6 Amazing Reasons to Dive Sipadan Island

Sipadan Island is often voted among the top 10 dive destinations for scuba divers to visit by dive magazines. It houses over 3,000 species of fish and over a hundred types of corals that is scattered in its vast and pristine reefs. The variety doesn’t just come in several types and forms, but also in large quantity. No wonder divers from around the globe frequently explore this island.

Located in the East Coast of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, this island rises 600 meters (2,000 feet) from the seafloor of Celebes Sea. It is the only oceanic island in Malaysia.

Here is the countdown of our 6 favourite reasons why we love diving in Sipadan Island.

Reason 6: Wandering Green Turtles

Green Turtle

Despite being considered as an endangered species, Green Turtles are a common sighting here. They are often seen lying motionless on top of the reef, and if you are careful with your approach, your interaction may last up to several minutes.

These turtles seem so gentle when swimming and gliding across the water. Many have observed that a school of jacks indicates the arrival of sea turtles in the area.

Reason 5: Curious Batfishes

Batfishes

Although there are several types of batfish in Sipadan Island, the most often spotted ones are the longfin batfish where they are often seen in groups. Usually found on reef flats, batfishes are one of the few fish species that might follow you along your dive.

While following you on the side, it will give you an impression that they are curious about your presence underwater. But in reality, the main reason they follow you is because they tend to seek refuge from large floating objects where they can be naturally seen under floating debris.

Reason 4: Lazing Reef Sharks

White Tip Reef Shark

The sharks you see around Sipadan are the reef sharks and the smaller relative to the oceanic species of sharks. Seldom seen swimming during the daytime, these reef sharks are usually found resting motionless on the reef. Despite their harmless nature during daytime, it becomes a totally different animal after the sun sets where these nocturnal sharks become active in search for prey.

The most common reef shark encounters here are with the White Tip Reef Sharks and Black Tip Reef Sharks.

Reason 3: Marching Bumphead Parrotfish

Bumphead Parrotfishes

This is one of the few species here that is easily identified from its vertical head profile with a bulging protrusion on the top and a beaked tooth that looks like those of a parrot. These fishes can grow up to 70 cm (27 inches) and forms a loose aggregation of 50 to 100 individuals. When they move in a group, they often look like they are marching in line due to their need to stay close to the reef.

Reason 2: Schooling Bigeye Jacks

Bigeye Trevallys

Descending to a reef flat at 10 – 15 meters (30 – 45 feet), you may notice a group of slow moving medium sized jacks that creates a buzzling shade of shiny silver. Also known as trevallys, these jacks often swarm in groups of over a thousand fish in just one single congregation.

At a reef flat, usually just before the ledge, these jacks pack themselves in a circular formation akin to a tornado. Here, you can just hover over the reef and be hypnotized with their slow and gentle motion. The most common species of Jacks here are the Bigeye Jacks, but other species are often spotted here too, like the Bluefin Jacks and Giant Trevally, but they seldom congregate in large groups.

Reason 1: Whirling Barracudas

Chevron Barracudas

While barracudas in general are solitary in nature, the ones that you often see in Sipadan Island are schooling and goes from a few hundred to over a thousand individuals. These fishes range in size from half a meter to 1 meter (20 – 40 inches) long.

The most common species of barracudas here is the Chevron Barracudas. While usually gentle and safe to go near, you should approach slowly and minimize any shiny gear you have on with you. Sometimes, as you approach these barracudas, they will form a wall that surrounds you while whirling around you. Intimidating and exhilarating for sure!

Your Reasons?

Have you visited Sipadan Island? What is your favourite reason to be here?

How Mabul Island Brought a Renowned Australian Photographer Back Into Diving Again

Meet Nick Melidonis, a teacher, traveller, sailor, diver, author, musician and a renowned landscape photographer. Born in Alexandria, Egypt to Greek parents, he moved to Australia at an early age of 6 and now resides in the beautiful city of Perth.

