Back in the water

Small post and a few photos and videos, so they’re all at the bottom. I didn’t get to dive with the girls this morning as their dive boat was full. I took a walk across the road and found most of the other dive shops shut. One, Sabah Divers, had an open door but the staff were busy preparing for the day. I sauntered in anyway.

They quoted me MR281 for 3 dives including kit hire, which isn’t too bad. The girls got theirs for 250, but a fiver extra for a walk-in is fine. My dive master was Russel, and there were a few others in the group including a young guy from Singapore doing the last day of his Open Water course.

We boated out to one of the nearby islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park where there are many reefs around. All three dives were in excess of 40 minutes, visibility was superb in the morning (first two) and a little more limited in the afternoon as a storm closed in overhead and took away some sunlight.

Still, we saw some pretty good stuff and I managed to get my camera down there on the third dive. Dive 1: tested the casing. Dive 2: took camera, spotted case leaking at 6m and the other dive master took it back to the boat for the. Dive 3: all OK and I’ve got what I hope is some good video of a cuttlefish.

Russel certainly knows his stuff and where to find it. Sadly we didn’t spot the hairy frog fish which has been lurking around recently, but plenty of other things from starfish to octopi and the now-mandatory “Nemo”.

Between dives we retired to a resort on the island for drinks and food and chat. The staff and other divers were a good bunch and the lengthy surface time breaks seemed to fly by.

Oh, and I got my foot licked by a 2m long monitor lizard, which was cool.

Not a bad day considering it was all decided on at the last minute. The guy who runs the hostel took five of the guests to another tiny island, so had I not managed to get a dive I’d still have had a good time by the sound of it.

I caught up with the girls again later and it turned out they were the only two on their boat apart from the dive master and the boat operator. They had a great time, and they had lunch included. I should have found out what company they went with. However, they didn’t land on the island – they stayed on the boat all day. We’d intended to go out for dinner, but by the time we met we’d all eaten. Diving does make you hungry! Plus, we were all exhausted after too little sleep and too much exercise!

Kota Kinabalu is shaping up as a town which in itself isn’t really spectacular, but which has a lot going on around it. And at £3.20 per night for accommodation, I can handle staying here for a night or two more.

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