Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Dive Downbelow in Borneo

by Bex

Aaaages ago, before my last wee post about Tim Tam Slams, I had been telling you all that we went to Borneo for a few days to see the Orangutans and get in a bit of diving.  I'd been diving in Borneo before but Nik had never been and my Uncle and his family wanted to learn to dive.  When Mum & Dad had their apartment in Kota Kinabalu they became friends with the owners of Downbelow, a diving and excursion company based there.  In fact I think Richard & Joanne may have had an influence on their decision to make Malaysia their permanent home with all of the diving possibilities there.

We'd booked a day with them on Pulau Gaya where their dive centre is based and after the amazing sunset the night before, we got up early to catch the short boat ride across.

Wardrobe info in the outfit post.

The dive centre surrounded by jungle at the end of a very long jetty.

After a quick re-orientation, we were off out on the boat for our first dive of the day (Nik, Dad and I - the others were in the shallows practising their skills and learning about the basics).  As with last time, the visibility wasn't great but there was still plenty to see and it is an absolutely beautiful area within Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park.  The last time I was there I actually booked a day photography course with Richard and bought an external strobe for my underwater kit.  Unfortunately since then I have not been able to practise with it and decided not to bring it on this trip as we were only diving for one day and it takes up a chunk of luggage allowance on a 3 week stay.  I still think I have managed to improve my photography a little though with a few tips from Richard and hopefully I'll get a chance to really get better with my new kit on a proper diving holiday soon.

Underwater selfie!

End of the 1st dive.
 After our first dive, we had a bit of a rest back on the island, a cuppa and we were off out again!

Chilling out in the dive centre :)

I am quite notorious for my love of anemonefish!

And found some cool Nudibranches! (Although I'm not sure the one on the right is one!?)

Patient husband :)

And then back to the island again for lunch!  Lunch at the dive centre is always good and hot!  I think this time we had chicken curry and various vegetable dishes followed by fruit.  Biscuits, tea and water are always available.

Uncle G & co having lunch in the sun

There are often interesting sightings of wildlife and creepy crawlies around the dive centre too!

 Then off we went again, back out for our 3rd and final dive...

This time when I was taking photos I kept getting a fright and jumping every time one of these little cleaner wrasse nibbled at my leg.  I actually think it was a mimic wrasse as it was a bit too aggressive and nippy and seemed to follow me quite a way along our dive!

There were ample abstract photo opportunities on this dive especially and I particularly love the centre of these worms...

And more clownfish of course...

And just some clowns...


Before we left we made sure we got a group shot of us all...

And made our way back down the loooooong jetty to the boat for the trip back.

We had a brilliant day!  Thanks to Dad for organising it all for us and paying for Nik and I!  :D


M-J said...

What amazing photos!

amy said...

Oh my god I LOVE all the nemos! I really want to try diving. Will have to interrogate you before we go to Malaysia next year.

LionLovingTiger said...

Wow - your pics look amazing!

My friend is going to Borneo on her honeymoon in a few months so I'm going to send her this link - I'm sure she'll love it!


Gemma C-S said...

these photos are all stunning. Love.

Bex said...

Thanks everyone, it was such a fab day and I was v pleased with my photos :) Highly recommend Dive Downbelow Toni and Amy!

little pieces of happy said...

Amazing photographs! I fell in love with diving on honeymoon and we managed some diving in Thailand this Summer. We didn't get to dive in Malaysia but would like to in the future- will remember this dive school! I'm itching to get back underwater and this has made me even more excited, but realistically it'd be diving the cold and dirty Mersey...I'll pass, for now!

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