Liquid adventures

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Apr 25, 2013

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Flag of Malaysia  , Sabah,
Monday, February 4, 2013

this place is awesome! We stayed on a converted oil rig, three dives a day, four meals a day and entertainment courtesy of the delightful Dr Cooper who made an epic journey from the UK to join us. The rig was transported from Thailand (I think) and repositioned just off the East coast of Borneo. It can sleep up to 80 guests but there were barely 15 there at the same time as us which meant Jonny and Oli ate obscene amounts of food. They did however decide to do 150 press ups a day but I sincerely doubt that this made much of a dent in the calories consumed.
The rig is a 30 min boat ride from Sipaden marine reserve which hugely restricts the number of divers a day to preserve and respect the delicate ecosystem. The region is famous for hammerhead sharks and we hoped that we might catch a glimpse, preferably from afar as they're not too friendly.
The diving was fantastic, we swam with black tip, white tip and grey reef sharks, barracuda, jack fish and saw countless vast turtles. There were also two enormous Moray eels hiding away beneath the rig and on local reefs. Apparently some divers feed them whole chickens and one of them (named Elvis) has appeared on youtube!
I did my advanced PADI course, met some fantastic people, watched a divemaster complete his training and the ultimately severe initiation he received afterwards. Did you know, Olympic drinkers out there, that you can funnel through a snorkel? Jon, Oli and I also learned what illegal Philippino rum does to people and jumped of the deck off an oil rig at 1am in the pitch black (nb, remember to clench).
We all got to practice a bit of GP medicine by way of some serious chin scratching and 'that's not quite right, best go to hospital' advice.
Expensive few days but utterly awesome and totally worth it, even if we did lose a few brain cells and even if I now have stupid tan lines where my wet suit stops, i.e. tan lines mid wrist and mid calf! Role on the next Cooper-Whittle-Welch ocean assault.
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