Dive Day #3 at Sipadan

Sipadan Travel Blog

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Today was the big day when I finally got to see Sipadan for myself and I had to say, I wasn't disappointed. Ok, maybe I was a little disappointed, but when something is talked up so much it's tough to match the high expectations! But in saying that, it was still super awesome.

The island is surrounded by reef and then has a massive 800m drop off into the abyss. So the dive sites we went to today all had a flat top with reef, then the reef covered the slope downward as far as you could see, where it turned into "the abyss". The dives were definitely unlike any I've done before just because of the way the reef flows, so you have the small stuff in the reef and then the bigger fish swimming just off of it.

The first dive was at a spot called Turtle Patch.
At first I was a little worried because it wasn't all that great with few fish to see. Then we saw a turtle, then another one, then another one, and so on. I think we saw about 15 - 20 turtles during the dive, it was difficult to keep track. At one point there were 4 turtles swimming overhead. One of the small turtles was swimming towards me so I swam towards it. We were having a staring contest and he won. He then swam about 4 inches over the top of my head. It was one of the coolest things ever.

After a stopover on the island for a surface interval, we were back on the boat and after a 2minute boat ride we were at Barracuda Point, the dive site I was hoping we would go to. It's famous for its large school of barracuda and it didn't disappoint. Highlights of this dive was the giant school of metre long barracuda, a huge school of trevally and a big school of these big ugly fish (name I will find out later).

Our third and final dive was at Turtle Tomb, named due to the large number of turtles that swim into the cavern and can't find their way out and drown. Since we're not cavern certified we didn't go in to far inside the entrance. It can be very dangerous and is in complete darkness so you need to know what you're doing to go inside any deeper. The rest of the dive was along the side of the reef covered rock wall.

Throughout the dives we saw lots of white tipped reef sharks, about 10 in total and one was pretty massive. We also saw well over 30-40 turtles, including a ginormous turtle hiding under a rock ledge. A smaller turtle (that looked pretty big) swam over to it and the big was about 4 times the size. He's probably a great-grandfather turtle.

Overall here's the stuff I saw that I can remember:

- lots and lots of turtles
- about a dozen sharks (two which were circling around over and over and I was glad I wasn't the thing they were circling!)
- a spotted ray
- lionfish
- clown fish
- giant schools trigger fish of black with white tails
- lots of nudibranch
- a frog fish
- a metre long eel
- huge school of metre long barracuda
- huge school of trevally
- a group of about 10, longer than 1 metre barracuda
- big schools of a bunch of different types of smaller (less than 6 inches) fish

That's all I can think of right now but I'm sure there's way more.
The diving is so great I've signed up for another day and then I guess we'll see after that!
b541314 says:
is the "big ugly fish" bump head parrot fish? if so, they are one of my favourite. :D
Posted on: Oct 02, 2012
mistybubble says:
Awesome pics! Thanks for sharing! I have book my trip to sipadan next May, still working out were to stay and getting permits etc. Looking at you pics... am getting SOOOOO excited!
Posted on: Nov 25, 2009
almond72 says:
Absolutely gorgeous photos ! Too bad I can't swim properly. I only go with a snorkle into the clear waters off Kota Kinabalu,Sabah. You could sell your full size pics to National Geographic or Discovery. :D
Posted on: Jul 01, 2009
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