Monthly Archives: December 2014

//December

How to measure business success: Staff happiness!

One way Downbelow Directors Richard and Joanne measure business success of Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures is the happiness of their staff.

Tim, Shirley and Karen have reached the 5-year milestone of their career with our operations, which is an achievement for the three dedicated staff, as well as the company.

We look forward to another 5 years working together (and more, of course!), and look forward to what changes will be in store for us in future!

As a token of our appreciation for their commitment and loyalty, during the Christmas turkey dinner at our HQ, Richard and Joanne announced their award and thanked them for their valued service these past 5 years! We have seen so much change over the years, and Tim, Karen and Shirley have played important roles that have contributed to the evolution of our business.

We look forward to another 5 years working together (and more, of course!), and look forward to what changes will be in store for us in future!

Get in touch for more information on how you can get involved in our operations and achieve career fulfilment in the exciting tourism industry of Sabah, Borneo!

How to measure business success: Staff happiness!2016-01-02T03:52:52+08:00

Which GoPro camera model is the best for me?

A lot of customers at our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop ask, ‘which GoPro camera model is the best for me?’ and, according to GoPro Trainer Simon, it really depends on what your needs are.

When launching the latest GoPro camera model Hero4, Simon offered his own experience using the GoPro range in various adventure activities, particularly with scuba diving because it’s what we specialize in.

Our Sabah Travel Centre staff are avid fans of the GoPro range in general and we conduct product training to broaden our knowledge as well as maintain our exceptional customer service.

It was an eye-opening discussion on the meaning of the various specifications of the GoPro models. HERO4 is for the advanced user with an eye for the exceptionally professional-quality recording, and also its features are very user-friendly for the amateur user too!

Our Sabah Travel Centre staff are avid fans of the GoPro range in general and we conduct product training to broaden our knowledge as well as maintain our exceptional customer service.

Come visit our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop to speak to our Supervisor on all things GoPro, and start recording your travels, especially when travelling Sabah, Borneo!

Which GoPro camera model is the best for me?2016-01-04T02:38:45+08:00

What active conservation is there in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah?

What active conservation there is in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah? There is a collective effort from the local authorities and they need the support of dive operations in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park! We are always there for environmental protection and support!

Downbelow operations fully sponsor various conservation projects with logistics and professional diving staff to demonstrate our Project AWARE commitment, and one such instance is two separate net removal dives.

For the past month, there have been numerous illegally discarded fishing nets discovered snagged on the fragile coral reefs of dive sites in the marine park. Downbelow operations fully sponsor various conservation projects with logistics and professional diving staff to demonstrate our Project AWARE commitment, and one such instance is two separate net removal dives. The first dive is a small team of 6, who removed a very old net, and on the second dive the following day, a group of 10 divers removed a new ‘ghost net’ that was already claiming marine life.

We work together with the local governing bodies to keep our marine environment protected; and within our own operations, various PADI courses and programs are integrated with raising awareness for responsible tourism. For example, our 1-day snorkel safari program is combined with marine debris collection for our snorkelling guests to contribute themselves!

For the past decade that our operations have been in the successful marine park, we can definitely see a positive difference. If we continue supporting one another, we can continue to enjoy our beautiful paradise for many years to come!

Contact our Kota Kinabalu HQ for more information about our marine conservation efforts and how you can get involved!

What active conservation is there in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah?2016-01-04T02:38:31+08:00

Downbelow team spend their Christmas in the 50s!

Our Downbelow team re-created a traditional 1950s Christmas party, and it’s also the first company staff meal our island team have ever organised – which was an awesome success!

Overall, our team is happier and closer for it after spending this special time of year together – and it keeps our ‘Live Like Dive Downbelow’ spirit alive this holiday season!

They did a great job because everyone had a wonderful time mingling with one another, singing on the karaoke system (strictly Golden Oldies!), games and prizes for best dressed and happiest team member, as well as a surprise visit from none other than – Santa Claus, who is also known as, Adam (one of our island staff)! Lots of goodies were given away from Santa after he burst out of the handmade cardboard fireplace.

