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Diving In Mabul Island, Malaysia

Where is it
Reef abstract
Helpful references
…Good for: Small animals, underwater photography and newbie divers…
…Not so good for: Visibility and non-diving activities…

Most people who come to dive in the Sipadan area keep on close by Mabul Island and their diving expertise is a combination of the 2 islands – macro sites and critters, deep walls and large fish motion.

Pulau Mabul (because it is known domestically) is a small sandy island with coconut trees, an area fishing village, and naturally dive resorts. It is just 25 minutes or so boat ride from Sipadan Island itself. It has lengthy lived within the shadow of its well-known neighbour but is now emerging as a dive vacation spot in its own right. Show more

As critter-diving has increased in reputation, many scuba divers now come here, not only for the massive fish action of Sipadan, however for the incredible array of macro-life to be seen at Mabul Island. Sandy sea-beds, coral outcrops, small partitions and synthetic reefs and jetties, are all house to some of the seas most amazing little creatures.

It is usually an excellent sign when underwater photographers are round and there are at all times a few scuba diving here at Mabul (usually they’re solely right here for the macro sights, and never at Sipadan!), so you possibly can make certain that there are a wealth of fascinating marine creatures lurking in each nook and cranny around the island.

Dive Site Descriptions
The Synthetic Reef – Situated directly in entrance of Smart Resort on the south side of Mabul Island, the synthetic reef is constructed from picket frames, man-made constructions in the shape of pyramids, crates and rockpiles. It attracts many different types of marine life. What seems at first sight to be solely a bunch of boring old junk turns out to be a habitat for an astonishing array of creatures. Present extra

The obvious are the large faculties of juvenile barracuda and batfish patrolling alongside the reef and naturally the unbelievable faculty of jacks which may wrap you in silver. The entire space may be considerably of a maze as you wander from construction to structure. The sandy bottom houses ribbon eels and if you’re fortunate you might get to see a juvenile Harlequin sweetlips performing its strange jig. In among the structures you may discover juvenile Oriental sweetlips, colorful nudibranchs, frogfish and monumental groupers.

With its sandy backside it’s important to be careful through the dive and frog kick gently so you will not stir up the silt and decrease the visibility. For scuba divers who are into macro, the sites round Mabul and Kapalai are a wonderland and this house reef is among the best. It is a lot enjoyable and so simply accessed that you just would possibly wish to dive this spot again and again.

Crocodile Avenue – Opinion is divided on the standard of this site. For prime adrenaline-junky divers, Mabul Island could seem somewhat sedate, but for macro-lovers it is a haven of discovery. As with most of the dive sites here, progress ought to be gradual and deliberate with eyes scanning the floor and each feature on it for sightings that you’ll miss should you fin off looking straight ahead. Show extra

To dive right here is to cover a gentle sandy slope peppered with little areas of exercise. With a pair of sharp eyes you’ll discover a seahorse or ten. Patches of weed and stringy areas usually harbour not less than 1 seahorse, clinging on with its prehensile tail.

Different joys which may escape the eye of inattentive divers include the eponymous crocodilefish lying in wait on the sandy flooring, its massive flat snout resting simply above the bottom. Your information may also certainly identify the occasional ghost pipefish riding delicately within the movement of the water. As you make your approach along it may even be worth wanting ahead where you might even see the lengthy protruding our bodies of garden eels shrinking back to safety as you and your fellow scuba divers method.

Stone Island Ribbed Beanie Hat In ChocolateThere may be no doubt that Mabul’s crowning glory is the abundance of critters and small stuff, however often the bigger issues may put in a visit corresponding to a passing eagle ray. In case you are investigative by nature, diving right here might be preferrred for you. Equally common as a night time dive, nocturnal outings will yield excellent rewards with sightings together with cuttlefish, nudibranchs and crabs all making their means into the beam of your flashlight.

