Archive for May, 2011

A great and very safe snorkeling experience

Monday, May 30th, 2011 @ 12:00 Guestbook

Hi Richard and Joanne

I had joined a full day guided snorkeling trip in early May and had a great and very safe snorkeling experience as a beginner.

We had 3 snorkeling guides on the day for a group of 9-10 people. All snorkeling guides were paying high attention to safety, especially Jessica.

She gave us a detailed itinerary once we arrived on the adventure centre at Gaya island and constantly checked my mask and my buoyancy vest, which I started with some difficulty.

If I visit Kota Kinabalu again, I would love to join the water sport tours organised by Downbelow for sure.

Regards

Ruby

Rare Species of Scorpionfish Spotted in TAR Park

Sunday, May 29th, 2011 @ 15:58 Diving Sabah, News, TAR Park Froggies, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Kota Kinabalu: There was a buzz of excitement around the dive station on Gaya Island in KK on Wednesday as Downbelow MD Richard return from a fun dive more buzzed than usual.

“I have found an awesome and rare creature,” he said, almost audibly panting in an email to the office, “stay tuned for an update.”

I waited with bated breath.

Richard must have some sort of TAR Park radar, because if there’s a rare creature in the TAR Park, he knows about it. And usually gets a photo of it too.

Scarlet The Scorpionfish Rhinopias Frondosa as seen in the TAR Park, Kota Kinabalu

Dolphins? Yup, they’ve been in the TAR Park. Sharks? Yeah, them too. Marble rays, cobia, peacock mantis shrimp, marble ray, frog fish, seahorses, blue ringed octopus, barracuda, ghost pipefish, harlequin shrimp?

Yes, yes and yes – not only have they been spotted in the TAR Park, but Richard has the pictures to prove it too (check out or Flickr photo stream for some highlights).

So when he says he found something awesome, move to the edge of your seat and prepare to be awed.

The critter he discovered this time, luckily armed and ready with his camera rig, is a very rare species of scorpionfish.

This particular scorpionfish (Rhinopias fondosa) is usually only found in certain parts of Indonesia.  But such is the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, where she lies just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, that you never know what you might find below the surface.

And like one of our Facebook friends rightly said: “Dive with the best, you will see the best“.

To see more of the rare scorpionfish, check out the Facebook album online.

Downbelow is a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre Our international staff provide personal, premier service at our PADI 5 Star Instructor Development (IDC) Dive Centre, where we pride ourselves on small group tuition with extremely high safety standards & procedures.

Do visit us at our Dive Shop & Travel Centre where we offer free wireless Internet and refreshments.

Tel: +6 012 866 1935
Email: dive@divedownbelow.com

Visit our Facebook page to see what we get up to over here in paradise!

We will spread the word for Dive Downbelow

Saturday, May 28th, 2011 @ 14:06 Guestbook

Happy divers Hi Sarah and Joanne

Nice meeting you on Saturday!

Thanks a lot for waiving the no show fee. We deeply appreciate your understanding and kindness and will spread the word for Dive Downbelow!

It’s a pity my mask kept fogging on the first dive at North Sulug. I tried this anti fogging thing called Absolutely Clear and it didn’t work :(

Plain old saliva saved the day for dive 2 and 3. I didn’t have to clear my mask at all. Not even once. Strange!

Hope to meet you again someday Joanne :)

And thanks Sarah for assisting us all this while!

Take care ladies,
Adam

Successful PADI Divemaster Internship in Sabah, Malaysia, Asia

Friday, May 27th, 2011 @ 14:39 Courses, Divemaster, News, Professional Diving Internships

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah: Alicen Bedrosian from the US joined our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island recently to complete her PADI Divemaster course.

Alicen the Divemaster on the left with Joanne, Downbelow MD on the rightNeedless to say, she passed with flying colours and for that we’d like to say a big well done, Alicen!

By doing so, she took her first steps towards the PADI Professional level where a whole new world of SCUBA diving awaits.

Joanne, Downbelow’s Director and a Master Instructor, was Alicen’s qualifying instructor and was on hand to do the honours at the Beach House Dive Centre where Alicen had been particpating in our Internship Program.

