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Sipadan Water Village

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I am contemplating a trip during the last week of December to the Sipadan Water Village.

Has anyone stayed here, and how is the diving operation?

Any other recommended accomodations in this region of Malaysia/Borneo?

How's the pelagic action?

Edited by AMW

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Hi. I was saying in SWV last October. I was really satisfied with the diving and accommodation. I stayed there for 8 days. The next time i am planning to stay longer.

There are several things that might help you to know. First of all Sipadan island is around 20 minutes by bought from the water village. Even though your daily accommodation price in SWV includes 3 boat dives and unimited house reef dives you can not dive 3 times in Sipadan. As i was told the reason for this is the limit of divers per day allowed by local authorities to dive at Sipadan. The total limit is shared between couple of resources in this area.

In best case its possible to make 2 out of 3 dives in Sipadan while doing the 3rd either in Mabul or Kapalai.(both being muck dives)

The dive boat times are as a routine schedule for everyday. The first dive boat leaves SPW around 6 in the morning to make the early morning dive. This is good for bumphead parrotfish school. the next dive boat leaves around 8 30. The divers going to Sipadan with these have chance to make 2 dives at Sipadan in the morning. Than you come back for lunch and do a muck diving at Mabul or Kapalai.

 

The groups which start with two dives in Mabul and Kapalai area do only 1 boat dive in Sipadan in the afternoon.

 

Thus if you are interested in pelagic action you need to try to join morning groups to Sipadan. I would recommend you to talk about this in the beginning with dive guides who form the groups in the end of each day and to promise good tipping. The dive masters are friendly and i think they would help you. If you will be eager to join the first group early in the morning you have a 90%.

 

In October there were lots of turtles and white tip reef sharks. The visibility was very good.

 

For macro stuff both Kapalai and Mabul were very interesting.

 

I also really enjoyed diving in the house reef. You can do this as much as you would like to between and after dives. Especially for mating mandarine fish in the evenings. By the way lots of turtles in the house reef too.

 

In this area the boat dives were limited with 45 minutes bottom time. But i compensated this doing house reef dives around 1.5 hours :-)

 

There were 3 or 4 camera rooms beside the dive center. If you will be interested to rent one apply to dive center as soon as you arrive since the number of camera rooms are less than the demand for it.

 

I wish you to have nice time there. I am looking forward return there as soon as possible.

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Thanks for the feedback, Mehmet.

Sounds as if you were quite satisfied with your experience.

This is good to know!

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I suppose I'm not too late to reply.....

 

I was there last year in September....and then again on the last week of Dec between Christmas and New Years.

 

YOU WILL LOVE IT!

 

Mehmet has outlined it well....I will add one more thing. Although Sipadan is easily divable all year round, Dec may bring some strong winds at times. I had my early morning dive cancelled because of this as the storm was so strong it rocked the chalet! One insane Russian guest actually braved the gale force winds to get to the dive center at 5.30am! only to be stared at by the incredulous divemaster on duty. The rest of us just slept till 8am..... then, as suddenly as the storm came, it passed and we went out all day! (or out for two dives and then out for another two later).

 

Dec will bring more rain and less sunshine (and the occasional storm).....but the fish don't care and neither do I.

 

My profile pic is of the wreck in front of Kapalai house reef. You will probably dive it as one of the Macro dives when you are not at Sipadan. On that dive, I saw 3 blue ringed Octos, 4 frogfish, Ornate ghost pipefish, 1 large cuttlefish, a dozen Nudis, various shrimps, eels, gobys...... That was 1 dive..... The record number of turtles I saw in one dive ANYWHERE was at Sipadan. I counted 24 and was told I missed a few....

Edited by eskasi

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I suppose I'm not too late to reply.....

 

I was there last year in September....and then again on the last week of Dec between Christmas and New Years.

 

YOU WILL LOVE IT!

