Sorry its been a while but we have been in a lot of rather remote places wothout internet or cheap internet anyway.
We arrived here in Semporna our base for diving the surrounding islands. The town itself was not pleasant, but nice and cheap, adn the diving was amazing. I completed my advanced open water course with scuba junkies, having one to one tuition with an awesome instructor, needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did my deep dive down to 30 m, where my instructor Jeremey cracked an egg under water , and we played a sort of batting game with the yolk still perfectly intact. Who would of thought you could have so much fun with an egg, hey! On the same dive we also saw a rather cool little anemone clown fish (ie a nemo fish) which had a lot of confidence and attitude, and decided to attack my instructors fins, despite him being 100 times bigger, lol. It was a mummy clown fish protecting her eggs though, very amusing to see.
Griff meanwhile was doing lots of fun diving, and mastering his photo taking skills with his relatively new underwater camera. When we get time I'll put some of the pictures up they are amazing. For all the keen divers out there we saw lots of really pretty nudibranchs (sea slugs but very colourful) some razor fish they were one of my favourites they swim vertically in the water column with there bodies upright and there head facing downwards, they are very graceful. We saw cristmas tree worms, crocodile fish, lion fish, snake eels (not snakes but they look very similar to them) angel fish and large groupers.
Mabul and Sibuan island was the place to be to see all the little stuff like frog fish and nudibranchs but I also saw 8 or more massive turtles as big as me, they were amazing I loved them and you can get fairly close before they get bored of you staring at them. Sipadan Island was amazing though as soon as I out my head under the water there were a school of jacks circling right by us, and then I looked down and see the distant shadows of white tip reef sharks, which wasnt as scary as I first thought considering I haven't seen a shark diving before. The currents were strong at Barracuda point and we were picking up speed in the drift current watching all the supersize fish pass us by, along with several 2-3 m white tip reef sharks and the odd grey tip shark too. Before long we saw 4 gigantic barracuda hovering deadly still in the current making staying still in the strong current look so easy. As soon as I was starting to get a bit concerned at how fast the currents were, they started to slow, making it impossible to go in the direction we had been going in fo the last 30 minutes, then rather suddenly the current had changed direction and we started to go the other way, very bizarre. The thermocline was also very defined here, with every 1 m undulation up or down in the water column making me feel either shivery cold regretting my choice of a shorty or rather nice and cosy in the bath tub warm water. The clarity and stillness of the water also appeared to change with the temperature, becoming much clearer in the colder deeper parts with fish appearing to do very little swimming at all.
We did 2 other dive sites at Sipadan the Drop off point and South point which aslo good, seeing very similar animals and fishm the only difference really veing that at the drop off point we actually went inside the large entrance of turtle cave, a cavern which turtles are often found to wander into at night to sleep, but they get lost and die! Pleasent, huh, anyway we went in here, but our guides negleted to tell us this prior to the dive so we were all a bit worried and confused especially considering we were not equipped with torches although, Griff did luckily have one. So after using up a lot of my air, from worrying where we were going, we came out of the cave and continued to look at the lovely large creatures all around us.
The funniest fish I saw was when I was snorkelling with another couple, it was small adn black and yellow, the other guy I was snorkelling with also had yellow and black board shorts on. So this little fish obviously thought "perfect your yelllow and black and so am I, this is my lucky day". Poor Paul (the guy the fish was stalking) tried diving down a few metres, spinning around, going near bigger fish and everything, but the little fella still remained by his side, at one point the fish was swimming around his also yellow mask so paul cupped it up in his hands, only for the cheeky fish to then go and bite him on the lip, hehe. It was soo funny, the cutest and cheekiest little fish I saw.