Travel: Layang-Layang Island Memories l Sabah l Malaysia

Travel: Pygmy Seahorse
19 March 2006
New Upgrade – Canon EOS DSLR 30D
9 June 2006

It’s been 4 days since I’m back to civilisation. My dearest friends back in Layang-Layang were asking me how have I been since I left them. So, how am I really??? Hmmm… let’s see…

I left KL in a poor state of mind. The incident back in February was so fresh in my mind & I wasn’t very sure I’m ready to work in Layang-Layang at all. However, I am very lucky to have true friends who encouraged me & constantly have faith on me. I finally picked up my courage & packed my bags, got on the plane to KK then Layang-Layang.

Upon arrival at the island, I was greeted by all the familiar faces & environment around me. At once, I felt at ease with just a little tinge of nervousness. The first week being there wasn’t easy… I was haunted by the flashbacks of the past & I get nervous everytime I went underwater. Good thing I was given a chance to dive leisurely for a few days in the name of “checking out the site” & familiarising myself to the dive operation again.

My fellow colleagues were wonderfully supportive and understanding so in no time, I managed to relax. The first two times when I was given the role as a dive leader, I can feel myself being really nervous. Alway checking behind me, being paranoid, to ensure ALL my divers were still in my view. I was told that I was being a little over cautious. Ah well!!!
Day by day, I begun to loosen up. Two days before my birthday, God gave me a wonderful gift… A CHANCE TO BE WITH 2 SPERM WHALES! We snorkeled with these beautiful beasts for half hour. Weather was beautiful & sea was breezy.
Seeing & being with so many amazing creatures had slowly helped me to come in term with the past. Talking about AMAZING CREATURES… This season in Layang-Layang was exceptionally brilliant for me.
  1. I had countless close encounters with the hammerhead sharks here. Be it single or in school, they never fail to take my breath away.
  2. Not forgetting the sperm whales. There were 3 of them, however, we managed to snorkel with only 2. Nevertheless, it was “A Chance-in-a-Lifetime” for me!
  3. The school of mobula devilrays are more adventurous this year. I had the luck to dive with many many many at most dive sites.
  4. I had the luck of seeing my first pair of WILD ORCAS @ Killer Whales too. A male & female swimming on the surface of water while I was on the dive boat. Too bad weather was stormy and there were other boats around which might have made the pair nervous. Although the ‘early birds’ managed to get really close to the pair, & 2 divers were so lucky enough to snorkel with them too.
  5. My closest encounter with a manta this season. Also, had countless of sighting of this wonderful creature. I’m not sure if there are many different individuals, but I managed to identify 2 individuals which came to our reef very often. Or maybe these 2 are the residents of Layang-Layang?
  6. I had a 3-seconds glimpse of my FIRST WHALE SHARK. Thanks to one of my fellow diver who were more excited than I was & zoomed towards the gentle giant before anyone realised what happened. Maybe next time… Sigh…
  7. I created history in Layang-Layang by being the first to record the finding of pigmy seahorses. Eversince my first find, we’ve found several others to a total of 12 pigmy seahorses at several dive sites to date. I wish to find another species however time did not permit. I pray I’ll get another chance next year!
  8. I will never forget my encounter with a massive shark which I think was a Tiger Shark at The Point this year. After going through many books & discussion with my fellow colleagues, I’ve decided this mystery shark might be the rare Tiger Shark which was sighted twice for the past 10 years.

During my stay on the island, I constantly miss home & everyone dear to me. I thought I’d be really happy when the day comes for me to leave and return home. However, when it did happen, I surprised myself by being really sad & melancholy. I felt as if my heart was broken for leaving this wonderful place which I can call my home too. Also leaving my precious & dear friends whom shared both the good and hard times with me. I’ll never forget their sincere hearts that fought together alongside with me in the name of “taking care of the safety of our divers & to ensure fun to all”. We kept each other company & no one was left feeling lonely or alienated. This is the BIGGEST FAMILY I ever had!

Maybe one day we will be together again. I’m leaving that to God. In the meantime, I have to be strong to live on from where I am now. All I pray is that God will show me a path that leads on to a wonderful life ahead. Hence the end of a summary of my sweet moments in Layang-Layang.

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