For a good snorkelling spot move to the southern part of the beach where during low tide some big rocks can be seen. Snorkellers only have to swim out about 40 metres from the beach and the beautiful under water world of corals and reef fish can be easily located. Reef fish such as the lovely anemonefish, beaked coralfish, butterflyfish, damsel, foxface rabbitfish, parrotfish, and the ever present sergeant major are the common residents here. At time schools of foxface rabbitfish or schools of garfish can be seen. As for the garfish do watch out for their long sharp low jaws.
Other than reef fish, there are also many different corals found in Sapi. The brainy coral is a very interesting one which is decorated with many curving lines. Needle corals are also plenty here, but many of them seem broken, so snorkellers be careful and do not step on them. Most of the corals at Sapi Island are hard corals, but at times with a keen eye one can spot some very colourful soft corals too. The water visibility here is good throughout the year.
Snorkelling for hours under the hot blazing sunlight, one can easily get a serious sunburn. The best way to avoid this is to wear a t-shirt for protection. The authority has also stopped swimmers from feeding the reef fish with chunky breads in plastic bottles. At the last yearly clean up of the marine park, divers found that many small drinking bottles littered on the sea floor.
Snorkelling gears can be rented from the many small vendors at the island. For the best price it is cheaper to rent the snorkelling gears from the boat agents on the main land. Generally a set of snorkelling gear consists of a mask, a snorkel, and fins costing RM 25.00.
How to go there? Hourly speed boats depart from three Kota Kinabalu jetties. The main jetty is at the Jesselton Point, and two other jetties namely Sutera Harbour and Beach Bums, at Tanjung Aru Beach Resort. Depending on which departing points, the speed boat takes about 10 to 20 minutes to reach Sapi Island and it costs about RM 17 to RM 45 return.
Snorkelling at Sapi Island Gallery: