Archive for July, 2011

Marble Rays in the Kota Kinabalu, TAR Park

Saturday, July 30th, 2011 @ 10:00 Diving Kota Kinabalu, News, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Huge marble ray spotted on Adik Reef in the TAR Park in Kota KinabaluTunku Abdul Rahman Park, Kota Kinabalu: Resident PADI Course Director Richard and PADI IDC Staff Instructor James have been logging plenty of hours on Adik Reef, and things like this is why…

Off exploring their new playground, Richard and James were a little deeper down where apparently a whole different type of oceanic critter life plays out.

Higher up on Adik Reef it’s a veritable frogfish nursery, lionfish around every third corner and such a colourful variety of nudis it will make macro photographers scream like girls at a Justin Bieber concert.

Lower down on the reef that slopes off into the blue, the rays thrive, and Richard had his camera rig in hand and ever-improving underwater model James by his side.

They shooting small rays who were ever so willing to be photographed.

Richard reports that out of nowhere this huge marble ray appeared and swam right under him, following and turning around under him for a while.

The marble ray’s tail was within whacking distance of Richard, he says, but he was spared while he maneuvering his camera for the perfect shot.

“The pictures don’t do the size justice”, said Richard as he recounted the story later, “he really is a monster.”

Join Downbelow and dive Adik Reef for marble ray encounter in the TAR Park, Kota Kinabalu.

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!

World Challenge Scottish Adventure Group Snorkels in Kota Kinabalu

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 @ 09:00 Groups & Schools, News

Scottish Adventure Group via World Challenge did guided snorkeling with us on Gaya IslandKota Kinabalu, Sabah: Downbelow hosted a snorkeling group from Scotland on Gaya Island recently and as it usual it was great fun.

The Scottish Adventure group were actually return visitors from the World Challenge organisation.

World Challenge organises trips to developing countries to build life skills and open the minds of participants with experience beyond the classroom.

They joined us at the Beach House PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island for a day of guided snorkeling around the awesome reefs we have right in front of our dive centre.

The weather was kind to us and the conditions and visibility were all just perfect.

The participants had a great time, even more so because they spotted 2 hawksbill turtles while snorkeling!

We had great fun hosting them and look forward to seeing them again soon. Experience a snippet of their adventure through their album on our Facebook page.

We regularly conduct group environmental education and activities, so if you have a school group, corporate event, team building or training need, contact us for a tailored solution to your needs.

Passing a Rescue Diver Course in Sabah, Borneo

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 @ 09:00 Courses, Diving Sabah, IDC, News, Professional Diving Internships

Sabah, Borneo: We had a good group of candidates pass their Rescue Diver Course at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaga island in Sabah, Borneo this month.Rescue Divers top left to right Jeff, Jessica and Paul, with left to right Roy, Dewi and Katy in the front.

Congratulations to our guests Dewi and Katie on successfully completing their PADI Rescue diver course.

Downbelow’s local intern Jeff was also on the Rescue Diver Course as part of his training program with us.

He too passed, and we’re well proud of him, because we see good things coming in the future.

International Divemaster Paul and local intern & Divemater Jessica, also sat in on the PADI Rescue Course to gain additional experience in preparation for the PADI IDC Instructor Development Course coming up in September for which both have enrolled.

Click on the links for more details about the PADI course we offer, as well as the GoPro courses or specifically our next PADI Instructor Development Course IDC in Sabah, Borneo.

 

Video of Frogfish Walking & Swimming Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Sunday, July 24th, 2011 @ 14:31 Diving Sabah, News, TAR Park Froggies

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah: A couple of days ago we introduced the small, but very interesting frogfish, Custard, to you.

See her in action below, with video of the frogfish swimming and walking!

So Custard is the little froggie that’s hanging out over at Adik reef in the TAR Park, which is 10 minutes off shore from Kota Kinabalu here in Sabah.

You can read the blog that introduced her here, or check out the video clip below, also available on our YouTube video channel:

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!

Custard the Frogfish in TAR Park, Kota Kinabalu

Friday, July 22nd, 2011 @ 11:28 News, TAR Park Froggies, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Downbelow's PADI Master Instructor and Marketing Director Joanne, meets CustardTAR Park, Kota Kinabalu: There’s been quite a few exciting frogfish discoveries recently in the TAR Park here on the porch of Kota Kinabalu.

Let’s introduce you to our newest friend…

Meet Frogfish Custard, discovered just last week by our PADI Course Director Richard on the very exciting Adik Reef in the backyard of our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island offshore Kota Kinabalu.

Little Custard is only a few centimeters long, but is very mobile and forever seems to be walking somewhere.

The island crew regularly visits Adik Reef, because you just never know what you will discover next.

They will be able to keep a keen eye on Custard and her progress.

Come dive with us and meet Custard as well as the other interesting characters we regularly visit here in the TAR Park. Just drop us an email or call us to get organised.

To see more of Custard, have a squiz at her album on our Facebook page.

Downbelow’s Video Clips of Diving in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 @ 15:39 Diving Kota Kinabalu, Diving Sabah, News

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah: If you’re not subscribed to our YouTube channel yet, now’s a good time, because a steady stream of diving in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah clips will be going online.

We have a stash of footage taken over recent years, but with all the action going on in the TAR Park here in Kota Kinabalu recently, Richard is getting in the water with his video camera more often.

