Phuket Dives Me Crazy…

Doing my underwater disco dance

I started this post on the boat Day 2 of the dive trip to the Similan Islands, just to get a feel for what the days were like….I have to add that I mentioned below no one did the “evening activity”, Ashley did actually pole dance that night…it was impressive, she used one of the poles outside…according to Steve that pole has had quite a bit of use this season, she wasn’t the first…

As I sit here on day two aboard the MV Halleluah, we’re halfway through the day and on my right is a chubby guy passed out on the seat taking a nap and his Mom on my left relaxing having a snack. We’ve done two dives and we have two more to do. This is my first live-aboard experience and it’s not going to be my last. We’re diving the Similan Islands which is a national park and made up of 9 islands. I’m on a boat of 22 divers and my roommate and I are the only people traveling solo. There’s a mom and son duo. Also a group of about 9, some of whom teach English together and then a few other friends who joined them. They are a fun bunch. The rest are couples of different ages. Over all it’s a nice group, but the only thing I really have in common with all of them is the diving. So far that has been fantastic for me because I’ve never experienced anything like this.

Our schedule is:

6:00 am Wakey Wakey to Steve’s British accent booming through the boat

6:30 am Briefing for Dive #1- explaining where we are, what we may see (today the big deal is Manta Rays – and one group saw one)

6:45 am Dive #1- North Point (Similan #9) – Highlights : 2 sting rays and a huge potato grouper

8:00 am Breakfast

10:30 am Dive #2 – West Ridge (Koh Bon) Highlights: Morray Eels, Oriental Sweetlips (everywhere)

12:00pm Lunch

1:45 pm Dive #3 – West Ridge (Koh Bon) – otherside…more Fusliler, Goatfish & Sweetlips (so cute)

3:00pm Snacks

5:15pm Dive #4- Pinnacle (Koh Tahchai)- Highlight : Masked Porcupine Fish (why the mask I ask?)

7:00 pm Dinner

8:30 pm Ashley’s Pole Dancing Show

After about 8:00pm there’s a silly evening activity written on the board like scrabble or pole dancing. I have yet to experience anyone doing it. Instead people are so tired we sit around and talk a bit and hang out and then people head for bed. It’s really all about diving on this boat of 22 of people. 4 Dive Masters and a crew of the sweetest Thai folks. They speak very little English but they really like to smile. Very warm and friendly.

Our Thai Captain

We have plenty of time in between dives to nap, hang out and chill. Favorite pastime so far has been looking at underwater photos (which have been really cool) and jumping off the top deck of the boat.

It’s Interesting being on a big boat with no one you know for 4 days. Sometimes there’s a lot to talk about and other times you just want to stare out at the most beautiful blue sea you’ve ever seen. The fact that 2 of the 4 Dive guides are handsome (see below) and really nice makes it more fun to hang out. As my dive buddy Becky would say, “Yes, if we were on a deserted island together we would definitely fall in love.” You would not be disappointed Becky, they are deserted island material.

Tom has a wholesome baby face look and a great British accent. Steve is on this boat every week all season and he’s been doing this for 8 years. He has a 4 year old daughter who’s half Thai, haven’t found out the story there yet. They are both British and I love the accents.

Tom and Steve

Steve and Tom

The diving is amazing. The visability is very good, not fantastic but very good. There are so many fish it’s the first time I’ve swam with schools of fish and been right in the middle of them. Love that. Everywhere we looked this morning there were Butterfly fish, Oriental Sweetlips, Silver Sweetlips, Fusilier, Angel Fish, a big Moray Eel. It’s been really amazing. Some people are tired already because it’s been eat, sleep, dive. I’m working on my air consumption so I can stay down there longer. My skills have definitely improved and I feel like I’m getting the diving bug. Here are a few photos from the trip. Hope you enjoy.

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A little cheese for the camera