Shark in Sipadan. Borneo, Malaysia. July 2009.

Posing with Sipadan sharks

  Borneo [Malaysia and Indonesia] - July 2009

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I dreamed, I'm there! I had a dazzling memory of my dives in Sipadan, three years ago. Today's ones amaze me just as much. Turtles, sharks and barracudas are still here! It's spectacular. And so beautiful!

Turtles and sharks everywhere

Ah, Sipadan! A dive spot located in Malaysia, off Borneo, truly unique, extraordinary. It's very simple: every dive is a quasi-guaranteed meeting with sharks and turtles ...

This is my second trip here. And, as during the first stayI marvel!

Turtle in Sipadan. (Borneo, Malaysia, July 2009.)

White tip shark. Sipadan, Malaysia. July 2009.

I'm lucky, I still very well, binomial question, like three years ago with Sabrina.

My new buddy for these dives in Sipadan is Linda. She and I soon became very good friends, during this short stay - before, during and after our fabulous dives in Sipadan.

Linda and me in Sipadan ... Turtles and sharks galore !!! (Borneo, Malaysia, July 2009)
Linda and me in Sipadan ... Turtles and sharks galore! ! ! (Borneo, Malaysia, July 2009)

Linda is an experienced diver, who has long been an instructor in the Red Sea. She also knows very well the funds of Mauritius because she has family there.

We were delighted to dive together, after finding that we were "paired" under the water. We were able to make our dives last quietly, to the end, independently, without having to worry about the air consumption of the rest of the team.

Because on a site as fabulous, nothing is more frustrating than having to cut underwater time because of more novice divers who "suck" their air too quickly. Today, for example, I am each time up with 90-100 bars still in the tank ... Frustrating, I tell you! ! ! (For those who do not know anything about diving, I had only used up half of my bottle, which was filled at 200 bars.)

In short, I really fell with Linda as a pair. On this subject, read my little mood ticket for Magazine, published in 2010:
The diving buddy lottery


Sipadan, it's amazing!

Linda did not know Sipadan. She hallucinated.

Even before the launch, several turtles come to greet us on the surface. When we go down in a garland of bubbles on Barracuda Point, we do not know where to turn.

Banks of fish-drivers and butterfly fish flutter at shallow depths. A huge batfish turns me around a bit to inspect me, then moves away.

Underwater, in Sipadan ... Borneo, Malaysia, July 2009.

Hafiz, our guide, beckons us to lift our noses. Dozens of humpback parrots stand out in shadow over our heads.

And then we come across a first turtle, which is nestling on the reef, the nose in the coral. Another comes to graze us, light, graceful, with a gentle movement of a fin. In the blue, close, file the gray silhouette of a shark.

Linda points to the beast to be sure I have seen it. It is a white tip shark, the most widespread species here.

You say I saw him. I'm already filming it, my camera at arm's length.

In Sipadan, sharks are everywhere! Borneo, Malaysia, July 2009.

But Linda is still pointing in my direction. I turn around. Ah, here! Here's another one. That's good, that, very good! I have it, my "counter field"!

A few minutes later, we come across a school of jacks. A huge bench! ! ! A cloud of fish that waves around us, envelops us, then moves away ...


But the best of diving in Barracuda Point is ... barracudas.

We fall midway on a large bench of large cattle. They really have an ugly face, with their pointed muzzle full of teeth. The wall of scales scrolls, no end ... Bigre.

And how do I, for my "counter-field", in the current?

Barracuda Point, Sipadan. Borneo, Malaysia. July 2009.

Barracuda Point, Sipadan. Borneo, Malaysia. July 2009.

The bench goes away in the blue, leaving us dumbfounded, amazed.

Linda turns her head back, performs a small dance of joy.

Shark cleaning station

A little further, we arrive at a cleaning station. It is a plateau of debris of coral and sand mixed, which contrasts with the rich life of the reef. Small fish cleaners and other needy shrimp are at work.

The sharks come to rest there, on the bottom, to be made a beauty. If they do not feel disturbed, they stay there, quiet, without moving.

Sharks in Sipadan. Borneo, Malaysia. July 2009.

Shark in Sipadan. Borneo, Malaysia. July 2009.

The opportunity is too beautiful. We approach gently, not to scare the critters ... And we go the camera.

To pose next to a shark, I adore!

Shark in Sipadan. Borneo, Malaysia. July 2009.

Linda, as if in prayer, observes one of the sharks with her hands joined ...


