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SIPADAN > DIVE > SOUTH POINT
 

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[MORE PHOTOS]

LOCATION:
This dive site is not exactly to the south of the island, but slightly to the southeast. To get your bearing right, the only boat jetty in Sipadan is facing just about north. Access to South Point dive site is by boat for about 15 minutes from the main beach at Sipadan. Dive depth is between 15-20 metres.

Please note that this was the second dive that I had done at South Point. I first dived here back in 2006, which the dive report can be read here.

DESCRIPTION:

South Point dive profile can best be describe as a leisure one with shallow reef landscapes profuse of a variety of soft and hard corals. The site is often visited for the 2nd or 3rd dive of the day with average depth of not more than 15 metres. Make no mistake though, South Point also offers some sort of deep wall diving where the reef edges drop down infinitely, but this dive report shall cater for the shallow dive where an abundant number of marine species were spotted. That being said, for its location that faces the open ocean of Celebes Sea, occasional spotting of whale sharks, hammerheads, mantas and others has been documented, but that really depends on your luck.

The reef landscape is mostly dominated by a variety of soft and hard corals, which probably seem rather ordinary for those who have seen better ones at other dive sites around Sipadan. Generally, there are plenty of table corals
(Acropora hyacinthus), tube sponges, gorgonian sea fans, staghorn corals (Acropora sp.), bulb tentacle anemones (Entacmaea quadricolor), colourful feather of stars (Comanthina sp.), massive barrel sponges (Xestospongia testudinaria), among others.

While the reef scene is rather subdued at best, the chance to encounter a smorgasbord of fish varieties is the best characteristic of South Point. I managed to see and capture quite a number of colourful fish species that are worthy of a marine biologist's guide book. In fact, upon descending to the shallow depth, I was greeted by the sighting of two
golden spadefish (Platax boersii) which were somewhat curious of the new visitors. There were 2-3 occasions that I ran into white-tip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus) which were either lying on the bottom floor or majestically swim over the reef edge. Other sightings include sleek unicornfish (Naso hexacanthus), paddlefin triggerfish (Melichthys vidua), spot-nape butterflyfish (Chaetodon oxycephalus), regal angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus), a pair of threadfin butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga), raccoon butterflyfish (Chaetodon adiergastos), panda butterflyfish (Chaetodon lunula), Harlequin sweetlip (Plectorhinchus chaetodontoides), big-eye emperor (Monotaxis grandoculis), spotted unicornfish (Naso brevirostris), a pair of midnight snappers (Macolor macularis), Moorish idols (Zanclus cornutus), chequered snapper (Lutjanus decussatus), Barrier Reef anemonefish (Amphiprion akindynos) which was a rare finding as it is endemic to the Australian waters, big-nose unicornfish (Naso vlamingii), black-wedged butterflyfish (Chaetodon falcula), oblique-banded sweetlip (Plectorhinchus lineatus), emperor angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator),  a school of juvenile blue-striped snappers (Lutjanus kasmira) and an overwhelming number of longfin bannerfish (Heniochus acuminatus).

There were also a number of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at the dive site, which sightings were often disregarded by the most fascinated of divers especially during a third dive like this. Nonetheless, their cameo appearances still could strike some short term interests especially for those trying to capture a snapshot or two.

Overall, South Point offers a relaxing dive with still plenty of things to see and enjoy. The relatively uneventful dive may suddenly change should any sudden appearance of deep-ocean pelagic was to take place.

MY RATING:

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