Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 17, 2010 ---- Siamil Island & Mabul

Yesterday was a little out of the ordinary in that we traveled by high speed boat north of Mabul for approximately 45 minutes to the island of Samil. http://www.travelblog.org/Photos/4039774

 After the 45 minute boat trip we embarked on dive site Dana 1 to find that Alicia's 60mm macro lens was set in the MF mode so no shots within 3' for her... Crap! We were greeted with more crocodile fish, blennies, another ghost pipe fish and the misc. reef critters we all know and love.

After the first dive we went to the beach for about an hour for surface time and had some coffee, water and sandwiches and of course to get Alicia's lens back into AF mode! The native moms bring down their children in hopes to have some sandwiches when all the divers are done. They did model for some photos which we will share later.

After leaving the beach Dive 2 was just around the bend from the first drop and it is simply called Siamil Island where we saw more  crocodile fish, nudibranchs,and a black frog fish. Alicia's camera was back to working as expected.

We were off heading back to Mabul for lunch at the resort... We cleaned up the gear and changed out the batteries and had a bite to eat before getting ready for the last dive of the day at 2:30.

Dive 3 was just around the corner from the resort called Paradise 1. The current would drift us towards Paradise 2. Once we dropped it was like a snow storm and the viz was less than 6 feet and not much to see. We did manage to see one of the largest hawksbill sea turtles that we've ever seen anywhere. Every bit as large (or larger) than Atlas at the Moody Gardens aquarium. Also we managed to see a black seahorse in the sand but with a lot of sand backscatter. As we moved down the reef there were some huge batfish swimming around in pairs as well.

After the 5 minute boat ride back to the resort we cleaned up the gear and changed out to a 10mm lens and off to the other side of the island for some over - under shots of star fish with the chalets in the negative space. After hat we cleaned up the camera gear and put the macro lens back on for tomorrow, took a shower and off to dinner.

While at dinner we were approached by one of the dive masters to see if we want to go to Sipadan tomorrow as there was a cancellation! Ah, YES! So we scurried back to the dive shop and moved our gear over to Boat 1 Big... We're going to Sipadan tomorrow! We then headed back to the room to re-gear up the cameras back to wide angle. Alicia will be using the 17-70mm lens and Greg is gearing back up with the 10mm super wide. Off to sleep around 8:30 - 9:00pm. More on Sipadan in the next chapter!

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