Dive Site: Turtle Patch, Sipadan, Sabah

Swallow diving turtle diving Turtle Patch at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

Site Overview

Site Type: Volcanic pinnacle island with massive diversity from pelagics to nudis
Depth: Top: 5MMedian: 17MBottom: 30M
Location: Towards the south on the eastern side of Sipadan.

Description

Turtle nest on Sipadan all year round, so considering there might be up to 300 turtle nests on Sipadan, it’s not surprising that you’ll see a turtle or two on each dive. At Turtle Patch though you’ll see a dozen or more, resting, taking off, and landing – so look out!

Turtles rear-end diving South Point at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

This side also slopes more gently so there are large areas of hard corals in great condition with the usual small colourful reef fish.

Reef scene with a variety of corals diving Turtle Patch at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

Branching coral with tiny blue fish

Branching coral with tiny blue fish diving Turtle Patch at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

There is also lots of soft corals where a longnose Hawkfish might find himself well camouflaged.

Longnose Hawkfish in soft coral bush diving Turtle Patch at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

Some of the soft formations are amazing.

Golden soft coral tree diving Turtle Patch at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

And where’s there coral in good condition, you’ll find plenty of happy ref fish too.

Diver obscured by fish diving Turtle Patch at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

In the nooks and crannies, there are eels and crays.

Large cray diving Turtle Patch at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

And it was at this site, that we observed what can only be called a train of Bumphead parrotfish coming thru. Like Bison, they stop for nothing.

Bumphead parrotfish coming thru diving Turtle Patch at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

This herd of Bumphead parrotfish are usually on the move around Sipadan and so can be encountered at a number of sites. It’s worthwhile keeping a look out up the reef slope wherever you are diving at Sipadan.

Bumphead parrotfish passed thru diving Turtle Patch at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

The terrain at Turtle Patch means you can done your safety stop on the reef – one last chance to grab sight of a turtle.

Turtle following a pair of banners diving Turtle Patch at Sipadan Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit