Diving at Mabul Island

Mabul Island is a beautiful paradise off the sandy coast of Sabah state, Malaysia. Since 1970 the natives have been engaging in subsistence fishing, but during the mid nineties divers started using it as a vintage point to visiting the nearby Sipadan region. They also discovered Mabul to have clean, calm beaches that are suitable for diving. As a 27 yr old career man, I enjoy coming here every holiday season to play in the revitalizing waters, it makes me feel relaxed, peaceful and in control of my life.
Mabul Island

There are also interesting sea creatures that roam the seas for you to see, I always find it interesting to swim alongside camouflaged frogfish, harlequins and massive schools of salt-water fish. The island is free for deep-sea diving throughout the year. Nevertheless, for great underwater visibility I recommend visitors to come in the dry period which lasts from the month of March to October.

Diving expeditions

The reef area borders a natural continental shelf and has a deep seabed which goes down 28m deep. Moreover, there are numerous dive resorts which operate within the beach area for visitors to take advantage of. During my first diving experience I was able to see various sea creatures for the first time, some of these are bobtail squids, colorful cuttlefish and the rare mimic octopus. Mabul’s reef is a natural ecosystem for diverse breeds of cephalopods. Sea gobies can also be found in these waters with the most popular ones being metallic shrimp, spike-fin and gray sail-fin goby. Most of these creatures are docile and rarely attack divers. However, I still recommend that you should wear a sturdy swim suit when exploring the ocean. Diving in Malaysia is an experience worth trying.

Apart from the usual resorts, there are also backpacker accommodations and home-stays that may arrange cheap diving expeditions on your behalf. The lodging firms may also arrange for special day tours to the adjacent isles. Nonetheless, diving is excellent around Mabul and there’s little reason to go elsewhere for the same services. Divers’ safety from predatory sea creatures is also guaranteed by the Panglima barrier wall.

The Paradise

I really like the Paradise Diving sites which are also popular amongst international tourists; they always have something new for people to enjoy. These spots are covered in pristine coral forests that teem with goldfish, whiptail and sparkled-mask rays. The second of these sites is popular for its Staghorn coral system, which houses the elusive but conspicuous mandarin fish.

Froggie’s Place

This marvelous diving spot features a sloping reef that’s about 14m deep, it offer a sweet diving experience that often brings me back every year. It even gets better where the barrier reef comes to contact with the sand, a marine convergence spot with an irresistible collection of fish and crustaceans. This site got its name from the massive array of frogfish that can be found along the sinuous slopes, the waters are so warm and relaxing that most divers dip in at least thrice in a day. Mabul is a true paradise for muck-divers who love spending time next to the beautiful soft corals.


About our new author:

Grace Sumrall is an avid diver from Australia who loves exploring the open ocean. She loves to read and share diving experiences with her fellow divers.



Having been lucky enough to be invited along to speak to one of my modern day heroes, the reality of meeting Scott Cassell was in fact better than I could have imagined. For those who don’t know who Scott is, he is one of the world’s most influential marine conservationists, an oceanographer, a combat dive instructor and a man who has worked with some of the biggest underwater exploratory companies in the world… he’s also a charming and very friendly guy who loves what he does.

Scott recently did a 30 mile dive to try and raise awareness about the decreasing standard of our oceans and to study the shark population while he did so. He is now in the process of doing 3 back to back 30 mile dives where he will not only draw the worlds attention to the sorry state of the seas but where he can carry out a more in depth study of underwater life.

Throughout the interview below, we discussed attacks by giant squid, swimming with sharks, his all important equipment (including his new partnership with Luminox watches) and about his adventures with Sea Wolves Unlimited and the Undersea Voyager Project which he instrumental in. Scott regaled me with stories about hunting undersea poachers, being run over by a boat and generally what it is like to have the ocean as your office.

Watch the full video interview



Scuba diving had always been on my secret bucket list. Not even my best friends knew it was something I was interested in. I also knew if I ever had the opportunity to learn, I would have to start out in the shallow end and with plenty of adult supervision!

So when my older sister surprised me for my 50th birthday with 2 ticket to Hawaii, I knew I was going to finally learn how to scuba dive.

Doing a quick internet search of ‘Scuba Diving Tours Oahu,’ eventually led me to HOP Tours where I booked their  Scuba Diving Beginner course  class mainly because they picked me up from my hotel.

There are a number of scuba diving tours available, but it was important for me to start out in shallow water and to become familiarised with the equipment.

When I first called HOP tours they immediately made me feel  confident that I had made the correct choice. The staff encouraged and assured me the introductory scuba diving class was perfect for a first time diver like me. This has just made all of my trepidation and uncertainty go away and just made me really want to start straight away.

Before I left for Hawaii, I read Scuba Diving-For-Dummies, which was surprisingly informative. I wanted to know some of the key words and terminology before I took my first class, and the information did prove helpful for my introductory class. Although there were quite a few people who had not done any pre-reading and they seemed to do just as well, the instructors made this really easy to understand.

My First Dive

HOP Tours arrived at 8 am in front of my hotel, and after making a brief stop at the HOP Tours office where we picked up our instructor, we were off to our dive site at Makai Pier Point.

The drive is quite lovely, especially as we rounded the point past Hanauma Bay and drove the curvy road along the water.  We passed dozens of gorgeous beaches, and I was surprised with how blue the water was near the shore (this provided a great opportunity to take a few snaps with my camera).

Once we arrived at the pier the instructor first assisted everyone with their diving equipment and explained in language we easily understood what everything did and how we would be using it. The instructor talked equally about both the practical and hypothetical situations we might find ourselves in once in the water.

He was very thorough, and made sure everyone completely understood their equipment which was exactly what I needed. As we only had an hour and a half, we moved through the material quickly, and I was glad I had done some initial reading and study. I felt like my studies combined with the dive site instruction was a very adequate introductory dive lesson.

The instructor also explained that we should not be concerned if we don’t remember everything as they will look after us. I felt so assured that the instructor was not only knowledgeable but had my welfare in hand and really cared about my dive experience.

The instructor also explained that we should not be concerned if we don’t remember everything as they will look after us. I felt so assured that the instructor was not only knowledgeable but had my welfare in hand and really cared about my dive experience.

Additionally, our instructor highlighted diving safety and the ‘buddy system.’ I was paired with a friendly Japanese man named Kenji who had some previous diving experience and was a fairly confident diver. Each tank had about 30-40 minutes of air, which was enough to explore the reef and become comfortable with the tanks and breathing through a regulator. I was surprised with how brave and calm I became after only a few minutes in the water. While most people stayed close to the pier, Kenji and I swam to the far side of the reef.

We were rewarded by seeing a group of Turtles and schools of colourful fish. I really wish I had hired a camera for the dive as the coral and the wildlife cannot really be described adequately.

It seemed like we had only been in the water for seconds before it was time to surface, once back on the shore we got ourselves organised and soon loaded up and head back to the hotel.

Our instructor did a brief follow-up and showed us how to properly clean and return the dive gear. It was a great first dive that gave me a lot of confidence in my ability and some skills to pursue my diving certification at a later date.


Article submitted by Vic Dinovici a soon to be regular writer for Scub-Pro



How do you know you have the right BCD (Buoyancy Compensation Device) ? And seriously
what could possibly be the difference between one or another you may ask. There
is very little about the BCD in general that many people find attractive or
enjoyable but more a necessity. I understand possibly better than most a BCD’s
function and the reasoning behind it; but the fact remains that the number 1
most disliked piece of gear in many divers kit is the BCD. It’s too restrictive
or clumsy, its too bulky or I just would like tit to have more function than
just holding my tank and helping me trim or float.

