Barracuda Point

Underwater world

By Elaine Yong

Twenty meters below the surface of the Celebes Sea off the east coast of Malaysian Borneo, I'm getting blasted by the ripping current.

Desperately, I grasp at the loose coral littering the top of the reef wall trying to find an anchor. My husband, Aaron, has a slippery grip on my other hand and my two younger sisters are clutching the tips of my fins.

It would be downright comical if I weren't concentrating so hard on staying put.

The four of us tenuously hang on by our fingernails, while our bodies are buffeted by the washing-machine current that whips around Sipadan Island's most famous dive site, the aptly named Barracuda Point.

The battle is worth it. I'm staring at a huge school of those voracious predators.

There are hundreds of them, astonishingly still in the rushing waters, perfectly posed so I can get a good look at their toothy grins. Then in a silvery flash, the school turns on itself and swirls into a massive ball.

The barracudas swim off into the blue yonder.