Anyway ill move along from deep thoughts to good times. Sipidan. It is an island of the south east coast of sabah, accesed through a small fishing village called semporna. It was a scary town to enter, the poverty level being one i have never seen before. Although i am sure i will see much more before i return. I checked into my hostel and booked my diving for the next day. I had heard great reviews about the diving in sipidan but nothing prepared me for the beauty that awaited me underwater. It was something to be seen, my first day of diving was the best. The water was crystal clear, the sand glowed like white gold under the clear blue skies. I saw so many things under the water that day. At least two dozen huge turtles swam and slept in peace. White tip reef sharks swam below me, schools of barracude above, and every type of fish immaginable in front of my eyes. Lion fish, tiger fish, stone fish, crocodile fish, cuttle fish (really really beautiful and they cant swim) to name a few of my favourites. I got in to trouble a couple of times for zoning out and going too low or too high or straying form the group. I was so wraped up in what i was seeing i totally lost track of time and the people around me. The boat ride back to the mainland was spectacular, ill put the pictures up when i get to a computer with a USB port.
I also did two night dives while i was there, a decision i am glad i made
. The ride out there was a bit nerve wracking, i have swam at night before and usually it makes me a bit nervous. The mind plays tricks when you cant see anything. Once i was underwater an sense of calm came over me like a blanket. I felt nothing, i heard nothing, i thought nothing. I have never been so at peace in my life. I saw some really cool things as well, a sea horse, a white spotted eel (really mean and stunning at the same time) 3 different types of crabs, octopus and squid. Probably the coolest thing i did at night was on the second dive. We sat at the bottom of sea in the sand and turned our flash lights off, the black surrounded you in an insant and you couldnt see your own hand right in front of your face. There are little particles that float in the sea and they become glow in the dark at night, i cant remember what they are called. But if you swirl your hands around they move with it and creat a really really cool light show. I was grinning ear to ear the whole time. I didnt want to turn my light back on it was so much fun as well as relaxing. Night diving is, for me, as good or better than during the day.
I dont think i have told you about the man i was traveling with at the time, Dan. He is a boat captain on private yahts and a great guy. Relaxed, happy, intelligent and a good laugh he was fun to travel with. What inspired me most about him was that he had found a job that he truly loved, and as the old proverd goes "find a job you like and you will never work another day in your life"
. I am searching for mine. Anyway our last night in sipidan we went out for a night on the town. This town, we were told, had no night life and everything closed really early. Uh Uh Uh. At around one when the hostel stopped selling drinks we went out and followed the music and a few local directions and found a club. It was a dirty out of the way local karaoke bar. They welcomed us in with open arms, and as we were the only two white guys there, we were the center of attention for the whole night. We sang drank and danced till the early hours of the morning and after promising to keep in touch we fell into a deep sleep. It just goes to show you that with perserverance anything can be accomplished. ahahaha Not a great example, but hey it works. It was fun to party local style, they really love to have a good time.
All in all sipidan was amazing, one day i will go back and stay there for 2 months to do my dive master course. This will enable me to lead dives and work for a diving company. The laid back atmosphere, cool people and beautiful scenery im sure will pull me back one day.
Well everyone, i know this has been a long time coming, sorry it took so long for me to update. Ive been lazy. Before i start in on Sipidan i would like to say what i wonderful experience the whole of borneo was. The towns were pretty dirty, the air reeked of rotten egg, day old fish and sewage yet the people were friendly and helpfull and the sights were breathtaking. From the top of the world, to below sea level, to the middle of the jungle, to the clubs in the capital i loved every minuute. Reading this i hope you can get a sense of what i am experiencing as well as what i am learning. The changes that have occured within myself both for the good and the bad have changed the shape of my life. I encourage you all to travel. It is a life experience you will never regret, no matter how much suffering you may have to endure proceding and during the trip. I cannot describe to you what its like to travel to a foreign country, it is something that must be experienced. Good luck to you all.