These days if your BCD is not bulky; then you feel like you are wearing body armour
underwater or they have so many unnecessary added features that you feel like a
walking Christmas Tree wearing one. The feature of “welds” in the air cell that
causes the unit to “wrap around” you simply gives the manufacturers a method of
adding more crud to the unit and keeps it comfortable. To avoid the cumbersome
feel and bulkiness of a jacket style BCD, you have the option of going with a
back inflation style BCD (my proffered option). Be careful when you go this
route; as you may find that many manufacturers concentrate more on lift than
function;  some BCD’s have enough lift to
raise the Titanic which equates directly with more fabric and more bulk.

To me, the perfect BCD would look like something that you could use easily out of
the water as in, the bladder would perform all that it needs to do (buy a lift
bag if you really want to raise objects other than yourself) it should also
come with just enough strap material to hold the tank on the back and keep it
against my back and connect your essential objects to streamline your dive but
have all that you really need (you really do not need 24 stainless steel D
rings ). Now, I have to admit my Zeagle Stiletto BCD doesn’t quite match that description,
but when compared to many of the units on the market today, it’s pretty darn

It is a very simple, comfortable design that isn’t packed with a lot of needless
“features” and “frills” to make it overly cumbersome. It’s 35lb (16 KG) lift
capacity is still far greater than I need but the folks at Zeagle have figured
out how to make that bladder not quit as obtrusive as most. This for many
divers equates to a piece of gear that is completely functional for most diving
in most waters. I’ll be the first to admit that on warm water dives the padding at the back is quite
comfortable, and welcome, and the 5 stainless steel D-rings are tucked away in
just the right spots to secure an octopus, console/computer, small light or whatever
other trinket you may be taking along on your dive, but never seem to be in the
way or “dangle” excessively.

Zeagle’s integrated weight system is also equally as streamlined and simple. No bulky
pockets at each hip. The finishing touch on this BCD is the fact that it’s a
soft pack design. You can literally roll this thing up into a tiny little wad in your luggage/dive
bag jump up and down on it to compress some space (careful not to step on your
power inflator) and take it out when you reach your destination and it’s ready
to go diving. The bladder has a good pair of access ports for rinsing after
your dives and is overall a simple very functional piece of equipment for many
All the important information:
Integrated ipcord Weight System – 44 lb capacity (24 lbs Diver releasable – 20 lbs non-diver releasable trim weights for improved weight distribution and

35-lb (16-KG) lift capacity low profile bladder

Twin tank bands for single tanks included

1000 Denier Material

Two flap utility pockets

Adjustable Cummerbund

5 – stainless D-rings

Adjustable Sternum Strap

SIZES: XSmall through XLarge

So if you are looking for a light weight BCD that has all the features and
functions of a real heavy-weight contender this should be one of the first you
take for a test dive. Zeagle has a list of suppliers on their web page



 The writers and staff would like to take this to both thank all our readers and authors also to wish all a safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

All the best,


Editor Scuba-Pro



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I’ve donated my face to #Movember Please give so it may grow:



Well I can tell you it’s not as simple as you may think but also with the availability of technologies that had been designed for past military use it is becoming easier and the tanks are getting lighter and smaller with larger capacity.



Winter Diving

I never dive with a “ cold “ or even the symptoms ! That’s a comment  you hear a lot, but it is interesting to know that 90 % of Barotrauma injuries are caused by the inability to equalise,  due to the onset of a cold or even just the symptoms.




Great Barrier Reef. If you want somewhere without tourists, then you have to dig deep in your pockets…. Australia’s Gold Coast is huge and you will definitely find somewhere along there.

But the real gems in Australia diving are not the best known ones.

I really enjoy diving in Port Phillip Bay in Victoria, there is an abundance and variety of dive sites from beginner to jaded professional. Just out of the heads in Bass Strait are some of the best dives in the the world, the charter market and rentals are competitive and safe.

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