Diving in Sabah is such an incredible experience.
The next day was an early rise for all of us, we couldn't contain our excitement, especially me. It was my first time to dive in East Malaysia and in Sipadan nonetheless! And I couldn't wait to marvel in all the mysterious beauty that this beautiful island could offer. My two travel buddies had been diving here for a few times and both of them had been telling me how pretty this place was. The buzzy feeling inside me was rolling crazily.
Sipadan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia and it means that the island has no foundation, it's literally a floating island with a deep drop of 600M until you reach the seabed (it's freaking deep!). As a result, you will see a very nice scene of two beautiful blue hues on the beach colliding with each other; one minute you are walking on a sandy beach and another minute you will be floating on the sea with a depth of 600M below you.
By the way, I heard from the locals that this island might be disappearing thanks to the rise of sea level, global warming and everything to do with the pollution. It is sinking itself and the land area is getting smaller. Our government has practiced some strict protection for this island, you need to get special permit to land, dive or even cruising around the area. They only allow 120 divers per day so if you are planning to dive here, plan and make your reservation with those dive centres early and make sure that they do have permits to dive in Sipadan.
There are many things that I would want to talk about diving in Sipadan, like it was so freaking beautiful and the deep blue, endless ocean below cast a certain mysterious shadow over your dives and made everything underwater seemed so magical and so wondrous.
I talked about how diving is like entering into another alien world and diving here was more than just entering into another alien world; it's more like passing into a paradise of another dimension and instead of consisting sunny days, sandy beaches and everything nice, this place had a deep blue hue, lotsa fishes - big and small and tons of thriving corals along the island walls.
Once or twice when the sun managed to shine through and you could see the underwater world transformed from the mythical blue to a sea of full of shimmering colorful lives with ocean creatures breezing around the magnificent scales of coral walls. Surrounded by these transcendent terrain, I couldn't help feeling like I had invaded something so special and it made me feel so tiny, so humble, so inspiring and so calm all at the same time.
The underwater world was so breathtaking; no cameras and no photos could ever capture its grandeur.
We also visited and dived other beautiful islands. The dive spots were mesmerizing, though I must say that nothing around there could beat Sipadan, like duh!
I am storytelling too much. So I am gonna just let the photos take over my writing now.
We were spellbinded by these fascinating places that we couldn't be bothered with photos. Well, we did take some, just not a lot. So enjoy!
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="630"] Sipadan Island and all its glory.[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="630"] So excited to be here.[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="630"] Turtles are everywhere.[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="630"] Taken from 30M below.[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="612"] Just chilling with a herd of jack fish.[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="630"] Titan Triggerfish - every diver's nightmare. Avoid this fish like a plague![/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="630"] Beautiful corals everywhere![/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="630"] Such a good trip.[/caption]
There have been spotting of hammerhead sharks and rays in a large group around Sipadan dive spots so if you are extremely lucky and experienced to be diving deep into the oceans with strong currents, you might be able to witness these majestic animals.
We didn't have such luck and we were pretty much still inexperienced so our dive masters were careful not to bring us to crazy places. Oh ya, the currents were strong and kinda cold too so if you are afraid of cold be sure to wear a full suit. At one point, the current suddenly got so strong that all of us had to hold onto stones/corals and I thought it would never end, well luckily it did if not I wouldn't be here telling you all about it.
Also, I suggest that you start exercising regularly two - three months before your dive here if you are not athletic because having that extra leg strength and stamina will help. This is also another friendly reminder, keep your hands to yourself while you are under the water. Corals take too long to grow and too fast to die, besides, there are stone fishes, the most poisonous fish on Earth who is also a master of disguise, you won't want to accidentally touch them so DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING AT ALL (unless there's strong current but you should really follow your dive master's instructions).
A midst the securities issues and kidnapping cases, I think I would still want to visit Semporna and dive in Sipadan again in the future. I am sure now that I have left my heart there.
Check out my entire itinerary in the next post! Stay tuned!
You could also check out my post on
1. Travel 2014: Semporna, Sabah.