SeaVentures Dive Rig -
Sipadan, Borneo, Malaysia - October 2010
6 days of diving at Sipadan and Mabul Islands in Borneo
Scroll down page to see my review of SeaVentures Resort, Sipadan diving and video. To see slideshow, click on
right arrow below.
We had been to Grand Cayman back in April
of 2008 and when I was looking for a place to go diving this winter,
Grand Cayman quickly rose to the short-list.
In 2008 there was a direct flight from
Boston to GC, but no such luck this time. However, a trip time of 6
1/2 hours felt like nothing compared to our 37 hour return trip from
Borneo last October.
Back in 2008 we stayed for a week at Cobalt
Coast. We enjoyed it but were disappointed that we were only able to
shore dive 2 of the days we were there due to waves at Cobalt Coast.
We checked out Sunset House back then for dinner one
evening at their popular bar called "My Bar".
While sitting there we scoped out the dive operation and noticed
that the seas were calm, while over at Cobalt Coast, shore diving
(even with a pier) was not recommended
that day. I decided
then that our next trip to CG would be to Sunset House.
It turned out to be a good decision.
Sunset House is located about a 10 to 15
minute walk west of downtown Georgetown
and a stroll downtown for dinner was convenient. However, do note
that there are no sidewalks for most of that walk and you need to be
careful. I would recommend bringing a dive light for the walk if in
Read below for some details of the diving.
at Sunset House and Grand Cayman in general is some of better diving
in the Caribbean for certain things. The Cayman Islands are right
next to the deepest trenches in the Caribbean and that seems to
contribute to a general higher visibility than some other islands.
GC is a pretty good place to
see turtles, Southern Stingrays and Eagle Rays. If you want a
guarantee of seeing stingrays then go to Sting Ray City, where you
will get your fill of them. We went there in 2008, so skipped it
this time. Some of the folks that did go this year brought back
stories of Manta Rays being seen there. I can't verify that.
GC has lots of dive sites that
have great swim-throughs. The aquascape near the drop-off can be
breathtaking with the good viz and there are plenty of sandy areas
where you can find garden eels, rays and plenty of free roaming
Not all Caribbean islands
have good shore diving options. GC is one of the lucky ones. Good
shore diving can be found around the island, but as I mentioned
before only those on the sheltered west side can be counted on for
access. The two shore sites we dove this trip were Sunset House (of
course) and Turtle Reef.
We got the regular courtyard room a the dive package. There were
reports that the rooms were dated, etc and this was true, but they
met our needs just fine with one exception. There was no table or
chair in the room and for someone who needs to charge batteries,
change lenses, and look at pictures this was a problem. I rended up
improvising with the bureau and using the laptop while sitting on
the bed, but it is a sghortcomingh of the rooms.
ports I do however
The food on the rig was OK, not great. Just be prepared for noodles
and hot dogs for breakfast. and a menu that is heavily weighted
towards Chinese and Malaysian cuisine. If you need a hamburger
option at every meal, forgetaboutit.
The dive setup (equipment, etc) was really efficient, although it
took me a while to get the hang of where to get a clean towel.
Although the description on the web implies a complete
computer/photo room setup, I had a hard time finding an available 2
prong outlet to use, even though it was far from full of divers, so
make sure you bring enough of the UK style 3 prong adapters.
The diving was a lot of fun and I am really happy to have had a
chance to go there. If I were to go back to Sipadan, even though I
believe the value at Seaventures was great, personally I would
probably stay on Mabul so that I could take advantage of the
shallower shore diving. I am sure I would have been underwater a
Some of the highlights of diving at Sipadan
and Mabul we
Many different types of wonderful Anemone
All in all I
recommend Seaventures and Sipadan as a destination. The rig I would
recommend if you want to maximize your trips to Sipadan.
Video of trip
(all pictures and
videos on this trip taken with Olympus E-PL1 camera with 9-19mm and 14-42mm
lenses, Zen dome, INON s2000 strobes)
Other Dive Pages :
St Croix -
Isle of Shoals
Turks & Caicos -