Having taken a brilliant trip to Pulau Tiga with BorneoDreams for some beautiful diving earlier in the year , four of us from DiscoverBorneo decided to head over to the island for a little bit of an expedition over the weekend. Pulau Tiga was made famous by the TV series 'Survivor Island' a few years ago where a group of people were placed on the island and, well, had to survive.
Away, for our trip, we were departing from Kota Kinabalu (KK) on the Kuda Laut a nice speed boat that we own with two 85 horse power engines on the back she really can cut thought the waves at a good pace. Having spent most of the previous day running around getting provisions; food, fuel, camping stuff ect ect, we could make a early start. As the engines started the sun was still low in the sky and there was a very pleasant cooling breeze, we headed out and away from KK.
We did have a GPS on board and the co-ordinates for Pulau Tiga, however we had elected not go straight there. Pulau Tigau lies 50Km south of KK and 23Km off the coast around about a 3 hour boat drive, we were taking a longer route that would allow us to stick close to the main land and see all the lush jungles and mountains, the little villages and fishing's station build on stilts out at sea and generally some interesting stuff.
Now Pulau Tiga is a marine protected area so no fishing, however before we got there, about half way between the main land and the island, we stopped off for a little fishing and a little general frivolity; swimming, drink and a little lunch. We did catch a fish which was a Remora (one of those fish that cline to big fish like sharks) it was quite a respectable Remora as well about half a meter long. I have never know anyone to eat Remora, they are ugly things and none of us what to give it a try so we through it back, wondering where it had come from and what fish had giving it a ride, had it been a shark?
Pulau tiga, the first job was to pay the marine park fee at the ranger hut, not too bad only 10 RM about 2 US dollars per head. Also the pier provided a great opportunity from some diving practise the water was crystal clear and just full of life. We then hunted around for some good dive spots, the diving was good; no really big stuff and the visibility was only about 15 meters but still a nice dive with lots to see, you just had to pay attention and look for the little stuff. Not bad considering we really had no idea of where the real dive spots actually where.
As we relaxed on the boat the sun was already begin to dip towards the horizon, we selected our camping beach and then our camping spot pretty quickly since the whole place was beautiful it was not very difficult. Now I should point out that when I say camping I really don't mean tents. We just had a massive tarpaulin sheet that we strung up in a tree to give us a bit of shelter if it happened to rain, we did have one tent but that was for supplies.
So after all this was done and the wood for the fire collected we when off to hunt down the mud volcanoes that the island is famous for. At one point as massive monitor lizard jump from a tree, into a pool next to the path sending up a great plume of water. Making camp and collect the wood had take some time and now it was getting dark fast in the island jungle, Ants began to nip at peoples feet and the path became harder to see, we turned back disappointed in not making it to the volcanoes but know that a dark jungle is a dangerous.
When we got back to the beach there was still a little light left from the setting sun, we sat drank and ate watching as the sun gave way to the moon and the stars began to light up the heavens. It was still a little dark though so we lit the fire. The fire was really quite impressive we had so much wood that the flames flicked thought till the sun came up the next morning. Sleeping on the edge of an island jungle at night with the waves crashing in front of you is a fine place to sleep. The jungle did make sounds lots of sounds and every now and again foreign eyes twinkled in fire light. The morning was fresh and clear but busy we had to get the dive tanks back to the shop early that morning, so there was no time to make another try for the mud volcanoes only for a quick jump into the sea, remove every trace that we had been there and then head for home.