Malaysia: Borneo Dive Trip


One of the funnier things about this trip was that I was either with a local friend who spoke the language and would take me to cool places, with whom I would have these very long and intense conversations, or I was super touristy and super on my own. I like both of those things, I like being with buddies and being by myself, so it wasn’t a problem. It was just a little funny that there was no middle ground, like, at all.

And so it was that I went to Borneo, all my myself, where I had two days of diving planned with the utterly fantastic Dive Downbelow, whom I can’t recommend enough. I flew into Kota Kinabalu after some rather frustrating airport drama that ended up with my having to buy a whole new Air Asia ticket (REALLY) and rocked up to my little backpackers, at which I found myself somewhat at wits’ end after Ed’s family’s hospitality. I wasn’t too worried though because the dive center was taking care of everything for me, so all I had to do was find a food court to have dinner in (this was not hard) and go to bed early in order to wake up early and get to the dive site. That was pretty much what I did for all three days I was there, but can you blame me?


I don’t have any pictures of me in my wetsuit and BCD because the reefs were so close to the dive centre that I didn’t have time to even get my camera out. Angela and Rachel, who had to endure hours of burping in Tonga, will be pleased to hear that I also didn’t even have time to be seasick. That’s the part I hate most about diving, I find: being on the little tiny boat. When I got certified it was on a BIG boat, you see, and I had no idea how throw-uppy my expensive new hobby was going to be.

Anyway, it was sort of the rainy season in Sabah so the visibility wasn’t awesome, to be honest, and on our first dive there was quite a bit of current, but I didn’t care because I met some cool people and got to see heaps of underwater buddies, including but not limited to: a hawksbill sea turtle, a seahorse (which I spotted while just noodling around and trying to get my buoyancy right! I wasn’t even looking very hard!), many nudibranchs, a puffed-up puffer fish, and, whilst snorkeling just off the dive centre, a terrifying moray eel!


I also found a nice kitty to pet while we were eating lunch during our surface interval back at the centre.

And I’m happy to report that, as required by international law, all the dive instructors were very hot (and very nice and friendly, too). Here we all are posing for Sabah’s Next Top Model. Which one of us will it be?

Photo by Paul Moody

This little guy was totally fierce and also totally smiling with his eyes before he deflated and swam away…

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  1. I know I comment on *every single post*, but, well, what’s the point of reading your blog entries if I can’t tell you how much I enjoy them?

    Somehow, I got off on a Chiara-tangent and have now just read half a dozen posts about your trip to Cairns in ’07. I wish I wrote about all the trips I’ve taken as much as you do. Another resolution for 2011!

    (Also, I’m gonna have to get travel advice if I ever make it that far north of Melbourne.)

  2. Oh MY GOD You saw a puffer fish??!! I’m so jealous! I’ve always wanted to see one all puffed up!.

    I get eh same seasicky feeling when I’m on small boats. Thankfully I’m fine right after I hit the water and start descending :)