Nick Melidonis

In his past life he was a corporate lecturer, but since the late 1990s, has been a professional photographer. His long career has taken him to many parts of the world. As a certified NAUI Scuba Diver, he has also explored many underwater destinations and has dived in top dive sites in Indonesia.

Nick also organizes photo and cultural tours where he leads a small group of avid photographers to interesting destinations and give pointers on how to take beautiful and interesting photographs. He has lead groups to the Greek Islands and more recently to Sarawak on the island of Borneo too.

The Unfortunate Accident

In 2010, while out on a photography adventure shoot at Karijini National Park with Cliff Winfield, in remote Western Australia, Nick suffered a 7m fall near Knox Gorge. It was a near fatal fall and took him a long time to recover. Altough Nick has made a full recovery, he has stayed off scuba diving since.

You can read about Cliff’s account and Yvonne’s account of the incident.

Temptation to Getting Soaked in Seawater Again

Nick was planning to lead a small group through Borneo, the third largest island in the world and wanted to explore some of the beautiful islands off Sabah at the end of his tour.

Nick asked us about visiting Mabul Island just as a non-diver. Having not dived for the last 7 years, he was hesitant about going back to diving and thought of just spending some time swimming, snorkelling, and exploring the island. But the temptation was too strong, and he has all these dive gears that needed to be soaked in sea water.

In the end, Nick relented and decided to try out scuba diving again. Having known that he will be staying on Mabul Island and not too far away from the world famous Sipadan Island, he thought it would be nice he could visit Sipadan Island as well. The new plan was to explore the macro life around Mabul Island and oceanic pelagic life at Sipadan.

To help Nick ease back into diving, we arranged for a refresher course and a private Divemaster to accompany him on all his dives.

We are really happy to see Nick go back to diving again. Speaking to Nick after his dive trip, we were infected by his exuberant description of his trip. Here are some of his most recent shots from the trip. These pictures were taken with an Olympus Tough TG-4 camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since then, Nick has already returned to Mabul Island the second time. With even more new gear!

If you enjoy landscape photography, you should really check out his gallery of images he took from all over the world.

Yos Amerta’s Photographer Friendly Resort – Yos Dive Lembeh Eco Beach Resort

We first heard about Yos Dive Lembeh Eco Beach Resort through a good friend of ours, Clement Lee, who used to own the widely known Borneo Divers before retiring in 2013. About 2 years ago, we finally met the owner Yos Amerta, or more fondly known as Pak Yos. (Pak, which is the shorterned form of the word Bapak is a form of salutation used in Indonesia and similar to Mr. in the English language.)

In May this year, we finally made our way to Lembeh and spent some time at Yos Dive Lembeh Eco Beach Resort and speaking to Pak Yos.

Pak Yos Amerta
Pak Yos Amerta

Pak Yos is a soft spoken person and ever so polite. But you could tell he has a deep passion for diving and and a strong advocate for preserving the environment.

Growing Up

Pak Yos hails from the island of Bali. He recounts his early childhood memories of spending the weekends with his family by the beautiful beaches around Bali. And it is these experiences that gave him a sense of deep connection to the sea.

He is no stranger to the service industry either. While still in school as a young boy, he would take up part time work as a waiter, receptionist and any work that would expose him to the industry. He says that serving people and making people feel happy gave him a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Of course, this is to the disapproval of his parents who wants him to concentrate on his studies first. Being in a rebelious stage of a teenager (just like what all of us went through), he perservered, much to his parents’ dismay and the occasional silent treatments.

Children playing in the late afternoon.
Children playing in the late afternoon.

From Architect to Dive Resort Owner

Fast forward a few years, he completed his architectural degree from a prestigious university in Germany. He then spent the next 14 years working in Germany to build his career and gain experience. It is his experiences in Germany as a professional that instilled a sense of social responsibility to the community as an architect.

The lure of the seas however, never cease to beckon. So Pak Yos finally returned to his hometown in Bali where he continued to work as an architect, and at the same time, set up and ran his dive centre near Nusa Dua so he can spend more time near the sea and diving as well.

