Diving In Mabul Island, Malaysia
The place is it
…Good for: Small animals, underwater pictures and newbie divers…
…Not so good for: Visibility and non-diving actions…
Most individuals 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 big fish action.
Pulau Mabul (as it is understood regionally) is a small sandy island with coconut bushes, a neighborhood fishing village, and naturally dive resorts. It’s only 25 minutes or so boat experience from Sipadan Island itself. It has lengthy lived within the shadow of its well-known neighbour but is now rising as a dive vacation spot in its personal right. Show extra
As critter-diving has increased in recognition, many scuba divers now come here, not just for the massive fish motion of Sipadan, however for the unimaginable array of macro-life to be seen at Mabul Island. Sandy sea-beds, coral outcrops, small partitions and artificial reefs and jetties, are all residence to a few of the seas most amazing little creatures.
It is often a superb sign when underwater photographers are round and there are all the time just a few scuba diving right here at Mabul (usually they are solely right here for the macro sights, and not at Sipadan!), so you’ll be able to make sure that there are a wealth of attention-grabbing marine creatures lurking in each nook and cranny around the island.
Dive Site Descriptions
The Synthetic Reef – Situated instantly in entrance of Good Resort on the south side of Mabul Island, the synthetic reef is constructed from wood frames, man-made buildings within the form of pyramids, crates and rockpiles. It attracts many several types of marine life. What appears to be like at first sight to be solely a bunch of boring outdated junk turns out to be a habitat for an astonishing array of creatures. Show extra
The obvious are the big schools of juvenile barracuda and batfish patrolling alongside the reef and of course the unbelievable school of jacks which might wrap you in silver. Your entire area can be somewhat of a maze as you wander from structure to construction. The sandy backside homes ribbon eels and if you’re fortunate chances are you’ll get to see a juvenile Harlequin sweetlips performing its unusual jig. In some of the structures you might discover juvenile Oriental sweetlips, colorful nudibranchs, frogfish and enormous groupers.
With its sandy bottom it’s a must to be careful in the course of the dive and frog kick gently so you won’t stir up the silt and lower the visibility. For scuba divers who’re into macro, the websites round Mabul and Kapalai are a wonderland and this home reef is the most effective. It is a lot fun and so easily accessed that you would possibly want to dive this spot over and over again.
Crocodile Avenue – Opinion is divided on the quality of this site. For top adrenaline-junky divers, Mabul Island could seem just a little sedate, but for macro-lovers it’s a haven of discovery. As with many of the dive websites right here, progress should be slow and deliberate with eyes scanning the ground and every feature on it for sightings that you’ll miss for those who fin off wanting straight forward. Present more
To dive here is to cowl a gentle sandy slope peppered with little areas of activity. With a pair of sharp eyes you’ll find a seahorse or ten. Patches of weed and stringy areas often harbour a minimum of 1 seahorse, clinging on with its prehensile tail.
Different joys which can escape the eye of inattentive divers embrace the eponymous crocodilefish mendacity in wait on the sandy floor, its large flat snout resting simply above the ground. Your guide may even surely establish the occasional ghost pipefish riding delicately in the motion of the water. As you make your approach alongside it might also be price wanting forward the place you may even see the long protruding our bodies of backyard eels shrinking back to security as you and your fellow scuba divers method.
There can be no doubt that Mabul’s crowning glory is the abundance of critters and small stuff, nonetheless occasionally the bigger issues might put in a visit resembling a passing eagle ray. If you’re investigative by nature, diving here shall be superb for you. Equally well-liked as a evening dive, nocturnal outings will yield glorious rewards with sightings together with cuttlefish, nudibranchs and crabs all making their method into the beam of your flashlight.
Eel Backyard – Scuba diving at Mabul presents wealthy rewards for those who are patient and willing to move slowly however surely looking for uncommon species which might be exhausting to find at different dive locations. On the sandy seabed which you can find at a depth of about 20 metres onwards, you may spot loads of small lairs and tunnels. These are residence to shy colourful gobies of various species, blue ribbon eels swaying around with gaping mouths and cleaning shrimp who would possibly conduct a bit of dental work for you if you ask properly. Present extra
As its name suggests, there are a lot of backyard eels which rise out of the sandy seabed. From a distance they stand very tall swaying with the water and searching like a discipline of stalks. Within the small teams of coral, exploration will yield sightings of the uncommon lemon colored moray, and frogfish in colours of blue, rose pink and black.
As you’re employed your method up, you may come upon the reef at a depth of between 2 and 15 metres. Along with wrasse and damselfish, there may be a really unusual creature, the gigantic mantis shrimp from the genus odontodactylus. This predatory crustacean actually jumps out of its lair (holes on the sandy seabed) to seize passing fish for dinner. The power that its entrance claws have on passing fish has been in comparison with a 22-calibre bullet. They are constructed to pierce tough marine exoskeletons and can reduce via human flesh like a hot knife through butter so divers be warned, don’t provoke them, you won’t like them once they’re offended.
Froggy Lair – As with lots of the sites round Mabul Island a eager pair of eyes and deliberate method are needed here if you’re to not emerge saying you saw nothing. Suspended particles within the water could make for what would normally be considered poor visibility. The point is this should not matter, as you won’t be staring off in the distance searching for passing sharks, reasonably you ought to be in search of out delights nearer to your mask. That explains why there are blended evaluations 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 offer. Then again, diehard macro divers have stone island cap tortoise shell come again raving about unusual finds.
Several frogfish are sometimes spotted well camouflaged as they sit in wait prepared for the fastest lethal strike within the pure world. The 2 more celebrated of these are blue in color and about the size of a football (or when you insist a ‘soccer’ ball). Cowries can be seen both in the daytime as well as at night.
