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Dive Review of Mv Celebes Explorer in
Malaysia/Borneo, Sipidan Island

Mv Celebes Explorer, Aug, 2007,

by David McDougall, CA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 3909.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Seychelles, Hawaii, Kenya, Tahiti, Costa Rica, many Caribbean destinations.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 79 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No real restrictions other than the standard minimum air remaining of 500psi
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

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 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The boat had a small area set aside for setup and storing UWP equipment. Had there been a large group on board this area would have been inadequate. There were some outlets for charging points but overall the facilities were limited.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The MV Celebes Explorer accommodations were somewhat dated and in need of renovation. We had the "honeymoon" cabin which was accessed from the side of the ship so that when it rained, which it did quite often, the trip to and from the cabin was wet and treacherous on the slick metal deck. The cabin itself always had a damp smell to it and the mattress and bedding left a lot to be desired. The crew were helpful and friendly but few spoke any English. Food was reasonable and they made a great effort to accommodate my wife and I as we are both vegetarian. Since we took our own equipment I can't comment on the dive gear on board.
The diving in and around Sipidan Island was spectacular with large schools of fish, dozens of turtles, sharks (leopard, white tip, hammerhead), many types of anemone fish, and lots of small critters in the Mabul Island sites. Sipidan island is a fantastic area to dive but I'm not sure we would do the liveaboard again unless the MV Celebes Explorer (currently the only liveaboard diving that area) gets a refit or another company starts diving there.
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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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