Eel Garden – Scuba diving at Mabul provides wealthy rewards for those who are patient and willing to move slowly however surely searching for rare species which might be hard to find at different dive locations. On the sandy seabed which you’ll find at a depth of about 20 metres onwards, you’ll spot loads of small lairs and tunnels. These are residence to shy colourful gobies of assorted species, blue ribbon eels swaying around with gaping mouths and cleaning shrimp who might conduct a bit dental be just right for you for those who ask nicely. Present extra

As its title suggests, there are numerous backyard eels which rise out of the sandy seabed. From a distance they stand very tall swaying with the water and looking like a discipline of stalks. Throughout the small teams of coral, exploration will yield sightings of the uncommon lemon coloured moray, and frogfish in colours of blue, rose purple and black.

As you work your method up, you’ll come upon the reef at a depth of between 2 and 15 metres. Along with wrasse and damselfish, there is a very unusual creature, the gigantic mantis shrimp from the genus odontodactylus. This predatory crustacean literally jumps out of its lair (holes on the sandy seabed) to seize passing fish for dinner. The pressure that its entrance claws have on passing fish has been in comparison with a 22-calibre bullet. They’re constructed to pierce tough marine exoskeletons and can cut via human flesh like a scorching knife through butter so divers be warned, don’t provoke them, you will not like them once they’re offended.

Froggy Lair – As with most of the sites around Mabul Island a eager pair of eyes and deliberate strategy are crucial right here in case you are to not emerge saying you noticed nothing. Suspended particles in the water could make for what would normally be thought-about poor visibility. The purpose is this should not matter, as you won’t be staring off in the gap on the lookout for passing sharks, somewhat you need to be looking for out delights closer to your mask. That explains why there are blended opinions for this dive site. Present more

On the one hand, the suspended particles, the seabed with stunted corals and rubbish fragments like old fishing nets and tyres which litter this site have led many a diver to categorise it as a poor one, with little or no to supply. On the other hand, diehard macro divers have come again raving about unusual finds.

A number of frogfish are sometimes noticed well camouflaged as they sit in wait ready for the quickest lethal strike in the pure world. The 2 more celebrated of these are blue in color and about the size of a football (or in the event you insist a ‘soccer’ ball). Cowries might be seen both within the daytime as well as at night.

There are any variety of species of nudibranchs in splashes of color which might be extraordinarily fairly as well as some fabulously ornate ghost pipefish. Perhaps probably the most wanted prize here at Froggy Lair and the one that dominates most pre-dive dialog is the holy grail of muck diving, the flamboyant cuttlefish. This little beauty, most often seen at night time, is a gem making its means alongside the sandy backside moving its ornate purplish, yellow body to the delight of all large-eyed witnesses.

Lobster Wall – Lobster Wall near Mabul is a slope running down to about 20m depth. The dive site consists of a colourful reef covered with various species of nudibranchs, and several different types of pipefish. To begin the dive you’ll probably begin off on prime of the reef, working your approach down gently alongside the sloping wall. The wall is full of holes and a network of tunnels behind the principle wall of the reef. Lobsters can generally be spotted on the entrances to these small caverns. Present extra

Currents will be sturdy, by which case you possibly can cruise alongside the reef in the route of the current, protecting a watch out for big turtles, peacock mantis shrimps, and even a flamboyant cuttlefish. This is a really unusual sort of cuttlefish being usually very small and with more purple and yellow coloration than the cuttlefish mostly encountered. It is one of the favourite creatures among scuba divers to spot and photograph.

You might be spoilt in this space by the numbers of nudibranchs and Lobster Wall is not any exception. They are current here in impressive numbers and varieties. Continuing the dive, you’ll fin slowly along the reef, occasionally having turtles pass by or for a quick stop just to say good day.

There are lots of frequent anemones with their tentacles swaying in the present and taking part in home to the resident anemone clownfish. You can watch as the immature males can be swimming in and out of the anemone but staying close whereas the larger, sexually energetic pair brave it up and swim out, attempting to scare you away.

Ray Point (a.k.a. Stingray Metropolis) – Accessed by boat from Mabul Island, you’ll roll into the water proper above the reef and, having descended from the surface, gently wander down the slope. Present extra

Slowly cruising alongside the slope, it’s possible you’ll cease to see the resident crocodile fish resting on the coral or on a patch of sand. This species always seems prefer it is just relaxing, and seldom strikes when divers are round. They look like happy to remain still and pose for a number of pictures, even shut ups, much nearer than you would get to an actual crocodile!

