Diving into the Blue - Sibuan Borneo

As the story went…

allergy hand

I had my allergy on the first 30 mins upon arriving in Semporna, Sabah, which in my opinion, was a BAD start. Like a tragic omen, something was going to go wrong~

The source of my skin reaction was this.

bedsheet lee resthouse

The bed of Lee Resthouse. Like seriously, their bed sheets were sooo old, it’s like they never changed it. You could find yellowing stains on it. Like Eww~!

It could be due to detergent with strong chemicals reactions.

Or the bed was just plain dirty.

Anyway, since there’s no refund (at one point I checked out and decided never to go back, but because the boss came to look for me because I swore to blog about it, I obliged after a room exchange was promised), I slept with three towels spread over it to sleep on.

towels on bed

This made me look like a hygienic freak.


After settling the final check in, I went to the Scuba Centre for my first day of course. I’ll skip you the boring details.

Basically the first ever course for PADI license is Open Water Course where you will become a certified Open Water Diver capable to dive to 18m below sea level on your own.

Here, the license costs RM750. Which I thought was cheap seeing that I am learning to dive at the MOST MOST beautiful dive site on earth (I can’t seem to stop saying that, it’s true!!!)

The first day was to sit through a 6 hours video crash course.

padi course book

I finished reading the book, and was on quiz the next day. :D

Not before I made some dives in the morning.

changing gears

OMG it’s the most wonderful and horrific experience ever!!

First the horrific then the wonderful.

It was drizzling when we met at the dive centre 8am that morning.

But the show must go on, nothing stops a diver! And as a diver in training, I have to do what I got to do, rain or storm (in this case, both)!

sea view

The rain began to pour furiously as the speed boat sped into the sea, and I was soaked in rain for at least what seemed like half an hour!!!! In the freeeeezing cold weather!!! And the wind, oh don’t get my started on the cold merciless wind!!! and then the boat drove out the rain and towards Sibuan Island.

cloudy sea view

But the clouds were gaining on us.

The first sentence that got out of my lovely instructor’s mouth was: “throw them into sea, let them swim for 200m out to the open and back. No equipments!”

My mind went “…………………………………………”

WTFFFF?!!!! No goggles? In the rain?!!!!! WITH THE STORM?!!!!!!!!!!

cloudy sea view 2
Out in the openness. (I was chucked into the sea shortly after this photo was taken)

So we (me and my dive buddies for the course) were all chucked into the sea, swam like jelly fish on the sea, under the even mounting waves and UNDER the rain (water top and bottom, do you know how that feels?!!!!).

Before any diving started, I was already tired as a slug and legs of jelly when I reached the shore. And it was only 10am.

dive boat

People were preparing for the diving equipments the moment I climbed into the boat. It’s time to dive.

Oh god kill me.

anne and nic changing gears
My dive buddies, couples from Denmark – Anne and Nic

Without any prior knowledge, we were again chucked into the sea with 20 KG more on our bodies for our first ever Open Water Dive courses.

Yea baby!!! We don’t practise in the pool, we do it on the spot!!! Where else but the beautiful sea of Borneo.

Where you find minority kids roaming the island and hijacking dive boats.

minority tribe kid in sibuan islands

Playing around boats are like games to them.

two kids on boat

The sea is where they grew up and live in.

kids playing in water
I know where you are looking at, sorry, it's hidden in the water

And I? I’m just excited for my first ever scuba lesson

sitting on dive boat

It was awesome, on the first day, there were two dives. Confined water - learning all the basic diving skills like changing your air (regulator) under water…etc.

me diving in sibuan

And basic skill in deeper water (10metres maybe?)

I passed with flying colours. :D (Thanks Hung, I wouldn’t be here taking this if it weren’t for you)

And cam-whoring around the boat.

me on dive boat

dive buddies and instructor
My diver buddies – Anne and Nic from left, me and my beloved instructor – Jackie (she’s from KL ;) )

fabien, me and ole
(from left)Fabien the master diver in training (assistant instructor to my course), me and Ole (Rescue Diver in training? Ole, I want to visit Germany!!!!)

me posing at the island
Beautiful Scenery

In the diving world, the sea is your playground, as well as your toilet.

ole peeing

Tsk tsk tsk Ole, You’re scaring poor Anne.

It was a great day, tiring, but absolutely exhilarating for me.

boat moving

Tomorrow would be my final exam. In my mind I was thinking, it would have suck big time after all I have gone through today if I fail tomorrow.

But today, the weather was too beautiful to care for that.

sea in the evening

Besides, if I do fail tomorrow, I can always piss in the sea

sea view 2

and have everyone drink my eh hem…*cough cough*


31 kissed Nicole

  1. *cough* =.= uhm.right.

    haha the kids were cute! and the pictures are amazing.. :D

  2. No idea why they throw you in the water and ask you to swim for fun first. Warming up? lol ... Stormy day eh. No worries, that time when i brought you out, we encountered rough sea, people were surprised that i have the guts to bring you out that day! I almost got lost underwater, but i kept my cool :D

    congratulations again.


