Archive for September, 2014

Night diving in TAR Park offers different marine life!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 @ 09:00 News


Diving is already so awesome and night diving is…a different kind of awesome, one that everyone should experience!

Our Go PRO interns, both local and international, must have night diving experience to qualify as a PADI Divemaster, the first professional level in the PADI system of dive education.

So, as part of their professional internship program they completed their night dive. The group is also joined by one of our international clients to discover the reefs of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park come alive with completely different marine life to what is seen during the day! Typically, numerous species of crustaceans can be spotted hunting their prey, bioluminescent plankton reacting to any movement, and if the diving team are very lucky, maybe a Spanish dancer (Hexabranchus sanguine us) might cross their path ! This is a large and colourful nudibranch, or sea slug, which moves in the water column with undulating movements and has been likened to a Spanish flamenco dancer for this behaviour, hence its common name.

Contact our Head Office for more information on other diving specialities we offer at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island and find your next SCUBA adventure in Sabah, Borneo!

Honored by Project AWARE to recognize our efforts!

Monday, September 29th, 2014 @ 08:15 Conservation, News


To commemorate our conservation efforts, Project AWARE awards our team and our partner Hyatt Regency with a poster, which is now framed and hanging on a wall in our Headquarters in Kota Kinabalu!

Our premier Gaya Island beach house hosted a day of island activities for 26 members of staff from the high-end hotel Hyatt Regency under the supervision of our island staff team of PADI professionals.

In aid of raising public awareness towards World Ocean Day, we organized a session of beach cleaning along the shore and an educational afternoon of mangrove panting to focus on the main hazards to the marine and terrestrial ecology and the benefits of protecting and preserving nature.

All participants determinedly collected marine debris in the morning to amass 347kg of it!

After lunch, the nature enthusiasts’ learned about mangrove planting. One of many reasons mangroves are an essential ecosystem for us to protect is that they supply nutrients to juvenile species of marine life that shelter in its roots.

Arrange a day of volunteering when you contact one of our Head Office members of staff who will create a program for your group, small or large, to discover the natural biodiversity of Borneo!

Go PRO interns learn how to administer emergency oxygen!

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 @ 19:00 News


PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider Specialty is highly educational for divers who are eager to learn more about SAFE diving and our recent IE candidates are qualifying in the Instructor-level!

Go PRO interns Cindy, Andy and John learn how to conduct the course efficiently by using the tools of the PADI system of dive education.

Once certified in the PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider Specialty, students are knowledgeable in the different methods of administering oxygen according to the seriousness of the emergency situation. For example, a non-breathing patient will need the appropriate face mask to deliver both 100% oxygen and allow the oxygen provider to efficiently deliver rescue breaths.

Non-divers can qualify in Emergency First Response, as well as the PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider Specialty course, as the skills of both programs are closely related.

Get in touch with our Head Office for one of our helpful and experienced members of staff to give you more details on PADI programs and courses our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre can offer you!

New Go PRO intern receives PADI Divemaster CrewPak!

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 @ 08:00 News, Professional Diving Internships


We welcome Maria Skoura, our latest Go PRO internship candidate, who will be completing the PADI Divemaster and the Instructor Development Course (IDC) at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island!

Maria will be joined by more Go PRO interns who will be arriving at a later date to take the next step in their dive education to begin a career as a dive professional.

Travel Centre Manager Alice provides Maria with the PADI Divemaster CrewPak filled with PADI educational materials to begin studying dive theory and PADI Standards in preparation for her dive training.

Our internship programs includes, transportation logistics from a city centre hotel accommodation to the marina, where one of our fast speedboats wait to transfer clients to our Gaya Island beach house in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. There, Maria will be met by our friendly and helpful team of PADI professionals and one of our experienced members of the Go PRO team will be mentoring her throughout her PADI Divemaster course.

Contact our Head Office for more information on the many other benefits of our Go PRO internship programs to begin living your diving dream in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

Good job to Miki for qualifying as PADI Scuba Diver!

Saturday, September 27th, 2014 @ 08:15 News, PADI Scuba Diver Course


Miki is one of our international clients from Japan who has completed her PADI Scuba Diver qualification in 2 days at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island.

Recreational diving has never been so accessible, and so flexible to offer even the busiest of career-oriented clients options to upgrade and continue dive education with convenience.

Experiencing open water scuba diving can be achieved in a 1-day program, PADI Discover Scuba Diving, and to certify as PADI Scuba Diver as Miki has, it only takes one more day!

Her PADI Instructor Pablo is one of our dedicated and experienced members of our island team of professionals, who has impressed the value of Miki continuing her dive adventures. We’re sure to see Miki again in the near future to upgrade to the PADI Open Water, which will only take one day!

Travel experts of our Head Office will arrange a detailed itinerary with your own personal convenience in mind for you to achieve your Borneo adventures!

This months’ first adventure group from Denmark are in Borneo!

Friday, September 26th, 2014 @ 19:00 Danish Adventure Group, News


For a 30-day adventure, a group from Denmark will be discovering the natural beauty of Sabah’s many attractions and under the safety-conscious supervision of our experienced staff throughout!

