Pulau Mabul and Sipadan

Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
Trip End Sep 19, 2011

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Where I stayed
Uncle Chang's

Flag of Malaysia  , Sabah,
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We got on the bus headed to Semporna at 8 AM. It was a five hour journey with plenty of Chinese Kung fu movies and topped off with a sprinkling of Malaysian pop videos. Once in Semporna we were welcomed streight away by a guy who worked for Uncle Chang's guest house and dive centre. I had already been told by a Dutch woman weeks earlier that this was a good place, so we agreed on the lodgings and an Open water dive course for me. We had to wait a couple of hours for the speedboat to pick us up so we had lunch at the habor front, a Chinese as a matter of fact.
  The boat took an hour to reach the Island of Mabul. The Island is about the size of an average supermarket car park.!! The Island is populated by a people called Sea Gypsies. They live in shacks over the water and on the Island. I could never decide if they have the perfect life or a total nightmare? Anyway Our lodgings were on stilts above the water looking out to sea. Our room had no air con and it was sweltering. Apart from the heat it was a lovely spot. You could walk out of your door and literally jump into the sea to cool off. Our room cost us 18 pounds each a night but that also included 3 meals a day and all the tea and coffee you could drink. Great meals too like masses of prawns and one day there was a full Tuna fish cut up thinly and eaten raw!! NICE. Sunsets were spectacular and as you sat on your balcony after dark with a beer you could watch massive Turtles swimming feet away.
    The main reason for us going to Mabul was for me to learn to dive and on the second day I began my course. Lucky for me I was the only one at that time taking the Open water course. This meant one on one training. My instructor was a Chinese Malaysian called Geoffrey Hong. He was a great guy and a good teacher. The first day I leaned the ropes for a couple of hours at a lovely beach on the Island. Then it was off to the classroom for the rest of the day to study a 300 page text book because I had my Exam in the morning!!! Needless to say it took most of the night too.
When I say Geoffrey was a great teacher I meant practical. I was on my own when it came to the written word!! The next morning came, I did the exam and passed I'm pleased to tell you. The rest of the day I did a series of under water exercises like take my mask off under water and put it back on and blow the water out of the mask. By the end of the day I was a fully qualified Open water scuba diver. I bet it takes a lot longer to do it in the UK.
 Back on dry land Cathy had very long days, apart from sunbathing there was nothing else to do and I mean nothing. The day after I passed I spent the day with Cathy snorkeling and lazing about because  for the next two days I was going to be very busy. I had booked 3 dives around Mabul Island and the day after 3 dives around SIPADAN Island.
 Everybody who comes to this corner of Borneo does so for one reason SIPADAN. It is the only thing here that anyone talks about. I MEAN ALL THE TIME. Sipadan this Sipadan that. Yes divers are bloody boring? OH but Sipadan was great It was brilliant ............ Oh sorry I was about to get carried away talking about Sipadan. I won't bore you with the details but I will say on the 3 dives at ( and I'm getting bored writing the name ) Sipadan I saw sharks on every dive which was a thrill. The corals were fantastic and we saw about 10 huge turtles per dive. Along with all the other great fish I.E. Lion fish, Bump head parrot fish, Box fish Trigger fish you name it. I had always wanted to dive and now you could say : I came  I saw  I got the T shirt. I plan to dive in the Philippines when I get there and in any other good dive spots on my travels.
   We left Mabul when I got back from my last dive and stayed in a hotel in Semporna for the night. The next day we got in an unofficial taxi that took us to the airport at breakneck speed. The car had no dashboard and the fumes in the car were poisoning us but we got there in one piece. That evening we took a flight to KL and spent the night in our final Tune hotel. The next Morning we flew out to Langkawi where I am writing to you now. Our hotel here has got no WiFi so I have had to write this at an internet cafe. That is also the reason for no pictures at this time, but they will follow. I'm tired now so I'm off, if the spelling is worse than usual please forgive me and yes yes the punctuation is bad too, I never said I had was any good at English.
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trish and john on

wow snorkeling . and sharks how envoys i am at this very moment,keep loving keep enjoying at this once in a life time experiences

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