Our Internship Program allow novice divers to gain all the experience their require to be employable the moment they qualify.

Our dive station is a busy one, so experience is gained in a real world environment with real customers, something you can’t truly simulate.

We dive every day, and our Internships include unlimited diving.

Check out our Internship pages for more information.

Downbelow is a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre Our international staff provide personal, premier service at our PADI 5 Star Instructor Development (IDC) Dive Centre, where we pride ourselves on small group tuition with extremely high safety standards & procedures.

Do visit us at our Dive Shop & Travel Centre where we offer free wireless Internet and refreshments.

Tel: +6 012 866 1935
Email: dive@divedownbelow.com

Visit our Facebook page to see what we get up to over here in paradise!

Successful PADI Divemaster Internship in Sabah, Malaysia, Asia

Enjoyed doing our Open Water Course with DiveDownBelow

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 @ 09:02 Guestbook

Dear Joanne,

It was a pleasure meeting you over the weekend.

I wanted to let you know that my husband and I really enjoyed doing our open water course with DiveDownBelow. We found our instructor, Bob, to be a very good teacher. We liked the way he clearly explained the skills we needed to perform during the dive briefing and then showed us what needed to be done, by example, under water. He was very patient throughout and would repeat the under water examples again if we signalled that we needed him to do so.

I also liked the fact that he had a very calming / patient demeanour – I was having problems with equalisation on the third open water dive and had to resurface, I wanted to return to the resort but Bob suggested that we could try the decent again slowly and we could resurface if I continued to have problems. Knowing that I was very nervous, he hovered close to me during the decent and ensured that I was comfortable and alright every step of the way.

I had not told Bob that I had a very bad diving experience during an introduction to scuba dive in Lombok.

The scuba operators there had cut a lot of corners (which I did not realise until now) and did not ensure that were were able to retrieve our regulators, clear our masks, etc. before we were taken out on our dive. I panicked underwater when I couldn’t clear my mask and got more panicked when the scuba instructor refused to take me to the surface when I signalled to him that there was a problem and I needed to surface. For some reason I removed my mask and regulator and did not know how to put them back on and had to make an emergency ascent.

It was a very frightening experience which made me really appreciate Bob’s knowledge, patience and calmness during our open water course without which I wouldn’t have been able to learn / complete the required skills. I wanted to pass on my thanks to him again.

We have had such a nice experience with DiveDownBelow and are now considering another dive trip to Sipadan.

Kind regards,

Valerie and Mike

31st Anniversary on Gaya Island with Downbelow

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 @ 14:37 Diving Kota Kinabalu, News

Lorenzo and Pamela celebrating their 31st Anniversary with Downbelow on Gaya IslandGaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park: We had a couple of customers at our dive centre last week who were even more happy than our normal customers.

Lorenzo and Pamela who are from Australia, had chosen Downbelow to their PADI Open Water course with.

This alone, of course, is a great honour, but it was in fact more special than just that.

The couple have been married for 31 years, and Downbelow also had the honour to host them during their celebration of this very impressive milestone.

To help them celebrate on the island, Sarah from Downbelow’s Travel Centre arranged a cake for them, to help sweeten the memory.

Everybody at Downbelow wishes Lorenzo and Pamela a very happy anniversary, and wish them many happy more years to come.

 

Every single one of the crew were fantastic

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 @ 16:54 Guestbook

A big hello and thank you to Alice, Joanne, Richard, Sarah, James, Roy, Romeo and Michael Jackson, the boat captain, and the rest of the crew in the office and on the island for Downbelow.

The diving was fantastic, the service unbelievable, the island was paradise and the food amazing.

We were very sad to leave. The next time we come we will stay longer and dive a lot more.

Every single one of the crew were fantastic. We have already recommended you to another couple of divers and will continue to do so, we were so impressed.

We really did have a great time and felt like part of the family. Thanks for the best holiday.

We have been diving in Perth in the two weeks we have been back and it is very hard to get used to. You’ve spoilt us for everything else!

