Archive for November, 2007

Our Recent Publication

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 @ 19:19 News
Downbelow Featured in this months Australian Sport Diving Magazine

Featured in this months Australian Sport Diving Magazine is our Mating Mandarinfish article – Spawning Splendidus.

Images within the piece show how these beautifully stunning little creatures mate and how we as mere mortals can visit and photograph their delightful habits.

You can subscribe to the magazine online and/or read the article at


Japanese People Against Whale Hunting, Please Stand Up!

Monday, November 19th, 2007 @ 16:01 News

Why are the people of Japan burying their heads in the sand over their countries whaling practices?

Through travel we meet many Japanese people and from our experience they are kind hearted. Why then are they standing by or in some cases applauding their government’s decision to send a fleet of whaling boats to sea today intent on slaying and processing more than 1,000 whales, 50 of which are the protected and threatened Humpback.

Whalers claim they are continuing a tradition however when the practice began in the 1700’s it was only a few family owned businesses with handheld harpoons that went out to coastal waters and bought back small numbers of whales, not factory fleets going as far afield as the Antarctic pulling in more then 1,000 each a year.

Japan is trying to encourage the younger generation to eat whale meat from the 400 or so animals caught every year through so called “scientific research”.

What consumers are not told is that the blubber of dead whales in some areas is so highly contaminated with organochlorines such as PCBs and pesticides that it would be classified as toxic waste! Organochlorines are known to damage development of children and affect reproduction.

It is suggested that most people of Japan are not interested in eating whale meat, if so surely in a so called democratic country if they spoke out against their governments whaling practices and refused to eat the meat the whalers and government would have no choice but listen and the rest of the world would think better of the country and its people.

The brave men and women of Greenpeace are following the fleet that departed today with the sole objective to stop as many whales as possible from being slaughtered.

Please visit their website and follow the expedition to the Southern Ocean.


Two Ring Blue Ring Update

Friday, November 9th, 2007 @ 15:50 News

Thankyou to Jeff Guzman for the above image, note the
blue false eye and appendage between the eyes

Since our last post requesting information on a species of octopus found whilst diving in the Celebes Sea, we have received a number of emails with possible sightings of this delightful critter.

Most we have been able to identify as different species such as the Poison Ocellate Octopus Octopus mototi, recently sent in by Roan Stoel.


A close up of the appendage on the species
found by us in the Celebes Sea

However and image by Jeff Guzman appears to bear similarities.

Notice the blue false eye ring (ocellus) on the mantel and the appendage centered between the eyes.

Although many have a pair of false eye spots, to date we have been unable to find a species bearing the appendage.

I would imagine this animal is fairly abundant within this region but finding and documenting them it difficult due to their small size, shyness and particularly cryptic behavior.

At the very least we can confirm distribution to be North Borneo and neighboring parts of the Philippines !

If anyone has any further information to add please drop us a line.

For more images and information please visit our Marine Biology Octopus section.


Kapalai’s Artificial House Reef Project

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 @ 14:45 News

Conservation efforts by the staff and management of Kapalai Dive Resort continue with the construction of artificial reef systems located in front of the dive station.

Kapalai's Artificial House Reef Project
One of the more established fishing boat wrecks at Kapalai
House Reef, home to Clown Frogfish and Ghostpipefish

Adding to an already established collection of small wrecks the recently sunken boats and purpose built wooden constructions will in time become part of the natural environment.

It provides shelter, protection and food for surrounding marine life.

With worldwide coral reefs in decline space comes at a premium.

An artificial reef system creates its own biomass where coral polyps develop.

They cover the steel and wooden debris, thus providing extra room for species to develop.

Kapalai's Artificial House Reef Project
Divemasters placing one of the purpose built
wooden structures

Wildlife concentrates on these reefs and in many cases enhances the development of rare species.

To name but a few Kapalia’s artificial house reef is already home to Painted and Clown Frogfish, Harlequin Ghostpipefish, Giant Grouper, Butterfly and Angelfish, various members of the Scorpionfish family and the endangered Bumphead Parrotfish.

The resorts vision in creating this new habitat is, in our opinion to be commented.

Not only will it ease human pressure by divers on natural reefs in the area, it also provides another attraction should Sipadan be privatised or off limits to divers for an amount of time in the future.

Kapalai's House Reef is located a giant stride from the Dive Center

Please visit our Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort section for more information and images of the area. Should you wish to book a trip contact us and we’ll put you directly in touch with the resort.


Adventure Training in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007 @ 13:06 Groups & Schools, News

Kota Kinabalu once again played host to British Army Adventure Training this September.

Adventure Training in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue and Speciality Courses were completed throughout an eight day program in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, with an additional day White Water Rafting on the Padas River.

Thanks to Ben and Maria who, whilst on their Digital Photography Course mananged to snap some pictures of the group and a few underwater critters.

Adventure Training in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park provides an ideal location for Team Building and Corporate Exercises such as this with year round diving in tropical coral reef waters just minutes from the city and overlooked by Mt Kinabalu.

It was our pleasure to organize and conduct the trip for the group and look forward to the next time !

Please visit our Dive Trip Photo Album to see a selection of images from the event.

For more information on tailored group and corporate events please contact us directly.

Dive Trip To Lankayan Island – Sabah Borneo. 8th – 14th December 07

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007 @ 13:02 News

We’re pleased to announce a trip to Lankayan Island Resort from 8th – 13th December 2007 (6 nights). Having never previously visited the resort we’re looking forward to exploring above and below the island.


Reputed for its natural beauty and tranquility the resort is located in the Sulu Sea and accessed via speedboat from Sandakan in Sabah, Borneo.

The surrounding waters are Marine Protected Areas and offer the diver Macro and Wreck dive opportunities as well as passing seasonal Whalesharks.

The resort has adopted an eco tourism concept and has the same owner/ managers as Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort in the Celebes Sea, Borneo.

Should anyone wish to join the trip please drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch with the resort to book your reservation.

Please visit our Dive Trip Photo Album to see a selection of images from previous trips to other locations.

Should you wish to visit Lankayan Island Resort independently please contact us and we’ll provide you with a direct contact at the resort.