Archive for October, 2011

Nov IDC Taking Place in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Monday, October 31st, 2011 @ 11:28 IDC, News, Professional Diving Internships

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: Only 2 more weeks until the start of Downbelow’s next Instructor Development Course IDC in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

The PADI Instructor Development Course is what our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre is known for – it’s where we turn ordinary divers into Downbelow trained PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors OWSI who can qualify other people as certified divers.

PADI Instructor Development Course IDCDuring the 10-days of the Instructor Development Course, the PADI Divemaster is trained in the ways of a PADI Instructor.  Their scuba diving wisdom is then put to the test during 2 days of PADI Instructor Examinations.

Once the candidate passes the PADI IE, they are qualified PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors (OWSI).

Combine the IDC with one of Downbelow’s professional scuba internships and you have a scuba diving professional who can literally hit the ground running when employed.

The Downbelow PADI OWSI Internship graduate is highly qualified, has hands-on experience of the inner workings of a busy dive centre and already has experience teaching real students in a real-world environment. Talk about employability.

With the November IDC 2 weeks away, it’s easy to join the internship and gain Instructor Development experience before the IDC, and real-world working experience after the IDC.

We do conduct 4 IDCs per year, so if November is a bit short notice for you, check out the details of our next IDC to plan your professional scuba diving career path in advance.

If you need advice to help with your planning, or if you want to enroll in our November IDC, drop us an email or contact us today.

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!

Nov IDC Taking Place in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Challenger to take on Master Scuba Diver in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Sunday, October 30th, 2011 @ 10:00 Courses, News

Victor, Rizal and Jerry doing the PADI Rescue Diver Course under PADI MSDT WellsonKota Kinabalu, Sabah: Over the past week Downbelow hosted special guest and PADI Master Scuba Diver Challenger Rizal for an impressive list of qualifications.

The PADI Master Scuba Diver rating is the highest qualification you can achieve as a recreational diver.

The requirements are very specific, and only the best of the best recreational divers ever achieve it.

Rizal is one them and faced the challenge at Downbelow’s PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre here in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Spending a total of 7 days with us, he signed up for Emergency First Responder (EFR), PADI Rescue Diver and the Emergency O² Provider, Wreck Diver, Deep Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy and AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Speciality courses.

Under the care of our resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann and the Downbelow instructor team, Rizal earned his ratings through hard work and active participation.

The net result was all the certifications and more than the required dives and experience he needed, and subsequently qualified for the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating.

Well done! So, where to from here?

Well, our next Instructor Development Course IDC starts next month – what do you say, Rizal?

Polytechnic Sandakan Students Discover Scuba Diving

Friday, October 28th, 2011 @ 10:00 Groups & Schools, News

Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu: This week we hosted 27 students from the Polytechnic Sandakan who visited Downbelow on Gaya Island.

Our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre was part of their visit to Kota Kinabalu, which is to gain experience for the Tourism Management Diploma that they all are studying towards.

The energetic and fun-loving group participated in our PADI Discover Scuba Diving and AWARE Coral Reef Conservation programs.

None of the group had ever dived before and with much of Sabah’s treasures being ocean deep, it was a wonderful opportunity for them to experience their first time underwater.

The two programs combined presented the opportunity for them to learn and discover first hand why so many dive tourists choose Sabah and Malaysia as their diving destination of choice.

They also learned about Sabah’s diverse sea life and underwater wonders and the important role that reefs play in the sustainability of continuing to attract underwater tourists.

The overt message to these future leaders of the tourism industry is to protect our oceans.

The Polytechnic Sandakan was a pleasure to host and word from our island crew is that it’s been a while since they’ve had so much fun on the island.

Hillary becomes PADI Open Water Diver in Kota Kinabalu Sabah

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 @ 11:35 News, Professional Diving Internships

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah: One of Downbelow’s new Professional Scuba Diving Interns, Hillary, recently joined our local internship program and will be making his way to PADI Divemaster over the coming months in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Freshly qualified PADI Open Water Diver Hillary (left) with PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer Joe (right)The local internship program provides the opportunity for talented Sabahans to qualify as PADI Divemasters, whilst gaining work experience with Downbelow and, at the same time, an understanding of the workings of a busy dive centre.

