Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18 2010 - WOW 4 dives on Sipadan

We started the day at 4:00am to get ready for a 5:30 boat departure to the nearby island of Sipadan. Although only a quick 20 minutes away by boat there is only 120 people allowed in the sanctuary daily. That includes the staff, snorklers and divers combined. The permits will be charged back to our room since this is monitored by the Malay government.

The boat ride at sunrise was uneventful but there are a lot of flying fish exiting the water as we wisked by. Once at the island we all needed to sign in at the main dock and then we'll be off to Barracuda Point for Dive 1. Upon entering the water we were surrounded by numerous jacks and bump head parrot fish schooling and moving around really fast. (Just like Leonard C. told us!) The reef on Sipadan is so rich in eco life and the shallows were simply amazing for photography. About 10 minutes into the dive we came upon our first schooling set of jacks. So we headed deeper below them to photograph but they never really formed a good recognizable circle but cool never the less. We were escorted by a team of batfish that pretty much stayed with us the entire dive. We saw 3-4 white tip reef sharks and some schooling barracudas as well.

The 2nd dive after a one hour breakfast interval was at Hanging Gardens were we saw more white tips and batfish by the hundreds and they would let you get so very close and were not shy like hose we saw over at Mabul. Bump head parrots, schooling jacks and large groupers filled the gamut here.

Dive 3 we went to Mid drift after another one hour surface interval. We saw more of the same and more sharks than the first two combined.

After lunch and a 1.5 hour surface interval we headed back to Barracuda Point for the final dive of the day. Again more of the same beauty observed as seen all day long. Alicia got short tanked and started with only 2560psi so we stayed fairly shallow to maximize her bottom time. There were 3 separate jack schools going on at one time for a feast of activity so no need to go deep anyways!

Once we got back to Mabul and looked the board for tomorrow we were scheduled to go back to Sipadan again on Thursday. Since Wednesday was due to a cancelation tomorrow will be our scheduled day but hey... Who's complaining, we're going back to Sipadan two days in a row!

More tomorrow the way Alicia fell asleep at 5:00p.m. and slept until 4:00 a.m. the travel had finally caught up to her and she also caught a cold as Greg loves to run the ac very high... We have since compromised so she can feel better and Greg can have a dive buddy....

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