Work brought him to Manado, and for the next 18 years, Pak Yos has been involved with some of the most architecturally beautiful dive resort designs in the area and even in Ambon, Maluku. While living in Manado, he also set up a dive centre so that he could continue his passion of diving and underwater photography.

Yos Dive Lembeh Eco Beach Resort, next to the black volcanic sand beach.
Yos Dive Lembeh Eco Beach Resort, next to the black volcanic sand beach.

About five years ago, he found the perfect location in Makawidey village to build his resort. Makawidey village itself is not too far away from Bitung, the second largest city in North Sulawesi after Manado. On the site stood an old but large house. Pak Yos wanted to preserve the building to keep its character and uniqueness in the area, but at the same time, wanted the place to be diver and underwater photographer friendly. With minimal impact to the surrounding environment and with using eco-friendly building materials, he designed, refurbished and extended the building into what is now Yos Dive Lembeh Eco Beach Resort. The resort has beautiful rustic painted wood, lots of open spaces, spacious rooms and shower areas. (We ourselves are big fans of large shower areas.) The resort itself is along the strait and faces Lembeh Island.

After spending almost a week at the resort, we observe that Pak Yos is very hands on with running the resort, and with his right-hand person Fitri and his team, keeps the resort running efficiently. He often goes to the market himself to buy groceries for the resort kitchen too!

It’s easy to notice that Pak Yos subscibes to the true meaning of eco-tourism. He is sensitive to the local culture, making sure whatever the resort does, is respectful of the culture. The resort itself employs many locals. 90% of the resort staff and crew are really neighbours in Makawidey village.

Beach View Room
Beach View Room

Keen Underwater Snoot Photographer

Whenever time permits, you will see Pak Yos underwater taking pictures of his favourite little subjects. He is very keen on snoot photography and frequently posts his portraits online. I’d encourage you to follow him and check out his amazing pictures on Instagram. Here are a couple of his portraits.

A post shared by Yos Amerta (@yosamerta) on

 

A post shared by Yos Amerta (@yosamerta) on

These days, he no longer does full time architectural work, but will still help with designs for friends. After all, he needs more time to feed his appetite for diving and snoot photography while running a dive resort.

What to See in Lembeh

There are over 25 dive sites along the Lembeh Strait and this area is considered the capital of the world for macro life. The variety and species of macro life here is amazing, from the barely visible camouflaged to the brightly coloured “you can’t ignore me” variety.

With the mild currents and usually slow moving subjects, it’s a great place fo new underwater photographers to come and hone their photography skills. Even for seasoned underwater photographers, taking photos of macro life can be just as challenging, trying to capture just the right moment.

Gallery

Here are some pictures we took while we were there.

Some macro life you would likely encounter in the Strait. Thecacera sp "Pikachu" next to a file fish
Some macro life you would likely encounter in the Strait. Thecacera sp “Pikachu” next to a file fish.
Flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi). Good thing they are great hunters on the ground because they failed their buoyancy exam
Flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi). This cuttlefish species are great hunters on the ground but not so great at their buoyancy skills.
Very delicious!
Very delicious! Dinners are cooked only when you are at the dining area, so food is served hot.
On our last day at the resort, we had a treat to Nasi Tumpeng, a local special dish
On our last day at the resort, we had a treat to Nasi Tumpeng, a local special dish.

Guide to Visiting Sipadan Island [Infographic]

One of the challenges you make when planning a visit to Sipadan Island is to choose which accommodation to stay at. Not all accommodation has allocated permits to bring visitors to Sipadan.

If you only want to visit the other nearby islands, then these permits are not required.
We think you’ll love this infographic we put together from our data and verified it with the listed accommodation to help you decide where to stay.

Embed This Infographic On Your Site: copy code below

Here’s our take on the Sipadan Island visitor’s guide infographic:

1. About Diving at Sipadan

Sipadan Island is the only oceanic island in Malaysia. Because of this, you will likely see oceanic pelagic fish here compared to the other nearby islands where you will see more reef pelagic fish.

