|Ric and Tino in front of Mabul Beach Resort|
Nine years ago, two instructors – Tino and Ric – opened up a small dive centre in Semporna. They had a just few sets of equipment and one boat. They opened the dive centre with the understanding that a great dive experience is not just about what you see underwater, but to enhance that they strived to make everyone’s time with the dive centre something special. Scuba Junkie has come a long way since then, not only has the shop in Semporna grown, but there is now a Beach Resort on Mabul island, as well as a dive shop in Kota Kinabalu. Not only does Scuba Junkie aim for a more personal dive experience, but as a company we are environmentally active. Projects such as S.E.A.S (Shark Education Awareness Survival) and our Mabul Turtle hatchery - set up by our Environment Project Manager Rohan Perkins - do their best to raise money for important causes, and all staff have a real passion for the creatures we see in the water.
The shop in Semporna has grown and there is now a Backpackers hostel with an amazing restaurant attached. From this small town we dive a range of islands, including Sibuan, Mataking, Manatbuan and Bohayn, as well as Mabul. The diving at these ‘Northern’ islands offers beautiful corals, lovely visability and a day trip out to stunning secluded island. Although the town of Semporna may not be the most idyllic place to spend your time, for Backpackers it is a great base to do some incredible diving.
An hour long boat ride from Semporna takes you to Mabul, where just 5 years ago Scuba Junkie built the Mabul Beach Resort. The boat pulls into the jetty, where we have our dive shop – housing all of our dive equipment. A short walk up the jetty takes you to the main resort. There were many environmental considerations kept in mind whilst the resort was built. Unlike many places around the island Scuba Junkie has kept its building out of the water and off the beach for a number of key reasons. Our bungalows have been kept out of the water in order to protect the fragile reef. These 24 bungalows and two dorms have been kept off the beach, and lighting on the beach minmalised, so that Turtles are free to come up and lay their eggs, all year around. Once they lay their nests we relocate them to our turtle hatchery, where they are protected.
|The beach at the Mabul Beach Resort|
|Staff and Interns after a Reef Clean|
Here at Scuba Junkie we want to protect what we see whilst we are diving and snorkelling, because we understand that it is a fragile world. Experiencing being underwater is an amazing thing, and we want to protect it for people to enjoy for years to come. A great dive is not just seeing beautiful things underwater; it is appreciating the rarity and delicacy of what you are seeing. We here at Scuba Junkie don’t just want to show you something, we want to explain to you why we love what we are seeing and the things we can do to protect it. We are all passionate about our work and we want to share that with everyone. This blog will keep you up to date on the environmental projects we have running, presentations that are being given and provide you with information on what happening in the area and what we are seeing.