Living on an oil rig

An dive rig built to resemble an oil rig is a really nice place to live at temporarily


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On the lift

The interior

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The deck

The deck (view from the other side)

You get the best of both worlds. To live just above the sea and be greeted by schools of rainbow trout every morning and explore the underwater world day and night. As one of its kind in this world, up to 42 occupants can live on the dive rig at any one time.

It was a really nice experience. Didn’t have to worry about lunch or what activities we had planned for the day because all week every day the itinerary was: dive, eat, dive, suntan, dive, have great conversations, eat, sleep, repeat.

I did my Advanced Open Water certification there, hence my amateur underwater photography. Visibility is usually fantastic, but during our trip in December 2013 visibility was 20 ft/m.







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Fresh crayfish

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The buffet spread was fantastic every night!

You could choose not to bathe because even if you didn’t nobody would know (everyone smells like the ocean), and think of all that filtered water you would help the dive rig conserve!

On the final day, we jumped from the dive rig into the sea! During the jump, i had the time to question myself why i was doing this, twice!

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View from the lift before the jump

List of sea creatures we saw at the House Reef, SiPadan, Mabul and Kapalai
Sea turtles, crocodile fish, frog fish, rainbow trout, snake eel, territorial diamond file fish, flounders, snake eel, stone fish, white eye moray eel, pipe fish, pygmy seahorse, banded sea snake, mandarin fish, baby lion fish, garden eel, mantis shrimp, orang utan crabs, dragonet, bumphead parrotfish, school of jacks, white tip reef sharks, barracudas, huge cuttlefish and nudibranch!

After one week on the dive rig and being back in the city I really missed the simplicity of the place and the dynamics between the crew and groups of divers enjoying each others company.

Cabin with 2 beds and a toilet

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SiPadan island map

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Map of dive sites around the dive rig

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Dive equipment rental area

Getting there:
Flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur Budget Airport > Kuala Lumpur Budget Airport to Tawau Airport (Sabah). Stayed one night at Tawau (Heritage Hotel). Van ride from Tawau to Semporna Jetty (Borneo) > boat ride from Semporna Jetty to Seaventures Dive Rig, which is an hour away from Si Padan.

I flew on AirAsia. Touched down at 1.15pm. Connecting flight at 3.35pm.

It took about an hour to enter KL from the budget terminal to clear immigration and collect luggage. Another 1.5 hour to check in to our 2nd flight. Their dial up internet or computer system is really slow and we almost missed our 2nd flight, but thank god the flight got delayed for half an hour. Its best to check-in online in your home country and print out whatever you can. Those in our group that did that managed to check-in 1 hour or less.


And here in the ever expanding void am i chained to the railings of circumstance!

5 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    Looks amazing. I haven’t quite seen a place like that advertised for diving before. Was the price reasonable as well?

  2. Ben says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I featured an excerpt of this post on a as a Weekly Reblog along with a photo with copyright credit and link back to this post. If you’d like me to take them down, you need only say so.

    Regards, Ben

  1. May 1, 2014

    […] Living on an oil rig | Up & Adrift […]

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