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Dive Review of MV Celebes in
Malaysia/Sabah

MV Celebes, Jul, 2012,

by Jamie Pollack, NY, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 6621.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Cocos, Bali, Palau, Caribbean, Florida, South Africa, Red Sea, Galapagos, Socorro Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 75 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Each dive (5 a day) only 45 minutes
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Terrible, no rinse tank no table for cameras....

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 1 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The MV Celebes is an old, creaky, dilapidated, depressing, smelly boat that should be retired. My cousin and I were booked for one week and it was so bad that we abandoned ship after three nights to go to stay on a resort on the water. The food was very greasy and most of it was fried. On the boat, the dive schedule is 4 dives Sipadan and one dive at Mabul Island. Then at 5:30 am the boat would motor back to Sipadan. The ride back was noisy and sometimes rough. The cabins are small and we stayed in a room with bunk beds-- typical of live aboards but the smell from the bathroom and in the room was awful. We were never introduced to the crew (other liveaboards would introduce the entire crew to make you feel warm and welcome) so it was hard to know who to ask for things. They do not have a separate camera rinse tank on board. So after awhile the water got pretty disgusting. I rinsed my camera in the fresh water shower at the back of the boat. We saw white tips sharks (although I was expecting to see many more), a couple of reef sharks, turtles, large schools of jacks, barracuda and bumphead parrot fish. Only 45 minutes per dive was allowed. I asked to do one-hour dives since I was already wet and underwater but was told that is not the policy and rules cant be changed. Only on two or three dives around Barracuda Point did we experience strong currents where we had to use a reef hook. Lots of action was seen on these dives. The staffs lack of caring was evidenced when I was doing a cave dive. I was supposed to be diving on Nitrox but when I got to my gear it was air. Then when I checked the air it was barely full. It took them 2 more times to get my Nitox tank correct. Just plain carelessness and not giving a shit. They do not have a separate compressor on board for Nitrox and have to bring them all on board.

I would not advise for anyone to stay on this boat. You can dive Sipadan from a land based operation with much better accommodations. My overall feeling for the diving was that is was okay not Knock Your Socks Off diving. Traveling for me (coming from the East Coast of the US) is a long way to come and not sure I would recommend it.
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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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