We found paradise

Trip Start Sep 12, 2009
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Trip End Jun 03, 2010


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Where I stayed
billabong

Flag of Malaysia  , Sabah,
Thursday, November 26, 2009

One night in Semporna and then we took our boat over to Mabul Island to begin our open water dive course.  The sea was so rough on the way there and after an hour of butt numbing crashes into the waves we reached land so wet that we might as well have swam there.  

Day one of diving, I was terrified, the equipment weighs a tonn and i can't even snorkel without hyperventerlating.  It wasn't until i was bobbing up and down in the middle of the ocean that i realised i was in deep water....literally!  Marc seemed to not have a fear in the world and Nathan (the other guy in our group) had done some fun diving before, 5 minutes in and we were on our way down to practice some skills.  I went under the water and couldn't breathe, signs for problem and go up were the two that i mastered before going out, this was good because i had a problem and needed to go up.  After some deep breaths and reassurance from our instructor i managed to go under and stay, this was the begining of something special.  We went for a dive at the end of the lesson at 10m and we saw turtles straight away, they are huge and so peaceful, its like they are flying, it feels like you are flying too, under the water, weightless.  I felt like i had overcome the biggest hurdle and we both couldn't wait for the next day.  On the second day i was still super nervous and took me a while to get to the sea bed but after convincing myself that i had done it once i did it again.  We did some more dives around Mabul building our skills and confidence and then passed our open water diving test.  This is where the real fun begins.

Sipadan is one of the top 5 dive sites in the world, every day people came back to Mabul and said it was fantastic so our expectations were very high.  Sure enough our expectations were met, we saw loads of turtles, white tip sharks and huge schools of fish.  The coral was like an underwater garden with bright colours in every direction you looked, it was out of this world.  We went right down to 22m below the sea and we didn't even realise because there was so much to see.    As well as the fantastic experience of exploring under the sea, Sipadan was a stunning paradise island, I will let the pictures do the talking.  We both agree that learning to dive is one of the best things we have ever done and we are hooked (especially Marc), we are now ready to move up to the next level.

We are now back in Kota Kinabalu and considering going back to Mabul to do our advanced and rescue dive courses.  The island is beautiful with locals who always welcome you with a smile, who would want to leave paradise? 
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