In 2009, I did my PADI Open Water course in Singapore’s Pulau Hantu. Despite the fact that Singapore is right in the heart of the amazing Coral Triangle, diving isn’t really great here. Huge cargo ships ply the waters around Singapore. Right next door to Pulau Hantu is Pulau Bukom, where Shell has its oil refinery.
I remember having to hold on to a rope with 8 other nervous Open Water students, and everyone kicking up massive clouds of silt. Visibility wasn’t great to begin with, and by the time everyone got down, I couldn’t see the person next to me. I came up promising that I’d never dive in Singapore again.
It’s been 7 years, and I decided to give it another try. It turned out to be nowhere near as bad as I remember it to be! Visibility was about 5 metres, and we managed to see lots of macro life.
As Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park, “Life, uh, finds a way.”