Saturday, August 26, 2006

25 August 2006

weather: cloudy in the morning, sunny whole day, wind from south east
sea condition: choppy sea in the afternoon, viz 15m-30m
guides: Lee, Allan, Nina, Diana, Jason, Bobby, Sophia
Another very good day for diving. Almost everyone went to Sipadan today. The viz was very good (up to 30m) and there were lots of fishes. Diana saw leopard sharks today, in both dive in the morning...lucky lucky, while Jason's group saw big school of jacks, school of barracuda (with their "tornado" performance) and also the blue fin trevallies hunting the fusiliers. There were alot of active white tips, and also quite a few grey reefs. Surprisingly there were quite alot of tunas (which some reached 1.5m) and mackarels today. And as usual there were also tonnes of turtles :-D
The macros today were very good also...we saw alot of gobies today- dancing goby, sailfin goby, purple fir goby, black sailfin goby, red-margin shrimp goby, whip coral goby and also crab eye goby. These fishes are excellent posers for photographers but they are very very very shy. Jason's group saw a pair of robust ghost pipefish and also a flambuoyant cuttlefish today :-O we managed to get a pic of the flambuoyant cuttlefish from 1 of the divers...
Other stuffs seen today were giant frogfish, alot of shrimps, different crabs, and many many nudibranchs. Below are two pics taken by Lee, during his self dive...a pair of the elegant ornate ghost pipefish and also the yellow boxfish.
Ok guys...for those who came here during the unforseen stormy weather, or for those who are worried about us here :-D...we would like to say that the one and only damaged bridge in the resort is now rebuilt. Bravo to the maintanence staffs, carpenters and all who were involved, u guys did a great job!!
(August 11, the condition of the bridge after 3 consecutive stormy days)
(the same bridge which is rebuilt :-) )
(tranquil view of the resort, picture taken from the bridge)
Happy Diving ^__^

Thursday, August 24, 2006

24 August 2006

weather: rain in the morning, sunny rest of the day
sea condition: viz 10m-30m, choppy sea
guides: Allan, Bobby, Ron, Jason, Diana, Sophia
Other than the short heavy downpour in the morning, it was an excellent day. Those who went to Sipadan saw a very big school of barracuda, school of jacks and also big school of batfish. The giant trevallies and white tipped reef sharks were quite active today. Jason's group saw 4 huge grey reef sharks circling round the "corner" in Barracuda Point. It was a very colorful day in Sipadan, in some places there were big schools of bannerfishes and fusiliers, they may be common, but sometimes they just look good...this feeling cannot be explained, if u guys wanna know just come Sipadan and experience it :-D As usual there were tonnes of turtles today. All of us who dive Sipadan wont get bored even if we see turtles everyday, they make us feel peaceful, plus they are good subjects for photos and videos :-)
Macros were as good as ever...Diana found a flambuoyant cuttlefish. Most of us who dove today saw giant frogfish, leaf fish, many types of shrimps, squat lobsters, pipefishes, gobies and loads of nudibranchs.
We'll give more updates tomorrow :-D Enjoy!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

21 August 2006

weather: sunny whole day, slight wind from south east
sea condition: fantastic viz from 15m up to 40m, choppy sea in the afternoon
guides: Allan, Diana, Ron, Sophia, Nina, Jason, Lee

We're very glad and relieved to be able to update this blog after an amazing long time (15 days!!!)...Alot had happened in the past 2 this might be quite a long blog...
These 2 weeks we've experienced the worst and problably also one of the best weather in Sipadan. From the 8th till the 13th (6 days!!!) there were storms and very very strong wind from south west everynight, causing high waves everyday...the waves was so strong that many planks of the bridge connecting to the island and in the divemasters' quarters were ripped off by the waves, at this point the pillars of the bridge still stood. On th 3rd day of storm, the weather worsen, the waves was so strong that it ripped off about 50m of SMART resort's bridge connecting to the island. Unfortunately, the waves brought that portion of bridge, and many of its planks and wood along and those stuffs collided with SWV's bridge (which is just situated beside it)...luckily the foundation of this bridge still stood but all the planks were gone on that day. For those who came here before, u should notice that all the main electric cables and piping systems were attached to that one and only bridge connected to the island. *sigh*, the strong waves broke almost all the cables and there were frequent black out and water outage within that week...Diving was not good for those few days. Viz in Sipadan never reached 2m, and in some parts of Mabul, we cant even see our own regulator hose underwater. Moreover the strong waves caused surge underwater, even 18m deep! (just imagine how high the waves can get)
But...after those bad days, this week has been fantastic! The sun was very very "hardworking" these few days, and the visibility reached almost 40m in some dive sites. Amazing isn't it how the weather can change :-O but all of us here are very glad about it.
Ok, about marine lives...although we experienced bad weather, but all the fishes were still there. Those who dared the journey to Sipadan during the stormy weather can see big school jacks, big school barracudas, tonnes of turtles and lots of sharks everyday, up until when the weather got better they were still there. For the past 4 days many groups who went to Sipadan saw big school bumpheads in Barracuda Point, Turtle Patch, Mid Reef and Hanging Gardens, while some had seen eagle ray. There were many macros also, nudibranchs, shrimps, crabs and lots of gobies. Among the highlights for these few days are the pygmy seahorse, pyjama cardinal fish, flambuoyant cuttlefish, giant frogfish, clown frogfish, ornate ghost pipefish and robust ghost pipefish.
oops...think we'll stop here...more updayes tomorrow :-D
HaPPy DiVinG !!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

