I had a dream. I dreamt that I arrived at the diving resort, and they started yelling at me. They said I was stupid to come there with only an open water certificate. The currents were too strong and I wouldn't be able to handle it.
They said they had currents because one of the dives in at the top of a waterfall. I had jumped in a car and raced into Tawau, to see if I could get on the ferry to Tarakan, Indonesia. When I got to the ticket office, they told me that it was too late to get the 11:30 ferry to Nunukan?. I could get the 12:30 ferry. But if I got the 12:30 ferry, I couldn't get the 2pm ferry from Nunukan? to Tarakan, because the 12:30 ferry took one hour, so I would miss the ferry at 2pm. My math seemed to indicate that I should actually have 30 minutes to get the other ferry, but nothing I could say would convince them of that. They just smiled condescendingly at me and nodded to each other, and gave me pasted on smiles and said no. I could however, take the overnight ferry to Tarakan, but I would have to come back at 9:30 am when it returned from Tarakan to Tawau. There were six ferries that came back, but they all left at 9:30 am. So, I would have to return immediately when I arrived. The ferries may not come back at all, because they don't have a schedule and may choose not to return until Monday. This was getting complicated and there just seemed like there were way to many holes in any plan I could conceive of, and all of them could make me miss my diving. I walked back up the road and climbed in a little van, and went back past the airport and on to the dive shop. I went three times the distance as the trip from the airport to Tawau, and paid 1/3 of the money. Costs and timing are odd when you are in the further reaches of the world.In reality, when I arrived at the Scuba Junkies office, they were lovely. I was able to sign up for extra days and head right over to Mabul. And!!! I was even able to register for 3 dives at Sipidan with Speedy Dive as well.
The resort is great, the dorm is clean and wonderful, and the dive guides are knowledgable and friendly. I realized that I did not have to miss dives to do my Advanced Open Water, just do some different ones, so I registered for that too (and I passed).
We dove off of Mabul and Kapalai. So many fish, and amazing coral reefs. The highlight for me was seeing an enormous marble stingray that was at least five feet across not including his tail.
Finally came my day to dive at Sipidan, which is one of the world’s top three diving sites according to Jacque Cousteau. The other two are Galapagos, and another island that I will have to look up - not sure where it is.
We saw a lot of sharks, and the coral reefs were magnificent. There were giant schools of jackfish and giant corals and more sharks.
All in all, this was a fantastic way to finish off a perfect Borneo adventure!
|Lots of reef fish|
This is the biggest Marble Ray that I have ever seen - it was at least five feet long, not including the tail
Our enormous Marble Ray
|Big schools of fish|
Beautiful coral formations
Getting my Advanced Open Water Certification!
|Chocolate Chip Starfish|
Giant Coral Formations
|Turtles - lots of turtles|
We found Nemo!
|Schools of Jackfish in Sipidan|
|Reef Sharks in Sipidan!|
|So many colourful little fish|