site so much. Damn challenging.
Then back on the dinghy, Arnold told us a story, a good one.
Happened a year before, nearby the dive site. Five British divers lost in the strong current and never found. The world news that hit diving. It happen in the site called Current City.

Manta Point – 36th dive
Date 23/2/2010
Max depth: 10meter Bottom time :not recorded

Jump from the boat and drifted about half kilometer by current to Manta Point. Im buddied with Slovania diver-Andre. We were taken away from the rest of divers.
Quite scary to have only one buddy in the water, plus Andre is very new to diving. He asked me to surface but what's the point coming? I give him descend signal and he has no choice, but the water is now a bit calm and we already stop drifting.
There we found only a small houses of soft coral, very nice and colorful like tropical paradise or something.We dive about 30 minutes in a nice clear water, no manta in sight. A bit disappointed.
I remember what Arnold told during the briefing that Manta normally swim against current. So from coral reef we swam to a sandy bottom where we can feel some current.
Suddenly I saw a huge blacky thing flying on my left hand side, then here He comes... the Manta Ray, a sized of three meter wings spread. I know that manta don't attack diver but seeing thing that big definitely gimme an adrenalin rush.
Andrea get the photo of the 1st ray, but the second ray we missed it quite far. Maybe Andre not even noticed. It's bigger from the first one we saw.
According to Arnold, there is more chances to see Manta ray in Makkaser Reef during the low tide. But for those who comes, they never miss a chance to see. Anyways, Manta Point is not only a name..continued to next dive to know why.

Manta Point II– 37th dive

(different direction)
Up on the boat. I'm happy. It was my first encounter with manta. But after sharing story with a group of the divers I'm totally disappointed. They do not see one Manta but more than 30. A Manta Parade.
So that evening we agree to go to the same dive site they all dived at. Upon entrance, I saw huge monster laying down at our descend spot, size is no less than 4 meter broad, spreading motionless at the sandy bottom. Then maybe he can hear the sound of the bubble, he flew away. Yeah I did try my luck on this second time at Manta Point, but only saw 3, not 30.
Got a close photo of the ray. Great dive.

Mangrove dive at Waemilu - 38th dive
Date: 24/2/2010 Max depth 19 meter

One of the thing that I really love about Komodo is Morning. Experiencing the Great Calmness. Inspiring the misty surface of the water.
Dive start early in the morning, at 7.30 am. Mangrove is heaven for muckdive. Alot of macro seen in the black grey sand. Nudybranch, Mantis shrimp and a frogfish.
This is my first time I saw frogfish,they were called frog because they never swim, instead they jump to move. Very odd and interesting looking critters. This was a second last dive for us, but for me this was the last (9th) because Im going to skip the last dive to enjoy the beautiful nature on boats with a bit privacy (when they all leave for their dive).. and Im glad that Ive skipped the dive because for me the beauty of Komodo Island not only lie under the water.

Dec 15, 2009

a day as journalist

'Most of the people' get very excited when meeting a reporter, writer, journalist or whatever name they put name to it.

Some show interest to be among us. But for some who were given chance to do it, they 'retreat' just after one day. Many quit the job because their expectation didnt met in this line. We are not working from 9 to 5.

Im here just sharing some part of the journalism world so that some of you can take a glance, or maybe helping them to think twice.

So working in the press line basically can be described like these photos.

1-sometimes we do work quite easy.

2-sometimes we having a really hard times.

3-sometimes we do lost in searching a direction, story angle or even worst when we get scooped.

4-We only leave office after all our story have been checked by editor.

5-Some will bring some work back home.

6-Then only we can sleep with peace...!!!

