Sabah and Sarawak
01.01.2010 - 28.02.2010 31 °C
Today is my most exciting day!! Today the three of us are taking a trip to Turtle Island Park….that’s right turtles! Back home the only thing we have is cold weather and lots of snow. If you want to see turtles you go to the pet store and maybe they might have two in the tanks if you’re lucky.
Gauri took enjoyment in making fun of me for my fascination and excitement to go to this island, when she gets there she will be like a little girl in a candy shop guaranteed. We had the option to do a 3 day tour of Turtle Island and Gomantong Cave.
Day 1 would have been Turtle Island, Day 2 would have been Sepilok Orangutan- Sukau Probosis Monkey on the Kinabatan River. This would have been a great tour to take if we had more time; instead we decided to just do Turtle Island.
We got up early and made sure we had our bathing suits on under our clothes because this island has beautiful warm clear water where you can go snorkeling and lay around in the sun…. I didn’t work out for months prior to this trip for nothing! It was to look good in my poke a dot bikini…just kidding…about the poke dot bikini. Gauri forgot to bring her bathing suit so prior to leaving for the island we had to stop by any clothing shops we could find. We only found one shop that was close to our hotel, it was a kids shop….Gauri is only 4’11 and the body size of an 11 year girl so it worked out perfect. Phillip unfortunately for me and Gauri’s eyes wore a Speedo….not cool on men!!
Here is a bit of information about the island consists of a number of uninhabited islands lying in the Sulu Sea, which is located off the east coast of Sabah. The park has three small islands, Selingan, Gulisan and Bakungan Kechil. Selingan, the largest of the islands, houses the park's headquarters…sounds so serious…this is the turtle hatchery, tourist accommodation and basic facilities. The other two islands are more for conservation activities. The island has two types of turtles, the Greens and Hawksbill.
It takes about an hour by boat to get to the island and there is only room for 60 people to come. When we got closer we could see in plain view the headquarters, and every visitor must register at the ranger’s office when they arrive. Once you have completed registering we are assigned our chalets (rooms) the rooms were pretty comfortable, they had air conditioning and clean fresh towels which was nice. The only thing is it’s a shared bathroom and toilet.
When we got to the Island the sun was almost at the strongest rays so we decided to go swim first since most of the laying of the eggs happens later on in the day. We got the beach to find out we were not the only ones with that bright idea….oh my were we surprised by the gorgeous men that ran through the water, perfect bodies, perfect tans, perfect……wow ok way off topic! Needless to say the swim was very pleasant well for me and Gauri it was. We went snorkeling and saw all the sea life that is under the sea it was amazing to see all that right up close and to be able to touch it. It was one of the best experiences in my life, it truly is amazing.
In the evening around dinner time is when all the turtles come up to the shore and lay eggs, we get to watch them and then their eggs are brought to the hatchery. The eggs are then taken to the hatchery and placed in a pit of approximately the same depth then the pit is filled, labeled and a protective cylindrical wire meshing placed around the pit so that when the hatchlings burst out from their nest, they will be contained in the area until the ranger collects them in a basket to be released on the beach. It takes 1hour to 2 hours to complete the laying of eggs…that’s crazy but turtles can lay up to 50-80 eggs at a time. We watched for a little bit but then left the female turtle to do her thing.
Were all really tired it was an amazing day we had lots of fun just tried from all the sun and swimming. Tonight looks like an early evening. Might play a few card games and hit the beds.