Overall, our team is happier and closer for it after spending this special time of year together – and it keeps our ‘Live Like Dive Downbelow’ spirit alive this holiday season!

This last year has been so exciting for us, and we’re looking forward to the same prosperity and growth, for which we thank our friends and partners in the tourism industry for their support, and we wish everybody continued success in the coming New Year!

Wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone we know!

Downbelow team spend their Christmas in the 50s!2016-01-04T02:38:09+08:00

PADI support: Dive safety a priority at Downbelow operations!

Dive safety is serious business at our Downbelow operations, so as to maintain our high standard of quality dive education, and PADI support us in various ways too!

PADI Asia Pacific Regional Manager Johnny Chew visits our Kota Kinabalu HQ to discuss with Downbelow Marketing Director Joanne, how our dive operations are coping with conducting diver education at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre since the recent changes to PADI standards.

Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann regularly conducts workshops for our full time and dedicated team of PADI Instructors to maintain the consistency of our diver training!

Diver education is always evolving to improve diver safety, and PADI standards change due to global statistics on the management of dive emergencies and the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC).

Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann regularly conducts workshops for our full time and dedicated team of PADI Instructors to maintain the consistency of our diver training!

Get more details on the dive safety guidelines implemented in our dive operations when you contact our HQ. One of our friendly and helpful travel experts will create a program for you to receive a high standard of quality dive education and of diver safety at our Gaya Island beach house in Sabah, Borneo!

PADI support: Dive safety a priority at Downbelow operations!2016-01-04T02:44:35+08:00

Professional dive training to qualify as a PADI Divemaster.

The first professional diver level of the PADI system of diver education is the PADI Divemaster. At our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island, the professional dive training to qualify, is combined in one of our highly successful GoPRO internship programs, along with other benefits to experience the real dive lifestyle.

Mike receives his PADI Divemaster CrewPak to begin his dive theory studies and prepare for his in-water skills and his final exams too.

Candidate Mike Jones arrives in Kota Kinabalu for a 1-month professional scuba diving internship, and his first correspondence is our lovely GoPRO advisor and Travel Centre Manager Alice. Mike receives his PADI Divemaster CrewPak to begin his dive theory studies and prepare for his in-water skills and his final exams too. His dedicated mentor is one of our Go PRO team members, PADI IDC Staff Instructor Pablo, who will communicate with him each day of his internship on what aspect of the dive lifestyle he will experience. This could be anything from, participating in a conservation program, to assisting another one of our full time and dedicated PADI Instructors to conduct a PADI course or program for real diving clients!

Get more information on the PADI Divemaster course and our Go PRO internship program when you contact Alice, or any of our Go PRO advisors, and start living the dive lifestyle in Sabah, Borneo!

Professional dive training to qualify as a PADI Divemaster.2018-02-03T00:58:54+08:00

Where can I buy GST-free dive merchandise?

Dive Shop Supervisor Karen is preparing for the GST well before it needs to be implemented, which means there’s still plenty of time to take advantage of GST-free products and invest in dive merchandise from our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop!

Planning an adventure to explore Sabah, Borneo, is a trip of a lifetime and will be even more exciting with new gear and gadgets to use for activities such as, snorkelling, scuba diving, camping, mountain climbing and more!

Karen recently ordered a BCD jacket for scuba diving from the reputable dive brand Scubapro, and its features are designed for the avid diver who travels!

Our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop is stocked with items that complement the various programs we create for our clients to experience the very best attractions in Sabah! Karen recently ordered a BCD jacket for scuba diving from the reputable dive brand Scubapro, and its features are designed for the avid diver who travels – really useful for visitors to Sabah who are planning on diving everywhere between Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, where our premier PADI 5 Star Dive Centre is located, to the famous Sipadan Island on the east coast!