Circle of Frens

the one who never tired

the one who always in hands each other

another one..

the one who always make us laugh, like this one

Dec 14, 2009

Sailing Trip

Selain pengalaman ke Central Asia, trip paling syok aku pernah aku cover setakat ni adalah SAILING.
Macam ni cerita nya. Tahun 2008, selepas dapat lesen open water, aku kerap pergi event diving, ada yang organizer jemput dan ada jugak menyelit dive trip yang boss Utusan aturkan.
Mei 2009 aku ke Pulau Tioman bersama Amir Sarifuddin, boss Utusan yang paling aktif aktiviti outdoor especially diving. Masa tu kami dive bersama pasukan Polis Marin di perairan Salang, Tioman.
Masa berlabuh kat Marina Kampung Tekek aku ternampak beberapa keping banner biru putih, tergantung pada beberapa buah yacht.
Terdetik dalam hati, kalau dapat buat cerita pasal sailing pun menarik. Lagipun boss aku Ridzwan Iman dah beberapa kali suruh buat pasal sailing ni. Asyik duk translate stori sailing oversea je, boring jugak.
Tapi masalahnya, sejak dari awal tahun dah tiga sailing company yang ada kat negara ni aku approach, semua bagi harapan palsu.
So balik KL daripada trip dive tu, aku masuk google then taip dream yacht charter (DYC). Click punya punya click, terbuka page DYC Asia, base kat mana? Langkawi!
Cantik! Aku terus email mintak nak buat liputan untuk stori lifestyle. Tak sampai 4 hari, aku dapat reply dari George Costa, Manager DYC South East Asia.
Bincang punya bincang dia offer seminggu onboard. Pergh, dalam hati aku dah melompat-lompat macam dolphin. Tapi satu masalah, mana company nak luluskan trip sampai seminggu. So final say, 4 hari 3 malam.
JULAI 2009, aku dengan housemate Raof, dan jurugambar Utusan- Abang Asmaruddin berangkat ke Jeti Mersing.
Masa di jeti kepala aku masih runsing sebab sebenarnya kami tak da model untuk pose. Nak buat stori lifestyle apa kalau modelnya tak ada.
Nak jadi cerita masa tengah tunggu boat kat jeti tu datang seorang minah salleh, ke hulu ke hilir offer rambutan pada orang-orang kat jeti. Sempoi gila.
Kami berkenalan dan start sembang. Jenna Coulbourne, cikgu Inggeris mengajar kat Kemboja. Bila dapat tahu dia traveling seorang diri aku pun memasang niat 'jahat'. First aku pelawa dia join trip, then second aku paksa ia jadi model atas yacht :P...
So pendekkan cerita, dia excited gila nak ikut kami. Gila, siapa tak nak naik yacht, makan semua tanggung. Settle masalah.

3 ptg kami sampai ke Marina Kg Tekek. Kehadiran kami disambut skipper Martin (Agentina-France), dan tukang masak, Coralie, minah (France-Itali).
Martin dengan Coralie ni ditugaskan DYC untuk bawa kami berlayar dengan katamaran selama empat hari kat Pulau Tioman.
Daripada trip ni aku buat dua stori, satu untuk lifestyle dan satu lagi pengalaman sailing. Dalam stori lifesytle takda apa sangat, banyak ceritakan kemewahan yacht tu. Saiz 14 meter, kelengkapan kapal, keselesaan 4 bilik double, 4 tandas, aktiviti snorkeling, masakan Itali yang disediakan dan harga pakej.

Sebut pasal pakej, harga semalaman RM7K. So kalau sapa-sapa berminat bagitahulah. Boleh aku aturkan trip..hehe.
Bawah ni korang boleh baca stori pengalaman sailing bersama DreamYacht. Enjoy.

talking to the skipper and the cook
Blog disambung di bawah stori.

-------as published in Utusan Malaysia-----

SAYA lebih selesa tinggal di laut. Berada terlalu lama di darat boleh menyebabkan saya pening," ujar gadis Perancis berusia 23 tahun itu ketika membuka bicara mengenai dunia pelayaran.

Sebelum itu, Coralie Imbert bersama juragan kapal, Martin Cancelleri tekun melengkapkan s
egala keperluan untuk menampung pelayaran selama empat hari di perairan Pulau Tioman, Pahang.

Pada masa yang sama mata penulis sibuk menyelongkar segenap sudut kapal, mengenal pasti 'rumah baru' yang akan menjadi tempat makan dan tidur selama tempoh itu.

Pelayaran menaiki katamaran (kapal badan berkembar) bermula sebaik sahaja Martin menghidupkan enjin dan membawa keluar Hemingwaysepanjang 14 meter itu dari Jeti Marina di Kampun
g Tekek.