As part of their Expedition Borneo! program, the group will first visit our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island for overnight camping and learning to scuba dive by certifying as PADI Open Water divers. They will also be getting a unique education about conservation from the AWARE Coral Reef presentation.

More adventures will follow that involve the best of Sabah, such as climbing to Low’s Peak on the iconic Mount Kinabalu, white water rafting the raging Padas River, wildlife safaris at the Kinabatangan River and jungle trekking historic forest trails!

During all activities, our high standards of safety are regularly monitored, updated and tested for our adventure groups’ enjoyment!

Get more details about Expedition Borneo! when you contact our Head Office, where one of our travel experts will arrange a suitable itinerary to explore Sabah, Borneo!

Everything worked out perfectly

Friday, September 26th, 2014 @ 16:10 Guestbook

Dear Sarah Jane,

It’s hard to put into words how much we enjoyed our Borneo vacation, but needless to say we all agreed that our next vacation (hopefully next year) will be to return to Borneo and see some more of the things we missed!

Everything worked out perfectly, thank you for organising a perfect itinerary. The snorkelling was fabulous (we’ve never seen such diverse coral reefs) and David was an amazing swimmer and loved learning how to be a better skin diver! The mountain climb was – well – challenging to say the least, but we made it to the summit, which in and of itself was an amazing achievement, especially for David and me. The dormitory experience was a bit difficult, and we didn’t get to do the Walk the Torq as there was no way to get there in time for the last cut-off time (we couldn’t ascend very fast for the last 1K). But the view from the top was amazing and was worth the discomfort (pain?) going up!! :-)

We spent the 22nd and 23rd in the pool and on the beach, and in the spa getting massages, in order to be able to use our legs again!!

You and your company did an excellent job with everything from start to finish. The drivers were always on time, went the extra mile to ensure everything went well, and everything was exactly as you presented it in the itinerary. Our driver from Kinabalu Park even made sure to pick up our lunches when we came down the mountain late. That was very kind and much appreciated. We enjoyed meeting your owner on the island, he seems really interesting, and he also gave us some good advice for our next visit. We’ll definitely book our next holiday through you again!! By the way, I can’t say enough about the Shangri-la hotels also. They had incredible service and also were so kind and helpful to us for everything.

Thanks again for all your help and responding to all my queries so quickly, and hopefully we’ll be in contact next year when we need our next warm weather vacation!

All the best,


Island staff rescues TAR Park from ‘ghost net’!

Friday, September 26th, 2014 @ 10:00 Conservation, News


A ‘ghost net’ is defined, as a discarded fishing net that continues to fish, and the effects are so destructive to the marine ecosystem.

During a fun dive at one of our favourite reefs in the TAR Park, two of our PADI professionals came across an enormous illegal fishing net smothering fragile corals and entangling marine life.

The following morning, a team of certified divers of our island staff returned to the area to remove it.

It is a passionate common cause amongst divers to preserve and protect the marine environment and our island staff feels particularly protective of the local environment. For the past decade, our team has recovered over 100 illegal fishing nets in the parameters of TAR Park, and whenever possible Go PRO internship candidates as well as our local Go PRO interns will participate for the practical experience of conservation, which is one of many duties expected of the PADI professional.

Contact our Head Office for more information on how to volunteer your efforts toward the conservation of our natural world!

Danny Boy and Jason practice their equipment exchange

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 @ 08:15 News, Professional Diving Internships


We see local and international Go PRO interns build friendships so easily at our beach house on Gaya Island because, as much as possible, they complete their professional dive training together!

Danny is our local intern and Jason is our most recent international intern, and both are dedicated to achieving their PADI Divemaster qualification.

For part of the waterskills development, an exercise in exchange of equipment with a dive buddy must be achieved with a minimum score of 3, which means they cannot surface. This skill developed their problem solving skills whilst underwater.

They will pass successfully if they display those qualities expected of a PADI professional: support one another, use their sound judgment, and be prudent.

They don’t need to exchange their weights or their wetsuits…but that’s their call!

Contact a member of our Head Office for more details on our Go PRO internship programs! Our experts will create an itinerary to suit your needs to live your diving dream in Borneo!

A beautiful Borneo day for the PADI Instructor Examination!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 @ 12:14 News, Professional Diving Internships


Congratulations to Go PRO candidates of our September PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) who successfully completed their PADI Instructor Examination (IE)!

Our Gaya Island 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, located in the beautiful Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, hosted the event for the 2nd day of in-water evaluations for the prospective PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.

PADI IE examiner Daniel Macherel offered the candidates his experienced guidance on their future within the dive industry, and as with any PADI dive education, continuing that education is most crucial for the professional!

Once again, our resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann and all at Downbelow offer their congratulations to Go PRO interns Andy, Cindy and John for completing the IDC and IE, and we wish them the best of success as they live the dive lifestyle!

Get more information on our Go PRO internship program when you contact one of our experienced and helpful members of staff at our Head Office. Our experts will arrange an itinerary to suit your individual needs to Go PRO in Borneo with us!