Day 114: Pulaus Sipadan and Mabul

Trip Start Sep 21, 2006
Trip End Jun 01, 2007

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Sunday, January 14, 2007

The sky is cloudier and the sea cooler and choppier which adds to the poor viz below the surface and mutes the colours of the corals and anemones. However, the dives prove to be fantastic. Highlights for me were lying back, allowing the gentle current to tow me alongside Hanging Gardens reef while three white-tip sharks circled and giant sea turtles were spotted in all directions, then spinning amongst great barracuda beside the entrance to Turtle Tomb (a cavern where turtles sometimes lose their way and die) while a large school of trevally gathered above.
We were able to apprach the white-tips quite closely. They're wary but non-threatening in the daytime.
Tonight I'm staying on Mabul, the first stop on the way to Sipadan. The friendly staff, unfortunately, feel the need to serenade all the guests with a many-versed song about Sipadan. It's charming at first but grates after the second helping. Kids batter the drums for hours. Still, perched on stilts on the western tip of the island, the lodge is a fine place to watch the sun dip while mixing illegal Filipino rum.
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