Best Places To Scuba Dive In Barracuda Point Sipadan Island For Beginners.
Diving In Barracuda Point Sipadan Island.
One of the best places for scuba diving destination, is barracuda point on sipadan Island in Malaysia
Ever since diving celebrity Jacques Cousteau raved about Pulau Sipadan's diversity of marine life, this dive mecca has been indisputably the most famous scuba destination in Malaysia. It is located off the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia's eastern most state, and lies on the north-eastern corner of Borneo, the world's third largest island.
The Sipadan legend has passed through the world's diving community to the extent that all divers with an interest in visiting the best sites in the world, have a resort stay near this small island near the top of their wish list.
Even without the barracudas this would be a most colourful and entertaining dive. But just when this thought flashes through your mind, you may be engulfed in a tornado of barracudas – several thousand strong and more than the eye can take in.
A superb moment in an outstanding dive. It is little wonder that visitors who come scuba diving at Sipadan Island will leave with so many “Barracuda Point” entries in their log-books. You should have one too.
Cruise along the wall dropping down as far as you wish, and keep an eye out for a herd of bumphead parrotfish and turtles in every nook and cranny. Eventually the wall will level out into a sloping plateau, where the barracudas often congregate. Here you can also find Napoleon wrasse and yellow-margin triggerfish.
A word of caution though, don't venture too deep to the north of this site as the currents can get very strong and sweep you downwards, out and away from the island.
Top 21 Best Dive Sites From Around The World To Go Diving.
Popular Dive Areas Within Sipadan Island.
1. Coral Garden Although the temptation of the drop-off is always there, this site is a haven for the underwater photographer. The health and diversity of the coral growth in the shallows atop of the wall, combined with the fact that almost every species to be seen in Pulau Sipadan’s waters is on view here, makes this site ideal for long dives devoted to both macro and wide angle compositions.
2. The Drop Off This site is in many ways the signature dive of Sipadan. When the island had resorts stationed on it, this site was a mere stroll off the beach where a 600 metre drop would welcome you to the underwater world. The site was widely regarded as the best beach dive in the world, until the resorts were removed from Pulau Sipadan and it became a boat dive. The underwater photographs always include schools of fish (jacks / trevallies or barracudas) circling above the diver and you may think that this is purely for the benefit of the promotional literature.
3. Hanging Gardens In a nutshell, this is a wall dive which begins with a drop-off just over a metre from the surface, descends gradually to a terrace at about 70 metres and then plunges into an abyss. This is the topography here - hence its name 'Hanging Gardens'. The terraces, filled with a proliferation of Dendronephthya Alcyonarians in various pastel colours of lemon, lavender and antique rose overflowing down to the next level, harks back to the mythological Babylonian gardens after which it is named.
4. Midreef Lazily decend to your required depth down the vertical wall that forms Pulau Sipadan's Midreef, then just drift along with the current, whichever way it takes you - north or south. Once you begin your dive, it won't belong before you come across this sites most discernable guests - dozens of large green turtles, by now very habituated to inquisitive divers.
5. South Point This is a good place to get a bit deeper in the morning as long as you don't mind a thin layer of narcosis-on-toast for breakfast. South Point is one of the more likely sites at Sipadan Island for rare shark sightings such as hammerheads and thresher sharks, both of which tend to stay at depths here of 40+ metres. On this dive you will descend down to a ledge and then fin out gently into the blue, scanning the waters for a glimpse of action. If you are lucky enough to encounter hammerhead sharks or threshers you will be the toast of the resort and the object of envy.
6. Staghorn Crest At this dive site, you will find yourself beginning with a gentle descent along the drop-off, followed by a gradual diagonal descent along the wall, at the shallow end of which there is a garden of staghorn corals. Photographers take note - this site has brilliant light conditions during the afternoons which offers excellent illumination for superb underwater images. On the face of the wall, take a close look into the numerous cervices, balconies, cavities and protruding vaults where you will see a profusion of marine life which have made their home there.
7. Turtle Cavern The cavern is a complicated site with the entrance to the cavern located at about 18 m. Sipadan diving is famous for its population of both green turtles and the smaller hawksbill turtles. It was at one time speculated that the cavern was their mausoleum and that they came to this site to die. However, a more accurate representation, is that the turtles became lost in the caverns at night and drowned. Sipadan Island’s resort operators insist that all divers at this system of interconnecting caverns must be accompanied by a local dive master.