For more information on products we stock, visit our regularly updated Dive Shop website and browse for items you need for your next Sabah adventure!

Where can I buy GST-free dive merchandise?2018-02-03T00:58:54+08:00

Kota Kinabalu: Pro divers protect coral reef from marine debris!

Kota Kinabalu is a lively city, and the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park is located just off the coast of the city centre.

Scuba diving in the protected park is a prime location for its incredible coral reefs, however marine debris from mankind is so detrimental to environmental health!

Net removal dives are fully sponsored by Downbelow, with the necessary logistics and professional staff to remove illegally discarded fishing nets discovered with efficiency and safety always a priority.

Pro divers at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, tackle yet another ‘ghost net’ from one of our favourite dive sites in the park. The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is a very successful government designated marine park but governments need help from dive centres who are out everyday to keep them healthy.

Net removal dives are fully sponsored by Downbelow, with the necessary logistics and professional staff to remove illegally discarded fishing nets discovered with efficiency and safety always a priority.

Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann leads the organized team to remove a very old fishing net to prevent it from deteriorating the coral reef and its marine life any further.

As committed Project AWARE professional divers, dive buddies brought along large mesh bags in aid of raising awareness about the negative impact of marine debris on the environmental health in our local area.

Contact our HQ in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, for more information on other conservation projects we will conduct in future, such as coral planting to revitalize damaged reef!

Kota Kinabalu: Pro divers protect coral reef from marine debris!2016-01-04T03:13:35+08:00

Our Sabah travel experts share their own experience!

Knowledge is fundamental for our Sabah travel experts to create an itinerary for their clients to experience an amazing adventure whilst their travelling Sabah!

Travel expert Lulu sits down with her client, Torbern from Sweden, to discuss a suitable itinerary to include adventure activities that would interest him, and he’s particularly keen on acquiring a divers’ license. Our Downbelow operations consists of a premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre based on Gaya Island in Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, where daily dive packages and dive instruction of all levels are conducted!

Lulu recently completed her PADI Open Water Diver qualification, and since, has become more confident with creating dive packages for our clients!

Lulu offers Torbern our 1-day snorkel safari program to explore the marine environment, and another 1-day program to experience SCUBA on our popular 1-day PADI Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) program. Lulu recently completed her PADI Open Water Diver qualification, and since, has become more confident with creating dive packages for our clients! With her valuable firsthand experience, Lulu advises Torbern to participate in the DSD program, because he can decide after the morning session if he would like to upgrade to qualify as a PADI Open Water Diver himself!

Contact us, or visit our Travel Centre, to create a program to add to your Sabah adventure! Our travel experts are experts, because they travel!

Our Sabah travel experts share their own experience!2018-02-03T00:58:54+08:00

Removing another ‘ghost net’ to protect TAR park!

When discovering a ‘ghost net’, it’s shocking and disappointing, and especially when we can see the effects of the destructive net!

The conservation efforts of the past decade of 150+ net removal dives, proves our expertise allows us to act quickly; and as usual, Downbelow operations immediately sponsor another project with logistics. Equipment, safety and full-time, dedicated, PADI professional staff are arranged to remove the illegally discarded fishing net to protect and preserve the fragile coral reef in Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park.

To live one of the most important aspects of the dive lifestyle: raising awareness on marine conservation.

Go PRO interns, having recently completed their professional dive training to become PADI Instructors, achieve valuable experience for their involvement, and to live one of the most important aspects of the dive lifestyle: raising awareness on marine conservation. This fishing net was one of the largest any of our team ever handled, which is why so many professional divers participated. The net removal dive took roughly one hour to complete, and all divers are happier for it!

For more information on other marine conservation projects we can arrange for our clients, contact our HQ and discuss a suitable itinerary for your group or party. Contribute to the marine environment on one of our unique educational programs conducted at our Gaya Island beach house in Sabah!

Removing another ‘ghost net’ to protect TAR park!2018-02-03T00:58:54+08:00