The usual suspects you will encounter here include the Chevron and yellow fin barracudas, Trevallies, Green and hawksbill turtles, Bumphead parrotfish, White tip, black tip, grey tip sharks, Potato head groupers and more.

Where to Stay

Before 2004, most of the dive resorts were located on this island. But since then, in order to protect the sea life and corals in the area, the Malaysian government has asked all dive resorts to move out of this island. Today, most of the dive resorts are located on Mabul Island, Kapalai Island and Mataking Island.

Getting Here

The gateway to Sipadan Island is through Semporna town and the nearest airport to Semporna town is Tawau Airport (IATA: TWU). A travel time from Tawau Airport to Semporna is about 90 minutes and from Semporna to your resort is around 45 minutes by boat.

There are direct flights via Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia to Tawau Airport from Kota Kinabalu International Airport (IATA: BKI) and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (IATA: KUL).

Tip: Choose your flight to arrive early at Tawau Airport so that you can catch the first boat transfer to your resort. On departure, choose the afternoon flight so that you have time to off-gas between your last dive and your departure flight.

Sipadan: Choose early flight into Tawau so you can catch the first boat transfer to your resort.Click To Tweet
Sipadan: On departure, choose the afternoon flight so that you have time to off-gas between your last dive and your flight.Click To Tweet

Best Times to Visit

The best time is during the dry season which is from March to October. High period is in July, August and first week of October.

Which Resort Should I Consider?

We’ve compiled the information for you to save you time in choosing the right resort for your dive holiday based on a number of criteria:

Permit Availability, Turnaround Time

Diving at Sipadan Island requires a permit. Each day, there is a quota of 120 permits issued by Sabah Parks, the government authority charged with protecting our unique heritage. Diving at other nearby islands will not require these permits.

These 120 permits are allocated to 12 resorts operating in the area based on the size of the resort. The permits are not allocated to individuals directly. Application of these permits is through the resort that you are staying at and the resort will assist with this.

The “big 4” resorts that have the biggest allocations are listed below. They account for 46.7% of the permit allocation.

  • Sipadan Mabul Resort and Mabul Water Bungalows
  • Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort
  • Borneo Divers Mabul Resort
  • Sipadan Water Village

As you would have guessed, there will usually be more divers wanting to go to Sipadan than there are available permits each day. The turnaround times listed below are based on the resort claim backed by our booking data and visitor feedback.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort – 5 days 4 nights; dive once. Additional permits can be purchased subject to availability.

MV Celebes Explorer – dive every day at Sipadan Island except Sunday.

Mabul Water Bungalows – 6 days 5 nights; dive once. Additional permits can be purchased subject to availability.

The Reef Dive Resort – 4 days 3 nights; dive at least once, but pre-booking is required.

Seaventures Dive Rig – 4 days 3 nights; dive at least once.

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort – 4 days 3 nights; dive at least once. Advance booking of permits highly recommended. If you have less than 15 logged dives, you may be subjected to buoyancy skill test.

Sipadan Mabul Resort – 6 days 5 nights; dive once. Additional permits can be purchased subject to availability.

This does not apply to the semi-detached chalets. For semi-detached chalets, your chances of visiting Sipadan will depend on available permits not assigned to anyone else.

Sipadan Water Village – 6 days 5 nights; dive at least once.

For the resorts in the small budget or backpacker category, we do not have any booking data and visitor feedback. You will have to do your own research.

What If I Stayed a Shorter Duration?

For shorter stay, your visit to Sipadan Island is not guaranteed. Permit availability will depend on available permits that have not been allocated to others that are staying longer. Your chances are higher during the low period and almost nil during the high period.

It is hard to predict when the high and low periods are as it varies year to year. Even for low period, there could be a week where the resort is full and if you happen to be there in the week and not staying the minimum turnaround time, you may lose out. But generally, the few days around New Year, July, August, first week of October and Christmas period are considered to be in the high period.

Are the Other Islands Worth Diving?

