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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

TRANS BORNEO SOLO RIDE - DAY 8

14th NOV 2012: TAWAU – SEMPORNA – MABUL ISLAND (110KM, 1.15HRS) 



I hv a very bad habit – staying up late (when by right I should sleep early) and waking up early for a new day. I must admit that I am badly addicted to Facebook. Last night, I slept around 2am (Facebooking), and wake up this morning at 5am. I had only 3 hours of sleep, and this was not the first night that I am lack of sleep ever since I started my ride. It was raining very heavily this morning. I waited at the porch for Jenal and Tola to arrive. These guys were stern enough to escort me to Semporna, even though I told them that I would be fine riding alone. I supposed it was the love to ride feelings that makes them want to ride with me even though the distance were about 110kms. 

After saying goodbye to Susan, we braved the heavy rain and the cold wind in the early morning of 6.00am. The reason why I must reach Semporna early today was bcos I need to catch the boat to Mabul Island which departs at 8am. The guys sped at 90 – 100kmh as the road was slippery. I followed their speed at ease with Jenal leading the way and Tola behind me. There were not many vehicles on the road and the road condition was pretty good. However, I must be careful not to ride on the slopes filled with rain water. We reached Semporna at 7.15pm and head to Uncle Chang office near the jetty for me to register my name and made the payment. By this time, I felt relieved that the guys were with me, or else I’m not sure if I can find and reach the office before the boat departs. We still hv some time, so we had breakfast at a nearby restaurant and after that I parked my bike at Semporna Police Station – a privilage when u get to know other bikers who were marines or policemen. 
Thank you guys for yr help
The guys left me at the jetty and after thanking them for their help and kindness, I hopped on the boat to Mabul Island. It was raining and the ocean was quite rough. I arrived Uncle Chang’s Backpackers after 45mins boat ride and checked into the dorm. I was lucky again that no one occupied the dorm for the day. After breakfast, I was introduced to Caesar, a guy fr Peru - my diving instructor. I was quite excited and nervous as I had never dive in my whole life, but I hv lots of snorkling experiences. As a matter of fact, I was a snorkling and water confidence facilitator way back during my university days. 



With Caesar & Keyrol (the boat driver)
Caesar explained me the diving devices and some theories on diving skill before we actually got into the water. Then, off we go to the diving site. The sun was shining and the ocean was so very blue. The water was crystal clear and beautiful. 



Once we were in the water, I tried to put the theory which I hv learnt just now into practise. It was not as easy. Snorkling and diving were very different. I can breathe normally using the regulator but I took quite a while to clear the water that entered my mask while myself being underwater. I swallowed lots of sea water in the process. It was a difficult skill to master, but I managed it more or less. We dived deeper and I started to feel pain in my ears. There were lots of Nemo fishes and I could see giant star fish. However, the pain became intolerable as we reached 7 meters in depth. I signalled to Caesar about my ear pain, so we have to rise to the surface. For a beginner and a first timer, I was quite happy with my achievement but in the same time, I was pretty frustrated as I hv to finish the expensive session earlier bcos of the ear pain. Quoting Caesar, diving is not for everyone. You might have the money, the interest and the skill, but your body (especially the ears) wont permit you to dive much. 
Too bad I dont hv a waterproof cam :(


I got back to my dorm to rest. My breathing became hard and noisy bcos of the water that I have swallowed. Caesar told me not to worry about it. I only need to drink more water, he said. After lunch, I want to go for snorkling. As I was waiting inside the boat for other snorklers to join me, a chinese lady suddenly loose her balance and tripped. She fell on the boat and gave out a loud cry. I quickly went to her aid and since there was no doctor around (not as last time in Laban Rata), I hv to use my knowledge and expertise to examine her condition. RICE procedure. The lady was crying in pain. I asked for scissors to cut her tights to check on her knees. It was swollen and bruised. In my opinion, her knee cap might hv cracked or dislocated. I asked for some ice and tied it to her knees with a bandage. I asked her to elevate her knees to prevent more accumulation of fluid to the injured area. The coolness of the ice helped relaxed her a bit and she was sent to the hospital in Semporna right away. Later, I found out that her knee cap was dislocated – just as what I hv predicted. 

The snorkling was not so good as the wave was quite rough. As I still hv some breathing difficulties (due to too much water entered my lungs during the dive), I opted to quit and just relaxed on the boat. When we get back to the hostel, I walked on the stilts to check on the village and its people. 





I saw village kids playing in the water without fear, as it was their only playground. I also saw Bajau kids, as young as 2 years old in the sampan rowed by their elder sister or brother, going from one tourist to another, begging for food or money. What a pitiful sight. 




That night was spent by checking my mails and just relaxed, enjoying the breeze and the sound of the waves.

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