  3. I too have those skin prob but not as serious as yours

  4. chowsingsing16/3/08 9:48 AM

    im currently studyin in sabah university..my fren jus took it,and it was around rm 500..

  5. misha's mum16/3/08 11:08 AM

    nice sceneries :)

  6. i think u photoshop-ed your pictures in your blog way too exaggerated.. too much.

  7. Wow yr pictures are mind blowing..all the reason for me to envy u...dang...wished i had dat kind of financial support to go there...

  8. Nice. Too bad can't meet you at the Pajama Party yesterday.

  9. So cruel! anyway the sea water is always salty..who knows it ur urine?haha

  10. The diving is wonderful. I can't wait to have mine!!!

  11. Beautiful girl...on a beautiful beach..
    You had me dreaming of going there now...

    Well planning for Germany ?? A must go place !!!

  12. Wow, I guess they threw you into the sea so that you could get the feel of it?

    Hehe, I'm surprised the resthouse boss didn't ask you not to blog about his place in the end :P

    I wanna go to Germany as well! Since I'm studying in France it should be easy, but it just never worked out... Do let me know when you do go there, who knows, I might be able to plan my trip around that time too!

    Lovely photos, by the way ;)

  13. could be dust-mites causing your reaction.

    have fun diving.....careful now...

  14. ehh the alergy thing - is the same damm thing happen to me on Tioman Island...
    at first i tot it must be seawater toxic...
    luckily it disappear after one day

    btw sipadan island... im so envy

  15. omg... the scenery is soo gorgeous!!!
    im definitely gonna go diving there one day.

  16. Do you have to do the stupid peace sign when taking pictures?

  17. hahaha,yeah,why do u have to do that "v" sign???it's so not appropriate with the beautiful scenery(aka u're spoiling the pic!).

  18. I took a kid one when i was 15.
    it was kinda wasted coz i'm currently in KL....
    not more than 5 pages of my diver's diary is filled...
    i really enjoy filling them though... n i think i lost it now...

  19. Hi Nicole, when I was diving actively during my break time, I faced this skin allergy problem too, not so much on my lower body, but all over my upper body. It continued on and off for quite some time, even scars remained after that, maybe for two months. I should have went to see a doctor. It is advisable to get treat as fast as possible, you don't want the scars stay on your body for months like mine. Apart from that, diving is one of the best way to see the most beautiful world. Sipadan was one of my best diving experience.

  20. couthiewoods:

    H: hey faster come back and go diving in redang!!! (no worries, i was too much a noob to know something went wrong back then, lol)

    ck: suck doesn't it

    chowsingsing: really? how? where? who? i want! seriously

    precious of you: o thanks!

    misha's mum: haha... visit u in hk k?

    ben: is it? i didn't really do much with the photos (except to bring a bit of colour out for some)

    marcus: tell me abt, it's not cheap going there

    simon seow: haha... i was dining dinner with all the master divers that night

    xiangmei: yea man.. who knows it's anyone's!

    lyna wan: u shud!! oh god u shud!!!

    tanalan2: well.. maybe... haha.. that if Ole still keep in contact with you :p

    wp: i was thinking they wanted to test our swimming skills. he might have hinted, i don't know :p

    sheon: erm.. usually it's the detergent, caught one once in the UK

    luke: yea man.. mine in one day too

    amberite: it is very~~~ NICE!

    nickie: why not?

    anon: haha..

    cheryl: a kid one?

    fish fish: oh dear.. that was horrible, mine in the UK was three days. It's was drastic

  21. I have deep sea phobia... cannot dive... but I think diving is cool.

  22. wow nicole..i want to go.. hehe
    so fun..
    btw, i love those scenery photos you've taken..

  23. love your pics... nice journey too... :) have a safe trip back ya... :)

  24. Gorgeous sea! salty too. yea, i actually tasted the sea water..but by accident. was on the speed boat and well, u know how it's like sitting in a speedboat. =.= yuck!! i didnt know that ppl pee into the sea... so disgusting lah.. >.<

    i never go diving before. sad. :( i dont know how to swim.

  25. Hi nicole,

    What diving company is that? I'm interested in diving courses as well, so far yours is consider the cheapest. Could you kindly email me the diving centre's details? Thanks..

  26. Heard from some of my friends said that Sipadan Island is very beautiful. I must go there when i have enough saving. hehe. :)

  27. u need to do something on ur thighs but u have a very lovable face.....!

  28. hello nicole nice face happy day take care of your health.nicole where you came from?can i add you as my friend?

  29. Hi was googling up diving centres in Sibuan and stumbled upon your site. I'm interested to get my diving licence and was wondering if you could let me know the name of the diving centre you went to in Sibuan? It seems like a good place to learn as it is not as commercialised as the centres in Perhentian and Redang. Thanks!

  30. I want to go to Sibuan next February: thank you for the lot of nice pictures about it