Marc's Public Blog - Diving


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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with diving.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for recountings of my more recent trips:

Table of Content for diving:

More pages: April 2016 January 2016 July 2015 May 2015 January 2015 October 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 November 2013 February 2013 September 2012 June 2012 January 2011 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 August 2009 January 2009 August 2008 February 2008 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 January 2006 September 2005 August 2005 June 2004 January 2004 July 2003 January 2003



2005/09/27 Malaysia Wrap Up
π 2005-09-27 10:16 by Merlin in Diving, Trips

Well, first of all, it was obviously great: I now know why the Islands off Sabah were ranked among the top 10 diving spots in the world. I did around 35 dives there, including night dives, something I had never done (then again, neither had I swam next to giant turtles, decently sized sharks, or huge schools of fish, like a Giant Swarm of Barracuda )

I could post more pictures, but some of the best examples are the few 30 sec videos I took. Everything is of course in the diving directory , but for highlights, you should look at the Best of Lankayan and Best of Sipadan-Kapalai

On my trip back, ended up buying a giant Sea Shell and Coral in the Malaysia airport, as well as a couple of things in Hong Kong. Funny thing is that in Hong Kong, security detained me apparently because of the Coral, as I think it was illegal to have/buy in Hong Kong (hard to tell, their English was so-so). In the end, they let me go because the person they were waiting for to verify/decide wasn't available, able to show up in time for me not to miss my flight. My credit card company they freaked out again and almost disabled my card again when I signed up for wireless internet in the airport (tss, losers...), and I got home eventually, in coach (argh, do the seats in cattle class suck on Cathay Pacific, and $3000 for a one way upgrade to business, no thank you, I'll just fly another airline next time).
All was well except for the taxi cab driver who partially broke my coral while getting my suitcase with the coral on top, but 1H and some glue later, it was almost like new...



Oh, and my cat apparently missed me, thanks Xav for taking care of him again :)

All right, and if you're pressed on time and would like a few hand picked video highlights, enjoy:




2005/09/24 50th dive, deep dive, and winding down
π 2005-09-24 07:03 by Merlin in Diving

My trip is coming to an end. I did 5 dives today (all can be found in my new diving pictures directory , with a much updated best of section)

I think it's hard to explain the feeling to be surrounded by several hundred barracudas swarming around you, or the fairly big sharks, turtles everywhere, etc, etc... I also celebrated by 50th dive, and reached 41 metres for the first time.
I also got a DVD of my dives this morning, along with a best of, of what the cameramen have captured in the region

Anyway, two more dives tomorrow morning, and I'm on the boat back to Tawau where I'll be catching a plane early monday morning back to California








2005/09/21 One Week diving around Sipadan at Sipadan-Kapalai
π 2005-09-21 00:00 in Diving
After spending a week on the small Island of Lankayan at the northeast tip of Malaysia, I moved to the half island of Kapalai close to Sipadan. It's a city on stilts that's on a sand bank under water half the day.


working hard on my laptop :)
working hard on my laptop :)

Sadly, the island is under water more than half the time due to damage made by fishermen that were doing dynamite fishing before it was both forbidden and strictly enforced (hence the small contingent of army in that village too), in turn causing reduction of fish, sand, and erosion.

There is the small price to pay of getting up at 04:50 for the 05:30 boat departure to the Island of Sipadan and its reefs, but the diving is spectacular: I get 3 dives by noon, and another one or two in the afternoon. Choice picture are below:

beautiful cleaning shrimps on that moray eel
beautiful cleaning shrimps on that moray eel

Every just after sunrise, we were treated with a load of giant humphead parrotfish
Every just after sunrise, we were treated with a load of giant humphead parrotfish


chomp :)
chomp :)

lots of big turtles
lots of big turtles

zzz, zzz... :)
zzz, zzz... :)

crocodile fish
crocodile fish

to fish fighting
to fish fighting




Barracuda Point had loads of barracudas in the morning
Barracuda Point had loads of barracudas in the morning

money shot, too bad it was with an old camera :)
money shot, too bad it was with an old camera :)

big turtles :)
big turtles :)




Sipadan was awesome, I barely had 50 dives by the time I was there, and it sure set a high bar for places I went to after that :)


2005/09/15 Lankayan Island Dive Resort
π 2005-09-15 00:00 in Diving
Lankayan was my first destination part of my Diving Trip to Malaysia.

