Thursday, August 03, 2006

Log/Pic 18 Malaysia

So here I am in Labuk Bay. Malaysia is split in two parts: referred to as either west and east Malaysia, or Malaysia and Borneo Malaysia. West Malaysia is divided into 11 states and Borneo Malaysia is divided into Sabah and Sawawak. Sabah is where I am. This is the northeastern area. I dove off some islands off the coast. We flew to Sandakan admiring the great views on the flight of the coast, the palm oil plantations, and the famous Mt. Kiabalu.

I went to this proboscis monkey sanctuary about an hour away from Sandakan. This place was a wildlife haven. The main attraction of course was these terribly ugly monkeys. I had seen them on Discovery Channel but they were even more ugly in person. This first photo is a closeup of a two-year-old that came right up to us. He seemed to have no fear, but didn't like to be touched. He would later steal a pack of Oreos and scurry up the closest tree and eat them just out of our reach. When he came back down to the platform, his face was covered in crumbs. He would jump from a tree to the building roof, enter through the bathroom window, peek around the corner until the coast was clear, and try to steal more food. An otter standing guard would chase him away.

Twice a day the sanctuary would put out food and the monkeys would begin appearing from the jungles, swinging and jumping from tree to tree. It was amazing to watch and hear them approach.
This is a male. His protrusion is much longer.
Mom and baby heading back to the jungle after feeding.
I spent a long time petting the otter that hung out under the platform. They fed him fish and it would eat the head while three dogs patiently watch. When it was finished, the dogs would eat the fish tails. The otter mad a weird squeaking sound when it was content. It would later chase the dogs around, jump in the stream that flowed in front of the platform, then come back to me for some loving. His soaked body was so slimy.

This dominate male was freaking out when another male from the other group of monkeys across the way started howling and violently went running down the boardwalk.
While taking photos of the monkeys, these birds decided to pay a visit. They would later land on Punda's head and gently try to eat my eye. One bird, the staff said, was called a Jungle Minor.
This monkey was displaying his protrusion(s) for the camera.
I took about 25 photos of them jumping from tree to tree. This is the only one that didn't come out blurry, obstructed, or too dark. This was a terrific, wild place and I definatly got my fill of the long-nosed proboscis monkey.

Tomorrow Punda goes back home and I'm heading to Indonesia. For the next few months my adventures will be pretty much dive related. As I log my dives from Sapi and Gaya Islands in malaysia, my calculations indicate that I have spent three weeks of my life underwater. Maybe I will reach a month before I leave the pacific!

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