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ProfBernie

Diving Sipadan (Malaysian Borneo)

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If you have not yet been to Sipadan, save your money so you can go.  It is among the best areas in the world for diving, challenging conditions, spectacular sealife, and great dive shops.  Malaysia's national parks just increased the number of daily permits from 120 to 180, but most of the increase went to new shops in Semporna and to liveaboards.  The nearest shops are on Mabul island (Pulau Mabul), and the best way to see Sipadan is to stay at one there; I prefer Seaventures because they have the best permit to guest ratio, and as a result it increases your chances of getting a permit.  Mind you, diving at Mabul is quite good, and nearby Kapalai has fantastic muck diving with great macro, from flambouyant cuttlefish to pygmy seahorses to mimic octopus.  Dive the house reef under Seaventures and run into Elvis, the massive (>10m) moray eel (he can be frightening to run into on a night dive).  Diving at Sipadan requires at least AOW, but I would recommend the Deep cert as well, and Nitrox if you plan to dive more than thrice a day for multiple days; try South Point first if you can, to see the hammerheads, which often are at 40m and a bit out into the blue.  Then get your Cavern or Cave cert, and you can enter Turtle Tomb, a very narrow cave deep under Sipadan Island which houses several turtle skeletons; or, with the Deep cert, you can just go into the entrance to the tomb, which is a wide cavern with easy access out, and still get interesting shots.  IMG_7094.thumb.jpg.41bef3c28a13ac1ffb47bc0fbf7bfbb0.jpg

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