There are any number of species of nudibranchs in splashes of colour which can be extraordinarily fairly in addition to some fabulously ornate ghost pipefish. Perhaps probably the most sought after prize right here at Froggy Lair and the one that dominates most pre-dive conversation is the holy grail of muck diving, the flamboyant cuttlefish. This little beauty, most often seen at night time, is a gem making its way along the sandy bottom shifting its ornate purplish, yellow physique to the delight of all vast-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 other several types of pipefish. To begin the dive you’ll likely begin off on high of the reef, working your manner down gently along the sloping wall. The wall is stuffed with holes and a community of tunnels behind the primary wall of the reef. Lobsters can generally be spotted at the entrances to these small caverns. Present extra
Currents might be sturdy, in which case you possibly can cruise alongside the reef within the route of the present, retaining an eye fixed out for big turtles, peacock mantis shrimps, and even a flamboyant cuttlefish. This is a really unusual kind of cuttlefish being usually very small and with more purple and yellow coloration than the cuttlefish mostly encountered. It is without doubt one of the favourite creatures among scuba divers to identify and photograph.
You might be spoilt in this area by the numbers of nudibranchs and Lobster Wall isn’t any exception. They’re current right here in impressive numbers and varieties. Continuing the dive, you will fin slowly along the reef, occasionally having turtles cross by or for a quick stop simply to say hello.
There are a lot of widespread anemones with their tentacles swaying in the current and playing house to the resident anemone clownfish. You possibly can watch because the immature males will probably be swimming in and out of the anemone but staying shut whereas the bigger, sexually energetic pair brave it up and swim out, trying to scare you away.
Ray Level (a.okay.a. Stingray City) – Accessed by boat from Mabul Island, you will roll into the water right above the reef and, having descended from the surface, gently wander down the slope. Present extra
Slowly cruising along the slope, you may stop to see the resident crocodile fish resting on the coral or on a patch of sand. This species at all times appears like it is just relaxing, and seldom strikes when divers are round. They seem like glad to remain nonetheless and pose for a few pictures, even shut ups, a lot nearer than you’ll get to an precise crocodile!
On the underside itself is a large sandy space peppered with small rocks and what seems like sticks pointing up from the sand. On nearer inspection you will note that these are garden eels, and numerous them.
Other fascinating species for scuba divers to spot at Ray Point embody, unsurprisingly, blue spotted stingrays that are sometimes looking along the reef in quest of food. They’re a greenish brown color with vivid blue spots and a white underbelly. It is a jungle on the market if these rays are around and you’re a shrimp, crab or small bony fish, since the 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 generally sighted creatures likely to return into your view at this dive site include cuttlefish, boxfish and naturally extra of the ever-current parade of turtles.
Seaventure Platform – Is magnificence only pores and skin deep or is that just one thing that ugly folks say Folks see this converted oil rig and are aghast on the considered diving beneath it. Ugly, large metallic legs assist what’s now converted into accommodation but it surely seems just like the last place you would assume about diving beneath. Underwater nonetheless, is a very totally different story. Show more
The site is only a stone’s throw from the north coast of the island of Mabul (properly, if you are particularly good stonethrower) and is sheltered by the structure of the platform. This means that surface situations are almost always flat calm and there can also be little present. This implies you may calm down and take your time to explore.
Among the many piles of metal rods on a dive site that varies in depth between 12 and round 17 metres, you can find a complete batch of frogfish in varying hues of pink, yellow and black. Cruising round this post-apocalyptic panorama, the joy of discovery may be intense as you spot enormous moray eels, ghostpipefish and nudibranchs galore where you thought there was nothing. The wonderful factor is that what seems like a desolate wasteland is in reality house to a flourishing marine island group.
Each scuba diver who visits this site appears to come again with their very own tales of things they have discovered and the positioning of everyone poking around makes it look like some bizarre industrial archeological site! Delights within the debris. Rarities in the rubble. Joy in the junk. Certainly unique and unquestionably rewarding for critter followers – a particular, idiosyncratic site and one that may stay with you for a long time.
Methods to Dive Mabul Island
Staying in a resort on the island signifies that on days when you aren’t diving Sipadan, you can concentrate on all the local sites round Mabul the place the critters abound. There are several resorts on the island that ought to have one thing for everybody, from a funds resort to stilted bungalow luxurious. Special local charges apply at many of those resorts for Malaysians, Singaporeans and expatriates living in these countries with work permits.
There can also be one liveaboard in the realm which stays overnight at Mabul Island and from which you’ll dive most of the native sites.
For more data on your diving options, and all the opposite travel data you would possibly want to go to Mabul and the state of Sabah in Borneo, view our:
You’ll be able to dive in Mabul yr round with the perfect conditions occurring exterior the rainy season which normally happens between December and March. Nevertheless, the weather and diving situations are often very good at this time too.
Visibility isn’t wonderful here even at the best of instances, which is the dry season from March to September. Nevertheless, since diving right here is generally concerning the macro life, the visibility would not must be that nice. The seas around the island remain calm most of the time though now and then floor waves will probably be current. Water temperatures also vary little or no, often hovering at between 27 and 29°C.
There isn’t a best time to visit to see certain creatures as all of the macro life appears to be present all 12 months round, as does the enormous resident school of jacks at the island. So they will stone island cap tortoise shell be all there when you get here, you simply have to search out them!
This is a highly regarded vacation spot and a few periods are so widespread that you really ought to e-book lengthy prematurely. These durations embrace March to August, Christmas, New Yr and Chinese language New 12 months. If you want to journey at these instances please tell us as soon as attainable.
Where is Mabul and the way Do I Get There
Review our map below of Sabah state, displaying the placement of Mabul Island. Here, you’ll discover data on how you can get to Mabul.