Also, Elvis is getting up to speed with the equipment, so soon we’ll have not just awesome photos coming up from our TAR Park diving, but also video to go with it, which will have you drooling at the diving here in Sabah.

Here’s a little taster; a little compilation of some serene diving scene from the TAR Park and other sites in Sabah. Enjoy!

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!

Downbelow’s Big Push to Support Project AWARE

Monday, July 18th, 2011 @ 16:12 Diving Sabah, News, Project AWARE

Be an ocean hero! Contribute to Project AWARE and make a difference.Sabah, Borneo: Downbelow illustrates their commitment to help Project AWARE further their environmental conservation causes with a strong statement of support for the Project AWARE Foundation…

The best way for divers to show off their contribution to environmental conservation is through a Project AWARE branded certification card, easily obtained by donating RM35 or more to Project AWARE at the time of certification.

100% of this amount goes toward Project AWARE’s conservation projects, the big two which are Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris – fighting the decline of the shark population and helping stave the flow of rubbish into our oceans respectively.

Downbelow is so committed to these causes, that we have paid upfront for 500 certification cards, because we believe divers want to save the environment that they enjoy so much.

That’s a solid contribution of AU$5,000 (RM16,000) to help protect our oceans and the sharks that live in them.

We advocate the virtues of Project AWARE and their work to divers, and implore newly certified divers to also contribute to this worthy cause. Every additional contribution is a bonus and will perpetuate our efforts.

Plus divers gaining their new qualifications will receive that shiny and good-looking Project AWARE branded certification card and they can sleep easier knowing that choosing to support Downbelow is choosing to support the environment.

So dive with the company that cares. Dive Downbelow!

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!

Downbelow’s Big Push to Support Project AWARE

Blacktip Reef Sharks still in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Sunday, July 17th, 2011 @ 08:00 Dive Sites, Diving Kota Kinabalu, News, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

The Blacktip Reef Sharks are still in Kota Kinabalu!Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Kota Kinabalu: We love sharks. You probably know that already.

You then probably also know that we passionately support the Project AWARE Shark Petition (which you should sign if you haven’t yet), and that we were are very excited about spotting more and more blacktip reef sharks right here in our humble home, the TAR Park, Kota Kinabalu.

Well, Shark Lovers, share our excitement: they’re bringing friends!

Our resident PADI Course Director Richard, who spends more time underwater than above, says he saw his first blacktip reef shark in the TAR Park in 2007 in pretty much the same spot he does these days.

He figures that over the years he’s spotted at least 25 over different ones right here on Kota Kinabalu city’s doorstep.

Only in the last year has he started documenting them, studying their habits and captured some hard earned photos of them. Since then he has documented evidence of 15 distinct blacktips.

Whilst compiling a full report, Richard has passed on some findings to Sabah Parks and UMS in the hope of better protection of the area. A marine police tower near the Gaya lighthouse, that will provide better visibility and policing of the area, is positive feedback in this regard.

Come join us for a shark hunt of the loving kind and lets see ourselves some blacktips!

Be warned though, the shark enthusiasm around here is highly contagious!

Revisit by Jerudong International School, Brunei

Thursday, July 14th, 2011 @ 14:21 Courses, Diving Borneo, News

Jerudong International School group from BruneiKota Kinabalu, Sabah: The Jerudong International School from Brunei was back with Downbelow on Gaya Island last week for a diving trip of note.

Last year we also hosted the Jerudong International School students, and they had so much fun that they came back for more of the same.

As is now the custom, a great time was had by all and we were glad to see old friend against whilst we made plenty of new friends too.

The Jerudong International School group participated in PADI Junior Open Water courses and qualified as Junior Open Water divers.

Jerudong International School divesThe school group also took part in the PADI Underwater Photography and PADI Coral Reef Conservation speciality courses.

Of course, there were plenty of fun dives in between during which to use their newfound skills.

A big thanks goes out to Mr. Strange for organising the group of the Jerudong International School in Brunei this year.

We very much look forward to having you all back at our dive centre on Gaya island in the very near future.

Follow in the Jerudong International Shool’s footsteps; email us to get your group diving and involved in environmental conservation.

Revisit by Jerudong International School, Brunei

500 Signatures for Shark Petition

Monday, July 11th, 2011 @ 13:45 News, Project AWARE

Downbelow staff Shirley preparing the shark petition signatures for submissionSabah, Borneo: If sharks only knew, they would be smiling; Downbelow have collected 500 physical signatures for Project AWARE’s Give Sharks a Chance campaign, which we submitted last week to be added to the thousands of others.

This is on top the electronic signature being collected via the online shark petition, so if you’re reading this and feel for the ocean’s apex predator, then join the cause and sign the petition.

Through talking to people, we’ve been quite amazed by how passionate about sharks they get when they hear of the terrible ways in which sharks are killed for their fins and the rapid rate of their decline.

We know there are so many more passionate people out there, who simply have to be ignited by awareness. Once that passion is ignited through awareness, it should be harnessed and used for action – such as signing the shark petition.

This is what the Project AWARE shark petition is all about. It’s an action to show the government legislators that there is a tangible demand for laws and mechanisms to help stop the killing.

The save sharks conversation continues. Contribute; sign Project AWARE’s shark petition.

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

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