Phuket Diving Gossip
Author: Iain Page, April 2007
We love teaching families. No two ways about it getting a whole family in the water is undoubtedly one of the most satisfying feelings we get. To see father, mother, son and daughter (or combination of) working together as a team to ensure their safety, providing physical and moral support for each other and ultimately sharing that exhilarating feeling of being under water is a joy to behold. Healthy competition and positive energy prevail as everybody aims towards the same goal - safe fun!
Our most frequent family visitors are the McQuinn's. Neil (father), Jack (son) and Kate (daughter) have been diving with us on a regular basis for nearly two years. Starting with their Open Water course they all very quickly became scuba addicts and less than two years later have finally achieved their PADI Master Scuba Diver status, the highest recreational level within the PADI diving system. On the way many different types of diving have been learnt and much fun had. Rescue diver, underwater photography, wreck diver ... these are just a few of the courses taken. Judging by the size of smiles on faces their favourite must undoubtedly be Underwater Scooters.
This year Michelle (mother) finally took the plunge too and brought with her another family, Kerrie (mother), Dermot (father) and Brenna Maconaghie (daughter). Open Water certifications were achieved and great fun had by all including an excellent day out at Phi Phi by speedboat charter (see "A Perfect Day" below).
With glorious sunshine and calm flat seas the norm during April in Phuket what better way to spend a day out than chartering your own speedboat. Cutting journey times to Phi Phi down to around one hour each way the faster trip means that you can get to fit in more than just a day's diving. The Maconaghie and McQuinn families chose to do just this together with an English couple, Jon And Rachel.
The day started with a dive at Koh Bida Nok, an excellent dive site just off of the island of Phi Phi Don. Sightseeing followed with visits to Monkey Beach and Viking Cave, two popular tourist attractions. Next was a picnic lunch on a beautiful beach in Phi Ley Cove with stunning scenery and food to die for: smoked salmon, salami, fresh breads, cheeses, feta salad and more... After a quick snorkel to work off the lunch it was then off for the second dive, a final swim in a deserted bay and then chilled journey home in the late afternoon sun. All in all a perfect day!
Every April sees the arrival of the biggest of all Thai festivals, the Songkran festival. If you've never heard of it and never been here to experience then you just don't know what you have been missing. The festival itself is to celebrate the Thai New Year and originally consisted of a small sprinkling of water on the head of any passers by to wish them luck for the coming year. Over recent times this mild sprinkling of water has developed into a countrywide water fight on a scale you cannot imagine.
All over Thailand for one day a year tools are laid down and water guns are picked up. This smiling polite nation suddenly turn into mad, over-excited groups wandering around intent on soaking as many people as possible and preferably with as ice cold water as possible. With a young baby in tow this year we were not able to roam the streets in search of luckless, unsuspecting victims but instead arranged to meet with customers at a local guesthouse on a main road just around the corner from our office. This turned out to be a perfect spot with a large barrel of ice-cold water and a continuous stream of passing prey. Men, women and children - all were considered to be fair game including smartly dressed unsuspecting tourists just arriving for the start of their holidays! As sunset approached guns were laid down and tired participants snuck off for siestas and dreams of a dry night ahead. Roll on next year!
Continuing on from last month once again we see Abbie taking to the water. With three or four sessions a week she has now even been under water as we attempt to teach her to hold her breath. The only problem is that she keeps trying to drink the pool dry!
Growth continues very quickly. Current vital statistics: weight 6.3 kg, height 59 cm.
Sharks around Phuket
|Length||To 20 m|
|Prey||Small fish, squid, crustaceans and plankton|
|Dive Sites||Possible at all sites but most commonly at Hin Daeng/Muang and Similans|
|Length||To 3.5 m|
|Prey||Crustaceans, shrimps, bony fishes|
|Dive Sites||Possible at all sites but most commonly at Phi Phi, Hin Daeng/Muang and Similans|
Grey Bamboo Shark
|Length||To 75 cm|
|Dive Sites||Most commonly at Shark Point, King Cruiser and Phi Phi|
Blacktip Reef Shark
|Length||To 1.8 m|
|Prey||Bony fishes, squid, crustaceans and sea snakes|
|Dive Sites||Most commonly at Phi Phi and Similans|
Whitetip Reef Shark
|Length||To 2.1 m|
|Prey||Bony fish, crabs, lobsters and octopi|
|Dive Sites||Most commonly at Racha Noi and Similans|