Anxious + anticipated, I am looking forward to the trip to Sipadan, one of the most exciting dive site in Southeast Asia. I was ‘dry’ more than 3 years, since 2006, the last time I was in blue waters of Tioman.

Checking through my dive gears, which had been nicely packed deep in the storage. My BCD is punctured, the rubber of the mask has stiffen, time to upgrade the gears.

Eugene Sim, the Padi course director and also our life saver, is always the first person we think about when it comes to diving. He recommended me to ‘wings’ style BCD rather than my previous ‘jacket’ style, as I can never fit properly with the jacket. Wings BCD has greater customization to my body size. With new BCD, it adds an layer of anxiety to my rusty diving skills – I need to readjust my buoyancy control underwater.

This is a short 4 days 3 nights trip. Out of the blue, my brother PC (who doesn’t even swim) arranges this trip with a big group of friends (with families and kids). First, we take an Air Asia flight from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau, and then overland to Semporna, the closest port to Mabul island. After lunch, we set sail (on speedboat) to Singamata, there we stay for the first night. 

Singamata is not even an island. It’s a water chalet built on a large coral reef 10 minutes boat ride away from Semporna. This chalet provides simple but clean accommodation and some diving/snorkeling activities.


It serves a warm up session for us – city folks – before we dive. Kids and families are having real fun snorkeling in this confined water, 10 meters deep, in the mid of ocean.



Since there is nothing much to do besides swimming and I am not a big fan of it, as well as I didn’t bring a single book, refreshing camera skill is my time passer… capturing natural phenomena…