On the bottom itself is a large sandy area peppered with small rocks and what looks like sticks pointing up from the sand. On closer inspection you will note that these are garden eels, and quite a lot of them.

Different interesting species for scuba divers to identify at Ray Level embrace, unsurprisingly, blue noticed stingrays that are often hunting along the reef in search of meals. They’re a greenish brown colour with vivid blue spots and a white underbelly. It is a jungle out there if these rays are around and you are a shrimp, crab or small bony fish, for the reason that ray may pin you down with its fins and squash you with the food-crushing plates it has on the inside of its mouth.

Other commonly sighted creatures seemingly to come into your view at this dive site embody cuttlefish, boxfish and of course extra of the ever-current parade of turtles.

Seaventure Platform – Is magnificence solely skin deep or is that just something that ugly individuals say Individuals see this converted oil rig and are aghast at the thought of diving beneath it. Ugly, huge steel legs assist what is now converted into accommodation nevertheless it appears to be like just like the final place you’d assume about diving beneath. Underwater however, is a very different story. Present more

The positioning is just a stone’s throw from the north coast of the island of Mabul (well, if you are notably good stonethrower) and is sheltered by the construction of the platform. This means that surface circumstances are nearly at all times flat calm and there can be little present. This implies you possibly can relax and take your time to explore.

Among the many piles of metallic rods on a dive site that varies in depth between 12 and around 17 metres, one can find a complete batch of frogfish in varying hues of pink, yellow and black. Cruising around this put up-apocalyptic landscape, the joy of discovery may be intense as you spot huge moray eels, ghostpipefish and nudibranchs galore where you thought there was nothing. The amazing thing is that what appears to be like like a desolate wasteland is in reality house to a flourishing marine island group.

Each scuba diver who visits this site seems to come back again with their own tales of things they have discovered and the site of everyone poking around makes it appear to be some bizarre industrial archeological site! Delights in the debris. Rarities in the rubble. Joy in the junk. Actually distinctive and unquestionably rewarding for critter fans – a particular, idiosyncratic site and one that may stay with you for a very long time.

The way to Dive Mabul Island
Staying in a resort on the island means that on days when you aren’t diving Sipadan, you possibly can concentrate on all the native sites around Mabul where the critters abound. There are a number of resorts on stone island clothing online the island that should have one thing for everybody, from a funds resort to stilted bungalow luxurious. Particular native rates apply at many of these resorts for Malaysians, Singaporeans and expatriates living in these countries with work permits.

There is also one liveaboard in the world which stays in a single day at Mabul Island and from which you’ll be able to dive lots of the local websites.

For extra info on your diving options, and all the opposite journey information you might need to visit Mabul and the state of Sabah in Borneo, view our:

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Diving Season
You may dive in Mabul 12 months spherical with the perfect situations occurring outdoors the rainy season which usually occurs between December and March. Nonetheless, the weather and diving situations are sometimes excellent at the moment too.

Visibility just isn’t superb right here even at the better of occasions, which is the dry season from March to September. However, since diving here is usually in regards to the macro life, the visibility doesn’t should be that great. The seas across the island remain calm most of the time although at times surface waves will probably be present. Water temperatures additionally differ very little, often hovering at between 27 and 29°C.

There is no such thing as a finest time to go to to see sure creatures as all of the macro life seems to be present all yr round, as does the enormous resident college of jacks on the island. So they will be all there if you get right here, you just have to seek out them!

This can be a very talked-about vacation spot and some intervals are so widespread that you actually ought to book long upfront. These intervals include March to August, Christmas, New 12 months and Chinese New 12 months. Should you want to travel at these times please let us know as quickly as doable.

The place is Mabul and how Do I Get There
Evaluate our map under of Sabah state, displaying the location of Mabul Island. Right here, one can find info on tips on how to get to Mabul.