Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Diving @ Sipadan

We will never forget our first descent at Sipadan on this dive trip ... At Drop Off, we saw an Eagle Ray. Fantastic! And there were many white-tip reef sharks too of course ...

It wasn't all big stuff!

A bit of surface time ... We also dived Southpoint and Barracuda Point.

Not quite a vortex, but still an impressive sight of schooling jacks and Barracudas!

Here's the view I had from inside the Turtle Cavern / Turtle tomb, looking out at my dive buddies ... I ventured in with Neo the DM, along with E. What a rush!

The friendliest turtles you will ever see!

Dive buddies having a great time!
Wikipedia & Tourism Malaysia writes...
Sipadan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia, rising 2,000 feet or 600m from the seabed. It is located in the Celebes Sea east of the major town of Tawau and off the coast of East Malaysia on the Island of Borneo.
It was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcanic cone that took thousands of years to develop. Sipadan is located at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin, the centre of one of the richest marine habitats in the world. More than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this ecosystem.
Normally rare diving scenes are frequently seen in the waters around Sipadan: schools of greenback turtles and hawksbill turtles nesting and mating, schools of barracuda & big-eye trevally in tornado-like formations, pelagic species such as manta rays, eagle rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks.

A mysterious turtle tomb lies underneath the column of the island, formed by an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that contain many skeletal remains of turtles that have become lost and drown before finding the surface
"The late Jacques Cousteau, the world-renowned oceanographer, described Pulau Sipadan (Sipadan Island) as ‘an untouched piece of art’, while divers around the world voted it as the best diving spot in the world."
This Malaysia’s only oceanic island is very small – only 12ha. in size. A 25-minute walk is all that is required to circle the island on foot. Surrounded by crystal clear waters, this crown jewel is a treasure trove of some of the most amazing marine animals.
Declared a bird sanctuary in 1933 by the Colonial Government of North Borneo and re-gazetted in 1963 by the Malaysian Government, the dense vegetation on Sipadan Island supports a large variety of tropical birds which include sea eagles, kingfishes, sunbirds, starlings and wood pigeons. Exotic crustaceans including the amazing coconut crab (Birgus largo) roam the beaches and scurry among the undergrowth.
Sipadan Island offers some of the best wall diving in the world. The water's edge presents a drop of more than 609.6 metre (2,000 feet) just 9.14 metre (30 feet) from the beach, and all dive sites are within easy reach by boat.
Thousands of marine life, be it big or small, make Sipadan Island their home, making it one of the most exciting dive locations in the world.

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