Like all journeys, Hillary’s journey too started with a single step – his PADI Open Water Scuba Diver qualification, which he qualified for yesterday under Joe.

Joe is Downbelow’s Master Scuba Diver Trainer MSDT Intern, who returned to Kota Kinabalu after completing an IDC Internship with us last year.

To achieve his MSDT rating, Joe has to certify a certain number of students, which is why Hillary and Joe teaming up was beneficial to both their diving careers.

Whilst Hillary gained his Open Water qualification under Joe, Joe in turn gained vital experience towards achieving his own qualification as a MSDT.

Under the watchful eye of resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann and his Go Pro Team, Downbelow’s Professional Scuba Internships produce experienced, highly trained, well-rounded Scuba diving professionals.

Drop us a line if you want to take your recreational diving passion to the professional level and Go Pro with 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!

North Borneo Railway is back on track

Monday, October 24th, 2011 @ 17:08 News, Promotions

Sabah, Borneo: The North Borneo Railway has a rich history that dates back to the late 1800’s.

The North Borneo Railway Steam LocomotiveIt is therefore little wonder that prior to 2007, when the railway was shut down for extensive rehabilitation of the entire railway system, the North Borneo Railway enjoyed a loyal following of history buffs, locomotive enthusiasts, railfans and trainspotters.

The service interruption was originally going to be only 10 to 12 months, but after a more thorough inspection, it was discovered that the rails and bridges needed much more attention.

In the end, the North Borneo Railway was out of service for 3 years.

Well, now trainspotters can triumph, railfans can rally and hooray for history buffs, because Sabah’s one and only, famous British Vulcan steam locomotive is powering the North Borneo Railway strong as ever.

Twice a week, the historic train plies the railway line – still the only one in Borneo – between Tanjung Aru Station in Kota Kinabalu and Papar some 38km away.

The journey takes you out of the city along Sabah’s rural byways through villages, mangrove swamps and rice fields, whilst you enjoy the historic setting in the carriages renovated to look as they did in the early 1900’s.

Learn more about the the North Borneo Railway on our Sabah Day Trips page and book your journey aboard Sabah’s railway heritage.

The North Borneo Railway journeys to Papar on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Our North Borneo Railway page has more information, and you can book your journey by emailing us.

 

 

Net Removal Training and Action in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 @ 10:00 Courses, IDC, News, Project AWARE

Surfacing with the untangled netAlthough our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre is in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, we still find illegal nets entangled on our favourite reefs every now and then.

Thankfully this has been rather infrequent recently.  That said, we did stumble upon 2 nets over the last couple of days, and of course they need removing.

Making good use of the situation, resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann gathered the diving professionals at our dive centre and conducted a net removal training session to enable them to organise and carry out their own net removals.

Ready for action, the Net Removal Hit Squad, lead by Richard, included Jess, Wellson, Bob, IDC Interns Shevy and Paul, with James filming the operation.

The thorough planning and briefing session was followed by one 65-minute dive during which short work was made of the net entangling the reef.

No marine life casualties were recorded, and a friendly stone fish was released along the way.

All the participants were encouraged to create a Project AWARE My Ocean profile to record their participation and spread awareness.

Downbelow’s Assistant Base Leaders, Bob & Wellson, will quickly have an opportunity to practice their new knowledge, because they’re leading the planning for the remaining net.

Join our Facebook page for more photos of this event.

Divemaster adds Shark Conservation to Nitrox Course

Thursday, October 20th, 2011 @ 12:04 Courses, News, Speciality Instructor

The new AWARE Shark Conservation Speciality course is easy to add on to one of our normal diving days and gives an interesting dimension to other, complementary courses.

That’s how experienced Divemaster Tim enhanced his Nitrox speciality course that he did with Downbelow recently.

Seeing as how it’s Big Shark Shout Out Week, we introduced the course to him and wanting to make a stand for the right of sharks, he added the AWARE Shark Conservation Speciality to his diving day.

James, one of Downbelow’s newest AWARE Shark Conservation Speciality Instructors, took Tim under his wing to impart his wealth shark knowledge.

