The Sockeyed Blog

Ben Johnson's Blog

Palau Sipadan

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I just got in from three dives out on Palau Sipadan, a stunning little nub that sticks straight up form the deep, deep ocean. There are coral and sand plateaus, then walls full of the most amazing sea life. We saw many turtles, white-tipped sharks, nemos, a lion fish, a morey eel, a trigger fish that bit my fin, and many others. There were times that you’d look around and there would be literally thousands of gorgeous fish swimming in all directions around you. It seemed that there were more fish than water! And the coral is gorgeous – wonderful multi-coloured fans and mushrooms, hard and soft stuff. We also watched the turtles parked in cleaning stations, getting a good going-over by fish.

I got a bit panicked during my first dive – not used to the regulator, mask fogging up, etc. By the second and certainly by the third things were well in hand. I felt much more relaxed and just drifted along the wall, stopping to look when things got interesting. My last dive was 46 minutes, and I still had a lot of air in my tank.

Tomorrow we head out to Sipadan again, and I’ve decided to spend the next two nights on a tiny island called Mabul, not far from Sipadan. There is a local population there and two resorts, but not much to do, which is fine with me! I’ve got some good books. The place I’ll be staying, described as fine but basic, costs RM50 a day, or about $17, and that includes meals! The dive boat will swing by and pick me up in the morning.

Many folks here live in stilt houses over the water, some really far from land (shallow spots?). Kids love to swim here, so every evening the waterfront is full of young ‘uns leaping into the water. Great fish market here in Semporna, too. Lots to photograph!

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Written by sockeyed

November 19, 2006 at 10:37

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