The World's third best dive site.....Sipadan

Trip Start Oct 03, 2012
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Trip End Nov 28, 2013


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Flag of Malaysia  , Sabah,
Monday, July 1, 2013

Jacque Costeau was here back in 1989 and said "I have seen other places like Sipadan, 45 years ago, but now no more. Now we have found an untouched piece of art."

Not that i'm an authority on stuff like this but I don't think I've seen anything quite like this outside of the Discovery Channel. The Philippines obviously is up there without doubt and then there is a step change - Sipadan.

The Island was strangely named after some dead bloke found 'restlessy' rolling in the waves...hmmm

Since 2004 Sipadan has become reasonably isolated from tourists and pretty much everyone. Courteoursy of some marauding Philippino pirates invading Malaysian territory and taking a group of unsuspecting tourists captive, as well as some squabbling over ownership with Indonesia only the Malaysian military and 120 lucky scuba divers are allowed there at any one time. No one is allowed to stay there. There is a small army barracks there- all soldiers looking bemused every day at bikini clad divers & you are only allowed to venture 10 metres along the beach in either direction. The rest of the tiny island is off limits including the turtle hatchery!

The Island is tiny and is basically an island of white sand and palm trees. Surrounding it is coral and crystal clear water.
Not that we could see the Island initially. There was a large storm sitting over Sipadan and the surrounding region when we approached. In driving horizontal rain and less than 10 metres visibility our trusty captain had to use a compass to get to the Island. Feeling like we were appearing in our own version of Lost! the clouds cleared in a matter of minutes and we had blue skies and sun - weird....thanks J J Abrams.

Before 2004 as a tourist you could paddle out on the coral and have every species of marine life at you feet literally. Walk less than 10 to 15 feet out from the shore and the coral drops off a vertical wall into the deep blue abyss.

Dive One - The Hanging Gardens: This is where we entered for our first dive and descended 30 metres into the deep blue down the sea wall. This was a strong current dive giving us the strange sensation of floating weightlessly as the wall passed us by as if on a conveyor belt! There wasn't much we didn't see along this wall in terms of coral and every marine life you could possibly imagine. White tipped and Grey reef sharks were everywhere and they even got curious and followed us. There were loads of Green Turtles too.

Dive two - Mid-Reef: A deep descent and current dive along the sea wall another opportunity to view the wealth of fishes and marine life - we could have been in the biggest aquarium in the world, you didn't know where to look next!

Dive Three - Barracuda Point: Seriously wow! 2 massive (thousands and thousands) shoals of fish both Jackfish and Barracuda greeted us as we decended to about 16 meters along another deep sea wall. A huge twisting cyclone of Jack fish swirled above us twisting and turning continuously. Inside this twisting mass of shiney silver fish were a multicoloured kaleidoscope of different fish getting in on the action not wanting to be left out of this strange display. If that didn't wow us enough then the even larger mass schoal of Chevron Barracuda stole the show. These guys are bigger than Jack fish and these Schoals moved beautifully above and around us - K and I are still completely dumbstruck and in awe of what we saw - very very lucky to see this unique display of nature. Almost numbed by what we had seen already we ascended onto the coral bed from the sea wall and were lucky enough to see lots of grey tipped and reef sharks 'resting' on the coral floor being 'cleaned' - crazy stuff!

Sipidan - WOW! Still speechless at the thought of it. This is meant to be the world's 3rd best dive site.....and it was utterly breathtaking.
We are very very very lucky.
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Comments

Ina on

Yeah Sipadan is truly amazing! I was very lucky to be able to do 9 dives there and I will go back...but then with an Underwater camera!

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