Dive 200: Hanging Gardens, Pulau Sipadan (Malaysia)

Dive time:  00:48:00
Max depth:  20.4 metres
Temperature:  29 C
Visibility:  30 metres
Buddy:  Jose
Surface interval:  01:05:00

In terms of sheer beauty of the reef and corals, Hanging Gardens would have to be the favourite of my dives sites here.  The wall here is more sheer than any of the other sites that I’ve dived, and the coral growth on it is just spectacular with beautiful fans, anenomes, and amazing assortment of colourful hard and soft corals.

As soon as I descended on the reef, I came face to face with three turtles resting on the one outcrop of rock.  I watched as one of the turtles gracefully took off to the surface for a gulp of air.  As with the last dive here at Hanging Gardens, there were just turtles absolutely everywhere.  They were above me almost every time I rolled over to gaze at the surface, they were resting in little alcoves in the wall, or the were swimming out in the blue.  The largest one I saw had a shell about 1m in length, and was lying very still in a hole in the wall.  It had its eyes closed, which I hadn’t seen of other turtles so I was a bit unsure whether it was sleeping or whether it was dead!

It was only half way through the dive that I realised that this was my 200th dive, and all I could think about was how amazing it was that I was doing it in Sipadan in turtle heaven!  An absolutely stunning dive.

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