Turtles everywhere

Sipadan Travel Blog

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And so the day arrives for us to go to Sipadan. We had booked this in advance which is the best thing to do as everyone who goes to Sipadan needs a permit. A lot of people arrived in Semporna and Mabul and couldn't get to Sipadan because the allowances for daily visitors were full every day. Book in advance!!!

We were the only snorkellers on the boat today. We checked in at Sipadan island, now only inhabited by the Malaysian army who are there to not only 'control' the visitor numbers, ensure correct permit details and to keep an eye on the marine life, but they are also there to keep the philippino pirates away after tourists were taken hostage a few years back.

The boat took us out a bit to the edge of the coral wall to Southern Point.

Once the divers were in we jumped in and we were immediately surrounded in colour. Fish of all shapes, sizes and colour were everywhere, so much vibrancy and all colour imaginable. It really was something. Then we saw our first turtle, a massive Hawksbill turtle swam gracefully and didn't seem at all bothered by two humans starring in awe at him. He was a big boy and we watched him swimming along and then away. The fish and the coral down there were just amazing, we saw so so much.

The next stop was the Hanging Gardens. As soon as we got in, we saw 4 turtles. They were just amazing. This soon bacame the norm, seeing a turtle close up every few minutes. Seeing them resting on the sandy floor amongst the coral was brilliant, they do blend in quite well! Then we spotted our first shark, a little black tip reef shark.

Very small but cool all the same. Was so incredible to actually see a shark! He didn't hang around long, obviously sppoked by two big alien things bobbing on the surface. The Hanging Gardens is brilliant as it is shallow coral and then a vertical drop wall of around 600m. The marine life on the coral bed and on the wall is just beautiful and we saw the most incredible range of fish there. We then spotted another shark, this one about 1.5 metres in length feeding on the wall. He was a white tip this time and he spotted us and swam towards us a bit. Was very scared but really excited at this point, it was a heck of a feeling. He then did a big circle around us and disappeared, it was absolutely awesome!!!

So this was how the day went at Sipadan, snorkel, get surrounded by turtles, fish of all shapes and colours and spot sharks. It was really rather amazing. This was to be the most varied marine life we get to see here and we felt so lucky to see so much. We have not stopped talking about our Sipadan day yet!!! We just wish so much we had an under water camera. it was a photographic dream down there!! We had one disposable camera and used it up in about 10 minutes. Get or hire an underwater digital for your Sipadan trip you will not regret it!!

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Sipadan
photo by: Deats