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Member Since 27 Dec 2002
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 06:07 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Sipadan is a protected* area

16 March 2015 - 11:27 PM

Yes, the marlin skeleton is still there -- on the ledge along the cavern (before entering the tomb). I think it was placed there by a DM. I suppose the cavern shelters it from any swells/currents, so it's not moved much, if at all.

In Topic: Sipadan is a protected* area

18 February 2015 - 10:38 PM

Good point..  let me modulate my opinions a bit.. by and large, I think the map shown on this website (link below) is close to what we dived:



But then I started thinking.. there were definitely some narrower cavities (tunnels?) behind one or two of the skeletons where I'm sure we didn't quite poke our heads inside. Maybe there are even some more smaller tunnels inside that we didn't explore at all? This calls for a revisit, I think :-).



In Topic: Sipadan is a protected* area

12 February 2015 - 05:59 PM

Hi Moses, I think we were in there for around 40 min or so.. could've been longer -- they planned for us to start the exit when we reach 130bar, but we really felt no pressure from the DM about time. Much of the time inside the cave we're at 10-12m, so in fact you don't really use that much air. You're right about the vave -- ~20m channel to enter the cavern, and just one big main chamber with a couple of smaller chambers. Straightforward. I woldn't go all the way to Sipadan for this dive, but the other diving was pretty good also.


cheers, Ajay

In Topic: Sipadan is a protected* area

11 February 2015 - 01:31 AM

Hi Moses,

Yes, we went into turtle cavern. MWB charged us extra (around USD100 each) for this dive. We did a briefing on the night before, basically watch a video, and then go through the dive plan (there are a few extra procedures, since we go down with an additional tank, which is clipped to the rope at the mouth of the cave -- we pick it back when we exit the cave). I'm not aware of the death or the circumstances of that case either. I think it's a fairly easy dive actually -- there isn't a maze, the cavern is large; and there is a tiny but visible window which I think anyone can locate in a few minutes by just going along the cave wall -- this window gives a clear and easy reference to the entry/exit channel. Of course, we were two divers following our DM, so we were just following the man :-). I think he said he's been doing this dive only 3-4 times a month.


By the way, although I've been calling it 'Turtle cavern', the map tells me it's 'Turtle tomb'.



In Topic: The Derawan Islands

04 August 2014 - 10:06 AM

Sangalaki area is one of my favorites for the diversity of diving experiences. I stayed in Derawan a few years ago, and a pretty nice bonus there was waking up to find turtles grazing on leaves outside your water-bungalow window. On my secind trip to the area, we stayed at Maratua paradise, which I think is slightly better to live in. The house reef is splendid. The resident thresher shark didn't show up during our stay (this is why we chose Maratua), but we nevertheless enjoyed loads to time with grazing bumpheads, an occasional eagle ray floating past.

It's easy to make day trips to Sangalaki -- which has fantastic dives. Or, as Drew suggested, you can split your stay with some time in a resort on Sangalaki (Nabucco looks nice, I think we had lunch there on a day trip once).


By the way, I am not sure of the science on this, but maybe you can find out if more Manatas prefer to show up during some phase of the moon or another.. if your dates are flexible, it couldn't hurt to try and improve your chances.


Our trip reports and photos are linked from here: