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Phuket Diving Gossip

Harlequin shrimp at Richelieu rock - photo by Max Hand

Author: Iain Page, March 2008

This month:

General News

Another busy month in Phuket paradise. The local diving has been fantastic with great visibility around both Phuket and Phi Phi. With many sea horses, frog fish and ornate ghost pipefish to be found there is plenty to keep the avid diver interested. Discovery of the month for me was a pink whip ray at Shark Point measuring in at nearly two metres in length!

Up in the Similans visibility has also been exceptional with reports of up to 50 metres on some dives. Not much in the way of whale shark sightings but mantas have been spotted at various sites including Koh Bon and Richelieu Rock. For macro lovers life continues to thrive with harlequin shrimp continuing to top the list which also includes giant frog fish, sea horses and many types of pipefish too.

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Divemaster Celebrations

LtoR: Iain, Oui, Ally Dalton, Max and boyfriend Rich Neeley at Ally's divemaster and champagne party!

Congratulations to Ally Dalton of the USA on completion of her divemaster course at the beginning of March. Ally is a business woman who managed to complete the course in between flying to and from the States to manage her restaurant, The Fox and Goose, in Sacramento, California. Her course started in the worst possible way when Ally had an accident on the way to our offices on her first day which unfortunately kept her from diving for over a month. However, she came back strongly and ended up being loved by all who met her: customers, Sharkey staff and little Abbie too! We don't know what we are going to do without you (Iain's going to have to wash all the equipment again now!). At least we have another friend for life even if you are going to leave us!

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Fish of the Month

White eyed moray eels cuddling up with a fimbriated at Shark Point, Phuket

This month's fish of the month is the white-eyed moray eel. Probably the most common species of moray eel to be found around Phuket and Phi Phi this creature is probably also the cutest of the morays. Unlike most species that like to have their own space the white eyed moray eel can often be found in groups. The most common place to see them hanging out together is by a crevice full of tiny glass fish. It seems like the morays like to gather around with an abundance of food on hand and go for a hunt whenever they get peckish.

The picture on the right was taken at a small rock at Shark Point, Phuket. This rock is a particularly favourite place for them to hang out and we have counted as many as forty together in a space less than a metre square. They are also often seen free swimming around this particular crack and I swear I can hear their stomachs rumbling. Sometimes other species of morays can be found hiding in a crevice with them too as in the picture above where a fimbriated moray eel has decided to join in the fun.

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Smile Of The Month

Phil Martin on Somboon 4 liveaboard Katrina on Somboon 4 liveaboard

Marchl's smile of the month had many close entries but the undoubted winners are couple Phil of England and Katrina of Australia. Their world travels brought them to Phuket where we had the pleasure to meet and dive with them, Katrina taking her Advanced Open Water course with Oui on Somboon 4 liveaboard. After the trip we even managed to fit in dinner and a few drinks before they headed off to their next destination. I guess Oui was ensuring that they were having fun whilst diving judging by those manic facial expressions!

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Food Fun

Abbie and Iain after a spaghetti night

Like mother, like daughter Abbie too has developed a voracious appetite for food. Spoon, fork or even bare hands, any way is taken to cram those delicious offerings into her tiny mouth as fast as possible as can be seen from the picture right showing the aftermath of a usually messy spaghetti night!

In general Abbie continues to grow fast. As her appeitite for food increases so the desire for munching on cardboard boxes and dead flies decreases. Pasta is definitely top of the hit list with sticky rice a close second. Fruit tops the desert list with banana probably the favourite, all washed down with a cup of ice cold milk.

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Sharks of Thailand

Whale Shark

Whale Shark Thailand

Leopard Shark

Leopard Shark

Grey Bamboo Shark

Grey Bamboo Shark

Blacktip Reef Shark

Blacktip Reef Shark

Whitetip Reef Shark

Whitetip reef shark

Ringed Angelfish
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