Yesterday we did our last diving day for the trip,it was pick up as the usual day and speedboat across to Gaya. This time there were a few familiar faces from the day previous so there was a quick catch up over tea before we had our first dive briefing. Then it was gear up and away we went to Gaya Garden.
Once more it was back roll in and away we went into another adventure of lionfish, clown fish and a whole array of fish that I have no idea what they where. I am now so aware of the amazing life below the surface of the ocean. It teems with little fish and big fish, fish looking fish and strange looking fish. Coral abounds everywhere you look. Our first dive lasted about 40 mins, but time passes so quickly when you are down there it is amazing!
After our surface interval our next dive was at mid reef, home to a small wreck this time we got to see a seahorse, a real live seahorse, so graceful in the water and so beautiful, it’s a bit trippy to see these things in real life and a bit of a rush! This creature hiding among the wrecks suddenly floating into view as if to wow the divers passing through. After lunch the final dive was back to the pyramid, one of the best sights there today was two schools of barracuda passing by – never in a million years did I think I would be excited at these sights. The puffer fish, the stone fish and the angel fish all checking us out as we swam by.
For someone who has always been a little afraid of the ocean this diving caper has come as an amazing surprise, not only am I not so fearful, I am actually very excited about diving, I want to learn more about what I am seeing, what is that beautiful blue and pink fish? What are those tiny tiny bright blue fish that hang out among the coral on the sea floor? There is a whole new world of discovery!
The other thing that cannot go without comment is the dive community itself! I experienced this amazing community at dive world in Brisbane, but I have just encountered it again in Kota Kinabalu.we have met the most amazing people, once on Gaya Island the community just happens, the dive masters, instructors, all staff and all divers and snorkel lets even just get in together, share stories, laugh, eat and drink together. The air is thick with enthusiasm, excitement, friendship – it is the outcome that every community development worker would want to see. The thing is, I personally do not think I have experienced it any other time in my life! Sure divers will have their day but there is something about this community, people of different backgrounds all with one purpose, a common ground which brings them together. I wonder if it is because there are no variations in the rules so to speak – we all learn from the same books, obviously going into the ocean can present challenges that are unforeseen, unknown, but the basic skills are the basic skills. I could go on forever, but won’t, it’s just something I have witnessed and am grateful to have been a part of!
We depart Kota today and head to Kuching for the next leg of the adventure so, if you ever want to go diving in Kota Kinabalu I would strongly recommend Down below divers, they are professional and friendly. Equipment is in good condition and they make every effort to make sure you enjoy your day. Their dive packages include all equipment except a dive compute but you can hire one!
As for accommodation if you are happy with budget Travellers Light Backpackers located in no other than Australia Place, is great. It’s basic, breakfast is simply toast and jam, the showers are outside on the deck (I have become a big fan!) the rooms are small – but it’s clean, the beds are comfortable and the family who run this place are friendly – unless you want plush and a room you can lock yourself away in this is a great place. The outdoor area lends itself to meeting new and interesting people!
Well folks that’s all from KK!