Day 113: Pulau Sipadan
Trip Start Sep 21, 2006
228Trip End Jun 01, 2007
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It used to be possible to stay on Sipadan but two year's ago it was turned into an aquatic reserve. The former tourist chalets are now barracks for the army. Divers, limited to 120 a day, are allowed to eat their packed lunches and used the toilet there while behind 'No entry to civilians' signs, the soldiers play chess and pump weights made from coconut tree trunks.
A turtle comes close enough for me to caress its shell. A manta ray is glimpsed gliding into the murk. After eight fruitess dives off Phuket, I finally get my leopard shark, a monster, resting on a sandy slope. A large school of trevally circle us. Great barracuda, two metres long, pause to get their razor teeth cleaned.
The corals at the sites we visit are not too bright, and there are few anemones, but given good viz, this dive site would be all it's reputation promised. I'll see what it has to offer again tomorrow.