With the Shark Conservation Speciality under his belt, Divemaster Tim will be equipped with the knowledge of how to make a difference in the fight for shark rights.

Big Shark Shout Out Week is on until 23 October, so there is still time left for your to stand up and make yourself heard for this important cause.

Check out Tuesday’s post if you’re stuck for ideas on how to make an impact.

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!

What have you done for sharks today?

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 @ 10:00 News

We’re in the thick of Big Shark Shout Out Week! It’s your chance to stand up and rally for sharks.

Downbelow's Tim Tam supports Big Shark Shout Out Week with signatures for the Shark petition from our Chinese guestsAs a passionate diver you probably know that Big Shark Shout Out Week is a big push by divers worldwide to shout for sharks and raise awareness to a level where our numbers can make the change needed to save them.

Collectively we can change policies to manage the main shark threats: overfishing, bycatch and finning.

But action, we need action! So what can you do this week contribute to the survival of sharks?

  1. Start off by signing both shark protection petitions: Shark Alliance’s Unfinished Business and Project AWARE’s Give Sharks a Chance. Remember, sign both;
  2. Then join the AWARE Shark Conservation Speciality course to distinguish yourself as a passionate shark defender and be equipped with the knowledge and tools you need to fight the good fight;
  3. Get a PicBage showing your support for the cause and, while you’re there, invite your friends. The more people are in on it, the better;
  4. If you have a blog or a website, you can add the Shark Petition Widget and ask people to use it to sign their name to the petition;
  5. On your Facebook page (not your profile, a page) you can add the Take Action Now Facebook App to collect more signatures;
  6. To direct funds to the cause, arrange a Big Shark Shout Out event or fundraiser;
  7. Write a blog about Big Shark Shout Out Week and what action your readers can take to help sharks;

Downbelow is shouting for sharks during Big Shark Shout Out Week, are you?

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!

Groups Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Speciality

Sunday, October 16th, 2011 @ 11:21 News, Project AWARE

Richard present the group with the Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation SpecialityKota Kinabalu, Sabah: Downbelow now includes a Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation element in all their group itineraries.

Because we enjoy the ocean and what she has to offer, it’s our responsibility to be aware of the state of the oceans and what we can do to maintain and restore its health.

During our latest adventure group’s 1-month adventure program, our resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann walked the talk when he conducted the Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Speciality.

The 22 strong group learned various important and interesting facts from Richard, starting at how reefs are formed to the threats they currently face.

The group departs for a Skin Diving session to see the coral reefs up close and in personThey were also informed about the Project AWARE Foundation’s incredibly valuable work.

Our professional interns Joe & Paul also joined the presentation and enjoyed gaining experience from the presentation.

After the presentation they assisted with the logistics for a skin diving session for the group.

The fun skin dive session was incorporated as part of the program, enabling the participants to appreciate the very reefs we need to protect.

Everyone in the group successfully gained the Coral Reef Conservation (CRC) Speciality rating, which will also help them on their way to a Master Scuba Diver rating.

A little video clip from the day…

Divemaster Candidates Learning the Ropes on Gaya Island

Friday, October 14th, 2011 @ 18:00 Divemaster, News, Professional Diving Internships

Joseph (far left) and Steve (far right) conducted a snorkeling session with local trainees Jerry & HillaryGaya Island, Kota Kinabalu: Our 2 Divemaster candidates at Downbelow’s PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island in Sabah, Borneo are nearing the end of their stay.

Steve and Joseph, form the UK and US respectively, joined us nearly 2 weeks ago to go from recreational to professional divers.

Under the watchful eyes of our PADI Course Director Richard Swann and Downbelow’s Go Pro SWAT Team they have been receiving expert training and guidance and are about to qualify as outstanding professionals.

The PADI Divemaster qualification is the first professional rating in the PADI System of Diver Education.

Divemasters usually continue their diver education often joining an Instructor Development Course to be able to teach diving as PADI Open Water Scuba Divers.

We’re already thinking ahead to getting Joseph and Steve to come visit our little slice of paradise again, perhaps for our next IDC?

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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