Tuesday, December 30, 2008


It was a FABULOUS party last night! The Pavilion was decorated as a Borneo Rainforest and the staff sang and danced and had tons of games for us to play! A wonderful time was had by all....

Time to get on the plane to Singapore.....enjoy the photos!

Busy, busy, busy! Too busy diving to edit photos & try and keep the blog updated!
Dives have been done on Paradise 1, Paradise 2, Sipadan Island, Siamil Island and Mabul & Kapalai! Everyone is having a wonderful time....up to four dives a day for some of us! Sightings have ranged from the smallest of nudibranchs to giant sleeping turtles!
Bob & I did a late afternoon dive on Paradise 2 the other afternoon and had a blast finding critters! The best part of the dive was the yawning crocodilefish! I settled down in front of him for a face shot and after the strobes flashed in his eyes, he gave me two HUGE yawns...I think he was trying to scare me away! They don't have any teeth as you can see from the inside of his huge jaw in the photo! I was so excited I squealed underwater and everyone heard me and knew that something "cool" had happened!
Tomorrow is our last day of diving...so sad, but we're all looking forward to the New Year's Eve party and then onward on Thursday to Singapore for our 3 day adventure there! Hopefully once we get to Singapore I'll have time to do some more photo editing!
It's been a quick stay here at the Water Village. Unfortunately you wait so long for the holiday to start and then once you arrive, the time goes so quickly! Hope everyone has a safe New Year's Eve and I'll update again in a day or so!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yesterday & today the two boats were able to do three dives at Sipadan Island, so that means schools of jacks, barracuda, turtles, turtles & MORE turtles as well as beautiful hard & soft corals. Dives were done at Barracuda Point, Mid Reef, South Point, North Point and Hanging Garden. Everyone loved seeing and diving with all the fantastic turtles. Sharks cruised in and around the reef and schools of pyramid butterflyfish and unicornfish & red-lipped triggerfish circled us as we swam along the reef.
The weather is sunny and very warm...we had a little bit of rain and some wind and clouds yesterday, but overall it's been fantastic! The staff is working hard at planning the festivities for New Year's Eve and it's hard to believe we only have 2-1/2 more days of diving here...where DOES the time go?
Everyone sends their best regards!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's another day in Paradise! We did two dives today at a new place for us...SiaMil, an island about 45 minutes from Mabul. Great dives along a nice wall with lots of stuff to look at. First dive had blue ribbon eels, cuttlefish, TWO pgymy seahorses (1/4") and lots of other cool stuff. Second dive had a giant pink frogfish, peacock mantis shrimp and crocodile fish galore along with lots of hard & soft corals...really, really beautiful!Third dive of the day was over at Maki Point at Kapalai. It was a great dive to start with....robust ghostpipefish, ornate ghostpipefish, mantis shrimp, shrimp gobies and nudibranchs. Bob & I were tailing behind the group and making our safety stop at 15' when Ron, our diveguide, wrote the magic words on his slate..............BLUE RING! Wow, thank goodness we both had plenty of air left in our tanks! It was our very first blue ring and even though we'd seen pictures and knew they were small...it was still hard to realize that it was an octopus! They are only about 2-1/2" long and change colors as they cruise the reeftop feeding...needless to say, our cameras got quite a workout! Enjoy a couple of the pictures!Tomorrow 1/2 of the group will head to Sipadan Island for three dives. It's now a World Heritage site and they are severely limiting the number of divers per day. With almost a dozen resorts in the immediate area, it certainly limits the number of times you can dive there during a vacation, so we'll probably have to be content with only one day of diving there for each diver...which makes all of us sad because it's such fabulous diving, but in the interest of protecting the fragile reefs and the fantastic turtle population, we certainly understand.....

That's all for today...hope everyone's holidays are being spent sharing quality time with families & friends.

Well, it's Christmas Day in Malaysia....and we had three fabulous boat dives today....Eel Valley, Lobster Wall (no lobster!) and Don King Yama at Kapalai.
Everyone has finally gotten enough rest to be fully recovered from the travel travails & the last two pieces of missing luggage (including dive gear) arrived early today, so we've got some happycampers now! Sightings today included turtles, schools of bream, a juvenile blue ribbon eel still in his black phase as well as a "true" blue ribbon eel just a few feet farther down the reef. Everyone had exciting things to talk about after the dives and lots and lots of photos were taken...it's amazing what some fabulous diving can do to erase the stresses of travel!
Christmas Eve is a much bigger celebratory event than Christmas Day so last night's dinner included turkey & gravy along with some of the other trimmings. A Yule Log was also presented for dessert. Because the Christian staff had the evening off to go into Semporna for Christmas Eve services, our Muslim staffers serenaded us with Christmas Carols. The veranda was decorated with a Christmas tree, snowman & gingerbread houses. The guests all joined in singing the Christmas carols and then some of the staff entertained us with their fantastic dancing skills. We even had a performance from the "Miss Mabul" contestants..some of the male dive staff dressed as dancing girls! Those "gals" sure can dance!
We're enjoying the hot, sunny weather and calm seas...we're also thinking of our friends and family back home in the snow, ice & cold....we wish you were with us! Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Malaysia from the whole gang!


Well, planes (not on time), trains (not this time) & automobiles or vans as the case may be, we are FINALLY here! The weather in Detroit on Friday, which we thought had cleared up by the time we arrived the airport on Saturday, delayed our flights, cancelled our flights and then had to be re-routed to get to JFK on Sunday, at LaGuardia instead of Kennedy, by the way, so we could catch our Singapore Air flight out Sunday night. We saw a small portion of NYC traveling from LGA to JFK and then headed east...very east! It's a long, sad story, best left for recalling when the sting of the delays isn't still so painful! But we are all here and ready to have a fantastic diving holiday.....

We arrived here at the beautiful Sipadan Water Village the morning of the 24th, instead of the late afternoon of the 22nd! We were greeted with smiling faces and fruit drinks and as soon as everyone checked into their rooms, off to the Dive Centre we went. First a shore "orientation dive" for those new to the Resort....I think I recall hearing about seeing pipehorses, batfish, cardinal fish, cleaning stations, a school of squid.....those are just a few of the things the "newbies" saw! Lunch came next and then for those still awake, the first boat dive....more to follow on the diving!

Christmas Eve dinner is being set up on the reception veranda with a snowman, lots of beautiful decorations and table settings....pictures will follow tomorrow! For now, Merry Christmas, everyone, from beautiful Malaysia!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holidays in Malaysia!

Well, we're off to Sipadan Water Village in Malaysia on the 20th...arrival at the Resort is the 22nd...keep an eye on the blog for (hopefully) daily updates of our diving & Holiday celebrations! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy New Year to all!