Tuesday, January 12, 2016

latinAbroad - My Seaventures: Livin’ on a Rig in Borneo


Already enchanted by the Malaysian Borneo, I was swept away from Mabul Island to the quirky Seaventures Dive Rig.

There, I was given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore Sipadan and other stunning sites in the area for a second time–in the same week. I couldn’t believe it!

My biggest surprise, though? The dive rig itself became a top highlight of my entire week in Borneo. Even more so than some of the dive sites!

Imagine living on a converted oil rig: a floating platform over the ocean where 20% of the world’s coral reefs thrive.

Gasp.

The story of Seaventures is even more fascinating than that, though. For starters, the dive rig was actually built in PANAMA, Central America.

For a few tours, it was used to accommodate workers as an oil and gas rig – being towed from assignment to assignment.

But its career ended in 1985, when it was sent to a shipyard in Singapore – and nearly forgotten.

And theeeeeeeeen…the former Chief Minister of Sabah stumbled upon it and had the brilliant idea to converting it into a dive resort.

What he didn’t know at the time is that the structure would actually morph into one of the finest artificial reefs in the region.

Ecotourism at its finest!

I was converted: staying on a dive rig was even cooler than staying on an overwater bungalow.

Yes, really.

I felt as if I were aboard a cruise ship, actually — but no sea sickness. Ever.

And, contrary to initial belief, I had a greater sense of freedom and space.

From such heights, I could fully appreciate how gorgeous the Malaysian Borneo is.

Everywhere I went, expansive ocean vistas followed me.

I could see villagers going about their business. Kids splashing by fishing boats, too.

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