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SCUBA Diving Sites To Remember

 

Sipadan Island

sipadan

Sipadan is located approximately one hour boat ride to the east of the peninsula of Semporna, in the Island of Borneo. Sipadan is one of the top 10 dives sites in the world simply because it is the centre of the Indo-Pacific basin, thus having the most diverse and abundant marine life!

Here, there are thousands of species of fishes, plus hundreds of species of corals; untouched for millions of years.

Dive Sites
a) ‘Drop-Off’;
b) ‘Barracuda Point’;
c) ‘Coral Gardens’;
d) ‘Whitetip Avenue’;
e) ‘Turtle Patch’;
f) ‘South Point’;
g) ‘Staghorn Crest’;
h) ‘Hanging Gardens’.

Map of Sipadan

sipadan

a) ‘Drop Off’
This dive is basically a vertical drop of 700 metres into the abyss, with sharks and turtles passing each other just a few metres below. Divers suit up a few metres from the sea. Divers can opt for a deep dive with a gradual ascent, a horizontal exploration at medium depth or a relaxing observation of reef life.

The Drop Off site is the only site at Sipadan for night dives, and also able to explore directly from the beach. At a depth of 20 metres, there is a wide cavern,
namely “Turtle Tomb”. It is filled with skeletons of turtles, which have drowned after failing to find their way out.

Marine life here includes the firefish, rare moray eels, anemones, gorgonians, gobies, squids, large turtles, whitetip reef sharks, barracuda, trevallies, batfish, false stonefish, scorpionfish, and parrotfish.

b) ‘Barracuda Point’
This dive begins along a spectacular, nearly vertical wall adorned with large decoration of gorgonians. As divers reach 40 metres, they will see small groups of grey reef sharks, and scalloped hammerhead sharks.

This site probably requires the most experience of all those in Sipadan.

Marine life here includes the turtles, bumphead parrotfish, numerous reef sharks, barracudas, large soft corals, clownfishes, turkeyfishes, butterfly fishes, and lobsters.

c) ‘Coral Gardens’
Coral Gardens is normally visited at the conclusion of a dive at Barracuda Point. Its shallow seabeds and large amount of corals provide an excellent place for a safety stop.

This site is ideal for photographers as it is abundant with its large diversity of corals and marine life species.

Marine life here includes the hard coral bommies, brain corals, staghorn corals, lettuce corals, butterflyfish, angelfish, triggerfish, wrasses, sweetlips, turkeyfish,
ribbon eel, leaf scorpionfish, and mantis prawn.

d) ‘Whitetip Avenue’
This dive site along Sipadan’s eastern wall is dictated by the direction of the current. This dive will constitute a deep dive with gradual diagonal ascent.

Marine life here includes the black corals, gigantic parrotfish, bigeye trevallies, sponges, emperor angelfish, Moorish idols, boxfish, scorpionfish, grey reef sharks, and hammerhead sharks.

e) ‘Turtle Patch’
Turtle patch is the best site in Sipadan for a shallow dive using the hovering technique. Divers glide with the current, which allows them to survey from a stationary position the delicate corals below. The upper plateau is not shaded by any vertical drop-off, and is thus well lit throughout the day.

Marine life here includes the soft corals, giant turtles, large sponges, sweetlips, staghorn corals, burrfish, spotted pufferfish, butterflyfish, groupers, large anemones, leopard shark, and scorpionfish.

f) ‘South Point’
Located at the southern-most tip of Sipadan, South Point’s drop off is about 45 degrees, which slopes down towards a flat sandy area of coral formation at approximately 65 metres. It then continues on toward deeper end of the sea.

Marine life here includes the leopard sharks, reef sharks, turtles, soft corals, large batfish, sweetlips, turkeyfish, bigeye trevallies, great barracudas, whale sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, and hammerhead sharks.

g) ‘Staghorn Crest’
Another wall dive well known to Sipadan is the Staghorn Crest. This site begins with a gentle descent along the drop-off till it reaches approximately 70 metres and continues with a gradual ascent along the wall. It concludes in a staghorn coral garden at a shallow depth.

At greater depths, other types of species can be found, i.e. foxsharks, and trevallies.

Marine life here includes of course the staghorn corals, seawhip corals, gigantic barrel sponges, black corals, angelfish, groupers, shrimps, giant mantas, barracudas, and fox sharks.

h) ‘Hanging Gardens’
This classical wall dive is at a vertical drop-off point over a meter from the surface, which descends to about 70 metres. Here, the seabed suddenly plunges
into the abyss. The dive always follows the current here, which isn’t that strong.

Marine life here includes the alcyonarians, gigantic gorgonians, black corals, sweetlips, angelfish, groupers, green turtles, imbricate turtles, blue-spotted ribbon-tail stingray, nudibranchs, tiny gobies, gorgonian hawkfish, leopard sharks, and hammerhead sharks.

 

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