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Published: August 15th 2011
So here’s the deal with Sipidan. It sits on the end of the continental shelf like a pinnacle over a valley. When you reach this gorgeous round jungle island surrounded by white sandy beach it’s hard to stomach the fact that at the end of the day you will have to leave. I found myself hoping the boat would break down. At the edge of the white sand and teal water is a 2,000 kilometer (6,000 foot) drop off to the bottom of the sea which makes for a pretty dark blue, pretty sudden contrast in the water color. All I had to say was a repeated blissful, “wow.” During surface intervals we were forced to relax on the island (sarcasm). The sand was so white and so uniform. It felt amazing on my feet. We walked along the small portion of the beach that is not reserved for sea turtle eggs and admired all the sand crabs and hermit crabs scurrying about. For each dive we jumped onto the boat for maybe 5 minutes then jumped right back out onto the reef walls around the island. The coral gardens of Sipidan are like nothing I’ve ever seen before in my
54 logged scuba dives. It’s like seeing St. Peters Basilica. No other cathedral will ever compare. I took it all in. The swims out into the deep blue (with 6,000 feet of water below me), the close encounters with white tip reef sharks and grey sharks, the sea turtles, the army sized schools of barracuda, jack fish and bumbhead parrotfish; the dramatic walls into oblivion, the strange fish our dive master pointed out, the huge Napoleon Ras and groupers, the cave where turtles go to die (nobody knows why), the garden eels, I just took it all in. What else could I do? I guess I was scared though because after all the diving was done, I thought about the places I had been underwater and felt nervous, even though it had already happened. It’s just Sipidan is the kind of place that leaves your senses speechless and it takes time for your consciousness to catch up. Needless to say, I love Sipidan and intend to come back. Maybe next time I will be lucky enough to see a school of 50 hammerheads like the group the day before mine.
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