Phuket Diving Gossip

General News

Shark Point, Phuket

Greetings from the Sharkey team here in Phuket. May has seen yet another superb month in Phuket as the amazing weather and diving continues. This month we have had the pleasure of yet more new visitors and some of the most amazing leopard shark experiences we have ever had including a couple of frisky ones at Shark Point. More details below.

Other marine life discoveries include some really cute baby seahorses at various dive sites around both Phuket and Phi Phi, plus some stunning frog fish. Oui's "eagle eyes" have been razor shape which somehow seems to have coincided with her running out of contact lenses! Could "diving blind" be the new way to go?

Heaven or Hell?

Nicki, Fiona, Dimi, Cheryl

Iain was in "seventh heaven" after arranging a dive trip for a Hong Kong netball team on a visit to Phuket for an international tournament. The anticipation of envious glances from other dive instructors was eagerly awaited as was the arrival of the four young ladies: Dimi, Fiona, Cheryl and Nicki. Unfortunately on the day of the trip Iain awoke with a high temperature as heaven turned to hell leaving Oui with the pleasurable task of chaperoning the team. In between fighting off individuals with high testosterone levels, a relaxed and fun day was had by all with discoveries of many interesting types of marine life including octopus, lion fish and moray eels.

The Mating Game

Leopard shark, Shark Point

Leopard sharks are a pretty common occurrence around Phuket but this month Oui had some of her most amazing encounters ever experienced, all at Shark Point! Circling sharks on safety stops started to become routine but, when a mating game started to unfold whilst diving with Rick and Emily from England, the jaws started to drop. Oblivious to the divers first one shark and then another arrived. Five minutes of foreplay ensued followed by a bit of tail nibbling before they disappeared off into the blue to continue their date in private. With camera in hand Oui even managed to capture the whole thing on video too! What next?

Fish of the Month

Blue spotted fantail ray

This month's Fish of the Month is the Blue Spotted Fan Tail Ray. This beautiful,small ray species is often mistaken with its similar looking cousin, the blue spotted sting ray. Although very similar in appearance there are a couple of signs that give the game away (including the name). Firstly, it's tail. When stressed the tail spreads out into a fan shape, hence the name, as opposed to the more pointed and rigid tail of the sting ray. Also, the body shapes are different with the fantail ray being more circular in appearance as opposed to the sting ray's more diamond-like structure.

This particular photo of a juvenile was taken just outside of bay 2 at the island of Racha Yai. These rays are often seen quite deep at 18 metres or more (this one was at 20m) although they can sometimes be seen much shallower especially near beach areas. They are always found in and around sandy parts where they can be observed snuffling around, stirring up the bottom in search of food. When feeding they seem to become almost completely oblivious to divers and will even swim right up to your fins (as long as you stay motionless and quiet). Never approach too fast as they will take off like a rocket leaving only a trail of dust behind!

Smile Of The Month

Johny and Oui

This month's Smile of the Month winner* is jointly awarded to Johny and Jennifer from India. This happy-go-lucky couple originally both worked in telecommunications in Mumbai but decided to up roots and move to Phuket. They have now been working in Phuket as teachers for over two years and finally decided to take the plunge when the opportunity arose during a recent school holiday break.

Jennifer and Oui

Their enthusiasm for the underwater world was evident on our first meeting and continued to escalate throughout their PADI Open Water diver course. The initial nervousness dissipated as the smiles and excitement increased to the point where we thought they would explode with happiness. I think the photos to the right, taken with Oui, say it all! As "locals" in Phuket we are very much looking forward to sharing many more memorable experiences with them in the future.

Sand and Sunsets!

Abbie

Abbie is still like a fish in water when it comes to, well,…being in the water. Swimming is still a regular event and she can now achieve more than 5 metres unaided (no floats or arm bands). With Phuket quietening down due to the mythical "rainy season" tag, afternoon walks with “Pappa” to the beach are a common occurrence.

With pleasant, warm late afternoon weather, stunning sunsets and an almost deserted Karon beach, the sea shore is definitely the place to be this time of year. Initially Abbie started to display signs of an architect in the making but quickly advanced from building elaborate sand castles to enthusiastically destroying them! Oh well, human nature once again runs its course.




Thailand liveaboard

PADI student


Whale shark

Manta ray