Jerudong base to help Poni Divers access wrecks, dive sites
PONI Divers is looking to set up a base in Jerudong by mid-year to gain greater access to less-frequented dive sites and wrecks in the area.
Wong Thye Sing, managing director of the local dive centre, said they are scouting for a suitable location with plans to launch the base over the next two months as part of an expansion strategy to boost dive tourism in Brunei.
The new base will operate alongside Poni Diver’s current branch in Serasa, Muara, allowing regular dives to over 30 sites and wrecks in Jerudong.
“We hope to have a location in Jerudong, so that we can dive there regularly. Jerudong has a lot of nice dive sites and many nicer reefs with good visibility... There are easily 20 to 30 dive sites and another five or six wrecks as well,” said Wong.
He pointed out the visibility underwater is better compared with dive sites in Muara, where water quality is sometimes marred by river output from the Brunei Bay.
“Normally in the Muara area, the visibility can be lower due to the river output from the Brunei Bay, but in the Jerudong area, there isn’t a lot of river output so the visibility can often be twice as good,” he explained.
By having a base in Jerudong, he said it would be easier for Poni Divers to take customers to sites and wrecks in the area.
Littledale Shoal, a highly-rated dive site that still attracts a good variety of fish including passing whale sharks and manta rays, is an hour by boat from Serasa, but is only 30 minutes away from Jerudong.
Meanwhile, the journey to Petani Mistral and Penanjung Wreck is just 45 minutes from Jerudong. Wong noted the shipwrecks would previously take two hours to access from Serasa.
“We do access those sites from Serasa, but not often (due to the distance). They’re less-frequented dive sites, so it’ll be new to people who haven’t dived there. If we are in Jerudong, we can easily access them more often,” he said.
The Brunei Times