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Dive Review of SMART in
Malaysia/Borneo

SMART, Oct, 2006,

by Phil Gans, Co, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 3094.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Utila, Roatan, Cozumel, Belize, Hualtaco, Playa Del Carmen, Philippines, Bali (Komodo), Thailand
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions The last day we were limited because of flights. A few days I had to come up a few minutes ealrier than I would have preferred. If I had been in boat with beginners or a more crowded boat, the times would have been limited.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments They had tanks. It was fine for digital photographers. (what do we need afterall?)

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The resort is on the Island of Mabul, about 15 minutes from Sipidan. The diving is exceptionally good. At Sipidan where we went for 2 of the three daily dives, there were tons of turtles and white tip sharks. I, of course, got excited with my first turtle sighting, but then I saw a few more, and then a few more, and then, I just expected to see turtles everywhere. They were sleeping on coral or on walls, just swimming about. It was truly wonderful. There were also lots of white tip sharks, resting on the botttom. On two days we saw a school of barracuda. There thousands of them swimming in circles at one point. Some of the divers just got among them and were surrounded by them. It was truly extraordinary. We also saw a very large school of Jacks twice or three times. There was also a school of very large bump head parrot fish that we saw twice. The school was not large, about 25 fish, but the bumpheads were about 2 or even 3 feet long. the corals were gorgeous and healthy. We only saw a couple of hammerhead at a distance. They are ususally found at Technical deepths. We also saw losts of healthy and large reef fish at both Sipadan and Mabul, plenty of nudibranches, including a flamingo dancer at night, and things like a pigmy seahorse, frog fish, leaf fish pipe fish, ghost pipe fish, junivnile frog fish, crocodile fish,etc etc. the island we stayed on. Mabul is pretty small. You can walk around it in less than an hour. It has a few resorts, including some water bungalows owned by the same people. There is a converted well station that acts as a resort, another set of water bungalows and another resort on the island. The village on the island is very poor, but the peole are very nice. Smart had good food, and a good staff. Wehn I was there there they wer ony at half capacity until the last two days when they hit full capacity. At the point the dive boats became too full, and the dives on some of the baots became shorter to accomodate less experienced divers. This would have made the experience much less fun if I had been on one of those dive boats with 10 or 12 divers. Overall, it was a great experience.
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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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