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.
here or the orangutan on the left to go see pictures and video
of the rainforest part of the trip with lots of
wonderful creatures including orangutans and proboscis monkeys.
We stayed at 3 places during the rainforest
part of the trip, Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sukau Forest Lodge and
Sepilok Rainforest Lodge. We saw orangutans at 4 places, the 3
places mentioned above plus near the Gomantong Caves. A total of 4
mothers with babies, several adolescents and a nice big male which
was in the middle of nowhere along the banks of the Kinabatangan
Read below for some details of the diving.
||While diving we
stayed at SeaVentures, a converted oil rig that was parked about a
1/2 kilometer off the island of Mabul.
was a good base for diving. Since there were very few people when we
were there, we were able to go to Sipadan any day that we wished. We
could have gone every day, but we choose to go to Mabul and Kapalai
on one of the days.
Although I had seen reports of little
current, there was quite a current under the rig often. That
combined with the 60 foot depth, my propensity to use a lot of air
and the lack of larger tanks all made the dives under the rig a bit
too short (for me). There was plenty of life under the rig, but if I
were to ever go back to Sipadan, I would choose somewhere on Mabul
where I could do 20-30 feet shore dives, even if it would cost me
the opportunity to dive Sipadan every day.
Some of the highlights of diving at Sipadan
and Mabul were the large schools of Barracuda
and Bumphead Parrotfish
Many different types of wonderful Anemone
and of course the Mandarin fish
and the wonderful diversity of
The diving at Mabul
(the island near the Seaventures Rig) was great although the
visibility was quite bad, especially compared to Sipadan. Although
the diving under the rig was good, there were some drawbacks. First,
it is 60 feet to the bottom and I use air up pretty fast at 60 feet.
Second, there was often quite a bit of current and we had to wait
several times for the tide to change before going in. Even then, the
current on the top could be pretty strong and with the poor viz, you
could get turned around and come up on the wrong side of the rig (I
did once) They do not allow diving after 8PM under the rig.
We upgraded to the VIP suite, which is about 4 times the size of the
regular rooms. It was worth it as I needed the room for my computer
and photo gear. Wireless was hit or miss, mostly miss, in our room
on the 4th floor. This is an oil rig and although converted it still
feels like an oil rig, even if you are in the captains quarters.
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
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 Rainforest part 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)
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Isle of Shoals
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