6 August 2006

We are watching u...A friendly gaze (or izzit lazy?) from a green turtle in Sipadan

weather: sunny all day, wind from south west

sea condition: choppy sea, viz 10m-25m

guides: Lee & Sophia, Jason & Bobby, Allan, Diana
Sorry for the late updates, it has been busy here. It has been a 4 very good days (3rd - 6th August) for diving. There were no rain, the sun has been very hardworking these few days, but it was not hot though, there was always the cool wind blowing from the south west. The sea was choppy, but underwater the viz was not that much affected, plus in some dive sites, the water these few days was very cold... :-O, good conditions for sharks?
Today Lee, Sophia, Jason and Bobby went to Sipadan. They saw the spectacular sight of a school bumpheads, forming a very very long queue during entry in Barracuda Point. Probably they are getting ready for their usual rounds of feeding around Sipadan. There were also alot of tunas, not very usual, and there was one so big reaching almost 2m!! Its shadow looked almost like a shark from afar. There were also a big school of barracuda doing the tornado. It has been a lucky week, cause we have been able to see the big school barracudas everyday since last week!! For those who have dived here for the past week, the big school barracudas is not as common as u think, u have been very lucky for them to be here everyday :-D Jason & Bobby were luckier than the rest today. They saw a leopard shark, and a devil ray (almost 2m) when they went to the Hanging Gardens this afternoon. We are still trying to get hold of the devil ray's pic, when we got it we'll post it for u guys to see....oh and ya, lots of turtles....
Macros..surprisingly Jason found a moyer dragonnet in Sipadan. He's still trying to get the pic :-/....other interesting stuffs seen were the frogfish, lots of nudibranchs, shrimps, leaf fish, pipefishes, moray eels and snake eels...we cant get any pics today but we've get some good pics from yesterday...thanks very much Elena for the pics :-D
Elena swimming among the jacks - pic taken by Stefano
The giant grouper...aiks, is that Bobby behind?!
School of yellow snappers
Lobsters...we know what u are thinking.....seafood :-D

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

2 August 2006

ChEERs!!! A big smile from us in Sipadan :-D

weather: sunny all day, wind from west south
sea condition: viz 10m-22m
guides: Sophia, Lee & Jay, Jimmy, Nina

More good dives...and good pictures!!! What we see today in short: Big school barracudas, big school jacks, leopard shark, grey reef shark, white tipped reef shark, big school bumpheads (Nina saw some spawning), big school batfish, loads of turtles, yellow fin barracudas, frogfish, ribbon eels, Napolean wrasse, pygmy seahorse, a lot of nudibranchs, many different types of shrimps, many crabs....below are a few pics of what we saw today....Thanks Juerg and Peter for the excellent pics!!
Always in their shadows. For those who dived or snorkelled in Sipadan may have seen Boers batfish swimming under turtles, why??
it is because the batfish are waiting for "food"...erm....what kind of food? just think, what comes out from the back... :-O !!!!
Say Cheeeese. Juerg's son, Peter, taking a shot of Boers batfish.
School of bumphead parrotfish, or sometimes known as the buffalo fish. One of the spectacular sight in Sipadan. If u guys happen to see them feeding, try to listen to the crunching sounds they make underwater when they feed on the corals. But where are those booming sounds when they bump their heads on corals?!?!
So of our dive guide Nina with the school of barracudas. Why does she always get the best shots?!?!?!?!
We hope to be able to get more pics tomorrow guys....CheErS !!!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

1 August 2006

weather: rain in the morning, sunny for the rest of the day
sea condition: slightly choppy in the morning, viz 12m-20m
guides: Allan & Bobby, Jason, Jay

A good day again for diving. It did rain in the morning but the viz surprisingly was good. There were some good stuffs today in Sipadan. Jason's group saw a group of white tip reef sharks and giant trevallies hunting the jacks. His group also had a very close encounter with a big school of barracudas. The school actually circled the divers for a few seconds before swimming away into the blue!! Meanwhile Allan & Bobby's group saw a leopard shark. Plus we simply cannot miss out the tonnes of turtles swimming past while diving in Sipadan. There were also alot of small stuffs...leaf fish, scorpion fish, cuttlefish, crocodile fish, frogfish, pygmy seahorse, and loads of shrimps and nudibranchs.
We can't get any pics of the fishes today, but we do have an intersting picture though...The pic below shows 3 banded sea snakes coiled together at the entrance of the dive centre. One of the guest found them sleeping under the steps...
We hope to be able to get some pics underwater tomorrow guys....ChEErS !!