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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As soon as the royals announced that their wedding would turn the end of April into a bank holiday bonanza, I booked 7 days off work and turned that into a 17 day dive trip to Malaysia. From London it took 34 hours to reach the Seaventures oil rig which is located 1km off the island of Mabul which lies off Borneo. The owners apparently applied for planning permission to build a resort on Mabul but were refused so they purchased an old oil rig, converted it into a hotel and dive platform and dragged it over to Mabul to ruin the view from the resorts. Whether thats true or not, I found it pretty funny. The rig provides an alternative to the usual liveaboard diving, you still eat, sleep and dive, but you stay in the same place. The dive packages that seaventures offer are 3 boat dives a day to Mabul, Kapalai and Sipadan with Sipadan being visited on the days that you have been granted a permit. In addition to that, you have the option of unlimited diving on the house reef below the rig, which in my opinion was the best dive site in the Mabul area. Most people seemed to get 1 permit for every 3 days that they stayed, but I made a deal before I booked to guarantee at least 5 days at Sipadan if I stayed for 14 days. In total I ended up with 7 days at Sipadan, 5 days at Mabul and Kapalai and the final day at Si Amil (a trip that I organised for a bit of a change). On every single dive at Sipadan we spotted turtles and white tip sharks, quite frequently we spotted barracuda, bumphead parrot fish and schools of jacks and there was a rare hammerhead, devil ray and eagle ray appearance to keep things exciting. In the macro world back at Mabul and Kapalai, ornate ghost pipe fish, frogfish, leaffish and all manner of shrimps were everywhere.

The diving was fantastic, the guides were reasonable and the over all experience was unforgettable. If you are heading to Sipadan, you should give seaventures some serious consideration. The accommodation is basic, the food is good (but a bit crap if you are veggie) and it has a very social atmosphere. New people arriving daily like at a resort, but due to the confined space like on a liveaboard, there is more of a tendency for people to hang out together after a dive.

For more info and photos, check out my blog: Diving Sipadan | Dan's Adventure
 

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I dived UNDER the rig on one dive when I was there with another resort. Thought it would be crap, but was a great dive as were all the ones I did while I was there. Saw the biggest conger I've ever seen. When we came up the guide put on a an "Oscar night" voice an announced....

"And the award for most colourful dive center goes too.....". It made me chuckle ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
cool... what did that cost?
For 15 days and 14 nights (including arrival day with check dive plus one boat dive and departure day with no dives due to flight times) I paid RM6, 945.00 which is currently £1416 plus RM40 for each Sipadan permit I was issued. So it worked out to around £100/day for 4-5 dives, accommodation and food. Flights were not included.
 
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