Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Borneo's fragile underwater world

The following is a recently published article from UK's Telegraph online by Tim Ecott who feels privileged to dive off the Borneo island of Sipadan, which we hope you will find interesting:

The leopard shark swam straight towards me, dark rosettes dappling its pale yellow flanks. Its high scything tail and sculpted sides, glinting as though sprinkled with gold dust, seemed curiously at odds with its blunt snout and toothless grandpa mouth. It moved lazily over the coral, but the strong current at the northern tip of Sipadan made it impossible to follow and I watched it slip over the edge of the reef into the darkening blue depths of the Celebes Sea.

Divers come to Sipadan, a tiny island an hour by speedboat from Borneo's east coast, to see big fish. Malaysia's only oceanic island, it sits on the edge of a submarine shelf above an abyss more than 2,000 feet deep.

As the current threatened to drag me out into the blue I swam hard for the shelter of an underwater rock canyon, where I found batfish with flattened, spade-like bodies and dopey eyes. Just ahead, a tornado-shaped school of barracuda turned in unison above my head, a silver funnel of 1,000 fish oblivious to the clumsy divers below.

Continue reading (incl. pics) at: Borneo's fragile underwater world

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