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Friday, 23 June 2017
 
 
Report from Borneo - The adventures of Terry the Turtle Print

Hi I'm Terry the turtle and I have just returned from a trip to Malaysian Borneo. I went out with 2 friends to visit my long lost family of turtles that live around the islands of Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai. I had some amazing adventures but it all started nearly a year ago.....

In October 2005 two friends of mine were walking around the Birmingham Dive show trying to work out where they wanted to go for a diving holiday, suddenly they saw on a stand adverts for Borneo, they thought it sounded just the place. Once they arrived home they booked to go, this took most of the year as things like accommodation and flights kept changing, and during this time they asked me to join them so I could show them around.

Finally at the end of August we were off, I was so excited. I did not realize how long it took to get there though, 25 hours, such a very long time. Once we had queued through Heathrow with all the baggage restrictions (thankfully that went without a hitch) we got on a huge plane that took us 12 hours all the way to Kuala Lumpur, this plane had everything you would ever want so very cool. From KL we then flew to Kota Kinabul were we then flew on to Tawau having been let board early as one of the guards thought my 30 year old friend was a child!! From Tawau we then had to go by car and boat and we finally managed to end up as out resort on the island of Mabul.

Turtle
Hi, I'm Terry

Wow were we tired but it was all worth it when we saw our water bungalow that we were staying in, it contained more home comforts than home does! The diving was amazing I loved being back in my home water swimming with all my family, we dived three times a day for six days and I saw all my turtle relatives. There were loads of them turtles everywhere, really great; it was so good to see them old and young alike! Sipadan is world famous for it's reefs and sharks, we made the 20min boat trip and dived many sites there including, Barracuda point, Coral Garden, Turtle Patch, Mid Reef, South Point, Drop Off Point and Stag Horn Crest. During these dives we saw White Tip Reef Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks, Leopard Shark, Crocodile fish, Lone and Shoal Barracuda, Purple Antheas. We also dived around Mabul and Kapalai (10 mins by boat) this was more muck diving but still incredible as there were nudibranchs by the hundred, nearly as many of them as there were turtles! There was also frog fish, Anemomie Crabs, Eel Gardens, Ghost shrimps and Leaf fish. On one of these dives we also saw a Flamboyant

Barracuda

I must tell you about some of the most amazing diving I have done, the real highlights of my adventure, the first was an early morning dive where we had to be ready to travel to Sipadan at 5.30 am (not the best start for me) but we were in the water for 6am and just about awake. For the first half hour there was nothing special but then I could have been asleep for all I know, we rounded a corner and saw one bump head parrot fish, then another, and another. Suddenly we were swimming in the middle of a shoal of them, 50- 60 massive bump head parrot fish, some were really up close, amazing. Then as they disappeared we were greeted with a wall of flashing silver that reached as far as you could see. It was an enormous shoal of Jacks with giant Treavally in the middle. I have never seen anything like it, fab.

Jacks

Another really fantastic dive was a really fast drift dive off Barracuda Point, not only is drift diving my favourite, but we dropped into a shoal Barracuda, wow. Then as we reached 30m we saw 5 grey reef sharks and a couple of white tips all circling, patrolling a whole section of reef, going up and coming back down, I have never seen anything like it! Later in the same dive a leopard shark swam past us up close and personal you could almost touch his big tail. Then if that was not enough towards the end of the dive we travelled over on to the top of the reef and found 6 white tip reef sharks resting on the sand. Where else in the world could you see that, so very cool!

Lump-head

After all the diving we had a days rest at the resort, during this day loads of Malay Military and police turned up, we thought it was a takeover. Actually the Chief Minister of Sabah (Borneo, to you and me) arrived with many other ministers and TV crews to discuss what was to happen to the areas we had been diving. The results seem to be reported in this month's diver.

We then left as my friends wanted to go and meet their cousins the Orang-utans.

But that's another adventure and story.....

 
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