Pulau Sipadan Scuba Diving
Although you can make a typical Sipadan-style wall dive, perhaps the best way of taking in Turtle Patch is just to let the current take you along the shallows, and then you can take in the scenery as it unfolds at its own natural and leisurely pace before your eyes.
This is because, similarly with Coral Garden, the main attraction for divers here is the shallow terraces at the top of the eastern wall. This is also the attraction for a large number of giant turtles that come here to rest on the sandy bottom or feed on the sponges. The turtles are so used to inquisitive divers that many seem oblivious to their attentions, and you really can get quite close without disturbing them.
The reef here has some outstanding acropora staghorn coral stands, leather corals and small table corals. Hiding out here you can find spotted sweetlips and pufferfish, such as the mappa puffer. Lionfish and moray eels are also common here. In the rocky areas, orange spinecheek anemonefish watch you from the safety of their magnificent anemone homes of orange, green and purple. And with a bit of luck and if you're observant, you may spot a leaffish swaying slowly in the current.
Turtle Patch is located in the southeast corner of Sipadan Island, just to the northeast of South Point. Since it is located along the east coast, its wall is best dived in the mornings, however, the shallows are exposed to sunlight throughout the day.
Turtle Patch Reef Basics: Coral gardens
Depth: 5 - 12m
Visibility: 10 - 20m
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 26 - 30°C
Experience level: Beginner
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: All year round
Distance: 14 km (30 minutes) south from Mabul and 12 km (23 mins) southwest from Kapalai
Access: Mabul and Kapalai dive resorts
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