Awesome Muck diving

Mabul Travel Blog

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Green Turtle

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Heikke and Sami (Finland), Robin (England), Joel and Rachael (England), Rich (England), Emily (England), Scuba Jeff (Malaysia), Chris (Philippines)

An hour and a half after leaving Semporna, we arrived at the island of Mabul with one engine less than we began our trip. We had 2 surprises upon arrival, the first been that there was a band playing music to greet us and the second was that Emily who we met in the Philippines was there on crutches. Shortly after she had left us, she had fallen at a waterfall and broken her ankle. She had made it to Mabul and stayed there whilst her ankle was healing.

After some breakfast, we got talking to people who had been on the island for a while and received rave reviews of what was to be seen under the water, which really made me eager to get involved.

Crocodile Fish
Unfortunately i was told that due to a huge group of Chinese tourists wanting to do some one day beginner diving course, there would not be enough equipment to dive. As we planned on staying on the island for some time, this didn't matter too much, although i thought it a little unprofessional to book people down for dives when they could not fulfill their promise.

As it turned out, the Chinese people arrived back shortly after lunch, so we managed to fit in 2 dives for the day. The first dive site was called Paradise, and lived up to its name. The dive was spectacular and i saw many different species that i had never seen before including Crocodile Fish, Frog Fish, cleaner shrimp and Bearded Scorpion Fish. We also managed to spot a Moray Eel, Green Turtle, Barracuda, Lion Fish and Clown Fish amongst others. I surfaced totally exhilarated by what i'd seen and keen to show Julia my photos.

Frog Fish
She was doing her first day of her PADI Open Water certificate, so it gave her more motivation to get in the water and see all these wonderful things.

The second dive was at the Sea Venture Oil Rig, which is now turned into a deluxe hotel. The dive was extremely interesting as many types of fish have taken residence amongst what has been discarded under water, including boats and old piping. We saw many of the same species that we did on the first dive as well as a huge school of fusilier fish and a lot of Lion Fish. It capped off a fabulous 2 dives and left me eager for more!

That evening Uncle Chang threw a really cool party, handing out free beers and as much free rum as you could drink. He got his band to play the 'Sipadan Song' and a lot of other classics, they were actually really good. We called it a night around midnight, but the party was still in full swing into the early hours of the morning.

Scorpion Fish
It was a great start to our time on the island.

The following day was Julia's first day of practical skills, after she had passed her written work the previous day. Thankfully i didn't have any diving booked as i had a bit of a rum hangover, so i took the opportunity to do some reading and chill out on the communal decking. Julia had a fantastic time out in the water, although she had been a little nervous at first. This gave me itchy feet, so i decided to walk around to the jetty on the far side of the island and do some snorkelling.

Rather than walk out along the jetty i decided to snorkel out, but i realised once i was halfway that the tide was so far out that the water wasn't really deep enough to be snorkelling. I tried to walk the rest of the way out, but there was too much coral so i resorted to snorkelling again.

2 Moray Eels snug as a bug in a rug!
As i lay down and pushed off i felt a really sharp pain in my foot and thought i had sliced my foot on coral. I managed to swim out to a small piece of sandy ground underwater and sat down and pulled my foot up to be greeted by 5 barbs of a sea urchin stuck in my foot. I tried to pull them out, but they snapped near the base. I began to panic as i thought they were poisonous, so swam to a dive boat to get some help. I was relieved when the guy told me that it wasn't poisonous and he told me the best cure was to pour urine on the wounds. Why does it always have to be a urine cure for all pains generated from the sea!?!? Urine applied, i continued to snorkel for a bit, but the pain made me give up after half an hour or so. I stumbled back round to Uncle Changs and spent the rest of the day reading.

The music was once again pumped up in the evening, but i decided to give the party a miss as i had diving booked for the next day, whilst Julia was busy studying for her dive course.

Yellow Backed Fusilier Fish
I therefore persisted with a book called 'Caesars Women', which culminated in been a thoroughly disappointing waste of 850 perfectly good sheets of paper.

