Phuket Diving Gossip

General News

Garang Haeng, Phi Phi

Greetings from the Sharkey team here in Phuket. What a great month this has been with many old friends visiting, new friends made plus, of course, one of the highlights of the year, the Songkran festival! This mass water fight to celebrate Thai New Year is always manic fun and a chance for grown men to act like boys (business as usual!). More below.

The diving has been superb as usual. We have had amazing visibility on the local dive sites of Phuket and Phi Phi with the usual abundance of marine life too. Just check out the picture to the right taken at Garang Haeng in Phi Phi! Bad weather came in for the last couple of days of April unfortunately prompting many of the boat operators to cut the Similans season short. However, those who did brave the weather were aptly rewarded with a recorded sighting of 13 different mantas on the same dive at Koh Bon, and a whale shark! Perseverance pays.

Songkran Festival

Songran festival in Phuket, Thailand

Songkran festival is the celebration of the ancient Thai New Year. Taking place on the evening of 12th and day of 13th April this festival is traditionally about cleansing yourself of all the bad things from the year past . Traditionally this is carried out by pouring water into the palms of your hands to wash away bad actions and thoughts with the flow of water.

Nowadays it is more of a mass water fight than a gentle cleansing process. Every year the water guns seem to get bigger and more powerful and even the kids join in (see photo)! The water also seems to get colder as the norm nowadays is to mix ice in the water barrel. The shocked look on passers by as that freezing cold water trickles down their backs is priceless! Make a note in your diary and come join us next year for the next best fun, involving water, after diving!

Phi Phi Speedboat Charter

Family fun, Phi Phi

It was with great pleasure that we welcomed the return visit of Peter Davies who has been visiting and diving in Phuket with us for many years. Every visit Peter always brings some new visitors giving us the chance to introduce them to the wonders of the underwater world. This year it included Peter's son, Greg, who is studying Marine Biology at University, and also friend Chris. Both opted for our Discover Scuba Diving program. Friend Matthew, a certified diver, also joined in the diving fun.

As Peter and co. had family members too they took the option of a Phi Phi speedboat charter. This allowed them to, not only dive, but also to achieve some sightseeing including a stopover on Phi Phi Don for lunch. Good company, good dives, good weather - the perfect way to spend the day and all with their own custom-designed schedule and at their own pace. Hurry back, Peter!

Fish of the Month

Crown of Thorns, Phi Phi

This month's Fish of the Month is the Crown of Thorns sea star. This beautiful sea star is often given a bad rap due to it's killing of corals for food. However, as with all things, nature has its way of balancing itself. Crown of Thorns generally attack and eat fast growing corals helping to maintain diversity on the reef by giving slower growing corals a chance to survive. Also, if left to its own devices, nature's natural reef predators, such as the Giant Triton and Humphead Parrotfish, would keep numbers in check. Unfortunately removal of the Triton for it's shell and the parrotfish for food have often led to over population of the Crown of Thorns.

This picture was taken at Phi Phi islands although the Crown of Thorns are common around all the local reefs. Beware of getting too close, though, as their spines are very venomous containing a neurotoxin with a sting that can last for hours. Swelling of the infected area may also persist for weeks! Photos are easy to take due to their slow movements so keep your distance and enjoy the pain-free pictures at home!

Smile Of The Month

Lauren Young

This month's Smile of the Month winner* is Lauren Young from England. This is Lauren's second visit after completing her PADI Open Water course in Phuket with us three years previously at the young age of 10 years old! In fact, you may recognise the face as Lauren also very kindly wrote us an article on her life's passion, Dolphins!

Unfortunately during her stay no dolphins appeared. However, a large variety of interesting marine life was seen on the dives, the highlight of which was a very large Hawksbill turtle seen on her final dive of the trip! That beautiful smile just got bigger!

A Duck to Water!

Abbie, Mamma and Pappa

Having introduced Abbie to the water at a very young age she has naturally grown a love for all things wet. This was re-confirmed when the whole family had the pleasure of going on our favourite local Phuket diving trip, the Phi Phi overnighter. Accompanied by our extended family members of Jon, Ben and Steve, a fun time was had by all. Abbie quickly gained her sea legs and managed to charm both customers and staff alike whilst on board.

The occasional dip in the water was also included as can be seen by the picture on the right. Having missed Mamma and Pappa whilst on their one hour dive, Abbie decided to join them in the water on surfacing. Just how we are going to keep her from diving for another six years remains to be seen! Full trip report here.

Thailand liveaboard

PADI student

Whale shark

Manta ray