Thursday, 14 January 2010

Sapi Island, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

The islands should be a definite stop when in Kota Kinabalu. At the Imperial Hotel, we purchased boat tickets to get us to either Manukan, Sapi or Mamutik Islands. We opted for Sapi since most of us have been to the other two.

Since the van to Tanjung Aru had left, our tour agent had arranged for a cab to bring us to the pier there. Upon seeing the big yellow sign that says "Beach Bums", I got excited. Oh yeah, that's definitely me, an eternal beach bum!

We stopped by a scuba diving hut, not exactly knowing where to go. In the end, we found the equipment hut where we took our life jackets and sunbathing mats. At Sapi, we rented flippers for RM10 each. I think we paid about 50RM each person for the boat ride, which was a fair deal.

The beach ride had been thrilling, sending us bobbing along with the waves. It wasn't exactly smooth as I was lifted from my seat on several occasions. But, yes, very fun indeed.

When we neared any of the islands, I was enthralled by how clear and blue the water is. It was beautiful! I should hear holidaymakers laughing despite the distance between the boat and the island. I was so excited!

That day, we snorkeled for about an hour and I got to see all sorts of fishes, including jelly fishes. There were some colourful corals but many were covered in some sort of dirty green mold. They were some really big fishes I saw and some small ones, as well as intimidating ones. The intimidating ones like to rush themselves towards you, then stop, reverse and repeat the whole process again. I have to admit, I was frightened by them even though I was like hundreds of times larger than them. It was jelly fish season so we were occasionally being stung by small and not-easily-visible ones. Whenever I see bigger ones about the size of my fist, I panicked and quickly swam away. I saw a few dead ones too, floating lifelessly in the water. I think they turn brown when they are dead.

While it looks all so beautiful on the surface, I found the beach rather sad when I was snorkeling. I mean, I did have a lot of fun but, I realised the corals are badly damaged. I see people trampling on corals with no sense of caution at all. Unlike the waters where I have dived where the corals are in shades of deep red, purple and blue, these ones here looked as though they're dying. Yet, many fishes still live here. It's rather sad to watch after a while.

It started drizzling when we were having lunch. When the rain got heavier, we packed and went back to the hotel instead. That night, we karaoke-ed at KBox just across the street from Myne Hotel.
Beach Bums Village at Tanjung Aru

Tourists getting on the boat at the pier

A man kayaking

Crabs on the rocks

Hanging dry Banana boats

Water villages in the surrounding area

More water villages at the far end

Some passengers getting off at Mamutik Island

Big shoal of small fishes

The waters around Sapi Island

This is where we snorkeled at Sapi Island, within the area marked by the red buoys.

Our spot

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