Our local trainee Mac had a fun day as he guided our Multi Activity Day guests on their kayaking session around Gaya Island, Borneo.
The other activities included under this package are snorkelling and jungle trekking where our guests can enjoy beautiful scenery in the shallow waters of the park and also experience a walk in the jungle all in a day.
Mac is signed up to our year-long “Work for a Career” program where he is trained and nurtured to be a fully qualified and experienced professional PADI Divemaster under the guidance of Downbelow’s team of instructors, led by resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann.
For today however, Mac became the guide during the sea kayaking session as he took them to see fascinating marine & wildlife spots around the park.
Our Multi Day Activity is the perfect alternate activities for our guests who prefer not to dive. So there is no reason not to visit us at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, even if you have a large group and some do not want to dive, they still can have their own adventures!
Email us to know more!
The Downbelow team, who is ever so passionate about conservation and keeping the environment safe, found another ghostnet caught in the reefs within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Borneo.
This time they were assisted by students from Cardiff Univesity, who are here to learn the skills on performing underwater research which they will need later on in their careers which includes fine tuning their diving skills.
Many of them probably wouldn’t have predicted that they will be involved in this impromptu conservation act of removing illegally dumped fishing nets.
Any ghostnet found anywhere in the ocean needs to be removed as soon as possible as it is capable of trapping marine animals with small creatures becoming bait for the larger ones. This cycle continues as long as the net is allowed to remain in the water.
Together with the experienced Downbelow team, all of them managed to remove the threat. Now the students can claim of having the experience of removing ghostnets and also learned the techniques of removing them safely. This is something that they can do and advocate when they become marine scientists and researchers in the future.
We would like to say a big thank you to the students for the assistance and we hope the message & act of conservation will inspire them to love and protect our beautiful ocean!
Ghostpipefish characteristics are as exotic as their name suggests and their cryptic behaviour makes finding them a challenge even if you know where to look! Our dive guides have spotted a few in and around TAR Park and one female was found with eggs in her pelvic fins, which are modified to form a brood pouch.
They are closely related to the family Syngnathida. Seahorses and Pipefish are from the same order and they share the long tube-like snout. Feeding mainly on crustaceans and small fish, they live in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate waters from Indian to Western Pacific oceans.
We’re expecting more ghostpipefish soon, so if you want to see these awesome creatures, you’ve got to get into the water!
All of us at Downbelow are travellers too and it is unavoidable that as travellers going into foreign lands, we think about our safety. With that in mind, we do want our guests to have the best experience when they are diving with us and do not have to worry about the safety of our equipment.
You should know that for Downbelow, we pride ourself on an exceptional level of service and safety, adhering to PADI Standards and Procedures at all times and follow British HSE Diving for Work Guidelines. We have established extensive safety standards and procedures, all of which are enforced, regularly monitored, updated and tested.
The safety of our guests and trainees are our top priority. We limit the amount of daily guests to our dive center everyday so it does not overcrowd. At the same time this will also allow us to give personal attention to new divers and experienced divers alike.
We have recently invested in new fire extinguishers. As unexpected fires can never be ruled out!
Read more about our safety preparations and you can email us anytime if you have any concern regarding your safety while you are with us.
Thank you so much for helping us with our trip.
We had such an amazing trip, helped so much by everyone we came into contact with who was part of Dive Down Below. The accommodation suggestions were perfect, the transport provided was great. Everything was reliable and easy for us.
Yay! We are now certified open water divers. We loved our training with our instructor Along, and all the other staff at Gaya Island were great. Berringis Resort was perfect, even though we had to travel daily we all agreed how nice it was to be out of the city in the evenings.
When we did stay in the city, your suggestion was spot on. Basic was all we needed, but it was very clean and comfortable and I would recommend it to anyone.
The trip up the Mountain and Via Feratta with Mountain Torq. Phew – what a tough couple of days. We enjoyed it so much – even the pouring rain. One of our party was slow coming down but it was so fantastic to have the transport waiting, even though we had to pay the “late fee” it was worth it!
Mabul Water Bungalows – what a dream. And to be able to use our new dive certifications at Sipadan amazing. What an intro to diving. The underwater world is so beautiful. Turtles, sharks and schools of Jack fish. I feel so lucky to have dived in such a beautiful spot – maybe I should give up diving now – I don’t know I will find anywhere as lovely! The team out there were fantastic, and the food delicious.
I will 100% consider coming back to Gaya Island to do advanced open water certificates and would spend time again at Mabul Water bungalows with no hesitation.
Every time we got reached the end of one part of our trip we were sad to leave, but excited to see the next part. Leaving Borneo for Singapore was so sad. All of us would definitely come back again, and I have already recommended to friends that they should go and that Dive Down Below is the only option for help with arrangements.
Thank you for making our time in Borneo the best holiday ever.
Extending your education beyond the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor level is actually a good strategic move as it gives you an advantage to help with your career. Gaining the extra experience while learning is also fun.
