Phuket Diving Gossip

General News

Green turtle, Similan islands

With the Christmas and New Year rush calming down at Sharkey Scuba, we have still been keeping ourselves busy as usual. With so many liveaboard trips to the Similan Islands, mixed in with courses, and getting the latest newsletter out it has kept us all on our toes especially when you add "Adventurous Abbie" to that equation!

As usual for this time of the year the conditions up in the spectacular Similan Islands have been near perfect above and below the water with plenty to see too. The highlight has to be the abundance of manta rays at Koh Bon island just to the north of the Similan islands themselves (see below for Manta Mania!). Come and see for yourselves while taking advantage of some of the great late liveaboard deals around at the moment.

Manta Mania!

Manta fun, Similan islands

WOW! No matter how many times you see a manta ray they simple leave you spell bound and your mouth agape at their majestic awe. At least that is what you can ask Ingemar, Laura, Div and Mara after seeing five (yes FIVE!) manta rays at Koh Bon in the Similan National Park. I think their manta celebration picture says it all. Each couple had taken advantage of our private guiding service when booking their liveaboard trip. With their own separate guides they were rewarded with not only the montage of manta rays, but other larger marine life such as blacktip reef and whitetip reef sharks and turtles. And there was still time to even find special little critters like tiger-tail seahorses, ornate ghost pipe fish, and nudibranchs galore!

Little and Large

Casey and Max the hobbit

The US Navy and marines unexpectedly came to sunny Phuket, and with their arrival date top secret, we had the pleasure of organizing a last minute day's diving for Jason, Adam, James, Marty, and Casey. Everything went so well, and the guys loved their dives, especially the two leopard sharks on Shark Point and the huge schools of fish covering the King Cruiser wreck. Coming from a military background we expected these guys to be well built and fit, but we had everyone laughing when Max stood side by side with Casey. It was definitely the "Little and Large" show! Standing in excess of two meters tall Casey dwarfed Max "The Hobbit". It was a pleasure to have them here, take them diving, then share a few ice cold Singhas later. We are looking forward to their next top secret return. We would tell you when but I'm afraid we'd have to kill you!

Fish of the Month

Blacktip reef shark, Phi Phi

This month's fish of the month is the blacktip reef shark. Although smaller than the more common leopard shark the blacktip reef shark is often mistakenly thought to be bigger, most probably because it actually looks like you imagine sharks should look - broad, solid, aero-dynamic and with "sharp, pointy teeth "! However, these non-agressive sharks are actually very shy and will rapidly disappear off into the blue if approached by divers.

The picture on the right was taken at the island of Koh Bida Nok at Phi Phi. Whilst most divers go deep to look for sharks this particular type like to hang around in the shallower areas of the reef often no deeper even than a metre or two below the surface. Their beauty and grace is truly astounding and, if seen, can convert even the most shark-phobic person around into a lover of these wonderful creatures!

Smile Of The Month

Bill and Dian sharing smiles with Sharkey

This month's "Smile of the Month" award is jointly awarded to Bill and Diana from the USA. Having never snorkelled before, Bill and Diana were a little bit nervous at the beginning of their Open Water diver course. However, it wasn't long before their confidence started to grow and within a hours they were hooked! On completing their initial dive certification course they decided to continue their education and enjoyed an adventurous Advanced course whilst also encountering sharks, turtles and many other things at close hand. The smiles say it all!

Bill and Diana were on a well deserved break from their work as logistical coordinators in Iraq. It was really sad to see them head back but over a farewell dinner they said "they had the time of their lives, loved the diving, became part of the Sharkey family, and would be back to the Land of Smiles soon". We can't wait for their next fun-filled visit!


Abbie playing Peek-A-Boo!

Abbie's current favourite pastime, as is evident from the attached picture, is the game of "Peek-A-Boo". Last week whilst unpacking a new delivery of PADI materials we noticed that Abbie had disappeared. Having checked in all the usual places we were puzzled and a little anxious as to where she was. Then we noticed some movement from one of the cardboard boxes which was followed by a little head poking out and declaring "Peek-A-Boo mamma and pappa!" and, lo and behold, there was our special delivery! At least she has now stopped eating the boxes!

Thailand liveaboard

PADI student

Whale shark

Manta ray