Scuba diving and tropical island anyone?

Trip Start Jul 31, 2009
1
8
21
Trip End Sep 07, 2009


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Where I stayed
Uncle Changs

Flag of Malaysia  , Sabah,
Monday, August 10, 2009

We only stayed one night in Semporna, then it was off to Mabul Island for a few days to do some SCUBA diving. 

I hadn't been diving for about 3 years, and Laura hadn't been for months either, so we were quite nervous trying to remember everything.  Luckily Rok is a Divemaster, with over 500 dives to his name, so he sat us down for half an hour and went through all the hand signals and the specifics about decompression and how to avoid our lungs exploding.  This was very lucky because with this being Borneo, they're not exactly ship shape when it comes to safety.  Now I think about it, I never once had to actually prove that I had a SCUBA Diving licence, I just said I did.  There were no refresher courses or even someone in charge- they just took us out in a boat and dumped us over the side.  Well, I guess you get what you pay for. :)

We stayed at Uncle Changs resort.  Resort isn't the word I would use, but I've stayed in worse places.  It was a beautiful location, but then it's hard to go wrong on a tropical island.   We had a great few days here, playing cards at night over a few beers, and relaxing on the beach during the day.  The locals here are so friendly, like all Malaysian people, but in Borneo they seem even more so. Maybe it's because they haven't had that tourist culture yet to piss them off, but if it's the same in another 10 or 15 years, I'll be very surprised. 

Coming back from the beach one day we saw some local kids playing with a sharks head.  A woman passing by explained that about 50 sharks had just been killed that morning and their fins cut off just to make soup, and that their bodies were just around the corner if we would like to see them.  This really is one of the most dispicable acts we manage as humans.  One hundred million sharks are killed every year, mostly for their fins. Yes, you read that right. 100 million.  Most of the time the sharks are still alive when they're dumped back into the ocean, and then just sink to the bottom and die a slow, painful death.  I don't even want to write about it any more because I get so angry.


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