8. Turtle Patch Although you can make a typical wall dive, perhaps the best way of taking in Turtle Patch is just to let the current take you along the shallows, and then you can take in the scenery as it unfolds at its own natural and leisurely pace before your eyes. This is because, similarly with Coral Garden, the main attraction for divers here is the shallow terraces at the top of the eastern wall. This is also the attraction for a large number of giant turtles that come here to rest on the sandy bottom or feed on the sponges.
9. Whitetip Avenue With a name like "Whitetip Avenue", you're probably wondering, does it live up to its name? Well, yes, it does. You can look forward to numerous encounters with schools of gentle whitetip reef sharks.
This, however, is only one of the many amazing underwater sights this dive site has in store for you. A coral reef located at a shallow depth before plunging into the 600 metres vertical abyss, Whitetip Avenue is full of unexpected encounters.
This is also the attraction for a large number of giant turtles that come here to rest on the sandy bottom or feed on the sponges.
Sipadan Island Diving Season.
The Sipadan dive season is year round although conditions do vary throughout the year. March to July and October to December experience the most settled conditions.
Surface conditions are normally calm, sometimes glass-calm, water temperatures are consistently bath-warm, and the weather is normally hot and sunny. Visibility in these periods usually ranges from 15 to 30m.
Regular divers at Sipadan agree that March to May are probably the very best months with peak visibility (20 to 30m), calm seas and sunshine.
November and into early December are also often included in the very best times. Months such as June, July and October regularly deliver excellent conditions too.
Northerly winds (in January and February) and southerly winds (in August and early September) can reduce the visibility (usually 10 to 20m) and create choppier surface conditions making boat rides a little less comfortable.
Despite these being considered the least reliable months, many divers who visit at these times report great conditions and amazing marine encounters. Although any given day throughout the year has the potential to disappoint, Sipadan is truly a year-round destination.
The rainy season tends to be from December to late February when unsettled weather may result in a decrease in visibility, however in recent years the timing of the rainy season has been less than certain.
The most likely months for frequency of showers are January and February. These months represent the middle of the wet season and although Pulau Sipadan and Mabul seldom experience much rain, the water and air temperature can be towards the cooler end of the usual range.
Picking The Right Dive Location.
There are several excellent nearby resorts from which to dive here, the closest being on Mabul and Kapalai. There is only one liveaboard in the area, which stays overnight in Mabul. The resort islands also boast some excellent macro dive sites which are a great complement to the breathtaking big fish action of Sipadan.
Mabul's latest, most exclusive resort offers privacy and luxury previously unavailable in the area. Diving at Sipadan is world class and this dive resort provides accommodation to suit.
There are high class furnishings in each air-conditioned bungalow, equipped with satellite TV, minibar, security safe for valuables, and huge dual-aspect private balcony. Villa suites are also available. Single travellers may be permitted to share at non-peak times.
Enjoy the luxuries of Mabul Water Bungalows and make use of the available facilities at the nearby Sipadan Mabul Resort (under joint ownership) with jacuzzi, massage, swimming pool, sea kayaks and beach volleyball.
The scuba centre boats will collect you every day for 2 dives at Sipadan (subject to park concessions), with a third dive back in Mabul or Kapalai Island.
Nitrox is available for those qualified to use it, and if you need yet more diving, then there's unlimited complimentary shore dives at some of the favourite Mabul sites, such as Froggy Lair, or direct from the resort's own jetty, where you will find an excellent artificial reef.
The Sipadan Mabul Resort, or SMART as it is known locally, sits ideally on 10 acres of prime real estate on the southern shore of the island of Mabul. It's all chalets on a sandy white beach, dotted with palm trees here - the winner of our 'Dive Resort of the Year' award in 2009, a true paradise.
Mabul is truly blessed with its prime location in being able to offer diving at nearby Sipadan Island in addition to its own world-renowned macro scuba havens, and that of Kapalai too. We know the diving here is excellent and that you'll probably want to see as much as you can. That's why Mabul beach dives are free of charge and enriched air nitrox is available.