Wednesday 16/07 - Monday 21/07
We decided that we would take the next few days slow and enjoy the magic of this small island.
We were quite hot and sweaty after tanning on the white sand and were desperate to cool down but had been given so much warning about the deathly creatures, like stone fish, that inhabited the ocean floor that we were not going to set foot into the lapping waves. We had however spied a pool on our way to the beach - there was a sign that explicitly said that the pool was for guests only but Roxy had left her glasses back at the backpackers and Joy was distracted by a butterfly so we innocently entered the resort area and jumped into the refreshing water. We were trying to act as though we belonged with an Asian family that was also enjoying the pool and quite stealthily ducked and dived underwater as staff members walked passed. We were pushing our luck a bit and just as we were towelling off and thought we had gotten away with it, the security guard strode towards us and sternly gestured that we were not allowed to be there. We pleaded complete ignorance and apologised profusely before gathering our items and walking quickly back to the beach and on our way home.
As if we didn't have enough happiness surrounding us, we were also joined by this adorable kitten. A dead-ringer for Roxy's cat back home, Pink. We affectionately named our new bestie, Little Pink.
We did eventually decide to venture out and explore a bit more of the island and a better view of the sunset.
Before we got engulfed in the every changing colours of the sky, we had to scamper back to the safety of our backpackers. We did not want to be out after dark as the threat of pirates was still a reality.
That morning we were kitted out and were given a quick brief from our Dive Master, Hannah, before boating off to Paradise II for our first dive since Koh Tao.
Hannah was an amazing dive leader as she was very knowledgeable and was constantly pointing out little creatures as we went along on the dive.
Darren had an underwater camera and captured some spectacular pics of our underwater experience.
Some of the creatures beneath the surface we were able to identify but others were strange and unfamiliar to us.
A rather colourful Nudibranch landing on the crocodile fish
Joy, Darren and Roxy looking cheerful after the 50min underwater adventure
We headed back to the backpackers where we encounters faces of disbelief. People could not believe that we had actually done some diving...we like to shock people like that! After a delicious, although unsurprising, chicken and rice lunch, we had a quick, well needed nap on the loungers and then went out for our second dive at Paradise I. Hannah was once again our Dive Leader. During our brief she promised that we would definitely encounter turtles on this dive. We were extremely excited as we had not yet seen them on any of our previous dives.
And then we saw it! This majestic creature just hanging out on the deck of the wreck! So cool!!!
Once we had successfully registered, we were given some tea and snacks. We were going to do three dives around Sipidan Island with a break for lunch in between the second and third dives.
This tea-break gave our stomachs time to settle and gave us an opportunity to get to know our fellow divers...
Al (from Switzerland) and Luis (from Portugal)
|Sara (from Morocco) and Darren|
We were all signed in and ready to go so we jumped onto our double engine speed boat and headed out to our first dive sight.
Hanging out with our Diving Instructors and Guides. For local empowerment, all the Sipidan dives are lead by Malaysian divers.
Roxy getting cosy with our boat captain!
Everyone was enjoying a little tanning time on the boat as we went along to each dive sight.
Beneath the surface the water was much calmer although the visibility on the first dive was not great as the strong currents were churning up sand and sediment from the ocean floor. It was then that we realised why Sipidan is one of the most sort after dive spots. There is just a huge 40 meter cliff of coral that is just teeming with fish, shrimp, turtles, sharks and so much more. Swimming along this huge cliff made one feel so small and in awe of the absolute beauty was all around.
Roxy was able to descend on the next two dives! Yay! The current was extremely strong on the one dive and basically washed us along the reef...no kicking needed. Although it was fun to drift along without expending any energy, it was rather difficult to admire the beauty of the reef at such a speed. Once we had crossed a small channel, we were out of the current and were able to take our time and explore around a bit more...
A fish having an afternoon snack on some coral
1. Bring your hands close and blow a bunch of air into them...