Tanpa berlengah, Coralie mengeluarkan perkakas dan memulakan tugasnya sebagai tukang masak. Kira-kira 15 minit kemudian, Martin, 39, mematikan enjin kapal dan mencapai segulung kertas lalu membentangkannya di depan kami.

"Ini adalah carta pelayaran di perairan Teluk Mahkota. Berdasarkan tiupan angin sek
arang, perjalanan ke Pulau Tulai akan memakan masa kira-kira tiga jam pada kelajuan lima hingga tujuh knot," ujar lelaki berketurunan Argentina itu.

Martin dan Coralie ialah pelayar yang ditugaskan syarikat percutian kapal mewah, Dream Yacht Charter untuk mengendalikan pakej pelayaran di perairan negara ini.

Pada hari-hari biasa, pasangan itu tinggal di dalam kapal bluewater mereka di perairan Tioman selepas berpindah dari Telaga Harbour, Langkawi beberapa bulan lalu.

Martin bingkas meninggalkan meja yang dikongsi bersama penulis. Tangannya ligat memutar beberapa set winch di bahagian belakang (kokpit) dan sejurus selepas itu layar utama mula mengembang.

Selepas mengikat kemas dua batang jorannya, Martin masuk ke bahagian saloon (ruang tamu dalam) kapal untuk membantu sebahagian tugas Coralie menyediakan makanan pada petang itu

Ketika Hemingway ditolak jauh ke tengah laut dan tiupan angin mula menghembus ke muka, pasangan pelayar itu merapati kami untuk menyambung semula cerita yang dimulakan sebelum itu.

"Mengendalikan kapal layar bukan perkara yang mudah kerana setiap hari kita berdepan dengan
cabaran di laut.

"Navigasi, cuaca, keselamatan dan peraturan di perairan negara orang adalah sebahagian rencah kehidupan," ujar Martin.

Kemahiran asas termasuk menentukan tahap kembang layar dengan menegang dan mengendurkan tali layar bersesuaian mengikut kelajuan tiupan angin.

Pendek kata seorang pelayar harus mengenali sepenuhnya kapal yang digunakan termasuk arif dalam tugas berkaitan penyelenggaraan dan juga peralatan tambahan pada sesebuah kapal.

"Kemahiran seperti itu adalah kemestian kerana bukan mudah untuk mendapatkan pertolongan di tengah laut jika berlaku kerosakan atau kemalangan," jelas Martin yang berpengalaman 20 tahun berlayar ke serata pelosok dunia.

Raof menghiburkan kami dengan tiupan serulingnya.

Selain kemahiran teknikal mengenai kapal, beliau juga membuktikan dirinya seorang pengkaji cuaca yang baik apabila cuaca pada petang itu berubah tepat mengikut ramalannya.

Kebolehan itu katanya hanya dikuasai selepas seseorang itu menghabiskan banyak masa di laut. Ia juga kemahiran penting ketika berlayar secara solo.

Namun beliau mengakui tidak sukar untuk mempelajari ilmu asas pelayaran, cuma untuk seseorang menguasai bidang itu biasanya akan mengambil masa bertahun-tahun. Beliau juga memberitahu sifat paling penting dalam pelayaran adalah kepimpinan dan keupayaan membuat keputusan.

trampolin, the perfect star watching spot

Dilanda puting beliung

Pada hari kedua, hasrat kami untuk ke Pulau Aur terpaksa dibatalkan kerana tiupan angin tidak sehaluan. Walaupun pelayaran masih boleh dilakukan dengan pergerakan secara zig-zag tetapi untuk tidak membazirkan banyak masa, Martin membawa kami ke pinggir Pulau Renggis untuk bersnorkeling.

Tidur kami pada keesokkan harinya dikejutkan hayunan kuat yang dirasai dari dalam kabin. Di luar hujan turun dengan lebat diiringi gelombang dan angin kencang.

Tanpa banyak pilihan kami menikmati sarapan pada pagi itu dengan kedua-dua belah tangan sentiasa bersedia untuk menadah pinggan dan cawan daripada menggelungsur ke lantai.

