Sunday, July 28, 2013

How your health will benefit from scuba diving

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As divers we are always told about the dangers of diving. All of the classes and certifications we take are to prevent bad things from happening, magazines write articles about horror stories underwater, some of the briefings we get before taking the plunge can be a bit frightening and all of this is before we start talking about decompression sickness. It is, unarguably, a sport with risks but there are also many great health benefits to diving as well.
Recent dive at #mamutikisland with #borneodivers
Scuba Diving as Therapy

Without a question one of the most noticeable benefits is the mental and emotional therapy that the deep blue provides us with. The feeling of weightlessness and flying is a soothing enough feeling that can often calm nerves and wash away many stressors that are common on the surface. A slow moving current mixed with allows for a relaxing dive.
Seeing the different marine flora and fauna with odd shapes and colors uncommon to the surface world has its psychological benefits as well.  After seeing many of the same day to day surface dwellers and machines that run our world in circles our brains become complacent to our surroundings. Using our underwater experience observing the creatures of the deep could be used as a brain exercise. It allows us to keep different parts of our brain active and engaged often triggering feelings of excitement and curiosity which have become few and far between in today’s hustle and bustle lifestyle.

Along with today’s fast paced lifestyle it is often hard to find the time to stay in shape. It is recommended that we already be in shape when we go diving and this is true. We should be physically capable of supporting our gear. It is important we remain in shape both for ourselves and our dive buddy. There may be a day that our physical fitness could save a dive buddy’s life. Physical fitness is both directly and indirectly affected by diving.

It is directly related to our fitness because the act of swimming is one of the best modes of aerobic and anaerobic work we can do. It provides both a cardiovascular workout and a muscular workout as we move against the natural pressure of the water on our bodies with little to no strain on our joints.

As we attempt to train ourselves to take long, deep and slow breaths to conserve air, we are in actuality training our bodies to more efficiently use the oxygen going to our muscles. A normal person only uses about ¼ of the oxygen that is inhaled into their lungs. As we learn to more efficiently breathe our bodies learn to absorb more of the available oxygen as we breathe in.
Clear water at #Mamutik Island
Diving also provides an indirect affect on our physical fitness, diving works as a motivation. Some of us may go running or workout so that we can be physically ready to support ourselves and our buddies on the next dive. It also helps to look good in a wetsuit.

How Scuba Diving can Heal
One other little known benefit to being at depth is a healing factor. This was demonstrated and experienced by researchers that remained in an underwater habitat for several weeks.  The human body uses oxygen to repair cuts and tears that we may get in different tissues within our body. The more oxygen that gets to the injured location the faster that it will heal. As divers we know that the air in our cylinder becomes compressed as we go to depth. With the increased consumption of air comes a more concentrated dose of oxygen. With larger amounts of oxygen over a longer period of time researchers experienced decreased healing times for cuts and scrapes (of course there is a concentration limit before oxygen becomes toxic).

In today’s day and age of worries and struggles it is important that we don’t let our hobby be another stressor. Especially for new divers we should remember the hazards of diving so we may stay safe but don’t let them overwhelm you into forgetting the positives.

Photo courtesy: Fidelis Francis Andam

Top 10 best dive sites in the World

1. SS Yongala Wreck

The SS Yongala Wreck might just be THE Best Wreck dive in the World! This 110m long steamer called the Yongala was sunk in 1911 near Townsville during a cyclone. It was only re-discovered in 1958 and is now the most famous dive site in Australia. It is home to an amazing array of marine life which includes barracudas, Giant Trevallies Turtles and Sea Snakes. You might even spot the rare Bull Shark and the mighty Tiger Shark!!

2. Barracuda Point

Barracuda Point is the best dive site of the World Famous Sipadan Islands. Here you could watch a huge shoal of thousands of Barracudas pass by underwater, making it a dream spot for underwater photography. Various reef Sharks and many pelagic fishes are also patrolling the area! Hammerhead sharks are a possible encounter too…

3. North Horn

North Horn is located on the Osprey Reef only reachable by Liveaboards. It is a natural underwater amphitheatre where you can spot plenty of Grey Reef Sharks, Silvertip Sharks and even some Hammerhead sharks! A feeding frenzy of sharks is an impressive thing to watch which will certainly get your adrenaline pumping!

4. Richelieu Rock

The World famous Richelieu Rock is located near the Surin Islands in Thailand. Regarded as one of the best spots to have a chance of spotting the gentle giant Whale Shark underwater, this spot has been described as a “Whale Shark magnet”! It is also an excellent place to spot big pelagic fishes and for macro photography with a very intriguing critter life to discover.

