Finally the big day had arrived: the long-awaited trip to Sipadan!
Woke up around 5.30h (there’s already light then), had breakfast and checked out, and by 6.15h I was on the jetty, together with some other, ready to go to Sipadan. By speedboat it took around 20-30 mins, and after some administrative stuff we were ready for the first of four dives. I was in the group of the ‘Advanced’ divers, which could go a bit deeper than the group of the ‘Open Water’ divers (to about 30 meters), but honestly it didn’t make a lot of difference. Most of the good stuff was quite close to the surface.
And the first dive was immediately a very good one (at Turtle Patch), with a school of Chevron barracudas & with some white tip reefsharks. Plus a lot of reef/coral fish of course (most of them I still have to look up the names). The coral is really wonderful there!
The second dive (at Hanging Garden) was in my opinion a bit less, as we didn’t see a lot of new stuff, but mind you, ‘less’ is still good over here. Third dive (at Drop Off point) and fourth dive (at Barracuda Point) went crescendo again, with as highlights the sharks, the green turtles, the unicornfishes, the school of jacks, the giant trevallies, the bumphead parrotfish & of course the enormous school of barracudas making circles right in front of us 🙂
Sipadan is different from Mabul and the other islands because it is a real ocean island, surrounded by walls of 600 meters minimum. While the other islands are located on a big plate connected to the mainland. This is also obvious in the animals being seen. Sipadan has some of the larger stuff + beautiful coral life, while Mabul is more known for its macro-life (crabs, nudibranches, etc..) in combination with different coral life. So they perfectly complement each other.
By 16h we were back on Mabul, to transfer to the Semporna-bound boat. After a quick goodbye to Jannie & Onid and to Inge (the belgian dive master) my adventure here ended.
On my evening at Semporna I can be very short: the dorm room was quite crappy (eg no power plugs), and the town itself is not very interesting. So after going to the ATM & buying my bus ticket, I just spent some time online, to catch up with stuff.