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8

Dive in Paradise

Lying just off the northeast coast of Borneo is Sipadan,

Malaysia’s only oceanic island. This magical isle was

made famous by renowned French oceanographer,

Jacques Yves Cousteau, in his documentary ‘Ghosts of

the Sea Turtle’. Indeed, Sipadan offers more than just

turtles; it guarantees that every dive is a memorable

experience. Few islands in the world offer such prolific

marine and coral life.

At the Drop Off, five metres of white, soft sand in knee-

high water suddenly gives way to a precipitous drop of

discovery. Follow the vast wall around as you drift with

the current, exploring the corals that inevitably form

refuge for the fish. Bumphead parrotfish often rumble

past in bison-like hordes. A night dive here may yield a

chance encounter with these large fish as they sleep.

Bumphead parrotfish weave a transparent cocoon

before they sleep to keep their scent from predators,

and this nocturnal sight is as impressive as the one

in daytime. The reef life is always varied. Porcupine

pufferfish, clown triggerfish, unicornfish and Moorish

idols call this dive site home. Giant moray eels lurk

in their grottos, observing the traffic going past while

huge gorgonian sea fans protrude like the plume of a

proud peacock.

More often than not, you will enjoy the spectacle of

Barracuda Point. What starts out as a drift dive will

soon turn into a head-on encounter with hundreds of

these fearsome-looking creatures. As they move left

and right, a gray wall forms from their sheer weight

of numbers. It is a sight you will never forget. Don’t

miss out on the other delights too. Leaf fish and the

odd-looking crocodile fish have been spotted here.

Pulau

A Sea Turtles’ Haven

Sipadan