5.USS Liberty Wreck

This fascinating huge wreck dive site is a 130m long armed cargo ship which was hit by a Japanese torpedo during World War 2 and then pushed back into the water in 1963 by a volcano eruption! It is a very easy dive but with a whole lot of things to see such as Garden Eels, a nice swim-through inside the wreck and big schools of fishes. This spot offers spectacular opportunities for underwater photography so don’t forget your camera!

6. Cod Hole

Cod Hole is a very famous dive site of the Great Barrier Reef, much like North Horn. It is an easy reef dive where you can observe and also feed huge friendly Potato Groupers. There are also harmless Whitetip Reef Sharks and Napoleon fishes swimming about. The visibility is fantastic and the diving conditions are usually ideal making it the perfect place for underwater photography!

7. Navy Pier

This is a rather unusual dive site beneath an Australian Navy Pier in Exmouth in Western Australia. The conditions are not great here with poor visibility but the fish life is just astonishing with an incredible biodiversity in such a tiny place. Here you can see Nurse Sharks, the bizarre looking Wobbegong Shark and many strange small creatures such as Flat Worms, Nudibranchs, and Frog fishes. This makes it one of the best shore dives in the world and a real dream for any underwater macro photographer!

8. Crystal Bay

The spot itself at Crystal Bay is great but not amazing but what makes it so special is that this is THE place to spot the giant, strange looking, rare and mysterious Mola Mola Oceanic Sunfish… You also have good chances to spot these around Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan from August to October too, so good luck!

9. Batu Bolong

Batu Bolong has a huge underwater rock featuring amazing coral and a teeming reef life. In fact, there are so many fishes that you have to take care to not lose your dive buddy! All around, there are Giant Trevallies, Dogtooth Tuna and Barracudas patrolling the area, as well as huge Napoleon Wrasses and Whitetip Reef Sharks sleeping in the cracks. A truly beautiful dive site!

10. Elephant Head Rock

It is hard to decide which dive site is the best in the Similan Islands as they are all so amazing. However Elephant head Rock has something special with a very particular underwater topography with arches and swim-through worth to explore! In addition the fish life is really great with Leopard Sharks and Blacktip Reef Sharks swimming around. This is a must dive in any liveaboard trip to the Similan Islands!

Dive Site in Sabah Borneo

Sabah is blessed with rich cultures and beautiful environment! Underwater world in Sabah is one of the best in the world and some of it is yet to discover. Sipadan was listed as one of the world's best dive site. Jacques Cousteau , Ocean's Ambassador also commented  'I have seen other places like Sipadan, 45 years ago, but now no more. Now we have found again an untouched piece of art ... a jewel'. 
Actually, for those who cannot make it to Sipadan, just 15 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu City by speed boat, you can explore 10 out of 100 pages of Semporna Underwater World. There are few beautiful dive sites in Tungku Abdul Rahman Park such as North Sulug, Manukan Reef, The Rock Reef , Mamutik Shore etc.. 

In fact a diver may find rare or endangered sea creatures such as green and hawksbill turtles, napolean wrasse, giant clams, as well as countless species of sharks and schools of thousands of barracuda and jacks. Sabah is not only know for its reef's larger inhabitants but also as a 'Muck diving' paradise with such rarities as the mimic octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish mandarin fish, harlequin ghost pipefish plus manu types of weird and wonderful frogfish and nudibranchs. ( 
These underwater delights are not restricted to the certified diver; snorkelers and hopeful divers may enroll in one of the many PADI affiliated dive courses run at any of Sabah's dive resorts. Whatever your underwater wish, Sabah's seas and coral reefs can easily fulfill and surpass your wildest dream ( 

Photo Copyright : Borneo Divers Training Institute (Facebook) 

Below are some dive site in Sabah: 

Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa - Kota Kinabalu (Capital City)

Kapalai Island - Semporna

Kelambu Beach - Kudat

Lankayan Island - Sandakan

Layang-Layang Island - Kota Kinabalu (Capital City)

Libaran Island - Sandakan

Mabul Island - Semporna

Mantanani Island - Kota Belud

Marine Park - Labuan F.T

Mataking Island - Semporna

Pom Pom Island - Semporna

Pulau Tiga "Survivor Island" - Kuala Penyu

Sipadan Island - Semporna

Tun Sakaran Marine Park - Semporna

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park - Kota Kinabalu (Capital City)

Turtle Island Park - Sandakan

Usukan Cove - Kota Belud

There are few dive operators in Kota Kinabalu but i would like to recommend Borneo Divers. 

