Scuba Diving Phuket, Thailand - Sharkey Scuba Latest Gossip
Welcome to our latest gossip page written by Iain Page, last updated January 2007.
Bubblemakers and Christmas Celebrations - December 2006
We always love to get children in the water and the earlier the better. Earlier this year saw our youngest ever student, Sophie Young, achieving her bubblemaker certificate. This month saw another youngster, Marcus from Sweden, just miss out on the record. Marcus (8 years old) and his father Olaf, took a dive together at Kata Beach, Phuket.
In less than two metres of water Marcus and Olaf had the opportunity to see many different types of fishes including Nemo's relative (clown anemone fish) and other "Finding Nemo" characters such as Gil (Moorish Idol) and Dory (Palette Surgeonfish). Well done Marcus. Hope to see you back for some more diving soon.
Christmas was celebrated in traditional Sharkey Scuba style. First we went out diving with our customers to Racha Yai island. Some odd looks were given to us as we all decided to wear Santa hats during the dives especially those racing around on our underwater scooters! Even the wife (8 months pregnant) couldn't resist and joined us for a day out but only snorkeling because of the pending baby.
After the diving it was back home, shower and siesta, and off to our favourite guesthouse, Baan Suay, for a traditional Christmas dinner. Thanks to Diane for the best Christmas dinner ever (except for my mother's of course) and to Dan and Supporn for hosting the whole event.
Festivals, Parties and Mantas! - November 2006
Five years I have been in Phuket and over the years I must have dived at the island of Racha Yai 1,000 times. But never have I had a day like November 30th. Whilst teaching an Open Water course to Dave Cordery of the UK we had the most amazing day's diving. Four different mantas were spotted over the course of two dives at the unlikeliest of dive sites, Bungalow Bay. Varying in size from approximately 3 to nearly 5 metres these most elegant of underwater creatures just kept coming back again and again. Certainly an experience difficult to better and what a start to Dave's diving career!
This was also a month of festivals and parties. November sees the Loy Kratong festival a.k.a. "Festival of Light" celebrated across Thailand. There are many theories on the origins of this festival, the most popular of which is the show of gratitude to the goddess of water "Phra Mae Kongka". Whatever the origin it is a beautiful festival with the lighting of candles and offerings of beautiful decorations.
This year we combined the festival with a celebration of a different kind - Mr. Maximillian Hand on the completion of his divemaster course. A champagne party was held at the Sharkey office for Max, Sharkey Staff and close friends followed by a visit to the Loy Kratong festivities. Good fun was had by all! Read all about Max's Divemaster Adventures for yourselves.
Elephants and Frog Fish? - October 2006
So you've seen sharks, manta rays, seahorses and more but have you ever dived with elephants? Well now is your chance at Phuket's new underwater marine park.
The park is situated on the edge of Siam Bay at the island of Racha Yai. The local government have placed a number of underwater statues there for everyone to enjoy. As well as two elephants there are also some yaks (temple guardians) and a Thai sala.
Read our Diving With Elephants article for more info including how you too can dive there.
On the unusual critters front there is now a resident frog fish at the beautiful dive site of Koh Doc Mai. These creatures really are very weird looking especially when you see them "walking along" on their fins. Look closely and you can see a small rod and lure protruding from in between the eyes hence their other name "anglerfish".
You really need your macro-specs on to see these. Probably not that rare a species they are however incredibly difficult to spot due to their excellent ability to blend into their background. This beautiful red specimen is probably no more than a few centimetres in size.
Sharks, Sharks and More Sharks - September 2006
Well, the title says it all. First and foremost even more whale shark sightings. We have confirmed reports of multiple sightings at both Koh Doc Mai and Anemone Reef. Mik Jennings of Calypso Divers not only came and saw but also conquered by getting some superb photos of the estimated 8 metre long giant up close. We are just waiting on Mik to return from a well deserved holiday so that we can publish the pictures. In honour of these superb creatures we have added a new Whale Shark Article on our articles page.
Its' not only whale sharks that are hanging around. The dive site of Shark Point is currently living up to its name with very frequent sightings of the beautifully patterned leopard shark. In fact, following on from last month, I was once again out on the underwater scooters and had a repeat experience with another leopard shark joining us on the dive. This time I had camera in hand. Watch this space for a small video clip of the curious shark checking us out.
Whale Shark Fever - August 2006
With a number of sightings around Phuket of whale sharks, the expected signs of "whale shark fever" have started to become apparent in many divers. The signs of this "disease" are easy to spot, the most notable being when your guide spends the whole of every dive looking out away from the reef! This months sightings occurred mainly around Phi Phi although there were also reports of sightings at Koh Doc Mai and Anemone Reef.
On the Sharkey Scuba front, I once again had the pleasure of teaching the underwater scooter specialty course, my favourite course to teach. This time we spent two dives at Shark Point and Koh Doc Mai. The Shark Point dive was absolutely awesome with a leopard shark deciding to join us for the last ten minutes of the dive. Sticking to good behaviour protocol we switched off the DPVs and gently finned alongside the two metre beauty until it finally got bored and swam off into the blue. Certainly a dive to remember!
Baby Talk - July 2006
Those of you who know us well would have heard Oui and I often referring to our three "diving babies" a.k.a. underwater scooters. Well top of the news list is the announcement that Oui is expecting our first human child! We are not exactly sure how far along she is but estimate about 3 to 4 months. Both of us are very excited and can't wait to get our child in the water with us!
Unfortunately for Oui and those of you who especially love to dive with her I'm afraid there will be no more diving for her for at least six months. Come and visit soon for those who wish to see the blossoming mother. Wait a little too long and you may get called up for babysitting duty!