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Published: November 2nd 2018
This shark seems to have lost the remora, small fish who live simbyotically, clinging to his body.
DIVE DAY THREE - SIPADAN
After dives one and two on Sipadan I had a day of rest, and moved back into the Cube Station. What a relief. The other women are so friendly and we have such fun sharing. I also found out there was tea available all day in the common room and every morning there was a really complete breakfast, as well.
On my third dive day I grabbed fruit, toast and tea at the Cube Station and then caught my cab to the dive center. I got there ten minutes later than usual and the divemaster gruffly said I should go to the boat, which I did. And I waited, and waited and waited for the rest of the divers, so I hadn’t been holding them up. I was dreading the long, bumpy ride back out to Sipadan Island. Once we were under way, I saw that the divemasters were standing, and I decided to stand up and hold on to the side of the boat. Of course! We have shock absorbers in our legs. It was infinitely easier on my hips and lower back. And it was
Turtles are abundant in Sipadan.
fun. I felt a little like a Viking, standing face to the wind.
It was my last dive day. It was hard to believe. I actually dived all three days on Sipadan! Because I had been so blessed, I tried to be more accepting and searched for ways to enjoy the dives without complaint. As usual we started with a reef dive, but we hung over the edge so we had deep water on our right. I constantly searched for sharks and whatever else might be passing by. The second dive was at Barracuda Point again, and I’ve learned how to dive and shoot photos without getting other divers in every photo. Lunch was great. Once again the cook omitted chicken and replaced it with beef or pork, because of my chicken cough, a deep cough similar in sound to whooping cough, that I picked up in Brunei. Another diver told me to avoid chicken, eggs, iced cold drinks and drink hot lemon tea, and spray my throat with Benadryl when I was diving. That seemed to do the trick…I wasn’t plagued with the cough. It had been a day between my dives, but there was no chicken in
These large carpet-like sea anemones fold into strange shapes. The green part is the underside of the anemone. It's resident clown fish is well hidden.
the lunch. It was thoughtful that the cooks remembered.
The third dive was a treat…we dove in caves. Shallow caves, but with interesting rock formations and plays of light and shadow. It was close to the island, right past where we eat lunch on the pier. The depth drops pretty fast there. I think our dive master gave us a little more bottom time as well.
When I got back to my hotel I rinsed my gear in the shower, drained it and laid it out on the deck to dry so I could pack it up the following morning. Camera rinsed – check. Batteries charged – check. Booties – oops. I didn’t check my booties, and left them still drying on the deck. I had to rent some at the next dive destination.
Later that same evening, at dusk, I went looking for the hotel where the massage parlor was and stepped on a metal plate in the sidewalk. I know better than that; I was distracted. It tilted diagonally and I fell into the opening. My right leg never reached the bottom. I threw myself to the left and caught myself on my left forearm
DIVE MASTER AND CHILD
As beginner scuba divers, children are limited to 30 foot depths, but this young diver is able to look down into the abyss.
and knee. I really did a number on that shoulder, scraped my right calf and I swore like a sailor, as they used to say. I was so mad, mostly at myself. I have been warned about holes in the street and have seen them for years in my travels. But Semporna doesn’t have much in the way of debris or holes so I got careless, I guess. All in all I had a lot to be grateful for…I didn’t break anything, I had no serious cuts, etc. etc. But the day after I was hurting in places I didn’t even know I had hit. The last day, before I got on the bus to go to the airport in Tawau, I went looking for the place where I fell. Every metal grate was secure…was it the Twilight Zone?
On the day I moved on to my next destination, when everything was packed I ordered my taxi and had time for a good breakfast before we got underway. The taxi was a small bus and we had to wait for several late-comers, but I still arrived in plenty of time to catch my flight to Kuala Lumpur where I
On the side of the cliffs huge sea fans grow to fifteen or more feet tall.
had a five hour layover, followed by a three hour flight to Yangon (I prefer the old name, Rangoon.) After four years I finally set foot on Myanmar soil.
The first time around I didn’t have a visa so the airline wouldn’t give me my ticket. (The web site for Myanmar said you could get your visa at the airport.) This time, although it still says you can get a visa at the airport I read closer and saw that you make the application on line, get a confirmation letter saying you have applied and then you can “pick it up at the airport.” I had the visa letter in hand when I approached immigration, but still I had a few butterflies in my stomach. I handed the paper work to the officer and he stamped the visa in my passport. It worked!
Myanmar, at last.
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