Tetapi apa yang dialami kami pada pagi itu hanyalah cebisan daripada pengalaman mereka yang berlayar di laut luas.

Coralie mencelah, ketika ribut berterusan selama berhari-hari, mereka bukan s
ahaja tidak dapat berdiri di dalam kapal bahkan ada masanya mereka terpaksa tidur secara bergilir-gilir untuk menentukan arah navigasi tidak tersasar.

"Semasa pelayaran dari Pulau Langkawi ke sini (Pulau Tioman) kami berdepan dengan empat pusaran puting beliung yang 'mengelilingi' kapal bluewater kami," jelasnya menceritakan saat paling cemas sepanjang lima tahun berlayar.

Walaupun memiliki kapal layar mungkin sesuatu yang besar bagi kebanyakan oran
g. Namun ada masanya mereka mengakui berasa cukup kerdil di tengah laut, terutama ketika berselisih dengan kapal-kapal kargo.

"Dengan saiz beratus meter panjang, nisbah saiz kami boleh diibaratkan hanya
seperti kotak mancis dengan kotak kasut.

"Kemalangan boleh berlaku tanpa mereka menyedari 'kewujudan' kami. Saya jug
a dengar bahawa ramai nelayan maut di Selat Melaka akibat dirempuh kapal kargo.

"Di selat paling sibuk di dunia itu, kita tidak boleh menukar laluan sesuka hati kerana trafiknya juga sama seperti di lebuh raya," akui Martin.

Orang laut

Bagi Martin dan Coralie, kemudahan bergerak dari satu tempat ke tempat lain memberi peluang kepada mereka untuk mengenali individu dan budaya masyarakat yang berlainan.

Selain itu, beliau juga mengakui kemahiran yang dimiliki juga membuahkan pulangan, hasil kontrak sebagai jurulatih pasukan perahu layar lumba tentera laut negara Peru.

Keindahan hidup dikelilingi air juga diakui Coralie yang sanggup menggadaikan kerjayanya sebagai peluncur layar angin (windsurf) dan peluncur layang-layang (kiteboard) bertaraf profesional untuk menjadi 'orang laut'.

"Minat dalam pelayaran bermula selepas saya mengikut seorang rakan berlayar selama seminggu di Perancis.

"Selepas itu saya mencari pekerjaan di salah sebuah syarikat penyewaan kapal layar untuk mencari pengalaman," ujarnya yang juga seorang jurugan kapal.

Backflip by Coralie

Sepanjang tugas itu, beliau pernah ditugaskan menjadi jurugan untuk penghantaran kapal layar dari Perancis ke Sychelles. Secara kebetulan, kapal pertamanya juga adalah kapal layar milik Dream Yacht- yang kini berpangkalan di Langkawi dan Tioman.

Namun, kehidupan di permukaan laut bagi dirinya tidak banyak berbeza dengan darat. Jika tidak berlayar, Coralie menghabiskan masa sekurang-kurangnya tiga jam sehari berenang dan melakukan selaman bebas.

Ketika topeng selam milik Jenna Colbourne, 26, warga British yang mengikuti pelayaran bersama kami jatuh dan tenggelam 20 meter ke dasar laut, Coralie hanya memerlukan beberapa kali cubaan untuk mendapatkannya semula.

Dan pada hari yang mempunyai tiupan angin kencang, Coralie akan menghabiskan waktu lapangnya dengan terbang menggunakan kitesurfnya.

"Sejak dari kecil saya dibesarkan di tepi laut dan sekarang s
aya kembali kepadanya," ujarnya pada malam terakhir pelayaran.


Experience We Share

Secara peribadi, pengalaman atas kapal kali ini banyak merubah persepsi dalam kerjaya dan kehidupan aku.
Sebenarnya peluang travel memang syok, tapi travel akan lebih menarik kalau sepanjang perjalanan kita jumpa orang-orang yang ada cerita dan kisah tersendiri.
Selepas dua tahun buat bidang travel ni, aku rasa mengenali individu tu kadang-kala jauh lebih menarik daripada menikmati keindahan tempat.