Thanks again,

Kim & Igg from Australia

Angry Bird on Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 @ 09:00 Gaya Island Animals, Learn to Dive in Kota Kinabalu

Real life angry bird on gaya island

Gaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park: We had a feathered visitor of the rather large variety at the Gaya Island dive station on Friday the 13th.

Although beautiful, the owl didn’t look too friendly; in fact, the owl reminded a bit of the all too popular Angry Birds.

There is plenty of superstition, if you’re in to that kind of thing, to link to owls.

In some cultures they are revered and hailed as wise, but in other cultures they are feared, associated with witchcraft and death.

If you lean to the darker side of superstitions and you encounter an owl on Friday the 13th, you may well find youself on guard.

Somehow Richard convinced Ollie the Owl to come closer for a staring competitionBut bad omens be damned.

Ollie the Owl, as he was cleverly named, was in fact a friendly and most welcome visitor to our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya island last weekend.

One of the many curious wild animals that visits the dive station every now and then, Ollie the Owl spent quite some time around the centre and got ever closer and friendlier.

Eventually Richard had charmed the owl so much that he managed to get real close for some outstanding photos and a bit of a 1-on-1 chat session too.

You can check out more photos of Ollie the Owl in our Wild Animals of Gaya Island photo album, which is a collection of Ollie and all the other animals that have visited our dive station in recent months.

Of course, we still actually dive at the dive centre too, so if you want to learn to dive in Kota Kinabalu, do contact us.

Danish Adventure Group Climbs Mt Kinabalu

Jo telling the group about her own Mt. Kinabalu adventureSabah, Borneo: If you’ve been following the adventures of our intrepid Danish group, then you’ll know the spent the weekend past attempting the summit of Mt. Kinabalu.

No strangers to challenge, what with learning how to dive with our Open Water SCUBA Diver courses, white water rafting and 5 days jungle trekking the Salt Trails across the Crocker Range Mountains, the Danish Adventure group looked forward to Sabah’s ultimate challenge: climbing Mt. Kinabalu.

To prepare them for the peak, the group once again assembled at the Downbelow Travel Centre in KK Times Square in Kota Kinabalu, for a Mt. Kinabalu briefing.

Jo, Downbelow’s Marketing Director and Mt. Kinabalu’s Low’s Peak alumni herself, lead the group through a presentation about climbing Mt. Kinabalu, her treasures and her treachery.

The report of their actual Mt. Kinabalu climb will follow shortly…

 

Downbelow Richard and Dr. Richard Go Diving

Saturday, May 21st, 2011 @ 12:38 Dive Sites, Diving Sabah, Glamorgan University, Groups & Schools, News

Dr. Richard from the Glamorgan University in the UK having some fun in the TAR ParkSabah, Borneo: After our rather large group of Glamorgan University research students, who we hosted recently, returned to the UK, one Richard was left behind.

It wasn’t our own resident Course Director Richard, but the professor who lead the group, Dr. Richard.

Dr. Richard stayed on for some ancillary post-expedition unwinding, ie. a day of fun diving with DB Richard.

The 2 Richards took to the waters of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park and snapped a few fun images just to remind the research students back in the UK what they were missing.

After the dive they said the students were on their mind all day, because they kept on looking over their shoulders expecting a group of 29 dives following behind them.

Relative quiet has returned to the dive station, but the next university group is already anticipated.

Downbelow is a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre Our international staff provide personal, premier service at our PADI 5 Star Instructor Development (IDC) Dive Centre, where we pride ourselves on small group tuition with extremely high safety standards & procedures.

Do visit us at our Dive Shop & Travel Centre where we offer free wireless Internet and refreshments.

Tel: +6 012 866 1935
Email: dive@divedownbelow.com

Visit our Facebook page to see what we get up to over here in paradise!

 

Learn to Dive with PADI Scuba diving courses for divers visiting Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Borneo.
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved By Downbelow. Unless otherwise stated all text, web & graphic design and photography is by Richard and Joanne

- DIVEDOWNBELOW.COM SITEMAP -
Powered by Wordpress