Dive #10 at Ribbon Valley, Mabul

Our last day at Sipadan Water Village was supposed to be more of r&r but we found out that we could actually squeeze in two more dives so we took another trip back to Ribbon Valley. This time round, managed to get in some interesting shots with the help of our new DM, Sandra. Total bottom time was approx 45min at 20m max depth. Vis was about 5m+.

This was probably the dive where we saw the most nudibranch. Singles, doubles mating. Colorful looking slugs.

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Caught this pair doing the deed. Nudibranchs are apparently hermaphroditic, and thus have a set of reproductive organs for both sexes. They also typically deposit their eggs within a gelatinous spiral.

Nudibranch caught mating

Another nudibranch but not as colorful, still pretty good camouflage and would be hard to notice it.

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This shot was cropped from my blind photo taking as the ghost shrimp was so small that I could hardly see it and was aiming at the wrong location. Luckily, it managed to make the frame in the top left corner.

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Another parting shot of the awesome turtles in the area. Kinda nice how we kept bumping into them.

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A goby guarding it’s home. Was hard to take this shot since it scares easily and kept popping in and out. Fascinating to watch.

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Another species of crab which I thought looked cool dangling on the coral.

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3 Jan 2010, 8:00pm
by michael
1 comment

Dive #9 at Sea Adventure Rig, Mabul

Dive #9 would be just opposite the resort at Sea Adventure Rig. Apparently during good times, the visibility would be quite amazing but unfortunately we had to endure close to 0m vis at a max depth of 16m. Total time was approximately 40mins with very strong currents. Hanging on to anchor rope during the surface time was pretty fun.

School of slimline barracudas who didn’t seem fazed at all by the current while we struggled to stay at the bottom.

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This crocodile fish was so well hidden and we would have missed it if not for the our eagle-eye dive master Ramil.

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Also caught sight of a giant grouper but unfortunately they tend to be further out and the bad vis meant I caught a mere shadow of it. Managed to get a parting shot of yet another slug as we were about the surface.

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Heading back, we enjoyed the sunset and another great dinner at the restaurant.

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This time, a pair of turtles even graced us with their presence even though they were extremely camera shy.

Mabul Island

Dive #7 and #8 at Samil Island

Woke up bright and early to catch a glimpse of the glorious sunrise view from our room. Managed to stitch the panorama together using the netbook.

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Our first 2 dives for the day was going to be muck dives at Samil Island and unfortunately not many photos came out well. Dive #7 was about 50min with max depth of 20m. Dive #8 was about 35min with max depth of 20m. Visibility was pretty bad at about 2-3m for both dives. Our dive master was Ramil.

There was this nice blue ribbon eel that posed for me and more or less that was the highlight.

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Caught sight of the children playing during lunch as they raced each other in the low tide.

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Dive #6 at Barracuda Point, Sipadan

After a rather enjoyable lunch (food always seems tasty after diving), we took a ride back to Sipadan Island for our final dive for the day. The dive was a bit shorter (30min) due to a slight incident (rather memorable for me) with max depth of 25m.

A school of jackfish was near our descend point again and this time a rather curious reflection made this fish stand out from the whole school.

Dive #6 - Sipadan - Barracuda Point

Another shot of a white tip shark that was a bit further than the first sighting.

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This turtle happened to swim towards our group and luckily my off shoulder shot as it swam up for air was quite nice.

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The priceless shot of this school of barracuda has a rather interesting story since I got lost trying to take it.

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After Niger’s instruction to stay on the bottom while we enjoyed the view, Zh n myself lagged behind during our photo taking and with the strong current, lost sight of the group. Luckily Niger’s quick action and amazing direction found me floundering away quite some distance away. I was quite prepared to surface already since being lost in the blue wasn’t my idea of fun. We managed to hook up with the boat and waiting for everyone else to surface. Was kinda scary and exhilarating at the same time chasing the school of barracudas.

After the excitement for the day wore off, we headed back to the resort for some r&r. Found this crab resting below our room.

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Shot of the pipefish at night.

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Sunny Day at Mabul

The great sunny weather continued as we headed back to the resort for a lunch break. After 2 dives, everyone was famished and a little sun-burnt.

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The surrounding water was crystal clear with the bright sun and the pipefish which were a brilliant incandescent blue at night could be seen swimming about in the day.

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The local children seem to be enjoying themselves during the low tide. What a great way to spend childhood out in the sea versus in tuition centers?

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Another school of fish in the crystal clear water. It’s almost surreal seeing them this way, as if they were floating in air.

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