Archive for May, 2012

Air Depletion Alternate Swim during the May IDC

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 @ 10:37 News

Air Depletion Alternate Swim during the May Instructor Development Course

During the recent Instructor Development Course held here at our dive centre on Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu, the candidates had to illustrate various skills.

One of those skills is the Air Depletion Alternate Swim.

Candidates need to know how to act in the unlikely situation where they run out of air, which is but one of the skills the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor has to master, and our candidates did so with flair.

Our next IDC Course is taking place in September, so now a great time to sign up for one of our Professional Internships, which can be tailored to meet your time constraints and needs.

Get in touch and start living the diving dream. 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

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

Successful IDC Instructor Exam with Downbelow in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Monday, May 28th, 2012 @ 10:19 IDC, News

A big group of Instructor Development Candidates at Downbelow's dive station for the Instructor Exam

Downbelow hosted a successful PADI Instructor Exam at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya island this weekend.

Conditions were perfect, candidates were well prepared and George Wegmann from PADI was on the scene to asses all the IDC candidates to ensure they meet the stringent PADI criteria for becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI).

Our Gaya island beach house was abuzz as our own candidates were joined by dive centres as far as Semporna for this PADI Instructor Examination.

Taking place over 2 days on 26 & 27 May, the PADI Instructor Examination required the IDC candidates to demonstrate their skills in knowledge through various practical demonstrations and theoretical exams.

We’re happy to report that all went well and that the candidates proved their mettle as diving instructors.

Congratulations to the newest PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors; we hope you’ve recovered from the celebrations.

Instructor Exam looming in Kota Kinabalu’s May IDC

Friday, May 25th, 2012 @ 09:18 News

PADI IDC Staff Instructor Paul on the right, gives Kenji a demo in training aid use.

As the May Instructor Development Course’s Instructor Exam loomed ever closer, the anticipation in the IDC classroom became palpable.

Our 7 IDC candidates broke out in a  sweat. Was the tension getting too much for them, or was it merely the late afternoon sun beating against the IDC classroom window?

Downbelow’s PADI Go Pro team didn’t even bat an eyelid, for they knew that like the many who have come before them, these IDC candidates too were as well prepared as any candidate can be going into the Instructor Exam.

Downbelow does, after all, have a 100% success rate.

Resident PADI Course Director Richard casually sipped his coffee, leaning back in his chair he surveyed the classroom, always watchful, always checking to make sure the students are on the ball.

Freshly minted PADI IDC Staff Instructor Paul was already applying his new qualification, instructing the IDC students to the high standard that he himself has been trained.

Richard looked at Paul. Paul looked at the students. The students looked at each other and smiled, secure in the knowledge that with Downbelow they would be successful during the Instructor Exam this weekend.

They calmed their nerves and continued with revision as the sun was setting and the exam was drawing near…


Paul Becomes a PADI IDC Staff Instructor with Downbelow

Thursday, May 24th, 2012 @ 11:05 IDC, News

Paul Jones, new PADI IDC Staff Instructor, on the left, with resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann on the right.

Resident PADI Course Director Richard beamed with delight as he announced that Downbelow’s Paul Jones qualified as a PADI IDC Staff Instructor.

“Well done to Paul”, said Richard, “his new skills will be a great addition to Downbelow’s Go Pro Team.”

Paul has had a long journey with Downbelow over the last year.

He joined us, already a Divemaster, in June 2011 for a 4 month IDC internship. He quickly became part of the furniture and it was hard to imagine the Gaya Island dive centre without him.

At the end of his successful internship he left KK to go back to England and some of us thought that was the last we’d see of Paul.

But Sabah and Borneo has that strange magnetism that is too strong to resist for some people.

Some month’s later Paul returned to join Downbelow permanently and live the diving dream.

By bagging the PADI IDC Staff Instructor rating, Paul just took his dream another step further.

So what’s next? Well, teaching students and teaching instructors, of course, with one eye on PADI Course Director no doubt.

Well done, Paul!

Black Tip Reef Sharks Sighted Again in Kota Kinabalu’s TAR Park

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 @ 10:35 Black Tip Reef Sharks, News, Sightings

Black tip reefs sharks spotted again in Kota Kinabalu's TAR Park

Our beloved black tip reef sharks are back in Kota Kinabalu’s TAR Park where our divers have spotted them 2 days in a row.

Having had a lot of black tip reef shark action in the TAR Park last year, this year has been comparatively quiet.

Then again, we did spend a lot of time focussing on the heavy whale shark traffic Kota Kinabalu enjoyed this year.

Nonetheless, it’s good to see the black tip reef sharks back in the neighborhood, and we hope these very welcome guests stay around for a long time.

To join us for daily fun diving and see what we can see, contact us and let’s go diving.