Downbelow’s recent successful PADI Instructor Development Course candidates Sabrina and Polly both stayed behind at our PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Centre after the completion of their IDC to take up the PADI Underwater Photography Speciality Instructor which is one of many instructor speciality courses being offered by Downbelow.
Continuing to be their teacher is none other than Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann who happens to be a professional Underwater Photographer and has captured thousands of underwater images for many years. Needless to say he was happy to share his knowledge with his students and at the same time to have some fun.
The specialities that they took can actually help them qualify as PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainers (MSDT). This is because one of the requirements to be qualified as an MSDT is that you must have 5 PADI Specialty Instructor certifications.
Apart from the photography speciality course, we also have many other speciality courses on offer. Contact us if you need more details on any of our speciality dive courses.
Life is for living right?
It’s about making the most of everyday whether that be during work or play. Sharing experiences with people that you enjoy spending time with. So whether that be a fun day of scuba diving, beach clean ups, coral reef conservation, environmental activities, white water rafting, mountain climbing or wildlife encounters count us in!
Motivated by our “Expedition Borneo” program that inspires people from any walk of life, any age, race or background to join together & challenge themselves with new experiences in Sabah, we decided to do the same as a team.
First on the list is a day of scuba diving at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre with a few of our office girls together DB Marketing Director Joanne Swann. It was first time diving for Travel Consultants Stephanie, Lulu and Joey as they completed the PADI Discover Scuba Diving with DB Managing Director and resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann conducting.
Also joining that day were Travel Centre Manager Magdalene and Office Admin Natalya.
More fun and challenging activities are on the cards. Watch this space for more activities and photos!
LIVE LIKE DIVE DOWNBELOW!
Our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island is currently buzzing with future marine scientists as students from the University of Cardiff in the UK are currently immersing themselves in training. As part of their Bachelors, Masters & PH.d Degrees they must go out the field and learn specialised skills they will need later on in their careers as Marine Biologists & Zoologists.
During their two week program with Downbelow Instructors, the students will learn to scuba dive by completing the PADI Open Water Course. We then move on to fine tune their bouyancy skills underwater which is a critical skill required to protect the coral for any underwater evaluation. Coral identification, fish sizing, mapping & underwater surveys are also some of the skills the students must learn during this training program.
Overall this is a very interesting & rewarding program for everyone involved. We love to see the groups enthusiasm for the underwater world. These young individuals are key future ocean & wildlife ambassadors!
Our dive centre is a perfect setting for student groups wishing to complete any marine-related study trips and also at the same time learn scuba diving. With a shallow secluded confined water natural lagoon just in front of our dive centre the students can focus and take their time learning new skills. The island is also located just 10-minutes from the capital city of Sabah Borneo.
Contact us for more information should you have any enquiries on having your group visiting our dive centre.
It was a fun weekend for some of our office girls who went diving with Managing Director and resident Platinum Course Director Richard Swann to visit the other side of Downbelow’s “office”.
Also joining Magdalene (Travel Centre Manager), Natalia (office admin assistant), Joey, Stephanie & Lulu (Travel Consultants) that day was Downbelow Marketing Director Joanne Swann. For Stephanie, Natalia, Lulu and Joey, it was their first time so Richard conducted the PADI Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) course for them.
The PADI DSD is a course intended for those who have never dived before as it gives the participant a tryout in scuba diving. The course teaches basic safety concept, how to put on the equipment and diving in a confined area while supervised under a PADI professional. Those who wish to be certified as a diver can then take the PADI Open Water course.
For these girls however, it’s only PADI DSD today.
It was all worth it though as the girls encountered a turtle on their dive! Congratulations ladies and maybe it’s time to get certified so that you can visit this side of the office more often!
Do you want to have a tryout at scuba diving? Contact us and we’ll help you get your diving fix. Who knows, you might be greeted by a turtle too!
Our professional PADI dive instructors have a wealth of experience handling all types of guests. Be it an experienced diver looking to become a dive instructor themselves or guests who have never dived before. However the end result is always the same, certified and satisfied customers!
Recently Downbelow Master Scuba Diver Trainer Victor certified three new divers who were on their break from University and they completed the PADI Open Water Divers under his tutelage. As certified divers, the trio can further enjoy their break by going on diving holidays to awesome diving spots in Borneo or anywhere in the world. The PADI certification is recognized globally and gives the diver freedom to go diving with a qualified dive buddy up to a maximum depth of 18 meters.
Are you on a University break too and wondering what to do with all that free time? Consider diving with us in Borneo!
Our PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Centre is located on Gaya Island within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park – TARP in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The park provides an ideal venue for the course, with both confined shallow, sandy areas right in front of our dive centre which are ideal for skill practice.
In addition for the Open Water Dives, we are perfectly located to access all the dive sites within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park – so less time traveling – more time spent underwater!
Contact us for more information on our dive courses.