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.