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

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

IDC Near Completion and Mints another IDC Staff Instructor

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:23 IDC, News

A mix of Instructor Development Course candidates and Downbelow's Go Pro Team enjoying the course-work

Downbelow’s Instructor Development Course is nearing its end and the Instructor Examination is looming large as the weekend draws ever closer.

Our 7 Instructor Development Course candidates have enjoyed beautiful weather here in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and everybody has been working hard.

Richard reports that their hard work is fueled by a healthy fear, or is that nerves, but their confidence is not in any way eroded, as Downbelow’s Go Pro Team has done a great job preparing them.

Speaking of Downbelow’s Go Pro Team; Paul Jones, who is currently on the team as an Open Water Scuba Instructor is well on his way to earning his IDC Staff Instructor rating.

As you can imagine there’s an awful lot of hitting-the-books going on at the Gaya island beach house.

The nett effect of that is that there will be a mammoth party somewhere next week when everybody achieves their goals.

But for now, focus!

The Instructor Exam still stands between us and severe celebrations.

May IDC Taking Place in New Dive Shop Classroom

Monday, May 21st, 2012 @ 13:35 IDC, News

New bigger classroom for our IDC courses and group presentations

We’re about halfway through our May Instructor Development Course, attended by a nice big group of 7 candidates, all working hard towards becoming PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors (OWSI).

A bonus for our May ’12 crop of IDC candidates is the new, comfortable and extra spacious classroom that forms part of the new offices Downbelow recently moved in to.

In the same KK Times Square complex we’ve always been – but in a different block – the new classroom is bigger and offers more comfort to our students, making for an ever better learning environment during the required classroom days of the Instructor Development Course.

The classroom retains the same great multi-media setup for slide and video presentations, both presented to and by the IDC candidates.

In-room refreshments means refreshments are at hand without having to leave the classroom and missing any bits of vital information.

The classroom forms part of Downbelow’s Travel Centre and Dive Shop, meaning you can make one stop for all your Sabah diving and holiday requirements.

Drop in for a visit, or contact us to see how we can help you have the best holiday or get the best diver training in Sabah.

New Offices for Downbelow in KK Times Square, Kota Kinabalu

Thursday, May 17th, 2012 @ 10:29 News

Downbelow's new offices at unit 67 & 68, 5th floor, block L in KK Times Square

It’s been a hectic week at Downbelow with lots of excitement.

For one, the May Instructor Development Course has started and a 7-strong contingent is keeping resident PADI Course Director Richard and his Go Pro team on their toes.

We’ve also moved into new offices.

It’s still in the same complex we’ve been in for the last few years – KK Times Square – but now we’re on the 5th floor in Block L, facing Sutera Harbour Golf Course and the islands beyond, with a particularly beautiful view of Gaya island.

Our new office space enables us to better serve you, our valued customers.

There is a dedicated customer consultation area, so that when you drop in to chat about diving, dive courses or where to stay and what to do in Kota Kinabalu, you’ll have a comfortable, quiet place to sit and discus your wants and needs with us.

Our travel consultants also have a little more room so that when they’re building extensive itineraries and replying to emails with lightning speed, nobody gets hurt.

Our dive shop too got an upgrade and with more space it’s easier to find what you want at a glance. A better browsing experience for you means you can find your size and colour faster and get diving quicker.

Last but not least, the classroom – mostly used for IDCs and group orientations and presentations these days – are roomier and more comfortable than ever, making those few days away from the island that much more enjoyable.

All said, with enough room to swing 3 cats, our customers will be as happy as we are in our new offices in KK Times Square, Block L, Level 5.

Drop by for a visit, or contact us for excellent service.

The view from the office - Gaya island to the right on a beautiful day in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Special Offer: Layang Layang Diving Holiday

Friday, May 11th, 2012 @ 16:39 News, Promotions

Now is the perfect time to book your Layang Layang diving holiday for June and July, because Downbelow has an extra special deal in store for you.

Layang Layang is beautifully isolated island in the South China China sea off Sabah’s coast, offering some incredible, unspoiled diving sites. Find out more about Layang Layang and email us for more information on that extra special deal.

Contact us now
to book your Extra Special Layang Layang diving holiday.

Discover unspoiled scuba pleasures at Layang Layang

Dr. Hakimi from Sabah’s Hyperbaric Decompression Chamber Visits

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 @ 14:22 News

Dr. Hakimi from Sabah's Hyperbaric Decompression Chamber with Resident PADI Course Director Richard

Downbelow had a local celebrity visitor at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya island today.

Dr. Hakimi, who you may remember from our visit to Sabah’s hyperbaric chamber in Sepangar joined us for a day of fun diving.

Dr. Hakimi is the Head Medical Doctor for Diving Medicine at the facility and is also the charge of the most modern chamber treatment facility in Malaysia, which is right here in Sabah.

It’s was a pleasure and honour to host Dr. Hakimi today and we’re sure he had a great time.