The Waiting Game

The-waiting-gameCredits-  Templates:  Katy Larson 365 template o3;  Papers:  Oscraps Moonlight papers ninascrap 2 and suec3.

Each day we’d set out to search for hammerheads.  They were the reason we spent 5 days in Layang Layang, off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia where hammerheads (schools of them) supposedly swim this part of the ocean from February to May.

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They were however seemingly elusive and hard to find.  Heard that the last sighting was almost 2 weeks prior to our arrival.  Have we caught the tail end of the season?  Perhaps.  Hammerhead sightings have been dwindling every year, according to our dive masters and they believe that it is because of 2 things, global warming and lack of conservation efforts.  The hammerheads like the cold and as the water temperature rises, they go deeper.  Another very serious issue is conservation; most of the sharks (hammerheads included) are targeted (read: killed) for their fins to use as ingredient for the popular Shark Fin’s soup, a delicacy that is served in many Chinese restaurants all over the world. 

shark's-fintaken at the KK airport – no wonder we can’t find ’em!!

This cruel “finning” is the cause for the declining population.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says 100 million sharks, skates and rays are killed every year.  The cruel finning refers to the practice of cutting off fins only and discarding the body.  When thrown back into the sea, they either bleed to death or drown as sharks need their fins to swim and they need to go forward to get oxygen.

A brief sighting was already a cause for celebration and a right to brag.  We saw a silhouette of ONE.  That didn’t count (at first); we were expecting schools in clear water, not a shadow of it.  In the end, it mattered that we at least saw ONE!  Others were completely deprived of a sighting.  4 days diving in Layang Layang is equal to 12 dives, mostly out in the blue.  Quite frustrating, if you ask me.

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We waited patiently and were hopeful till the very end that maybe, just maybe our luck would change… it didn’t.  A school of Devil Rays highlights this trip with no pix to boast, I’m afraid.  So maybe, this too does not count, eh?

But basking in the nightly sunsets as glorious as these,

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watching these dolphins, tons of them, swimming along our boat’s bow,

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and viewing these migratory birds finding refuge at a bird island sanctuary off the shores of Layang Layang… 

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these certainly made up for the trip sans the hammerheads.  Yes.. it certainly did!

This is a big part of my world, our world.  We’ve only got one, so let’s do our share in keeping it alive and healthy.  To explore more of our amazing world, hop on to That’s My World.

WS #15: A Day in KK

 

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Bordering along the South China Sea with the majestic Mt. Kinabalu watching over this capital city of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu (fondly called KK) is no doubt the gateway to a wealth of adventure from diving to hiking and many more in between. 

 En route to Layang Layang, Borneo’s last frontier as far as diving is concerned (as some claimed), we had one day to explore KK. 

orangutanOrang-utans from Sepilok (from a trip 2 years ago)

It was a toss between Orangutans or Shangri-la.  The group settled for a lazy afternoon at Shangri-la’s Rasa Ria Resort and we missed out on the Oragutan sighting due to a leisurey lunch.

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Char-Kwey-Teaw

After lunch and a failed attempt to catch a glimpse of some orangutans feeding near the resort, we headed back to the city,

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passing by this beautiful city mosque sprawling above a man-made lagoon.

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With our getup, we were not allowed inside so we mingled with some happy bunch of kids hanging around the mosque.

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 beer

 

sunset

Back in city proper, we headed to the waterfront for some happy hour while watching the sun set over the horizon capped with delicious Chicken Rice for dinner.

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No rush, no pressure… savoring the day as it unfolds is sometimes a marvelous way to enjoy a place.  

Have a nice week ahead!