UNCLE CHANG'S SIPADAN SONG

1. There's an island in the Celebes Sea,

The name's Sipadan you must go and see,

If you're a diver and you want the best

Come go along and we'll do the rest!

CHORUS: Well I'm glad to say the drop offs ok,

Barracuda points not far away,

Lobster Lair is also there

And the Hanging Gardens are very rare!

2. Diver down at the water side

Looking at the drop off with gaping eyes

Wondering whats there down below

Is it Nobby Clarke or Jacques Cousteau!?

CHORUS

3.

The band busting out another number
There's Turtle Skeleton in Turtle Cave

You can go and see if you're feeling brave

Dive right in until it ends

But don't stay too long or you'll get the bends!

CHORUS

4. White Tip avenue and Turtle Patch

The Coral Gargen - There is no match

Soft coral, hard coral and see whips too

Tropical Fish to amaze you!

CHORUS

5. Jacques Cousteau and Calipso came

Oh...ze... micro paradise he did acclaim

Diver in silver up and down the reef

Cameras were clicking there was no relief

CHORUS

6. Well sad to say you're leaving tomorrow

Sipadan Island will be far away

I know that when you leave her shore

There'll be memories in your heart forever more!

STK3 says:
thank for sharing
Posted on: Aug 22, 2012
James1985 says:
like i say in my blog,i took the moral high ground for the first time ever and sighed and walked away.Maybe that leaf scorpionfish i saw was also really popular in small town america.I failed to mention the Lionfish, it was only 4 and they were only about twice the size of my head, and my head is big. :-)
Posted on: May 12, 2009
Deats says:
Yeah and my Dads bigger than your Dad and ive got a gun. haha. I really wish you told crocodile fish woman to take a running jump! Actually i think i would have just let a big sigh out, stood up and walked away. Did you tell her about the lion fish? I bet she would have told you they were small the ones that you saw ;) haha
Posted on: May 12, 2009
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Green Turtle
Green Turtle
Crocodile Fish
Crocodile Fish
Frog Fish
Frog Fish
Scorpion Fish
Scorpion Fish
2 Moray Eels snug as a bug in a ru…
2 Moray Eels snug as a bug in a r…
Yellow Backed Fusilier Fish
Yellow Backed Fusilier Fish
The band busting out another number
The band busting out another number
Islands near Semporna
Islands near Semporna
Desert Island
Desert Island
Mabul Island
Mabul Island
Juvenile Crocodile Fish
Juvenile Crocodile Fish
Frog Fish
Frog Fish
Nudy Branch
Nudy Branch
Sea squirts
Sea squirts
Banner Fish
Banner Fish
Bat Fish
Bat Fish
The toilet was still functioning!
The toilet was still functioning!
Nudy Branch
Nudy Branch
Frog Fish
Frog Fish
Cleaner Shrimp
Cleaner Shrimp
School of Barracuda
School of Barracuda
School of Barracuda
School of Barracuda
Clown Fish
Clown Fish
Sea slug
Sea slug
Sea Venture Oil Rig
Sea Venture Oil Rig
Giant Pufferfish
Giant Pufferfish
Harlequin Sweetlips
Harlequin Sweetlips
Bat Fish
Bat Fish
Lion fish
Lion fish
2 Lion Fish
2 Lion Fish
Long nosed Butterfly fish
Long nosed Butterfly fish
Green Turtle
Green Turtle
Porcupine Pufferfish
Porcupine Pufferfish
Bearded Scorpion Fish
Bearded Scorpion Fish
Uncle Chang and the band playing t…
Uncle Chang and the band playing …
Sami really was a friendly bloke..…
Sami really was a friendly bloke.…
Chilling on a famous free rum nigh…
Chilling on a famous free rum nig…
Some more new arrivals on the isla…
Some more new arrivals on the isl…
Star Fish
Star Fish
Trumpet Fish
Trumpet Fish
Banded pipe fish
Banded pipe fish
Moorish Idol
Moorish Idol
Lizard Fish
Lizard Fish
Sea Urchin
Sea Urchin
After pulling the Sea Urchin from …
After pulling the Sea Urchin from…
Mabul
photo by: Mezmerized