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Published: August 24th 2013
After becoming a qualified scuba diver I flew off to Semporna to increase my diving experience. Scuba junkie has a dive lodge in Semporna that is half price for divers, so that was a very convenient place to stay, right opposite the office, so I couldn't get any closer if I tried!
Day 1 I had a trip booked out to Mantabuan, one of the more northern islands in the area. The visibility was amazing compared to KK, at 15-20m. This is more like I imagined diving to be when I initially booked my course! Towards the end of my first dive my dive master pointed out a turtle! To which I reacted with a very girly squeal of excitement before regaining my composure! On all the dives I saw so many varieties of fish, including Lion fish, yellow striped fusilier, triggerfish and parrot fish, crocodile fish, long fin banner fish plus many more.
I ended up seeing 2 turtles on my first dive, 1 on my second and 6 on my third, so I was extremely pleased, as that was the main thing I wanted to see whilst diving here. Most were green turtles but I also saw
a hawksbill on the last dive. Most of the turtles I saw were over 1m long, so I came back to shore very impressed with the dividing here, and in no doubt as to whether to go again the next day!
Day 2 I went diving around Mabul and Kapalai. The first dive site had loads of sunken house like structures which were home to big fish, leafy scorpionfish, white snappers and giant moray eels. It was really surreal to be swimming through and over the houses. It felt a bit like I was flying like in the snowman!
The second dive was a wall dive with thousands of fish all around, and another 5 turtles! One massive green turtle just looked like a UFO crash when I approached it along the wall, and it took me a while to be sure it was in fact a turtle like I first thought.
The final site we went to was called Awas, which means danger. A great start to the dive already!! This was a muck dive, where we really had to search to find fish in the litter and plants on the seabed. Luckily our instructor found
lots for us to see, including seahorse, painted frog fish (apparently very rare) fingered dragonet the, spot faced moray eels, mandarin fish, cornet fish and more. Towards the end of the dive we came to a sunken boat which is a popular resting place for a green turtle that is 1.5-2m long! It was amazing to be able to be so close to the turtle, who was just quite content sitting on top of the boat. As I was watching the turtle another one a similar size glided in and sat in the boat. It truly was an amazing end to diving in Semporna, and I look forward to my next dives, hopefully in Indonesia.
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