Phuket Diving Gossip

General News

Tigertail seahorse at Shark Point, Phuket

After returning from an excellent European vacation, the Sharkey team welcomed visitors from all around the world . In this month we had the pleasure of meeting guests from the five major continents: Africa (South Africa), Americas (USA), Asia (India, Korea and Singapore ), Australasia (Australia) and Europe (United Kingdom and Poland). For some it was a first visit and first diving experience, for others a return trip.

Diving-wise all the usual suspects were around: leopard sharks, seahorses, stingrays, frogfish and lots of nudibranches, to name but a few. Visibility was generally very good and the King Cruiser wreck in particular was absolutely stunning as the soft coral growth continues to spread all over the ship! On a sad note, our great friend and colleague, Max, decided it was time for a new challenge and can now be found chained to a desk somewhere in Phuket Town! We thank Max so much for all his help and friendship over the years and wish him the best in his land-based job. More on Max below.

Fish of the Month

Common lionfish at Shark Point, Phuket

This month's fish of the month is the common lionfish. We just had to choose this one with Max departing us as he has always loved to express just how much Iain loves this particular type of fish! He even bought Iain a t-shirt with one imprinted on for his birthday one year - a t-shirt that Iain will treasure for ever! Lionfish are very common all around the reefs of Phuket and Phi Phi, and in particular at the dive sites of King Cruiser and Shark Point.

The picture on the right was taken by Oui at Shark Point, Phuket, whilst on a dive with Rebecca from Australia who was visiting us for the first time since her honeymoon four years earlier. The lionfish is particular well known for two reasons: firstly its beautiful look and secondly for its very venomous sting. With poisonous barbels all along its spine it serves as a great example of why we should only "look but don't touch". It is also known for its voracious appetite. Put one in an aquarium tank with smaller fishes and expect to end up with just one fish - a large, overweight but contented lionfish!

Smile Of The Month

Kasia Birdzy - smile of the month

This month's Smile of the Month award goes to Kasia Birdzy of Poland. Kasia came to visit to take her PADI Open Water course and was a natural to the underwater environment. The photo to the left was taken after her last dive of the course at the island of Racha Yai and is clear evidence of how much she enjoyed the whole experience. As Kasia recently completed her law degree in the UK her decision to learn to dive was a particularly good choice of self-reward!

So Long and Thanks For All The Fish...

Abbie and Max sharing a birthday

On 5th February 2006 we received an e-mail that would change our lives. It started with "you don't know me but I know you". At first suspecting a stalker it soon became clear that it was from an English guy called Max who worked for the same IT company that Iain used to work for. The e-mail clearly expressed the person's passion for diving and wish to escape the rat race.

In April of that year we meet Max for the first time, instantly became great friends and welcomed his return visit the following September. After completing his divemaster and instructor courses with us we then offered him a position within the Sharkey team. Max has always been so much more than just an employee. He has been there for us in our greatest moments of joy (Abbie's birth) and moments of sadness too. He is Iain's adopted brother and Abbie's favourite uncle. He even shares the same birth date as our daughter. Of course the highlight of his kindness was taking some customers snorkelling with a whaleshark whilst Iain was spending time with his newborn baby!

Max now has his own family, wife Nok and daughter Jessica although he will always be part of our family too. We wish him all the best in his new job and just hope he has time to come and play with Abbie, eat crackers and cheese with Oui and watch football with Iain. We love you, Max. Long live the Hobbit!

Thailand liveaboard

PADI student

Whale shark

Manta ray