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Diving Kapalai and Sipadan

Brisbane, Australia
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5 posts
5 reviews
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Diving Kapalai and Sipadan

Hi All

Can anyone shed some light on diving at Kapalai and Sipadan for me. I have a trip booked for December to dive there and I have been reading up on trip advisor and I am a little concerned. My partner and I are not uber experienced divers and as it is our honeymoon and diving is only 5 days out of a month trip, we are going to hire our gear there. I have read that the gear is below par and people are pretty pushy when it comes to diving there.

Are the dive masters/ Instructors 'useless' as I read in one post? We can scuba dive comfortably but it would be reashoring to know that there is going to be someone there that knows what is what and can help out if need be.

I have alo read that the days that the boats are not going to Sipadan, the crew and dive masters dont really give a rats about where you go and what you see, is this true? it would be disapointing if it were due to the cost involved in staying there.

Is this the case or is some people just having bad luck when they were there?

cheers

Aidan

ca
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23 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Diving Kapalai and Sipadan

I will be diving on a liveaboard there next year, so haven't been yet. My understanding is that there is a lottery system for diving in Sipadan and you will not know if you are diving at other divesites or at Sipadan until it happens.

If you want more info, I would go to a scuba website frorum which would have more details for you.

Brisbane, Australia
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5 posts
5 reviews
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2. Re: Diving Kapalai and Sipadan

Hi susncrg1

I understand the lottery system there, i was more concerned about the equipment and the standard of the dive masters and instructors

cheers

ca
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23 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Diving Kapalai and Sipadan

If you are staying at a dedicated dive resort the quality is usually fine, but if not I would still recommend that you have your own regulator at the very least. You say you're not an uber diver, but how many dives are we talking about and in what conditions?

Paris, France
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191 posts
39 reviews
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4. Re: Diving Kapalai and Sipadan

Hi Aidan,

We went to Kapalai last year and dived for 4 days with rented gear (we always bring our own fins and masks). Some of the rental gear was worn, but when we signalled it, it was changed without any problem.

My recommendation would be to bring your own silicon/rubber mouthpiece (3$) and have them put it on before you dive. Hygiene and this is a part that often is chewed up and perhaps even charged (in general).

Regarding the divemasters, our impression was quite irregular. We had excellent dives (14) with different divemasters. Half of them was good, security concerned and interested in showing the wildlife - very important when diving around Kapalai, less in Sipadan.

After our first muck-dive, which was so-and-so, we asked around and learned which divemasters were appropriate for what we were looking for and managed to get on his boat. Not a real problem as you change divemaster everyday, according to the sipadan-lottery.

Before going we had some 40-50 dives and it was a great - problemfree diving experience.

Enjoy the bubbles,

/M

Brisbane, Australia
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5 posts
5 reviews
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5. Re: Diving Kapalai and Sipadan

Hi Guys

susncrg1

"You say you're not an uber diver, but how many dives are we talking about and in what conditions? "

We will have completed about 10 dives each, 8 of them in Vanautu and 2 in Brisbane, Australia

fmevs

"After our first muck-dive, which was so-and-so, we asked around and learned which divemasters were appropriate for what we were looking for and managed to get on his boat. Not a real problem as you change divemaster everyday, according to the sipadan-lottery."

fmevs did you the dive guides/ instructors have any issues with helping anyone that needed it etc that you saw?

cheers

Aidan

Paris, France
Level Contributor
191 posts
39 reviews
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6. Re: Diving Kapalai and Sipadan

Hi Aidan,

We had a total of 14 dives, with at least five different divemasters. I remember two muck dives with a great guide helping us find different small stuff. Then there were other dives where the divemaster didn't go out of his way, it was more like a guide leading the way. Often, a couple or two would leave the group during the dive and the divemaster ended up with a relatively small group.

On the other hand, a not too experienced dutch couple was lost by the divemaster when we dove Sipadan, which was rather frightening. The divemaster was not paying enough attention, neither did the couple. There were some currents and advancing was tough. We found them later on another boat. I wouldn't go without a parachute and the appopriate instruments to handle an ascent by ourselves.

Once, we went to the oilrig next to Mabul. Two divers had difficulties getting down, one had a problem with the ears, the other with weights and they were both handled correctly by the divemaster.

I never had the impression that they didn't care. They wanted us to have a good time with diving experiences adapted to our level and expectations. Of course, when you dive 3-4 times a day for several months, motivation can't always be on top and I acknowledge that. If I feel unsecure, I keep close to the divemaster and keep her/him informed of any problems.

The muckdives were rather easy, no current, flat sea, no big depth. Sipadan dives were harder (and more rewarding) with currents and waves and the big wall leading down for 2000ft... Great place - don't miss it !

/M

7. Re: Diving Kapalai and Sipadan

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