Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
Join Undercurrent on Facebook
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
 

Dive Review of Borneo Divers in
Malaysia/Mabul/Sipadan

Borneo Divers, May, 2009,

by Edward Leibowitz, NJ, USA (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 4842.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Yap, Palu, Fiji, Phillipines, Australia, New guinea, Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 75 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Maximum depth was specified at dive briefing. However, you were not held to it.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Not an underwater photographer. However many divers took pictures underwater.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was the best diving that I did in recent years and one of the best dive sites that Ive been to. Saw many turtles, sharks, barracuda, triggers, cuttlefish, angelfish, other varieties and beautiful corals. I lucked out with Sipadan. I was in Mabul for six days. Five of the six days, I dove at Sipadan, doing 3-4 dives/day. It's about a 25 minute boat ride to Sipadan from Mabul. Sipadan utilizes a permit system that limits the dive boats and visitors to the island.
I pre-ordered 15 tanks of Nitrox. Addtional cost for Nitrox was $15/tank. The first day at Sipadan, I did all three dives with Nitrox. On the second day, I noticed that two of the tanks were short-filled (2550 PSI). I complained about the short fills to our dive guide. The next day, I assumed, I would get tanks filled with Nitrox to 3000psi. However, I was told that they had not obtained Nitrox for that day. For the remaining four days, I dove with air. I suppose they were pissed off when I complained about the shortfills and therefore decided not to obtain any additional tanks filled with Nitrox. I felt that since I was paying $15 additional for Nitrox, I was entitled to a filled tank (3000psi). Im also a heavy air consumer.
The best dive site off Sipadan is at Barracuda Point. This is high voltage diving with sharks (gray & whitip), turtles and a big school of barracuda and current. In my five days of diving at Sipidan, I dove this site six times. At some of the other sites at Sipadan, the visibility was not that good. However, I saw turtles and sharks on most dives.
I could not rave about the food at Borneo Divers in Mabul. However, the excellent diving made up for the food. Some meals were very good, however most were average.
I would recommend that you tip the boat captains and dive personnel on a daily basis. I tipped at the end of my stay. However on future dive trips, I will tip on a daily basis.
Patchara Carlsen and the Arellano brothers of Scuba Travel Ventures did an excellent job with the travel arrangements. This is the second time Ive used them to make dive-travel arrangements.
When I arrived at the airport in Tawau, personnel there checked my temperature and had me fill out a form to see if I had any symptoms of swine flu.
Considering the kidnapping in Sipadan in 2001, I was somewhat apprehensive about traveling to this area. I had made plans to go this area about five years ago, but changed my plans Note, the Malaysian army maintains a small army base on Sipidan. I also occasionally saw military on Mabul. Im very glad that Patchara coaxed me into going to Sipadan for diving.
My only complaint about this area is the long travel time it took for me to get there from New Jersey. Twenty-three hours of flying,(excluding layovers and boat and car travel from Tawau)to get to Mabul and the same on the return flight.
However, if youre a scuba-diver, this site is well worth the long trip and you should dive this area at least once.
Was this report helpful to you?
Bookmark and Share
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here
 

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 65 dive reviews of Malaysia and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Bookmark and Share

Want to assemble your own collection of Malaysia reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

Undercurrent Home


Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!



Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |


Copyright © 1996-2017 Undercurrent (www.undercurrent.org)
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page displayed in 0.05 seconds