Scuba Diving Phuket, Thailand - Sharkey Scuba Latest Gossip
Welcome to our latest gossip page, last updated January 2006.
The Tsunami: One Year On - December 2005
This last year has certainly been a strange year. The beginning of the year was certainly the hardest time we have experienced during our time in Phuket. Deep down we still find it hard to comprehend what happened that day last December 26th. One always associates natural disaster with bad, stormy weather but for so many people to lose their lives on a clear, sunny day with calm seas just seemed and still seems completely surreal. When people ask me what we were up to and how we felt I always refer them to our Tsunami Day Diary as this really reflects the true emotions that were running through us both at the time and for a few months after.
Trying to shake off the cloud hanging over everyone after the tsunami was a very difficult task but the people here are very resilient and realise that life has to go on. Everyone very quickly started to rebuild their lives, their homes and their businesses and we are glad to report that the island is fully back to life and flourishing with a large influx of tourists. It's good to see the smiles back on the faces of both locals and tourists alike.
In terms of the diving, we've had some strange weather conditions recently with a lot of rain even extending into November and December. Thankfully the weather has finally cleared up and the sun is out in force. Underwater has been superb. Great visibility and a large amount of marine life including turtles, seahorses and a leopard shark sleeping on the top of the King Cruiser wreck.
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth - November 2006
What an amazing month November has been. For the first two weeks of the month I was out on Mermaid 2 liveaboard, a fantastic boat with food coming out of your ears. With a seven day safari to both the Similans and Hin Daeng it was diving heaven. In a two day trip to Hin Daeng we saw mantas, leopard sharks, a seahorse, ghost pipefish, turtles...the list is endless. And one group even saw a whale shark! Trip report to follow soon in our Articles section and I swear it's the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Combine that with the purchase of two new DPVs (underwater scooters) and the teaching of a number of DPV specialty courses and it just doesn't get much better. With minimal academics but lots of hands-on training it doesn't take long before you and your buddy are doing loop-the-loops underwater!
Dive, Eat, Sleep : The Liveaboards Return - October 2005
After months of waiting the Liveaboard season has arrived once again. With trips running to the Similan islands and Hin Daeng/Muang, reports on the diving have been excellent. Both Oui and I have already been on trips to both destinations and had some fantastic dives. Burma trips resume in November.
In general it looks like tourist numbers in Phuket could reach their highest figures ever, a great relief for everybody here who are still trying to shake off the tsunami hangover. The general feeling is book early as we are already seeing both day trips and liveaboards full to capacity. Our top liveaboard recommendation is Mermaid 2 running trips to both the Similans and Hin Daeng. Why not just do the whole seven day safari and cover all the major dive sites on our coastline?
All Quiet On The South-East Asian Front - September 2005
Not much to report for September. The usual wettest month of the season saw some excellent weather and calm seas rather than continuous rain. Diving: great as usual. This month is traditionally the quietest of the year giving everyone the chance to complete last minute preparations before our high season truly kicks in.
We are still getting many enquiries from people asking whether the diving is still OK as there are still many (incorrect) press reports stating that everything has been devastated. We challenge those giving ill reports to actually come here and dive as they obviously have not done so since the tsunami. To re-iterate what we have told many customers, the diving is still as fantastic as ever. Don't believe us? Then just consider the fact that a majority of the photos on this web site, including all manta and whale shark photos, were taken post tsunami!
New Discoveries - August 2005
The wonderful thing about diving is that, no matter how long you dive, new surprises and discoveries constantly come along. August saw some great new stuff appearing. New residents on the King Cruiser wreck include a juvenile hawksbill turtle and a one and a half metre Giant Grouper, the first giant grouper we have seen in our time in Thailand! Combined with the discovery of two juvenile frog fish at Racha Noi and Phi Phi respectively, each about 1 cm in size, this was a great month for diving. Now we just need to get some photos!
Re-discovering Phi Phi - July 2005
With the introduction of a new overnight diving trip to Phi Phi islands we finally got to re-explore these beautiful islands close to Phuket for the first time since the tsunami. We are happy to report that, to the untrained eye, there seems little difference to before the catastrophe. All the regular restaurants and shops are open for business, and the chilled out beach front bars continue to entertain with spectacular fire shows.
It all adds up to a very unique experience, and don't forget the seven dives too! Check out our Day Trips section for more details.
Summertime - June 2005
After a wet week in May the weather in June turned back to its glorious normality. Calm seas and lots of sunshine meant great diving with excellent visibility especially at Racha Noi where it reached 40 metres or more. These two months have probably been the busiest since the tsunami. It's great to see the tourists returning although still not in the numbers that we were used to. Keep on coming!