Diving in the area isn’t just all about Sipadan Island. There is a lot to offer for muck diving and lots of macro life to discover in the other islands such as Mabul and Kapalai. Many divers return and don’t mind opting out of Sipadan so they can spend all their time looking for macro life which is just as rewarding.

Enter Turtle Tomb Cavern

There are only 3 resorts that have Technical Diving expertise on staff that can bring you into the Turtle Tomb cavern, subject to permit availability. They are:

  • Mabul Water Bungalows
  • Sipadan Mabul Resort
  • Seaventures Dive Rig

Other Locations

Here is a list of locations that these resorts go to.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort – Mabul and Kapalai Islands.

MV Celebes Explorer – On Sundays, around Semporna such as Timbun Mata, Tun Sakaran Marine Park. Other days, sometimes Mabul Island if everyone needs a break from Sipadan Island.

Mabul Water Bungalows – Mabul and Kapalai Islands.

The Reef Dive Resort – Mataking, Pandanan, Bohayan, Kalapuan, Timba Timba and Pom Pom Islands.

Seaventures Dive Rig – Mabul and Kapalai Islands.

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort – Mabul and Kapalai Islands.

Sipadan Mabul Resort – Mabul and Kapalai Islands.

Sipadan Water Village – Mabul and Kapalai Islands.

Voodoo Gas (EANx Nitrox)

Most resorts offer Nitrox in order for you to extend your bottom time. Only one resort in the list does not offer EANx Nitrox.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort – Yes

MV Celebes Explorer – Yes, but requires pre booking

Mabul Water Bungalows – Yes

The Reef Dive Resort – Yes

Seaventures Dive Rig – Yes

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort – No

Sipadan Mabul Resort – Yes

Sipadan Water Village – Yes

Price Category

We break down the room price category into the following: exclusive, upper midrange, midrange, and small budget.

Mabul Water Bungalows (only 15 bungalows and 5 suites, located over water; 4 room categories): Exclusive

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort (located over water, sand bank visible during low tides; 1 room category): Upper midrange

Sipadan Water Village (located over water; 4 room categories): Midrange – Upper midrange

The Reef Dive Resort (4 room categories): Midrange – Upper midrange

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort (1 room category): Midrange

MV Celebes Explorer (only live aboard operating in Sipadan Island; 2 room categories): Midrange

Seaventures Dive Rig (4 room categories): Midrange – Upper midrange

Sipadan-Mabul Resort (3 room categories): Midrange – Upper midrange

The following resorts fit into the small budget and backpackers category:

  • Billabong Scuba
  • Roach Reef Resort
  • Scuba Junkie
  • Sipadan Inn
  • Uncle Chang’s Sipadan Mabul Dive Lodge

Single Travellers

For single travellers, some resorts will impose compulsory single supplement charges while others are optional. Single supplement charges vary between 30% and 50% of the package price.

If you choose not to pay single supplement at a resort that offers optional single supplement, you may have to share room with another person.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort – Optional. Additional land and boat transfer fees may apply if you are the only person travelling in the vehicle or boat.

MV Celebes Explorer – Optional.

Mabul Water Bungalows – Optional with the exception of the Borneo Villa, Bougainvilla and Royale Suites. It is compulsory for these two suites.

The Reef Dive Resort – Compulsory. Additional land and boat transfer fees may apply if you are the only person travelling in the vehicle or boat.

Seaventures Dive Rig – Optional. Additional land and boat transfer fees may apply if you are the only person travelling in the vehicle or boat. However there is one scheduled transfer where you will not have to pay for additional land and boat transfer.

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort – Compulsory.

Sipadan Mabul Resort – Optional.

Sipadan Water Village – Compulsory.

Group Booking Discounts

If you have a group arriving and departing together, you will be eligible for a group discount.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort – for a group of 11 persons, the 11th person will only have to pay for conservation and jetty fee, but stay for free.

MV Celebes Explorer – Special Rate for group of 6 or more persons.