 

Mehmet has outlined it well....I will add one more thing. Although Sipadan is easily divable all year round, Dec may bring some strong winds at times. I had my early morning dive cancelled because of this as the storm was so strong it rocked the chalet! One insane Russian guest actually braved the gale force winds to get to the dive center at 5.30am! only to be stared at by the incredulous divemaster on duty. The rest of us just slept till 8am..... then, as suddenly as the storm came, it passed and we went out all day! (or out for two dives and then out for another two later).

 

Dec will bring more rain and less sunshine (and the occasional storm).....but the fish don't care and neither do I.

 

My profile pic is of the wreck in front of Kapalai house reef. You will probably dive it as one of the Macro dives when you are not at Sipadan. On that dive, I saw 3 blue ringed Octos, 4 frogfish, Ornate ghost pipefish, 1 large cuttlefish, a dozen Nudis, various shrimps, eels, gobys...... That was 1 dive..... The record number of turtles I saw in one dive ANYWHERE was at Sipadan. I counted 24 and was told I missed a few....

 

 

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.....this is what I like to hear!

Thanks for the feedback, and no, you're not too late.

I have already booked our week at Sipaden for the end of December through New Years. If there is rain, let there be rain. I agree with you: "The fish don't care and neither do I"

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Once we also had storm during night time before an early morning dive.

 

For those like us who did not stay in water bungalows before (which were less air tight than i would expect) even an ordinary windy weather was frightening enough for my girl friend who thought that it was tornado or tsunami. :-)

 

Like that Russian guest Eskasi met i was also insistent to dive at 5 30. And the trip to Sipadan was like a 20 minute roller coaster. A really good way to wake up so early.

 

There are so many turtles that you not only see ten-twenty turtles during dives but also they even accompany you swimming around the dining facility during dinner time :-)

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Let me chip-in with a slightly diffferent Sipadan diving experience.

 

I used the liveaboard Celebes Explorer a couple of years ago. It was very comfortable, big, good food, well-run and shuttled between Sipadan (morning dives) then Kapalai and Mabul in the afternoon/dusk for muck dives. We generally did 4 dives a day. It was an excellent experience.

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....

 

There were 3 or 4 camera rooms beside the dive center. If you will be interested to rent one apply to dive center as soon as you arrive since the number of camera rooms are less than the demand for it.

 

....

 

Why do we need to rent a camera room ? Is it very inconvenient to carry camera back back & forth ?

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I was there in feb this year. The diving was great. I was able to do the turtle graveyard cave. I would recommend you check it out. I have pictures at www,flickr/photos/vazuw happy diving

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Good to hear you liked Sipadan, fellow Angelino MrBubbles.

We have already booked our trip for December to SWV.

I'll make a point to dive the turtle graveyard-cave.

Thanks for the feedback!

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The camera rooms are more of a convenience than a requirement. They have power so you can recharge batteries there, and keep spare ports, arms, strobes, etc., under lock. However, the dive center is spacious and most shooters just work on their gear on the tables there. I always left my cameras and housings locked in the camera room and never had a problem in seven trips. Saved me having to carry the stuff to and from the room each day (which is sometimes a long walk!).

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<snip>

I'll make a point to dive the turtle graveyard-cave.

<snip>

At the risk of getting flamed, if offered this dive, have your eyes WIDE open and understand what you're getting into.

 

I, too, was offered this dive. When I asked if you could see natural daylight throughout, I was told that no, you could see no light if you turned off your dive light from the 1/2 way mark back into the turtle graveyard.

 

So I inquired about doubles and renting another regulator. The incredulous reaction - why would you be so addled as to need that - told me enough to pass on the dive.

 

When we passed the entrance to the cave during a scooter dive, I looked back on my decision to decline and knew it was the right one.

 

 

All the best, James

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At the resort we first had a briefing by a certified cave diver who took us on the tour. We went with him as a guide. We each had a secondary tank which we used to get to the cave and then changed to a fresh tank prior to entering. The cave route has a line in place to follow, and our guide placed a new secondary line as we went. We all were required to have two lights, and the guide had a very powerful light. I felt, and extreemly safe. Everything went smoothly. I wouldnt recomend doing it without a guide

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