Mabul – June – August 2012

Continuing to live the dream
Semporna, Malaysia


Another couple of months have passed by in a whirl of sunshine, diving and playing with baby cats. I really can’t believe I have now been living this life for 6 months, the time really does fly.

Most of my days are spent exploring the underwater world. My time has been spent swimming with amazing creatures everyday. Seeing these rare and exotic animals on a daily basis can cause you to become a little bit blasé about them. I have to keep reminding myself how lucky I am.

Recently there has been – green turtles, hawksbill turtles, eagle rays, white tip reef shark, huge schools of jackfish, frogfish – and a hairy frogfish! 1.5m long giant groupers, mating reef squid, mating cuttlefish, pygmy squid, flamboyant cuttlefish, robust ghost pipefish, ornate ghost pipefish, Pygmy pipehorses, seahorse, Pygmy Lionfish, spiny devilfish, cockatoo waspfish……the list goes on.

Other things that have happened over the last 2 months:

– a huge fire on the back of the island. We were woken at 4.30am and looked up into an orange sky. The fire was huge, the smoke made it seem ever greater. I’ve never seen a fire before. Luckily the rain came shortly afterwards, helping to extinguish the fire and no one was hurt. One of the longhouses (tourist accommodation) was completely burnt down. Luckily the fire didn’t have enough time to spread too far.

– adopted a family of kittens! They were born the day I returned from the Philippines. 5 babies; 2 grey tabby and 3 black. Very very very cute! One slept in my room for a night, I got no sleep, so it went back very shortly afterwards!

– I caught ringworm. A skin fungus that is passed on from playing with infected cats. Learnt my lesson there then.

– several more green and hawksbill turtle nests were laid and hatched.

I had a day off on the mainland not so long ago. I took myself for a walk around the main market. When I came to the fish section, I was saddened by the numbers of fish and types of fish that had been caught that day. Everything from the usual mackerel and crabs, through to huge huge tuna and reef fish. But what was most distressing was the number of rays available. Around 20 baby eagle rays lay, half chopped up. But then, alongside, a large devil ray 😦 In the last 6 months of diving around here, I have not seen a single devil ray in the waters. It’s a shame that the first one I have ever seen is in a fish market. I understand these fishermen have to make a living, but rays are so rare around these waters, surely it’s better to preserve them for the future.

Soon time to head off and explore a new country…..



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