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Published: August 23rd 2007
Well after spending 4.5 hours in a car we arrived at the rather unpictureque Semporna, the base for our dive/snorkel trip the next day to Sipadan
Home for the night after the long journey was the Dragon Inn
- a complex of chalet style rooms on stilts over the water. The wooden floors to the rooms where such that you could see through the gaps to the sea below something not appreciated by all members of the group but I thought was rather cool. The rooms themselves are rather basic but definately adequate and above some of the dive hovels I have previously stayed in. Not so good though was the double bed for Katy and I (the others in the group also had double beds too) - bit wierd but that was John's (Tour Guides) organisation for you!!! Just really glad it was a supersize bed.
Lunch at the Inn though did leave a lot to be desired hence a Pizza run to Scuba Junkie that evening and an opportunity for me to check out the place that I will be staying in a few weeks time when I return for more diving. If the pizzas are anything
The Dragon Inn
Home for the night - over the water
to go by then I will be fine!!!!
The John's Weather Curse struck again and it was raining and windy for the third and final trip he arranged for us!!! The crossing to Sipadan in the morning was pretty rough and the rather small boat organised by North Borneo Divers for 10 snorkellers and 4 divers pitched it's way to the island taking 1.5 hours instead of 40 mins. Thankfully it made it to the island without capizing and without any really sea sick casualities.
I managed 3 good dives during the day though the sites were slightly restricted by inclement weather that continued until the the after noon just in time for the last dive. But it felt really good to be back in the water diving again.
The first dive was ok with a few large turtles and a small White Tip Reef shark but it was the next 2 dives that showed Sipadan to be the dive location raved about in books. It was pretty much Turtle and Shark (fin) Soup down there with turtles coming at you from every direction - some the size of dining room tables!!!!
And the reef was in
The turtles that make Sipadan so famous.
very good condition with lots of things to look at other than just the big stuff that seemed to be around every corner.
The White Tip Reef Sharks
were pretty profuse too and they allowed you to get pretty close before spooking off to a safe distance. Wish I had my underwater camera to get some shots though but maybe when I return in a few weeks then that will be possible.
Shame Sipadan Island not still open for a stay on because it would be lovely to have this diving on the doorstep and to have the picturesque backdrop of the tropical island instead of the rather grotty Semporna that was our back drop last night.
There is a heavy security presense on the island now and you are restricted to a small stretch of beach to spend the time between the dives and lunch but with such a small island I think you could probably do a circuit in an hour but as that is now not allowed we just enjoyed the white sands that are permitted.
Luckily the weather improved for afternoon and the journey back and we had a quick and pleasant
At some points the White Tips outnumbered the divers!
trip back to Semporna. Then it was one last Pizza stop and we were on the road back to Sepilok again, ready to start the next and last 9 days of our placement.
Oh how time is passing so very quickly - can not beleive that I am almost at the end of my time at Sepilok and will soon be leaving the Orangutans behind but for now I plan on making the most of the time I have remaining. Next blog should be from my time spent in the Outdoor Nursery with the bigger Orangs.
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