Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pulau Sebangkat

Yesterday, I dived at Pulau Sebangkat about 20 minutes from Semporna. We gathered at 8.30am at the dive shop and left about 9am. On the way, we stopped at Singamata a fish farm and a floating hotel to pickup more equipment. We had total of 13 divers including out 2 DMs. Apart from Dr Lee, his wife and Jean Li; we were joined by Major Gen Mat Zin (not sure if the spelling is correct), Col Khairuddin, Major Azizan and 2 other IDMO secretariat. The other two were a couple from China.


Arrived at the island and started our dive at 10.20 am. Took a long time to get people organised plus the boat was wee too small for a party of 13. It was a lovely place. Viz was only about 10m but then that is expected with such a short distance from the town. WE SAW PYGMY SEAHORSES!!!! 12 on a Gargonian seafan (there was supposed to be 13 but our DM was pissed off cos one went missing). I was in seventh heaven. Anyway, apart from that it was true muck diving- so many small stuff, nudibranches, shrimps, pipefishes not to forget many species of reef fishes.


Surface interval was spent at the shore. It was low tide and it was pleasant to snorkel, which I did. The whole area was covered with seagrass and I went seahorse hunting...hahahah... I didn't find one but I wished I did. The village kids we following me around posing for photos for my camera. They even caught fishes with their bare hands to please me....:)


2nd dive was at the same island but further east. Same macro stuff, and I was very very elated. Jean Li and I were soon left by the whole group but I had an absolute lovely time.


After that we went back to the Singamata Floating Hotel/Dive Centre and Fish Farm. Food was lousy- RM 5 for 'mee kuning with kobis and kicap'.. Several things appalled me. First, the place was advertised in Semporna as RM30 per night. Apparently that price is only for foreigners and for locals it is RM150 per night (uh duh.... discrimination in your own backyard...well, they are owned by Singaporeans!!!!). 2nd they have huge confined areas where fishes were kept. In the largest enclosure, they have two Napolean wrasses, a leapard shark, some reef sharks and loads of reef fishes. I feel so sad for the sharks and the wrasses..... they should be free. By the way, is it legal to keep these wildlife in such enclosures????


Well, after from that we did a jetty dive to the outside perimeter of the fish farm. Viz was about 5 metres but then a heaven for muck diving again. Loads of interesting things including a Peacock mantis shrimp, some nudibranches, anemone shrimps, different type of anemones and lastly a Spanish Dancer. It was a good dive, not as good at the first two but then, I am always happy when I am diving. For the pictorial report, wait for me to come back next week and log on to my Flickr.


floweryskies said...

cant wait cant wait for the pic :D

syok gilerrr 12 pygmy??????? huhuhu