Jenna, Martin dan Asmaruddin (photographer) on the dinghy

Dalam kes DYC ni, Martin dan Coralie adalah dua individu yang bagi aku jauh lebih menarik daripada yacht itu sendiri. Macam-macam perkara kami kongsi selain pengalaman sailing diorang.
Aku belajar macamana foreigner berfikir, survival diorang dalam life, bercakap, percept, mencelah, berdebat kalau tak sependapat dan how profesional diorang buat kerja.
Yang nyata, orang Melayu kita akan lebih cepat naik angin kalau tak biasa dengan cara straightforward diorang masa membangkang dan menyatakan hasrat hati.
Tambah pulak dengan puak-puak Atheis yang tak percayakan Tuhan macam Martin, George dan Coralie.

the unforgetable logo (DYV)
Atheis and God

Ada satu malam tu, kami bersembang pasal tuhan sampai susasana jadi tegang. Dan dengan broken English masing-masing (kecuali Jenna) kami berdebat pasal kewujudan tuhan, dengan pengakhiran yang agak lucu-> Jenna sebagai (wakil Inggeris) dipersalahkan kerana menjadi penyebab kenapa kami semua terpaksa bercakap dalam bahasa Jenna.
With finally we all laugh about it.

So daripada situ kadang-kadang aku cukup tak paham perangai sesetengah orang kita yang selalu tak puas hati, dengki, buruk sangka dan bussy body tak tentu pasal.
Yang lagi teruk, sesama kawan-kawan yang dah kenal lama pun masih ada perasaan nak perkecilkan orang, dengki tak habis-habis dan suka mengutuk.
Padahal aku rasa kalau seseorang tu dah cukup matang, takkan ada perangai2 budak sekolah macam tu.
So, kawan2 yang sentiasa tak puas hati dengan orang lain tu belajarlah terima apa yang ada kat dunia ni dengan lebih aman dan bersyukur. Reda lah dengan apa yang ada.
Jangan asyik nak hangatkan keadaan. Sensation, emotional and jeolousy, if not at the right place can look very stupid.

Travel in Malaysia

Dan masa atas kapal tu aku sempat tanya persepsi Martin, Jenna dan Coralie pasal travel dalam Malaysia.
Diorang suka giler sebab travel kat sini tak banyak renyah. Cuma satu perkara yang diorang paling benci pasal Malaysia adalah 'time bayar'.
"Bayar apa pun di negara ni mesti double standard. Ada harga local dan ada harga foreigner. Lain semua memang tak da masalah"
Walaupun masalah ni biasa di rantau ni bagi aku perkara ni memang tak patutpun.
Double standard memang boleh buatkan pelancong fikir kita masih tak bertamadun.

Sand spa with Martin during our snorkeling stop.
Global Warming

Satu perkara lagi yang Martin sempat kongsi adalah pasal perubahan angin laut. Daripada kepakaran membaca angin yang Martin tunjukkan, aku terbuka hati untuk tanya macamana dia belajar baca arah angin.
Kata Martin, sebenarnya arah angin perkara paling penting dalam sailing tapi lately dia mengakui jadual tiupan angin laut dah jauh berubah berbanding 10 tahun lalu.
Musim dan laluan angin katanya dah kucar kacir. Hinggakan kadang2 kat tengah laut tu tak ada angin langsung.

Moving from 'mothership' to beaches using the dinghy

Sebab tu sebelum berlayar diorang akan gunakan radio VHF untuk scan pelayar2 lain yang pernah melalui route sailing yang sama dan bertanyakan pasal angin (ada ke tak ada).
Pernah berlaku, pelayar terkandas kat tengah laut sebab angin takada.
So, semua tu menurut Martin adalah kesan daripada global warming. Dan tidak dinafikan, gas-gas yang dibebaskan oleh kapal terbang adalah penyumbang nombor satu kepada pencemaran bumi kita.

My Philosophical thing

On being different

"Everything in the universe is DiFFERENT from each other.

No grain of sand is the same as another.

No grain of sand is the same as a stone or a drop of water.

There are two kinds of DIFFeRENT.

First is a difference between the same type of matter.

Second is a difference between the different type of matter.

Do you ever think about it.


