Purple has now turned blue... purple is joy, yet blue is hope!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dive Trip @ Mataking Island, Tawau Dec 13-17 2012

December is my holiday month! Yes... had my last dive trip of the year to a luxury island off Semporna, East Sabah. It was good to enjoy the sun and beach back on my home state, people are just as warm, the 'bah' slang been just around the corner... hearing them speaking on the native slang been just made me feel back home.
My favorite shot
Mataking island, it may not be as famous as other dive resorts surrounding Sipadan island, such has Kapalai, SeaVenture and Mabul's Sipadan Water Village (SWV). I knew this place many years ago through some of my dive buddies (at those days I haven't even interested to get my diving license). Overheard its an exclusive yet expansive resort to stay, on those days. Fortunate enough, we have got ourselves some good deal from MIDE 2012 dive expo at PWTC.

Upon checking in to the island, we were greeted with warm live singer at the jetty. I can feel the luxury and exclusiveness attention. It's just such good to be there. Food was awesome, nice ambience and most importantly clean! No sticky foot steps in the dining hall. We had varieties of salad every day, be it Thai styled, Kampung styled (with rice), and all kinds... Varieties of bread made everyday fresh from the kitchen.
Breakfast - love the homemade papaya jam
Views from the resort are just such spectacular. Be it day or night (except cloudy day). The bright sky in the day reflects the bluish of the ocean, it was just such lovely. In the evening, sun will set in front of the resort, the glory sun will smile as much as it could before downing into the deep ocean.
A Romantic Dinner Table
Romantic Sunset
In the dawn, the moonlight would come in just in time to join into the crowd, we had a lovely half moon.
Dawn with the moon
Over on a night with clear sky, we could enjoy the sky full of stars! On the east facing of the island, benches and gathering place are just conveniently available for us to gather and chat. One of a night, we managed to walk along the beach and grab a nice place for star watching, on with breeze that kisses our faces. Awesomely romantic! Only if I am accompanied with a lovely partner, with a glass of champagne or wine... that would have been perfect (*dreaming*)

We woke up early on the day we about to leave, hoping for a perfect sunrise. Unfortunately, we couldn't get it all. Sky was covered with thick black cloud. There goes our beauty sleep on 5AM in the morning.
Sunrise Watch
No sunrise :(
Nevertheless, it was worth it. Slow morning walk brought us to the little Mataking island. One could walk towards the little romantic island when low tide. The view was superb, but it rained half way through. 
Nice sandy beach
Beautiful Scene
Enough of the beautiful skies from the island... made me dreamy while blogging :)

Next is on the dive experiences here. Many would have expect better or similar marine existence since 6 or even 10 years ago. If you have that hope, don't come to Sipadan island and its surrounding islands for the next 10 years, else you will be absolutely disappointed. For me, I didn't expect much as I am just a new diver whom still struggle much with my buoyancy. As long as I am able to buoyant well, any dive will be perfect for me. No doubt, one may be disappointed when there are just too little marine creature to see. One could have complaining, and comparing with other dive sites one has been before. Oh well, I would say we need to accept what's there today and admit the fact that -- mother nature is seriously in danger. How much chance we could preserve the value of marine life underwater? How many would supply they energy to preserve. We all know -- not many! Hence, nothing much we could do except to accept the fact and encourage more to love mother nature.

Fish booming has been a killer to the underwater world. I remember one of the dive at Barracuda point of Sipadan island.. I saw an aftermath with corals crashes all over the place. Only left with some new born soft corals and nudibranches, such a sad scene.

Stop Fish Booming!
We did most our dives surrounding Mataking island and its opposite island, namely Bohayan and Timba-Timba. Seriously, none of the sites gave me enough UW memories, as the creatures were so disperse and visibility rather poor, 5M at most. Nothing exciting to share except MANTA RAY! Yes, we saw manta ray as we decent on a deep dive, 1st dive of the day. Can't remember the site name (wait, will check my dive log next time). This creature was HUGE! To me, it looks like an eagle UW (haha!) Sorry, I don't have UW camera, hence no picture to share. :P

Dive Center
Our dive center was good. Nice DMs around to help, they are such hardworking... maintaining the center every morning, help out with our tanks, get organize with our request and so. But one thing which almost disappoint us.... was the arrangement of boatman and DM. The management was about to change our DM throughout all dives, in which we requested to avoid that since we were not comfortable on such arrangement.
Dive center and its crews

Good to know, we were in time for new born turtle! Mataking Reef resort does turtle hatching. They do look for sponsors, and we were part of the lucky one who managed to sponsor some. My buddies have some nice pictures on the turtles, too bad I am just too lazy to hunt for the pictures.

Turtles are born!
Oh dear, I am getting tired in writing. In fact, I have been writing this since 2012... and its now 2013! Hope you won't get bored with my post later.

Lastly, here's my recent gear in 2012. Bio fin was bought during 2011 MIDE but was used 1st time during my 2012 Redang trip. Dive computer was bought in 2012.. oh, I missed my Neilpryde bootie bought in 2012 MIDE. Dive LED torch was the latest in my collection. Bought from DX Deal extreme (dx.com) online store and collected it a few days just before my dive... it was a long wait, for close to 4 weeks upon order.
My dive gears
2012 has been filled with the most dive trips for me. Whether I will continue scuba diving, not too sure. It's all depends what I am off with, in the year 2013. Life goes on, goes along with an open heart! I am on for any adventure, any experiences to fulfill my life with  the greatest company, laughter and memories. To certain extend, some memories just couldn't be wiped off. Hope the deep ocean will continue to help me treasure them deep into the sea. ^.^

Happy  New Year 2013!

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