Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:
The other islands surrounding Sipadan are unknown and yet they are worth seeing. I dive there almost every day until the end of the week, while waiting for my turn to go to Sipadan. In the genre "mise en bouche", these small islands are fantastic spots.
The main one, Mabul, is inhabited. Whole families of fishermen, "gypsies of the sea" more or less sedentary, live there in stilted wooden barracks, next to a luxurious resort for ultra-fried divers and longhouses rustic for low-budget divers.
The island is pretty, seen from the sea, but I preferred to stay in Semporna and make the boat trip every morning. The port of Semporna is ugly, not very nice, I would not advise tourists looking for an exotic postcard to stay there. But there is a semblance of modernity that I appreciate: internet access (although not super fast), electrical outlets to recharge the batteries of the camera, restaurants, hot water, market, etc.
Small annoyance in my quest for modernity: I receive SMS, but I can not send. It's annoying, all the same ... Hum. I feel like a backpacker who gets bored!
During my many dives in Mabul, Sibuan and Mantabuan, I am not disappointed. The dive masters are competent and know the funds as their pocket. I discover every day animals that I have never seen before.
Highly sought after frog-fishes aka fish-toads (I must find the real name in French), indolent and shapeless fish, disguise themselves in sponge and nestle incognito between two stones by leaning on their fins become quasi-paws.
Crocodile fish, kings of camouflage too, merge with the sand. And, again, there is a truly incredible variety of nudibranchs ...
A treat for amateur photographers of which I am a part. We also meet the tropical underwater tropical fauna: batfish, moray eels, angelfish fish, clowns, parrots, etc. etc.
Between two dives, decompression literally and figuratively on the sand, the time to eliminate the nitrogen accumulated in the body and resume some forces.
Military welcome on white sand
On each island, there are soldiers, who control the sailing records of the boats, the names and the number of divers. Security measures put in place by the Malaysian government since the 2000 hostage-taking by Philippine terrorist Abu Sayyaff (divers taken to Jolo were kidnapped in Sipadan).
It's a little funny, anyway, when we arrive on these cute white sand beaches postcard with their coconut trees, to see the arrival of trellis men, some armed with an impressive machine gun, by way of welcome committee .
The bikini divers are for them the main attraction of the day ... And the French are of course entitled to a little ironic football commentary. Thanks Zidane!