1st Qoute is;
"Dont tell me how educated you are but tell me how much have you travel" -Muhammad
2nd Qoute is;
"Don't judge a book by it's cover" -Anonymous

People normally have a different view to phrases like these. Some may agree while some may say it's bad. What do you think?

TRAVELING around for five years now has introduced me to people from every walk of lifes and of course with different character and personality. The more we interact with various of people the better we get at this learnable skill.
The fact is, not everybody speak English. So as a simple conclusion we cant understand what people say in every places of the world. In that kind of situation, nothing else can be understood except their body language.
Non-verbal communication sign such how people act, move, make face, tone of voice are really important. It can helps us to figure out what Arabs trying to say with their three or four words of English. Or what people really feel about something by their way of standing or looking.

So back to the qoute. We often hear people say that 'we cant read people' because we may cast judgment on what they are actually not. But i dont think not so true.

Knowing to read people can help to determine whether the taxi driver is taking shortcut of dragging the charge meter. Sometimes we can can tell if the shop owner is giving us the best price or when older people taking advantage of our less age.
By the way I'm not saying all the first impression is correct but it can help us judge and predict the occurances.

Dec 13, 2009

The Dying Art of Kelabit

Now everybody start cutting it and this old fashion thing soon will perish...

ABIR is the tradisional earing weared by the Kelabit people in Sarawak. It was once the most popular image in potraying the Sarawak's tribal.

The uniqueness of bronz earing that hang and swing to their ears has made Kelabit famous through photos and poscards.
This ancient customary also since long ago has became the main attraction for tourist to come to this Land Of Hornbill.
But to this modern days, not many of them practice the old custom that was once obliged. It's also now so unusual especially among the young generation.

I was lucky to take a chance to step to the village called Pa'Mada, in the region of Miri, located deep in the jungle of Borneo to see this dying fashion.

I say dying not only because it's no longer been practised to the youngster, but those elderly who used to wear it since their childhood times are now cutting the 'long part' of ear.
The reason is to make them move easier when they out for hunting or farming.

Beraok Lugun, the Head Villager of Pa'Mada said, as the head of the longhouse, he cut his ear part several year ago to suit his busy schedule travelling out to town.
"I spend alot of times in four wheel drive and having difficulties and pain when the road get tough.
"So i decided to see a doctor and do small operation,'' he said to me.
FYI, traveling the logging road from Miri to Pa'mada takes around 10 hours and it can be worst during rainy season. The only vehicle can pass this road is 4X4, a powerful one.
After my conversation with Beraok, i went to the kitchen area to meet a man at his 100 years old, Balang Sarawak. (he got 3 different names throughout his age- another traditional custom of Kelabit)

Balang Sarawak gave a 'soon to be a rare' post

Balang is the oldest in the village and since we speak different language, his daughter came to help me to do some translation. Works went easy, and I quite impressed with the man that old still can handle an interpreter.
"In this longhouse, only left me, my wife and two or three others who still wear Abir,'' he showed his long ears that touch his shoulder.
Balang said, Abir is not only weared as jewelry but it also represent the sosial status in the community. Those who inherited the earing from their ancestor (who used to be a good fighter or good hunter) are more respected.
He explained, there are two type of Abir that is differentiated for male's (Abir Tawa) and female's (Abir Semerak). Abir Tawa is made from bronx while Abir Semerak is made from black steel.

"For women, they normally wear more than one piece of Abir and those are heavier to men's Abir.
"During festive or ceremonial, a well respected women normally wear up to five pieces of Abir,'' he smiles.Dark dan peacefully gloomy in the house of Kelabit

How they pierce it?

Kelabit people were good alchemist. Once melted, the metal liquid is pour into a (small dried pumpkin) and then it will be put under the sun for couple of days.

To get it's shining and smooth shape, carving and polishing process will takes about a week.
Then come the interesting part, how they pierce their ears. Kelabit use a sharpened bamboo (pencil shaped) and pierce it to the children's ear just after their third birthday.

Beside Abir, there is another type of Kelabit earing called Odang. Odang is made from leopard teeth and only can be wear by those those who has an ability as good hunt and fighter. A sign of a very respected fellow.

My 13 hours journey using four wheels drive from Miri to Pa'mada, different rules applied to this road.