Mabul Water Bungalows – for a group of 11 persons, the 11th person will only have to pay for conservation fee, but stay for free.

The Reef Dive Resort – for a group of 11 persons, the 11th person will stay for free. Because The Reef Dive Resort is located far away from Sipadan Island, boat transfer fees may apply. However, if your group plans to stay at least 5 days 4 nights, then your group may be entitled to a free boat transfer for a day trip to Sipadan, Mabul or Kapalai Island.

Seaventures Dive Rig – for a group of 10 persons, the 10th person will only have to pay for conservation fee, but stay for free.

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort – for a group of 10 persons, the 10th person will only have to pay for jetty fee, but stay for free.

Sipadan Mabul Resort – for a group of 11 persons, the 11th person will only have to pay for conservation fee, but stay for free.

Sipadan Water Village – for a group of 11 persons, the 11th person will only have to pay for conservation and jetty fee, but stay for free.

Conservation fee for jetty is collected at Semporna jetty at MYR10.00 per person.

Snorkellers

All the resorts featured here welcome snorkellers, but some will bring you out on the dive boat for snorkelling while others will only let you snorkel around the resort.

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort – around the resort only.

Sipadan Water Village – only once out on the dive boat. The rest will be around the resort only.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort – will also bring snorkellers to Sipadan Island, but priority will be given to divers when applying for permits. Early pre-booking recommended.

Sipadan-Mabul Resort – will also bring snorkellers to Sipadan Island, but priority will be given to divers when applying for permits. Early pre-booking recommended.

Mabul Water Bungalows – will also bring snorkellers to Sipadan Island, but priority will be given to divers when applying for permits. Early pre-booking recommended.

Honeymooners

For Honeymooners, here are the resorts we feel have a romantic ambience and scenic views. Some also have honeymoon packages specifically for honeymooners.

  • Mabul Water Bungalows
  • Sipadan-Mabul Resort
  • Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort
  • The Reef Dive Resort

Wi-Fi

Although Wi-Fi is generally available in the area, it can be patchy and unreliable in some areas.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort – Available at restaurant area.

MV Celebes Explorer – Available at the middle deck area.

Mabul Water Bungalows – Available at restaurant area and all rooms.

The Reef Dive Resort – Available at restaurant, reception area and rooms.

Seaventures Dive Rig – Available at restaurant area.

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort – Available at restaurant area.

Sipadan Mabul Resort – Available at restaurant and all rooms.

Sipadan Water Village – Available at restaurant, desk counter and reception area.

3. Our Thoughts

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort

  • + Nice muck diving house reef.
  • + Will bring snorkelers to Sipadan Island. (Subject to minimum of 5 days/ 4 nights stay)
  • + Suitable for families with young children.
  • + Swimming pool.
  • + Gazebo Massage.

MV Celebes Explorer

  • + If all you want to do is dive at Sipadan Island and don’t mind living in small quarters.

Mabul Water Bungalows

  • + Impressive house reef.
  • + With only 15 chalets and 5 suites, this resort offers a lot of privacy.
  • + Great food. Chef Wong has many years of experience serving in International 5 star hotel.
  • + One of only 3 resorts taking divers to explore the Turtle Tomb cavern.
  • + Will bring snorkelers to Sipadan Island. (Subject to permit availability)
  • + Suitable for families with young children.
  • + Spa.
  • + Located over water but has easy access to Mabul Island and sister resort Sipadan-Mabul Resort where you can use the swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
  • + Popular with honeymooners especially the Borneo Villa Suite with outdoor Jacuzzi.

The Reef Dive Resort

  • + Suitable for non-divers and young children.
  • + Spa and children’s playground.
  • + Popular with honeymooners.
  • – Resort located far away from Sipadan. Boat ride will take about 80 minutes to get there from the resort.

Seaventures Dive Rig

  • + Bedroom, lounge, eating area, dive centre and bar is conveniently nearby each other.
  • + Best honest food from a talented local chef.
  • + Offers technical diving courses and one of only 3 resorts taking divers to explore the Turtle Tomb cavern.
  • + Will bring snorkelers to Sipadan Island. (Subject to permit availability)
  • – Not very suitable for families with young children.

