Sunrise over Kapalai resort
An early rise for our trip to Sipadan, met Malcolm and Julie down at the dive centre, geared up and got onto the boat. The trip to Sipadan Island was about 40 minutes and was a bit bumpy, being susceptible to sea sickness I was glad when we got there! We were a small group, besides Vaughan and I and Malcolm and Julie there was a Dutch couple, a Swedish couple and an English guy so we all got to know each other very quickly! Our first dive was Coral Garden and we were in the water by 7am. I hate backward rolls off the boat and was dreading getting in and as I suspected I over rolled in the water and came up banging my head on the boat! The worse thing was they filmed the panic on my face! It was a lovely dive we saw quite a few turtles, parrot fish and plenty of colourful coral.
In between the first and second dive we went to the Island for our surface interval. Sipadan Island used to have a resort but tight controls on preserving the marine environment around Sipadan, hence the permits, plus terrorist kidnappings back in 2000 led to the resort shutting down and only military presence being allowed to stay on the Island now. On the Island itself you have a large shelter area with picnic tables and a toilet block, the rest is military base so your restricted pretty much to the shelter, toilet block and beach. We had a hot drink and biscuits before getting back in the boat an hour later for the second dive at Drop Off. My entry was better this time so I was improving! We got down and after about 2 minutes the Dive Master Alvin gave me the signal to ask where my dive buddy was! I turned around and no Vaughan!! Where the heck was he? The visibility wasn't particularly good either, the dive guide kept going which meant I had to keep going with the rest of the group so I imagine Vaughan went back up for some reason.
The dive was pretty good especially towards the end where we saw tones of fish and a huge turtle which we followed. I also got some good film on a reef shark. Coming back up I saw Vaughan on the boat, he had ear trouble hence why he abandoned the dive. We went back to the Island for breakfast and Vaughan said he wouldn't continue with diving as his ear was still blocked. He was not happy and said that he swore a lot on the boat while we were down diving! So when we went in for our 3rd dive at Barracuda Point, Vaughan took the other boat back to the resort. Barracuda Point was a great dive with plenty of Barracuda and more turtles! Our final dive was Staghorn Crest, probably my favourite so far as it was clear and very colourful dive.
After completing four dives at Sipadan we were back at the resort by 2pm for lunch.
The afternoon was to relax, we were all pretty tired! Jerri the Dutch lady gave Vaughan a tablet that would help clear his ear so he decided to put it to the test that afternoon and go for a dive with the Dutch couple. While Vaughan was diving I spent the afternoon relaxing on our balcony in peace now the noisy Asian kids next door had gone! I also went and explored the rest of the resort to see what other facilities it had on offer. There was a nice little shop that sold crafts and clothing, a little library and games room, the Internet was near the front desk but very expensive so I decided to leave that alone! In the evening we all got together again for dinner then moved into the bar area with our other dive buddies for drinks and watched the video of the days events. Another early night as it was Sipadan again tomorrow!
Nemo's at Sipadan