It’s been a beautiful month on Pulau Mabul – both in and out of the water. The sun has been shining and the conditions underwater have been mind-blowing. Turtles have been nesting and hatching, Hammerheads have been showing their bizarre looking faces at Pulau Sipadan and Wonderpus have been creeping around Mabul. It’s been the perfect time for our special guest, who has been recording many of these incredible events, to be here.
|Aaron and his famous 'Shark Selfie'|
Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski is a professional dive journalist who has had documented some amazing experiences. We are fortunate to have him here on the island, working with Scubazoo on an exciting new project which we will be revealing more about in the upcoming months. He has been talking to our staff about our various conservation projects, filming some beautiful underwater critters and also getting involved in our bustling on-land activity. There are always exciting things happening around Scuba Junkie and we are looking forward to working with him on documenting these events. For more information on Aaron and Scubazoo, check out their websites: www.aarongekoski.com and http://www.scubazoo.com/
|School of Big Eyed Trevally at Sipadan|
Pulau Sipadan has been stunning divers for the past few weeks. With visibility reaching an incredible 50m on many days, our divers have been blown away by the topography of this unique island. When discussing Sipadan it is often the sharks, turtles and schools of fish that are the hot topic of conversation. However, this incredible visibility has meant that even our most experienced Sipdan guides are seeing parts of the majestic wall that they have never seen before. Also the magical beauty of the healthy corals up in the shallow has really been shining through.
One of the things that make Sipadan such an incredible place to dive is its geology. The island is an oceanic volcanic seamount and is the only one like it in Malaysian waters that breaches the surface. The water surrounding this island is extremely deep. On the north side of Sipadan the waters reach depths of 600, whilst on the south point of the island the depth is an almost intimidating 2000m. To put this into a little perspective, the maximum depth around Pulau Mabul and Kapalai is 40-60m.
Even when the visibility is closer to 20m, it is easy to feel dwarfed by this stunning wall. With the visibility being as crystal clear as it has been of late, many of our divers have remarked on how humbling an experience it has been to realise how small they are in this vast ocean.
|The incredible wall at Sipadan dwarfs divers|
But let’s not forget about the fish. Scalloped hammerheads have been seen several times this month. In just one day one group were lucky enough to see 7 of these majestic and mystical sharks. The beautiful blue water means that the schooling fish have been a delight to see. The huge schools of chevron barracuda and the big eyed trevally amazed divers. The sheer volume of these fish is almost unbelievable, and the 50 metre visibility has only aided our divers in their appreciation of these amazing schools.
|Wonderpus - thanks for the photo Fred!|
But let us not forget the other islands that have been keeping us more than entertained underwater. We have recently had an encounter with the elusive wonderpus. This shy cephalopod is seen along sandy bottoms and is the treasure of many divers. A much sought after find for photographers due to the bizarre and wonderful ways they pose.
|Turtle Eggs - photo by Aaron Gekoski|
Out of the water has also been a delight - we have had turtles both nesting and hatching on Pulau Mabul! Not only that but we have had two record breaking nests! This had led to a very busy hatchery these last couple of weeks. On the 16th February we had our largest nest since the hatchery opened 4 years ago – 170 eggs from a green turtle. Then one month later this record was broken. A hawksbill turtle laid an amazing 172 eggs! We can’t wait for these little hatchlings to burrow their way up from their nests and begin their journey to the vast ocean. Our Turtle Adoption Scheme has been running for nearly a year now, and has been a huge success. If you are interested in adopting a Turtle then please do not hesitate to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Mabul Beach Resort Manager Steve giving one of our local rangers their reward.|