Published: August 6th 2011August 5th 2011
So, with the hostel being a little on the noisy side at night, and with us having to be up for the taxi at 4am, we only managed about 2 hours sleep each. The perils of this kind of travelling but nevermind, sleep when you're dead and all that jazz!
Still, the night guard at the hostel had put breakfast out for us - which was very nice of him - and the taxi driver was already outside the hostel, asleep. Needless to say he never really fully woke up. The journey to the airport invovled a lot of talking to him at a substantially increased volume, to ensure he stayed awake. Hairy doesn't quite cover the one or two moments of "drift" that occurred on the monotonous motorway section.
At the airport, check in was already done online and security was a breeze. Flight was on time and it has to be noted that AirAsia are a much better budget airline than anything we get in Europe. Between £2.54 - £12.54 a flight for all our flights is unbelievable value. I know that the taxes are a main price driver and aren't their fault in Europe but the
service - whilst obviously not on the scale of the national carriers - was pretty damn good.
Driver for Seaventures was waiting for us at Tawau airport and drove us to the costal town of Semporna past endless streams of palm trees. You might think that scene idyllic but you'd be quite mistaken. All of the previous hullaballo and entwined myystery of the jungle has been replaced by regimental rows of palm trees to cater for the palm oil trade.
From the Seaventures hut in Semporna we got on the boat out to actual Dive Resort and, even though we knew that we were to be staying on a rid, the sight of it, brightly painted in red, blue and yellow, appearing and growing on the horizon was still a sight to behold when you thought that that was to be your home for the next 4 days. Once safefly on board and shown to our room we were quickly geared up for our orientation dive and sent down to the house reef underneath the rig itself to get reacquainted with the underwater world. No clambering aboard boats for this one, oh no. We were lowered down straight
in the water using the large lift platform that had taken us up from the arrival boat. Walk onto the lift, get lowered down into the sea and just step off. Piece of piss as one might cussfully say.
Once in the water and once I was eventually weighted down (he never has these problems with buoyance - men are so biologically lucky) we saw (amongst many other things) a sea snake, a huge puffer fish, a bumphead parrot fish, lion fish, trumpet fish, scorpion fish, a small pair of mating cuttlefish and so many things to carry on mentioning.
After the dive we went out to Mabul Island, only a short boat ride away and saw where the dive instructors lived amongst the local people on the island. Not much in the way of possessions but they did seem to be a happy group of people, some living in huts on the beach, others aboard boats moored into the shallow, pale blue water gently bobbing up and down with the waves.
Rest of the evening was spent eating - they cater pretty well here - and Daniel even tried a bit of octopus. Ew, not for
me thanks! We then watched the sunset before heading off to bed as we were up at 5am for the trip out to Sipadan
There are more photos below