Dive 195: Old House Reef, Pulau Mabul (Malaysia)

Dive time:  00:49:00
Max depth:  18.6 metres
Temperature:  29 C
Visibility:  6 metres
Buddy:  Jose
Surface interval:  17:17:00

This site is a bit like the Kapalai house reefs but off Mabul Island and are really huge structures weighted down with heavy rocks on a sandy bottom with no coral growth at all.  Some of the reefs are teepee-shaped, some are just one massive cube of rock and wood, and others are big stacked cube structures around 5 cubes high.

The reefs attract an amazing amount of marine life, from little critters on the structures to an enormous school of jacks that were school above and around them.  There were a good few thousand fish in the school, just one big silvery swirl that was pulsing in and out and around like it had a life of its own!

On the structures themselves, we saw a few crocodile fish, nudis, a well camouflaged brown and green leaf fish, a tiny pipe fish, and at the top of one of the largest structures was a large rust-coloured frog fish that had bits of growth over it looking exactly like a bit of sponge!  The DM, Alvin, poked it with his pointer and the frog fish showed its awkward hopping movement, slowly hopping from one part of the structure to another.  Amazing study in the curiosities of marine life!

Our ascent and safety stop was done right next to the massive school of jacks – so cool!

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