Layang Layang Blues

Diving in Layang Layang, Sabah, Malaysia. The cheapest place to see schooling Hammerheads annually (if you are lucky).

Monday, February 27, 2006

Hammerhead (SLF) shark picture

WX-sunny, sea-1/2 to 1m, current-strong, vis-40m

I did not believe what I have been hearing for the past few days. So, I jumped into the water for the 1st dive. It is true, there is a school of SLFs(hammerheads) about 30 that passed me by at 30m depth.

No photos because I had a cheap camera. But then again, even if I had an expensive camera set up with me, it would still be the same (no photos). Which reminds me of a question a diver asked. "How did the diver take a photo from beneath the hammerhead" from the previous post.

There are 2 way of doing/taking that photo.
Option A
1. get a baby hammerhead
2. train daily until it responds to all your commands
3. keep feeding it until big enough to fill your camera lens
4. release into the sea and hope that it responds to your commands
5. keep your fingers crossed

Option B
1. contact your nearest travel agent
2. confirm and pay for your trip to Layang Layang
3. when you are here, we will tell how you can/t take the photo

Good luck on your endeavor (option A) or see you soon (option B), which is more fun.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

lucky divers

Hot and sunny, waves less than 1/2m and vis 30-40m. Some divers are plain lucky, touch down and get to see manta on their 1st dive. For others, well........ they have to look up and see if there is a dark cloud following them. Had BBQ last night with the local band (mikkel) playing. Show you the pic after the next cook out.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

same old same old

wx-sunny, waves about 1/2 to 1 mtr. same old stuff u/w as yesterday. same old school of SLFs. if you got any questions, you may comment but make sure it's relevant. Worst part is to answer SFAQ. For those of you with your own collection of picts and all, you can link it from here if you want. Just pay the relevant amount of beers, wine, JD and cigars.

Friday, February 24, 2006

hot news

Just out from the waters. The SLFs all over the place. sea condition 1-2 mtrs. sunny. The titans on the reef as well. Guess these 2 fishes go together. The lucky few divers here and those arriving soon will be happy to get their Dms prayers answered. For those that can't come and/or will not be here this year, eat your heart out. Will keep posting til they disappear.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

SLF(hammerhead) profile

Interesting reading before arrival in Layang Layang.
Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks
One of the most wished-for underwater dive sightings has to be the unmistakable form of the mysterious hammerhead shark. Better still is the awe-inspiring moment when you realize you are staring at a vast school of hammerheads all weaving there way across your field of vision...
The hammer seems to be used for gathering data, hence the swinging of the sharks head as it swims, yet it prevents three dimensional vision. Whatever the pros and cons, the advantages of the hammer must outweigh the drawbacks, since hammerhead sharks are widespread and abundant - particularly where deep sea meets islands and sea-mounts, such as the mecca of Borneo, Layang Layang
Scalloped Hammerheads Fact Sheet
Family name: Sphymidae
Order name: Lewini
Common name: Scalloped hammerhead shark
Scientific name: Sphymidae lewini

Scalloped hammerheads average about 10 feet (3 metres) in length for mature adults. Its name is derived from the notches or "Scallops" that appear along the front edge of the hammer. These are missing in other hammerheads. Another typical characteristic of the scalloped hammerhead shark is the free end tip of the second dorsal fin which nearly reaches the tail fin.
Distinguishing Features
Where you find scalloped hammerhead sharks you may also come across three other species of hammerheads which can be distinguished quite easily by appearance, mostly on the basis of the difference in their hammers.
Great hammerhead sharks are one of the largest flesh-eating fish in the world and can reach up to 7 metres in length. Its hammer lacks distinctive scallops on its T-shaped head which has one central notch. The smooth hammerhead, has a smooth edge to its flat head and whitefin hammerheads, found only off the Ivory Coast have, believe it or not, white fins.
Feeding Habits
When the feeding habits of the scalloped hammerhead shark are examined then the uses for its hammer begin to emerge. The Hammer is dotted with small electrical sensors called "The Ampullae of Lorenzini" which, at close range, can detect the weak electrical fields generated by all animals. This helps greatly with feeding on fish such as sardines, herring and mackerels, occasionally also on invertebrates such as octopuses. Large scalloped hammerhead sharks also eat small-sized shark species such as the Atlantic sharpnose shark or the blacktip reef shark.
Great hammerhead sharks are one of the largest flesh-eating fish in the world and can reach up to 7 metres in length. Its hammer lacks distinctive scallops on its T-shaped head which has one central notch. The smooth hammerhead, has a smooth edge to its flat head and whitefin hammerheads, found only off the Ivory Coast have, believe it or not, white fins.
Incredibly, they also use this important sensory ability to detect magnetic fields underwater, both from the North and South Poles and those created by volcanic activity. The result of this is a type of 'highway' system on the ocean floor - a natural GPS, shark-style!
Generally speaking humans have nothing to fear from hammerheads although on rare occasions larger sharks have attacked people. While you shouldn't agitate any marine life, including sharks, it is some comfort that a hammerhead's uncommonly small mouth is more suited to eating fishes than people! The great hammerhead shark is the only one that is considered at all dangerous to humans.
Mating is one of the reasons that scalloped hammerhead sharks form such enormous shoals. Females position themselves in the middle of the shoal where males know that, size being important to scalloped hammerheads, the larger and more desirable females will be at the centre. Females outnumber males 6 to 1 so the organization of the shoal allows the males to find big healthy females in the centre of the shoal that can bear more young than the less robust females that keep to the shoal's fringes.
In the evening, amorous couples pair off as the shoals disperse and the mating begins. Tenderness is not really at the forefront of the males mind during the act. The male wraps himself around the female grasping hold of her with his teeth. The female sharks then bear these visible mementos of intimacy on their sides for years.
Pregnancy lasts between 9 and 10 months. Around the March to August period, females will travel to shallow, protected waters to give birth. The pups (normally between 15 and 30 of them) are born live which is unusual for sharks most of whom lay eggs.
Larger sharks will prey on small or injured scalloped hammerheads, while there are no major predators of the adults of this species.
Hammerheads, particularly the scalloped variety are found in all tropical and warm temperate seas, from coastal areas near continents to oceanic islands far offshore.
As a general rule single sightings tend to occur more frequently near to the shore whereas oceanic islands and sea-mounts are really where you want to be to experience a school in all their glory. The coast of Malaysian Borneo which features oceanic islands such as Layang Layang are among the best locations for sightings.
Dangers posed by man
Without much natural predation in the oceans, the greatest threat to hammerhead sharks comes from the fishing lines and nets dangled from above. The schooling pattern makes them easy prey for fishermen targeting large catches.
The odious business of shark-finning to feed the ridiculous and destructive desire for shark fin soup in places like China and for the Chinese populations of countries such as Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia, accounts for most commercially caught hammerheads. You can do your bit by finding out more and signing up to join the Stop Shark-finning Campaign at
Are You Interested?
Want to be the diver in those photographs? You too can go diving with hammerhead sharks. Maybe you will be lucky enough to witness a huge shoal of them - generations of hammerheads cruising past you underwater!
Dive The World recommends Layang Layang, Borneo in Malaysia as a top spot for diving with these and other wonderful creatures of the sea.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


hello everybody, All your favourite DMs are back plus some new faces. excuse if reports unclear. Sighting of silly looking fish schools from 3rd to 14th feb. Has been quiet since 15th, except for manta and thresher. the picture above is prayed for everyday but was very very lucky to spot the speedy ghost pipe fish everyday.


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