Tag Archives: TARP

The Temptation of Scuba Diving in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Hawksbill Turtle in TARP

Hawksbill Turtle in TARP

One of the Dream Crew recently shared their thoughts on why Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is the ideal local scuba diving retreat. Read on and enjoy :-)

 

As a local Malaysian living in Kota Kinabalu, I always feel lucky to have the TARP marine park so close to where I live.  I know a lot of avid divers who have to travel for hours (often involving hours of road/air travel) just to scuba dive.  Thankfully Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is located just 15 minutes boat ride away from Kota Kinabalu!

 

Find Nemo in TARP

Find Nemo when scuba diving in TARP

TARP diving is perfect for those looking to do chilled out dives among pretty corals.  With over 25 dive sites that have been identified around the 5 islands, there is bound to be one that suits one’s dive level and preference – from beginners to advanced divers.

 

On a typical two-dive day out with Borneo Dream, you get to enjoy two open water dives (one in the morning, one in the afternoon), with an ala-carte lunch based on an Island café in between.  Dives or “bottom time”  last anywhere between 30 min – 45 min depending on air consumption. Our TARP leisure diving trip runs daily (including during the “wet months” of Nov – March) and departs from the Jesselton Point jetty in town. Our catamaran boat departs from the JP jetty at 0900hrs and drops you back off at the same jetty around 3:30 – 4:00 pm. The water temperature ranges from 27 – 30C and although we provide 3mm wetsuits to all our divers, we do sometimes get people who dive only in rash guards and board shorts! Think warm water tropical diving… ☺

 

Schooling Barracuda

Schooling Barracuda

What is there to see? TARP also home to a variety of marine life – scorpionfish, lionfish, schooling baracuddas, fusiliers, snappers, cuttlefish, batfish, and so much more (even Nemo!). You also sometimes get the occasional appearances of the green/hawksbill turtles.  If you love the “smaller” more minute stuff, there is something for you as well, as nudibranches can easily be spotted at TARP.

 

If you’d like to arrange a dive to TARP with Borneo Dream, just contact us and we will be in touch with more information.

Meet a Very Friendly Cuttle Fish, or Two, in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Cuttle Fish in TARP

Cuttle Fish in TARP

Scuba Diving with Borneo Dream in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in Kota Kinabalu

I joined a Borneo Dream scuba diving trip earlier this week to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park near Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The sea was very calm (almost as flat as a pancake), the sky was blue and we had some very pleasant visibility (around 10m – 15m). A perfect day for some chilled out scuba diving!

We went on three lovely dives at different coral reefs in TARP Marine Park and during the dives we came across a few large Cuttle Fish. Cuttle Fish only tend to live about one to two years so they were probably mature adults.

Diver with Cuttle Fish in TARP

Diver with Cuttle Fish in TARP

We approached the Cuttle Fish slowly and just watched them for a few minutes. One of them showed an amazing display of changing colour. Cuttlefish are referred to as the “chameleons of the sea” because of their ability to rapidly change their skin color. They can change color and pattern (including of light polarisation and even texture) to communicate to other cuttlefish, to camouflage themselves, and in display to warn off potential predators. As we were not Cuttle Fish we took it as a sign to move on, so we carried on slowly with the rest of our chilled out dive.

Borneo Dream runs daily trips to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. If you’d like to come and see a Cuttle Fish, or other amazing tropical marine life, during your holiday in Sabah then just contact the Borneo Dream Team. They’ll help you choose your dream scuba diving experience in KK, Sabah.

Pretty Nudibranch in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

During a Borneo Dream scuba diving trip to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP) at the weekend we came across beautiful Nudibranch during our morning dive. It was towards the end of our 75 minute morning dive when I spotted the Nudibranch in around 5m of water. I took a few photos as it moved slowly over the sand. Now just to identify the species :). Our crew went back to the same dive site yesterday and spotted even more nudibranches – much to our customers delight! More lovely diving trips from KK, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah with Borneo Dream.

Frog Fish in TARP, Kota Kinabalu

Frog Fish in TARP

Frog Fish in TARP

Frog Fish in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Kota Kinabalu

Another day of scuba diving with Borneo Dream in nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and another lovely find during our afternoon dive on a scuba diving trip in the past week. This time Billy spotted a small Frog Fish nestled under a coral bombie along the coral reef visited for our afternoon dive in TARP. The Frog Fish was around 10 – 15cm in length (I didn’t have a ruler with me) and was a beautiful pink / magenta mix of colours. Frog Fish are found in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in small numbers so whenever you spot one it is a wonderful find.

Frog Fish in TARP

Frog Fish in TARP

Frog Fish look slightly unusual, and act in a different manner, compared to most other common tropical fish life. Frogfish are a type of anglerfish and found in tropical oceans / seas around the world. They live generally on the ocean floor around reefs. They can change their colour in order to blend in with their surroundings – blending in perfectly with their surroundings is very important to their feeding. Frogfish generally do not move very much, preferring to lie on the sea floor and wait for prey to approach. Once the prey is spotted, they approach slowly using their pectoral and pelvic fins to ‘walk’ along the floor. The catch itself is made by the sudden opening of the jaws, which enlarges the volume of the mouth cavity up to twelve-fold, pulling the prey into the mouth along with water. The water flows out through the gills, while the prey is swallowed. The frogfish can expand their stomachs to swallow animals up to twice their size! A very cool fish to watch.

I can’t wait for our next scuba diving trip to see what we can find along the coral reefs accessible from Kota Kinabalu in the South China Sea. If you’d like to join us for a scuba diving trip in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah just contact the Dream Team.

Mating Octopus in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Billy with an Octopus

Billy with an Octopus

Mating Octopus in TARP, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Billy and I joined our customers for a scuba diving trip to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park this week. We were really looking forward to three dives along coral reefs in TARP, our local Marine Park as we’d had a week of calm, beautiful weather and knew the diving conditions were good. We were not let down :)

A Mating Octopus in TARP

A Mating Octopus in TARP

We were 5 minutes into our first morning diving in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park when Billy spotted a large Octopus. After a couple of minutes of watching the Octopus Billy realised the Octopus was in fact ‘making babies’ with another Octopus that was under nearby Table Coral. This was a very cool thing to see as a diver, and Billy’s first Octopus mating photo shoot. Billy and I remained still and just watched without disturbing the Octopii from their important activity. Afterwards the large Octopus just stayed on the Rock – we took a few photos and left it in peace.

If you’d like to join Borneo Dream for some fun diving in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah then just contact the Borneo Dream Team. We’ll do our best to find you some tropical underwater surprises during your dives.