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Tioman Travel Article
Semukut Twin Peaks



Renggis Island (or Pulau Rengis) is located just minutes away from Lalang Beach or Tekek Village. To be exact, this small island is situated right in front of the rarely-used boat jetty for Berjaya Beach, Golf & Spa Resort. Island-bound visitors from Mersing will surely pass by this tiny forest-clad rocky outcrop.

Visibility was quite average if not slightly poor at about 10 metres. Dive depth is generally at about 10-15 metres except when descending to the shipwreck at which your gauge can hit 25 metres of depth.


The highlight for this dive definitely goes to my encounter with an extra-large green turtle
(Chelonia mydas) almost towards the end of the bottom time. I barely noticed the enormous pelagic which was nesting among the hard corals, as if it was waiting to be photographed. Only after seeing a number of divers amassing at this one particular spot that I started to relish the sight of what was probably the biggest, and perhaps the oldest green turtle that I have ever set my eyes on. As the hoarding interest naturally became unbearable, the green turtle predictably swam away in a spectacular fashion that struck everyone in awe. Underwater cameras and camcorders followed suit with the divers to ensure such memorable experience was well documented for bragging rights at home. The gentle giant eventually sailed further away into the deep blue but everyone was presumably contented with the rendezvous of a large kind. Actually, in the early part of the dive, I also ran into a regular-size hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) which was pale in comparison to the oversize green turtle.

I do find the types of marine tropical fish at the dive site to be rather teeming.
Gold-band fusiliers (Caesio caerulaurea) are often seen large schooling groups over the coral reef network. On the sandy bottom, you can easily catch the sight of blue-spotted ribbontail ray (Dasyatis kuhlii). I also managed to capture the shots of colourful marine fish such as peacock rockcod (Cephalopholis argus) which is arguably the most striking of the grouper family, two-line spinecheek bream (Scolopsis bilineatus), slingjaw wrasse (Epibulus insidiator), common parrotfish, and a number of red-breasted Maori wrasse (Cheilinus fasciatus) which are too comfortable in front of my camera.

The variety of hard corals at this dive site is rather decent. Beautiful fields of green staghorn corals
(Acropora loisetteae) do create a good underwater scene. Otherwise, most areas are filled with brown hard corals (Acropora sp.), plate corals (Montipora sp.), leaf corals (Echinopora sp.), encrusting plate corals (Echinopora pacificus), etc. Certain spots are also filled multi-coloured sea anemones as well as leathery sea anemones (Heteractis crispa) that come with certain species of clownfish. In fact, I even saw a colony of sea anemones that played host to both false clown anemonefish (Amphiprion percula) and tomato anemonefish (Amphiprion frenatus).

Perhaps due to its topography of mild sloping gradient, the dive site lacks of spectacular soft coral species such as large gorgonians which are more prevalent in a boulder wall diving spot. This dive site noticeably hosts a colourful selection of sea sponges such as blue tube sponges
(Euplacella sp.), green sponges, etc. Otherwise, the soft coral species are mostly dominated by leathery finger corals (Sinularia sp.), knobby finger corals (Sinularia sp.) with bright-green star feathers.

Another particular highlight for this dive site is the existence of a shipwreck some hundreds of feet away from the rocky outcrop of Pulau Renggis. In fact, there is even a stone monument right before entering the shipwreck zone on which some details of the sunken fishing trawler were etched. Based on the little information that I managed to gather, the wooden trawler was sunk by a team of Dive Logic members. Anyway, in all honesty, there isn't much to be seen at the shipwreck, what more with the poor visibility commonly associated with wreck diving. A mere few varieties of fish are present at the site. There is quite a healthy growth of soft corals (
Dendronephthya sp.) but they are not as colourful as I would have expected. These soft corals are particularly widespread along the fringes of the wreck as well as on the protruding end of the ship mast.