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Scuba Diving at Sipadan Island, Borneo
Dive Site: White Tip Avenue
Location: Sipadan Island
Depth: 31 metres (102 feet)
Visibility: 30 metres (100 feet)
This dive site would have been more aptly named "Turtle Avenue", but then if you named every dive site on Sipadan after the most memorable sea life it supports, 90% of the sites would be named after the turtles. White Tip Avenue is located south of Barracuda Point and the Coral Gardens, and is a continuation of the deep (almost vertical) wall. Almost as soon as we entered the water we were greeted by a small, metre long manta ray who danced at the edges of visibility and then disappeared. We headed south at an initial depth of around 30m and admired the sheer topography and lovely gorgonian fan corals. The occasional white-tip shark swam along the reef. I had to remind myself just how awesome the proliferation of sharks, mantas and turtles here are. In a place like Sipadan it's easy to take them for granted as they are so common - I never thought I would be lucky enough to make that statement! As we gently ascended during our dive we were greeted in the top 20m by the turtles and spent some time free-swimming with them and watching them laze around on the upper parts of the reef. I didn't want to leave!
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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