Borneo Divers, founded in 1984, was the first full service professional dive operation in Borneo. Our company headquarters are located in the modern city of Kota Kinabalu, and our outstanding dive destinations include the world famous Sipadan and Mabul on the East coast of Sabah and our training centre on Mamutik, less than 10 minute boat ride from the city of Kota Kinabalu where regular courses are conducted at all levels from PADI Open Water Diver to PADI Instructor level Courses. Borneo Divers have also been the official logistics facilitator for the PADI Course Director Training Course for the past 15 years. With years of experience and a leadership role in professionalism, Borneo Divers is still the first choice of discriminating dive travelers who want the best that Sabah has to offer. (Borneo Divers) 

For any inquiries, please contact Borneo Divers at : 

Borneo Divers 
And Sea Sports (Sabah) SDN. BHD (124642-M)

Head Office:
9th Floor, Menara Jubili, 53 Jalan Gaya,
88000 Kota Kinabalu

Tel: +6 088 – 222226 (5 lines), 221340 
Fax: +6 088 221550 

Postal Address: 
Locked Bag 194, 88999 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. 

General Information:



Do you need Travel Consultant during your stay in Sabah Borneo? Are you planning to come to Sabah soon? Where to go? Where To Stay? Where to eat? Please contact me through my email at anytime (Term and Condition to Apply) 

We welcome you as a friend! Come to Sabah. It is your Home Holiday! 

My details:
Name: Fidelis Francis 
Occupation: Freelance Travel Consultant

5 Diving Tips for Saving Air

Diving Tips: Saving Air
Do you breathe your tank down faster than your buddy? Here are 5 diving tips to help conserve your oxygen and extend your bottom time.

1. Fix the small leaks
Even a tiny stream of bubbles from an O-ring or an inflator swivel adds up over 40 minutes, and may be a sign of more serious trouble ahead anyway. A mask that doesn't seal is another kind of leak in that you have to constantly blow air into it to clear out the water. It's also a source of stress, which needlessly elevates your breathing rate and thereby reduces your breathing efficiency. Does your octo free-flow easily? That can dump a lot of air quickly. Detune it or mount it carefully so the mouthpiece points downward.

2. Dive More
Inexperienced divers are famous for burning through their air supply at a furious rate, so one of the best diving tips for saving air is to simply dive more often. You may not be a new diver, but unless you dive almost every week it's still an unnatural activity. By diving more, your body will get used to the idea, and you'll breathe less.

3. Swim Slowly
The energy cost of speed is even more than you might think:  Swim half as fast as you do now, and you'll use less air.

4. Stay Shallow
Because your regulator has to deliver air at the same pressure as the water, a lungful at 33 feet (two atmospheres) takes twice as much out of your tank as does the same breath at the surface. At 99 feet (four atmospheres) it takes twice as much as at 33 feet. There's absolutely nothing you can do about that except to avoid being deeper than you have to be. If you're making a transit over an uninteresting sand flat to get to the edge of the drop-off, do it at 15 feet instead of at 40 feet, and you'll save air.

5. Minimize the Lead
If you're overweighted, you have to put more air into your BC to float it and be neutral. The inflated BC is larger and requires more energy and oxygen to push it through the water. An extra eight pounds of lead means your BC is one gallon bigger when inflated enough to make you neutral. 

Read more HERE

Safety Stop Blog is just started.

Hi everyone. How do you guys doing? I just got my diving licence few month ago with two of my buddies, Cassandra and Oscar. 
I took the course from Borneo Divers Training Institute Kota Kinabalu and i would like to say that Borneo Divers is the BEST. Good management, good staff and very friendly. 

Well, diving is a recreational sport and very interesting because what we see in-front of our eyes in land is actually different with the underwater world. Just imagine a beautiful and colorful park with lots of blooming flowers , butterfly and bird flying just few inch near you like you can just touch it..  Well underwater world is actually more beautiful with lots of weird creatures. I just can't explain it. 

Some of us might don't know how to manage anger and stress. Yes indeed, to many task to do in the office. Sometimes, we need to stay back to finish the task. This is my advice, take a leave ( maybe you can take a sick leave/emergency leave as well as i do always hahahaha) and go diving! Please believe me that your stress will swiped with the sea water! But you must be a certified diver first..

This blog is created for my diving diary. So stay tune!