Small update: I returned to Sipadan in 2013, four years after this stay in 2009 ... And the sites remained exceptional, with always sharks, turtles, barracudas and trevallies in shambles! But I was also better equipped for underwater photography, with my Canon Eos 7D in its box, acquired in 2010 and I brought some more spectacular images, like the ones below ... And I still managed to get a picture taken with a shark! : lol: All my articles on this new trip to Borneo of 2013 can be found here:

→ Indonesia + Malaysia 2013: return to Borneo 

Spectacular, the school of jacks! (Sipadan, Borneo, Malaysia, July 2013)
Spectacular, the school of jacks! (Sipadan, Borneo, Malaysia, July 2013)
Shark and jacks. Sipadan, Borneo, Malaysia. July 2013.
It's tea time for this shark that pops up in the middle of the bench! (Sipadan, Borneo, Malaysia, July 2013)

  Borneo [Malaysia and Indonesia] - July 2009

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  1. eh bien je vois que tu t’éclates!!tu as raison, c’est marrant que tu parle de MAURICE car je viens de croiser un copain qui y vit 6 mois par an, du coup je commence à envisager sérieusement 10 jours de vacances là bas en novembre,eh eh….. 😉
    Continues les photos je ne suis jamais rassasiée 😀

  2. Hey, did they move the panel where they destroyed the building behind?
    Elle a l’air rigolote ta copine Linda. J’aime bien sa façon « karatéka » d’effectuer le signe du requin 🙂 Tu pourrais me faire passer son e-mail en mp pour voir si elle ne pourrait pas me donner des cours particuliers… 😉
    Oui, c’est rageant de remonter avec 100 bars sur des sites pareils et donc Corinne voilà un inconvénient de voyager en solitaire 😆
    Pour l’anecdote, à Sipadan on laissait généralement la palanquée au bout d’1/2 h et on essayait de finir nos blocs sans dépasser les 60 mn comme nous le demandait les guides. Un jour on a été obligé de recompter les barracudas, puis on s’est intéressé aux ébats de 2 puis 3 tortues en train de revisiter le Kamasutra, ce qui fait qu’on est remonté après 70 mn. L’atmosphère à bord du bateau fut « lourde » pendant tout le retour. Le lendemain, on était tout seul sur notre bateau. Le guide nous a expliqué que les autres personnes ne voulaient plus plonger avec nous car elles nous avaient attendu 3/4h 🙁
    Well your photo with the shark, but in Sipadan you have to be absolutely caught with a turtle, like this one:
    Profites en bien, veinarde… 🙄

  3. Yes it's a dream, and even that makes you want to take a vacation, take a plane or two and go diving! I'll have to go to one of these days, in Sipadan ...
    In any case, thank you for this story and these photos!

  4. It's just beautiful ... I love it. Enjoy all these wonders and continue to make us share this beautiful journey.Thank you to make us dream ...

  5. There are turtles that can be tamed. I wandered on it for hours, in Mayotte. When they are tired, they put on their backs or do a little rodeo. It means "loose the sneakers" in turtle language.

  6. Hi Corinne,

    Que de bons souvenirs sur Sipadan…J’imagine que Derawan c’est pour dans les prochains jours 😉

    We are also preparing bags for Sumatra and plan a trip on Pulau Weh and Banyaks ... I hope to "tease" some small treasures!

    good bubbles ° 0oO °

    friendly 8)


  7. @Laurence: According to Linda, it looks in some ways like Mauritius here, with, in the distance, the reef that protects the island ... I must say that I too, Maurice would tempt me.

    @Alimata: No, no, there is a building behind ... it is the angle of the photo that must give this impression. Unless they have advanced the panel?
    I will pass on to Linda your admiration and your request for a private lesson. With her, the other day, we did as you did, we went back long after the others. It was very very good !!! These days, I had to be satisfied each time about fifty minutes, lack of air-saving buddy ... But hey, I'm not going to start complaining!
    Pour la tortue, j’ai encore mieux que ta photo: une vidéo!!! 😛 J’essaierai de poster des images qui bougent un de ces jours pour prouver mes dires!

    @ Marie-Julie: Tomorrow, I'm doing a little post with lots of pictures.

    @Malene: Yes, if you have the opportunity to travel to Malaysia, do not hesitate. Sipadan is really an exceptional site !!! The most beautiful dives I have ever done.

