We had to pinch ourselves when we arrived in Sipadan to discover no-one else there. We will always be grateful for this incredible experience, undoubtedly the highlight of our cruising career so far.
The island was ‘discovered’ by Jacques Cousteau on his way back from the Great Barrier Reef, when SY Calypso turned a quick two day stop 50 years ago into a six week dive fest.
When a second squall followed behind the first, all six rally boats turned 180 degrees and were pushed towards the reef. Boats began dragging in the soft sand and one of our number motored deeper to escape the danger.
When flying foxes attack the instruments on your sailboat mast how would you discourage them?
This of course puts us into emergency mode and the wind soon catches Esper and as the motors off without even so much as an apologetic glance back over his shoulder, we are left trying to steady our boat. We soon find ourselves sideways onto the pontoon, engine on with no wheel to steer ourselves away.