Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Diving In Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park


I have been diving pretty much these days and one of my recent destinations was to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park or fondly known as TARP in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. I tell you, we are lucky to be in Malaysia because we’re surrounded by awesome dive sites. If you are a Singaporean, the only place you could dive is probably at MacRitchie Reservoir.
It was a punishing hot day and the moment I got out of my transport, off with my shirt.

Il fait choud

H20 is a must

Kota Kinabalu is probably just inches away from the ocean and although it was brutally hot, a city located just next to the sea will always have their charm, for example Alexandria, New York and Kota Bharu.
I signed myself up with Sabah Divers and the entire 3 dive package at TARP was only RM200.00. Everything was included – gears, boat and lunch. That is like a crazy 80% warehouse sale in diving lingo.
My divemaster, Jason is probably 50 plus years old. He was a dive master in Sipadan for 2 years. Did I also mention he is quite grumpy at times? I guess staying in Sipadan for 2 years is akin to staying in Alcatraz. Doing the same thing day in and day out, regardless of where you are can be repetitively mind blowing. A balance is so needed for my divemaster.
We took a boat ride to Pulau Sapi and Pulau Gaya, two islands filled with lifejacket-wearing-ankle –deep-in-water tourists.
I saw my first black fan tail ray and several lion fishes.
I love compressed air


Feeling pukey

During lunch, while chillaxing(I just learnt this word. It combines the words- chill and relax), two wild albino boars came out from the woods and mingled with the crowd. The pair were the most tamed wild boars I’ve seen and did I mention albino? They should be in the Proboscis monkey, orang utan, pygmy elephant group – endemic only to Sabah.
Albino wild boar

My 3rd dive ended about 5pm and what a glorious sunset to view. Ohhh how I love Sabah.
Blackberrying on the boat

Signal hill behind

I have 3 trips to Sabah in 2010. A Sipadan dive, a solo camping trip along the Liwagu river hopefully with Mt Kinabalu in the background and a sideways illegal entry into Maliau Basin(because I’m too frugal to pay RM3000)