Dive day #2 at Sibuan Island

Sibuan Travel Blog

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Sibuan Island

Today I felt much more comfortable in my surroundings. It helped to learn that the locals say "hello" "hi" "hi friend" or something similar to every non-Malay person in town. Being spoken to in broken English by strangers as you're walking down the street takes a little getting used to. It's no secret this is my third day ever in Asia! The people here are friendly at least that's how I'm taking it. The town feels a bit dodgy to me but I don't feel like I'm in danger of getting robbed or anything. The "feel" in this town just takes some getting used to!

The walk down to the dive shop took about a quarter of the time, helped by the fact that I know where I'm going. After getting our lunch to go in a syrofome container (with spoon), we were off in our dive boat.

About 30 minutes later we were at the first dive site of the day, which was off the shore of an island called Sibuan. From what I understand, it's close to where we were yesterday. On the boat today was a girl from Perth but who now lives in Hong Kong, a girl from Holland, two guys from Belgium and a couple, one from the US and the other from New Zealand and then me.

Our entry for dive #1 was from the shore, so now backward rolls entries this time. We went for a 28m dive and swam along what looked like a cliff with a drop off into the abyss. We saw some typical stuff like clown fish and lots of big silver fish with yellow tails. Turtle count = 0

After a 1.5 hour break we sailed about 2 minutes away and did a dive off the boat. It was my turn to use the camera so I was in charge of taking pictures of everything we were seeing.

Nemos
We saw lots of turtles, two of them had smaller fish laying on their shells. We saw lots of black, spiny, sea urchins, but unfortunately none of the Mandarin fish that are supposed to be hiding in them. We also saw a lionfish and a huge sea cucumber that was actually moving around and eating something.

After dive #2, we ate our takeaway and got ready for dive #3, which was me and the assistant instructer so I could do my navigation dive, while the others did a different dive. The navigation dive is for learning how to navigate under water with a compass. Since at this dive site we have 15m + of visibility and if you're lost you can come up to the surface and it's 30+ degrees out (pretty much the same temperature as the water) so it's not so necessary.

Frogfish
I had to swim out 15 flipper kicks, turn around and come back to the same spot. It doesn't sound difficult (especially since I could still see the spot I was aiming for) but in a dive site with poor visibility, it would be a good skill to have. We still had time for exploring and I brought my camera with me. We saw a frog fish that really does look like a rock or a piece of coral. We also saw more clownfish and the same fish as yesterday. Since I had my camera, we didn't see turtles but I did get some sweet pictures of some clownfish, the frog fish and a pufferfish and a little fish thing that kept poking its head out of a piece of piping.

Once dive #3 was over, it was a quick sail back to Semporna. The plan was to meet Nick at 5:30 so we could go for a walk to the stilt village.

"Pipe" fish
After filling out my paperwork, I'm officially an Advanced Open Water Diver :) I wasn't sure what he met by 'stilt village' but he said it was cool so I went along.

We walked about 5 minutes outside of the "downtown" area an came across a road lined with street vendors. Then we came across a volleyball game. The guys playing were mostly in thongs, or barefeet with one guy wearing proper (kind of) gym shoes. Some of the guys were really good (mostly the ones in barefeet).

From the volleyball court, we walked along one of the stilt village "Streets". All the houses are on stilts with the main "road down the center. When diving out at the sites, we saw lots of garbage. I was wondering where it came from until tonight. At the beginning of the "road" is the town garbage dump.

Nudibranch
There was so much garbage and it just flows right into the water, which then goes out to sea. I saw a dog sniffing around in it. :(

As we walked along the walkway, we started gathering kids who followed us all the way to the end. They kept asking us our names and (of course) saying "hello". We'd take their picture and then they'd run over and see themselves in the pictures. It was so cute. It was also humbling to see how so many people live here. The "road" was so dodgy in some places, Nick almost fell in once and I was worried the planks were going to bust. Meanwhile, the kids are running around chasing each other! We walked by a group of girls who were washing their hair with a bucket of water and Nick joked to them "shower day I see" and  they all giggled.

The herd of kids
  I wonder how much people understand when you talk to them. I know I had no idea what anyone is saying when they speak Malay!

After some roasted banana on a stick covered in butter and sugar (that's as adventurous as I'm going to get), some candy from one of the vendors in the stilt village and watching Nick eat some kind of meat on a stick (we asked what it was "beef?" and she said "1 RM". We're still not sure what it was) we headed back (quickly) to the town as it was getting dark.

After an awesome dinner of king prawns, tuna steak, chicken and side dishes, I called it an early night. I've decided to change hotels to the one next door to the dive shop so I don't have to walk across town anymore.

Tomorrow is Sipidan and I'm super excited. I keep speaking to people who have gone and all they do is rave about it. YAY!!

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Sibuan Island
Sibuan Island
Nemos
Nemos
Frogfish
Frogfish
Pipe fish
"Pipe" fish
Nudibranch
Nudibranch
The herd of kids
The herd of kids
Dinner
Dinner
Good Time Teddy!
Good Time Teddy!
roasted banana
roasted banana
The middle one is Batman
The middle one is Batman
kitty!
kitty!
Semporna town
Semporna town
The view outside my hotel
The view outside my hotel
pufferfish!
pufferfish!
Sibuan
photo by: siri