We're here on Tioman Island for the kick off of the Tioman Mega Dive.
Unfortunately, we're not going to be diving for more than two days while out here, but we're having a great time and enjoying great company.
David Espinosa and Tim Hochgrebe check out the dive sites around Tioman at the first dive briefing.
An aerial view of Tioman's shallow reefs bring an all-to-common sinking feeling as I depart from paradise.
Aaron Wong (featured DPG photographer) had the hard task of working with 15 models for a 2008 Malaysian calendar. Aaron is the official event photographer for Tioman Mega Dive.
Rob from DiveZero.com shooting video for the next issue of Dive Zero, coming soon.
Our friend Tim Hochgrebe (Underwater.com.au) behind the lens.
So what's the life like underwater in Tioman, you ask?
Tioman lies off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. We found lots of hard coral reefs, and a seemingly nice amount of macro life.
Underwater photos courtesy of our friends Aaron Wong and Polpich Komson (aka "Aey" from FiNS Magazine).
Free diving on the shallow reefs of Tioman.
A diver cruises over one of Tioman's hard coral reefs.
Aaron Wong was the "official underwater photographer" of the Tioman Mega Dive event. Aaron is featured in the DPG Galleries as well.
A mating pair of Seahares give off a glow when illuminated by the camera's strobes
A curious Cuttlefish poses for a portrait
Macro life abounds: Nudibranchs with psychedelic colors creep around a communities of tunicates.
Tioman Island is a National Marine Park of Malaysia.
Lying some 56km off the coast, Tioman is about 38km in length and 19km at its widest point. With Gunung Nenek Semukut (Dragonhorn Mountain), standing at 690m or twice the height of the Eiffel Tower, being the highest peak on the island, the rest of Tioman is a mixture of hills covered with tropical evergreens, rivers and lovely waterfalls including the Asah falls.
Project AWARE held a gathering on the island to educate attendees about how to help protect the reefs and keep them clean.
Our gracious dive guides Nizam and Lee Mei, took good care of the press guests during the diving days.
Underwater photographer Mathieu Meur enjoying some of the greens at dinner.
Amin, the main organizer of Tioman Mega Dive, gets ready to oversee the underwater wedding.
Mean and Aey from Fins Magazine with Fauziah Latifa, a local celebrity singer/ actress/ DJ, who is very keen on creating awareness for ocean environment and is proactive with making locals aware of the dangers of the shark fin trade and consumption of shark fin soup.
Nizam from Tourism Malaysia suits up and gets ready for diving.
The beach party crew, Aey (Fins), Nizam and Lee Mei (dive guides), Wendy, and a few event participants, hanging out after a long hot day of diving and other activities.
Opening evening at Tioman included a really interesting show of local dancing and culture. The colors and costumes were fantastic, particularly against the backdrop of the black night sky.
The show was just asking to be photographed. The colors, patterns and contrast made for great images.
The crowd, which included event attendees and international press, gathers around the stage to watch the show.
Luke from DiveZero.com was handling the underwater video work for the next issue as well. This shot was taken moments before he filmed the underwater wedding for the event.
The bride and groom and the Minister of Tourism for Pahang State in Malaysia, YB Dato Maznah Mazlan, preparing for the underwater wedding, one of the main events.
Wendy and 'the boys'.
These guys were what we would call groomsmen for the underwater wedding.
A beautiful Tioman sunset.
We dubbed our last meal together in Malaysia "The Last Supper", as plentiful food remained a theme of the trip.
We explored Malaysian sites that ordinarily we would not have seen. We have a new perspective on the culture, traditions, lifestyles, architecture, and other aspects of Malaysia,beyond just the marine life.
Mukut Falls on Tioman Island.
The Closing Shots: The Petrona Towers and the KL Skyline
As we leave Malaysia, we want to again thank Nizam, Jasmine, Amin, Kenny and Tourism Malaysia for taking great care of us and touring us to the different sites during our time in Malaysia.
Photo: Wendy Heller
Photo: Polpich Komson (Aey)/ FiNS Magazine
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I-DiveSite Venom 35s
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