Sipadan Island / Diving in Black and White

Whenever the subject of scuba diving and photography comes up people always ask if I do underwater photography. Interestingly enough, I don't. Why "interestingly'? Well, I'm a professional photographer and a scuba diving instructor. Diving has been a big part of my life for a long time but it isn't anymore. Photography is. People photography to be exact.

Sipadan trip however, needed a bit of documenting. One of the best diving spots in the world they say. So I borrowed a small camera from a friend and off we went (my girlfriend and I).

Pulau Sipadan itself is a very interesting place. Borneo Gunners are stationed there to protect the tourists and the Island from Filipino pirates. Lunch is served next to a heavy machine gun post. Soldiers with M 16 rifles casually mix with the divers. Giant lizards try to eat the food scraps.

Underwater, it's no longer a paradise Jacque Cousteau, the famous French explorer and diving pioneer, filmed in 1989. It's good, very good actually but two decades of tourism have taken it's toll.

Turtles are still there though. A lot of them. In fact, I haven't seen so many since my days in Zanzibar where I worked as a dive guide.

On our last day on the island of Mabul, baby turtles hatched from one of the protected nests on the beach. The 102 very agile, tiny turtles were released into the water a couple of hours later. This might have been one of the luckiest moments of my life :)