Diving Sipadan

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Mar 16, 2009

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

After our two dives around Mabul Island we were eagerly awaiting our first dive off Sipadan Island, as the first dive for a new group is usually a checkout dive we went to a site called the House Reef which is not too far from the resort. Visibility on this dive was poor but we still got a chance to see some very interesting small creatures as well as two big frog fish.
A few hours later we set off on a 20 minute speed boat ride to Sipadan, the weather was perfect and the trip was over in a flash. Our first dive was at a site called Barracuda Point and even though we were told the big schools of barracuda were not around this time of the year it didn't take long for us to realise that this wasn't true. We were circled by a massive school of barracuda for a good few minutes, it was amazing to see how tightly pack the schools can be and how calmly they swim by. We also saw many white tip reef sharks on this dive as well as a pretty big grey shark. Turtles were in abundance and all in all this was one of the best dives I can ever remember.
The next 6 days were very much the same, spectacular dives around some of the world's best reefs. It total we had 17 dives around the 3 islands of Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai with 2 dives a day on Sipadan Island and the 3rd on one of the other two islands. Between dives we either returned to Mabul for breakfast & lunch or spent the mandatory surface interval on Sipadans snow white beach snacking on sandwiches and hot drinks.
Over the 7 days of diving we saw countless turtles, sharks, eels, rays, groupers, snapper, barracuda, GT, tuna, many species of anemone fish, as well as hundreds of the usual reef fish, hundreds of nudibranches and some of the most colourful hard and soft coral we had ever seen. I hope and pray that the Malaysian government do all they can to try and preserve this natural wonder.
 Our accommodation and food at SMART was top class and I can't ever remember being hungry with all the food being laid out throughout the day. We especially enjoyed the lamb spit braai (BBQ) on Easter and the delicious Malay dishes we got to sample. We also met some great friend who formed part of our diving group, SMART 9. Our group was made up of all different nationalities, Andreas and Marion the lucky German couple who spend every holiday diving, Erik from the Netherlands who made his 400th dive at Sipadan and entertained us with his bizzare stories of diving in the Netherlands, Phillipp and Silvia from Switzerland who made the perfect diving couple, the English Canadians Mike and Moya and last but not least the crazy French girls who we hope to meet in Paris, Frederick and Carol. Out dive master Ronny was fantastic and had the ability to point out the smallest most camouflaged creatures throughout all the dives by tinging a metal rod on his tank. It often sounded like a telephone underwater as he pointed out one little critter after the other. And at the end of the week it was really sad to say goodbye and we felt like we were leaving home and family behind. This part of the trip we will dearly remember and are grateful that we had the opportunity to experience this little piece of paradise.
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