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Dive Review of Borneo Divers in

May, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Edward Leibowitz, NJ, USA
Contributor   (13 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 4842
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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

sunny, windy, dry  
calm, choppy, surge  
Water Temp
75   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Maximum depth was specified at dive briefing. However, you were not held to
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Not an underwater photographer. However many divers took pictures
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
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
	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. 
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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.

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