Shark week in Borneo

Trip Start May 17, 2006
Trip End Jul 01, 2006

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Friday, June 16, 2006

Dude, Sipadan was fahking crazy. First I went to the dive shop to chat with the divemaster, Jeffrey, about what kind of dives I could do as I was flying out at 7 AM the next day. He kept saying "maximum five meters." Joker. Then I sat around with Mingming, the diveshop cat, who was really cute but attacked everything that came in front of her, kind of like the belligerent kitten I saw in Cambodia with David.

We got out to the island after about a 1.5-hour boat ride because we had to stop at Mabul to drop off the unlucky bastards who couldn't get permits for Sipadan. There were army dudes all over the place at Sipadan so I felt pretty secure, but they were singing karaoke most of the time in what was the bar of the island's resort before the government ordered resorts off the island.

When I first went in the water I didn't know what to do because there was so much to see. The first dive site was called Coral Garden and they weren't kidding. It was a wall covered in coral that stretched as far as I could see (which was fucking far, like 40 meters) down and wide, and most of the corals were alive and well, as opposed to the dead ones you usually see in SE Asia. On that dive we saw blacktip reef sharks, HUGE sea turtles, groupers, huge parrot fish, box fish, a zillion other fish, etc. There were so many fish it would be ridiculous to try to ID them. The whole place had fish all over it of all sizes.

The second dive was even better, at a spot called Barracuda Point. My right ear gave me a hard time at first (I think the fifth dive is when my ear gets pissed), but it worked out in the end. We saw a school of barracudas, more turtles, more sharks, some crazy fish that look like the sponge they live near, eels, shrimps, 100 more varieties of fish, and all kinds of other shit. In between dives I saw some people I had met at Uncle Tan's and chatted with them, then I saw the German couple I met at Mulu. That has happened to me about 8 times now.

The last dive was at a place called Drop Off, and that shit DROPS OFF, from about 5 feet to about 500. We got really close to a huge sleeping turtle (see photots), swam around the mouth of a cave (but not IN the cave) where some Japanese divers got lost and didn't make it, saw more of the sharks, etc., and swam through one of those huge schools of silver fish that you see near the surface. I was pissed when we had to leave, and I usually don't want to even go for second dives, much less third ones. I got some sweet pics of the whole thing, which I will post here.

When I got back I found out that David had missed his flight because we thought it left at 1 PM and it was at 1 AM, so I nearly had a heart attack racing around trying to figure that shit out. That worked out eventually (he is coming tomorrow), but I was supposed to rest as the computer gave me 18 hours to wait before flying and I had a lot less (plus the computer didn't know I was diving all day the day before). I ate at the Dragon Inn's restaurant and I was pissed I hadn't before because they had killer Chinese food. They also had a CD playing of some Chinese dudes singing the Righteous Brothers that was super righteous.
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