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort

  • + Large beautiful and breezy rooms.
  • + Impressive house reef.
  • + Suitable for families with young children.
  • + Popular with honeymooners.
  • – This resort recommends that you have at least 15 logged dives before they apply for your permits to Sipadan Island.

Sipadan Mabul Resort

  • + Best food in this price category.
  • + Nicest and large beach front with a lot of shaded areas from coconut tree fronds.
  • + One of only 3 resorts taking divers to explore the Turtle Tomb cavern.
  • + Will bring snorkelers to Sipadan Island. (Subject to permit availability)
  • + Suitable for families with young children. Experienced staff can help with taking care of young children while you go diving.
  • + Popular with honeymooners.

Three Useful Knots Every Diver Should Know, or Maybe Just One

Knots are very useful when you spend a lot of time out at sea diving. When you use a knot for the right purpose, it is easy to untie even after some strain has been applied to the line. However, you can’t just learn to tie a knot by watching, or doing it just once and expect to remember it the next time when you really need to tie one. I keep a 3 m length 3 mm rope around the house and practice whenever I have some free time.

Continue reading “Three Useful Knots Every Diver Should Know, or Maybe Just One”

5 Hidden Tropical Islands with Only One Resort You Must Experience

Many of us may find that we spend much of our time in social situations. We do so in order to work together with colleagues, and to spend our leisure time together with friends and family as well. This can be a great pleasure, but it can also sometimes leave us feeling fatigued and drained. In order to reconnect with ourselves, we need to get away from it all so that we can gain some perspective and push the reset button on our own lives.

With that in mind, here are 5 hidden tropical islands with only one resort you must experience. Each one really is the only resort based on the island, and as such is private, secluded, and quiet – the perfect place to give you the time and space you need. Some of the islands take some time to get to, but this only adds to the experience of seclusion when you arrive. It’s also well worth the effort when you get to spend your days scuba diving, snorkeling, lying in the sun, or simply reading a book next to the sparkling sea.

Continue reading “5 Hidden Tropical Islands with Only One Resort You Must Experience”

How to Chase a Manta

Manta Ray
Manta Ray

The first time I encountered a Manta face to face many years ago, I couldn’t stop grinning all day. There is something magical about these big creatures, the calm ways they move underwater, fully aware of their surroundings. They could glide over you just inches above your head and still manage to avoid touching you.

Here’s a clip of me chasing a Manta for over 3 minutes, and I’m going to show you how.

Continue reading “How to Chase a Manta”

Robert Lo’s Mabul Water Bungalows House Reef – Artificially Awesome!

If house reefs are considered the playground of marine life, then the house reef at the Mabul Water Bungalows is the Disneyland of all things aquatic.

Continue reading “Robert Lo’s Mabul Water Bungalows House Reef – Artificially Awesome!”

50% Off for Group of 8 at MV Celebes Explorer between 27 March 2016 and 31 March 2017

Deal alert for groups! Plan a dive holiday at Sipadan Island with MV Celebes Explorer Liveaboard between 27th March and 31st March 2017 for a group of 8 divers and get 50% off the published price.

You’ll get to dive Sipadan Island every day except Sunday.

Continue reading “50% Off for Group of 8 at MV Celebes Explorer between 27 March 2016 and 31 March 2017”

Choose the Best Resort for You at Sipadan in 2015/2016

Comparing and choosing which resort to stay for your next dive trip to Sipadan is time consuming. We put up an infographic back in 2012 to help you choose. Since then, many changes have happened. So we’ve updated our infographic for 2015/2016.

We hope you will also find this useful when choosing your resort for 2015/2016. In this infographic, we’ve also included the only liveaboard in the area. Here is the criteria to help you choose based on the questions we are asked often:
Continue reading “Choose the Best Resort for You at Sipadan in 2015/2016”