It's an interesting little Island: you can walk around it in about 10 minutes, everything, including fresh water is brought it by boat, and they have a diesel generator to provide power for the few people who live here, the Army, and us. The army? you say: yes, it's a very protected area for wildlife, and they protect both the Island and 10 nautical miles from Philipino fishing boats, as any kind of fishing here is strictly prohibited.






Damn, life is tough there, you have no idea...
3-4 dives a day, including a night dive on my first day which was my first (quite interesting actually, as long as you do brought a flashlight ;) )[bt]

On my first day, I also got there on time to see a batch of baby turtles being released, that was so cool:



Baby sharks were also swimming by the beach:


The water has some nice tropical fish (obviously, since I am only a few degrees off the equator), temperature is typically above 30 degres C, which is quite bearable :) and the diving really ain't that bad :)





Diving was very nice compared to what I was used to, although nothing compared to what I was going to see in Sipadan-Kapalai. The only downside was the mild DCS I got (bubbles in one of my arms/hand which started during the night). Thankfully I was fine the next day, and had enough time on the ground before my next flight. And putting the diving aside, the Island was great:

partying like a rockstar ;)
partying like a rockstar ;)

working hard :)
working hard :)

See more images for Lankayan Island Dive Resort
2005/09/14 Trip to Malaysia
π 2005-09-14 06:18 by Merlin in Diving, Trips

25H of travelling is probably a personal record. I'm currently in my second plane, from Hong Kong to Malaysia, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to get some connectivity there since I just realized while dozing off that I entirelyforgot to make my mandatory estimated tax payment (some big sum of money) to both CA and the feds. It is going to be fun to arrange remotely, without my
files and my papers access codes and so forth (I was able to find a lot of information I needed in my local mail spool, and I'm looking in my browser history for .gov URLs right now to see if I have the CA web site for online payments). Doh, doh, doh!
Anyway, Hong Kong was a nice a clean airport, as expected. I didn't get to see a whole lot since I landed at 05:35 local time, but it was still nice to have gone through it. In the funny notes, it was cool to see that there were no less than 8 GSM networks my phone could chose from, and that I was able to use my nokia communicator to send Email ssh to my machine and look at my new messages with mutt while I was in line. That said, I was able to get a good WIFI connection some time later while waiting for my second flight, and I used the time appropriately (although I wish I had realized that little banking problem before then since I could have solved it from the airport and now it's going to be much harder)
The first flight on Cathay Pacific was so-so: I tried fruitlessly to upgrade to business, but I found out that on their planes the business section is much smaller than United's so it was overbooked. The other fun part is that a cash upgrade was $1200 one way, for just 1 out of the 3 planes. The full business fare return for just the first plane was $8000!!! In the meantime, their seating in coach sucked ass, and even my butt hurts from the bad seats. Oh well, bigger problems in life I guess...
Two quick notes after landing in Malaysia and waiting for my 3rd flight: I hadn't done homework and realized that Malaysia was actually a Muslim country, which kind of explained the Jelabas (sp?) I saw as soon as I got off the plane, and the muslim prayer room inside the airport, and the crescent on the national flag :) In other news, they have an interesting way to deal with with whatever is defined as illegal drugs here: trafficking is simply punishable by death.
Apart from that, weather looks lovely, and I have already picked up a bunch of pamphlets about all the great diving spots they have. I can't wait :)
Oh, and the international airport had what looked like a voluntary immigration counter (i.e. you walked by it, but didn't have to go through it physically). That looked weird... :)
In the end, I did arrive to the Island of Sabah at the Sandakan airport (that was kind of funny, the 737 landed on the runway, went to the end, and then turned around on the same runway to reach the terminal since there was no taxiway. I guess that explains why there weren't any international flights going there directly :) )
It's pretty to have houses on the water like this, but I guess you don't wonder why there are so many problems when a tsumani shows up, or even global warming over the next 50-100 years :-/

You can find more pictures from the air here , and pictures from my trip as they get posted and I get the chance to upload them (satellite connection on a pretty island in the middle of nowhere right now), there .
Oh did I just mention that the Island I'm on when sending this is so big that it takes 7 minutes to jog around it? :) and just because I'm lucky they got their satellite internet connection yesterday :)
Comments:
Là tu es bien dans 100 % d'exotisme...
Et tu n'as pas encore plongé ni goûté la nourriture.
Ce serait rigolo si tu rencontrais quelqu'un parlant néerlandais, car Bornéo c'est une ancienne colonie.
Que puis-je te souhaiter d'autre qu'ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!!!
Bisous de ta maman.
posted by : 15 September, 2005 01:40


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