    @Cathy: Thank you! It is a great pleasure for me too, to read this kind of comment in return. I will continue, promised!

    @Sundance: I feel that I will put myself in the language turtle, me too. They are very familiar here. Every morning, there are two or three who come to breathe under the stilts of my room in Mabul. I just love it!

    @Yann: Yes, I'm going to Derawan in the coming week. I will follow the trips of your small family. This is a program that looks good to me!

  8. Bravo pour les photos Corinne ! J’aime beaucoup celle avec les plongeurs et le banc de carangues. 😀
    Super les requins, ils ont l’air moins furtifs qu’à Perhentians. Je commence à y penser à Sipadan… Vol Londres-KL à 190€ AR avec Air Asia… y’a une arnaque tu crois ??? 😯
    Dur le retour à Marseille… hier l’eau était à 14° à cause du Mistral… les 31° me manquent ! 😥
    Good next dives!
    A +!

  9. If you go to Mauritius go see my friend SOM from me (Michel du bateau) He came aboard my boat several months. It has a small sailing trimaran and offers cruises in the northern islands. Delicious Indian meal. You can find him at bay. Everyone knows him He is Indian and very long hair that goes down on the buttocks.
    During a ride in zodiac and at full speed he took the screwdriver that was at the bottom of the boat, slowed slightly while talking with me and skewer a jacks with. Put the gas back and continue his discussion !!!! Character that one!
    I dressed in the morning with pieces of combination. A true pathwork of colors. I sewed him with a son's skin. He kept the suit all day. In short, good memories with him.
    He can take you to the northern islands and the shark pit of the Pigeon Rock near the flat island. He has a shark Lepeltier rifle. This is not a professional, no diving dilme but excellent apneist.

  10. Hello! My first comment, even if I read your blog since I discovered it a few months ago. Just a down-earth question on sidapan paradise. Are there bad mosquitoes at night? I'm thinking about a dive cruise to the Komodo Islands for next year (I do not go on a whim !!), and a friend told me that in this area (Malaysia and Indonesia) the mosquitoes are great and even on a boat you can not escape it.

    @Alimata What a story! The others complained of having waited for you? Even Parisians would not do that ... :-)

  11. @Manta: You would love !!! Sipadan is # 1 in my little best-of personal diving destinations in Asia ...

    @Anthony: Thank you!!! Sipadan, it has nothing to do with the Perhentians. There are many sharks and turtles on each dive, in addition to the usual tropical wildlife, incredibly dense and varied.
    For Air Asia, there is no scam. These are the low-cost fares, so you will have to pay extra to get the services that are usually included in the ticket: food, choice of seat, luggage supplement, etc. But all that is indicated on their site.
    Otherwise, to get back to the Perhentian, I finally made the return trip to the airport with ... Peter! We chatted all the way (boat + taxi) and we talked about you! You have obviously left a very good memory ...

    @Sundance: Thank you for these indications! I intend to go diving in Mauritius one day. It is an island that attracts me a lot.

    @Max: Sipadan is really a "paradise" only under water. The island is guarded and occupied by the military, we do not stay there. We only go there for lunch, around noon, between two dives. On the beach where the divers berth, I noticed the presence of sand-flies, those little irritating midges that sting, and he must surely have some mosquitos in the evening.
    On land, you have to stay at the neighboring island of Mabul or the port of Semporna, which are far from our pictures "tropical postcard". Few mosquitoes in Mabul if you stay on the water, in houses with pilings: there is often wind, so few critters.
    However, when I went to the resort of Borneo Divers to enjoy the wifi, I got banged ankles (these pesky mosquitoes should prefer to eat at the rich rather than backpackers). But overall, I did not find that there were so many mosquitoes in the area.
    It is true that Asian mosquitoes are hard to cook, but a good repellent + long sleeves are enough to guard against their stinging incursions.

  12. It's time to write in English!
    I commend you on a lovely website. I had a great time diving in Sipidan and especially with you. Thankyou 🙂
    I look forward to seeing more photos! 🙂
    Warmest regards and safe travels 🙄
    Linda, your buddy! x

  13. @Linda: Many thanks!!! I’m so happy to find your comment here, on my blog. The next dives in Sipadan after you left were great too, but I really missed my buddy… 😉

    Good luck in Jakarta !!!

  14. Top ! So much memories ! Including a rise of -46 m on the drop with the surface during all levels, the huge barracudas tornado and the finish in its center ... .definitely love this place! 8)