Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Never Give Up On A Dive Day Just Because Of The Weather

How many of us have looked out the window and said no diving today??

 Here in Phuket Thailand this week so many people did just that. Early morning was driving rain and wind and so many just turned over and went back to bed. BAD MOVE. Phuket in low season can produce some amazing diving and many who live here prefer diving phuket in low season. Less people and better still less boats and noise for the wildlife. This brings the more shy creatures out to play. 

This was really the case this week for two very lucky divers and their instructor. They day was a bad one weather wise in the morning. But as the boat left Phuket and headed out to some of the smaller Phuket islands things started to improve. The wind and rain stopped and the cloud started to break up. On dive number one ant Racha Yay in bay number 1 all the normal suspects turned up. Giant morae eels, sting ray, nemo, lion fish, parrot fish, butterfly fish and all the rest. 

Then back on the boat for a big hot lunch and prepare for dive number two. Everyone who comes with us phuket scuba diving knows we always love our big lunches. This was a great dive down to the collection of three wrecks all close together so can all be done in one dive. First the Harubi which was an old snorkel boat, then the wooden wreck of an old speed boat and lastly the massive bow section of a cargo vessel that sunk 3 years ago and towed to Racha Yai for diving. 

Then back to the boat for another light snack before dive three. A nice easy dive on the shallow reefs and the start of home run reef and this is where we bumped into a very friendly turtle that was just happy to swim along with us for a good portion of the dive. Yes we do see a fair few hawksbill turtles on the many phuket tours that we run from phuket and the Similan islands are a breeding ground so on the similan islands liveaboard trips then you do get a lot. This friendly guy was part of the group. swimming all around us, between us and going where we went. This is what makes Phuket diving so special in low season. The creatures are used to divers but dont like the crowds and noise of high season. So when it comes to the quiet times they all come out and interact with us. 

After this excellent dive it was back to the boat for afternoon tea and a look at the photos of the day. BUT the best was yet to come. When scuba diving Thailand most people think you need to go on big cruises to places like the Similans get the good stuff. Not in low season. Suddenly the captain sounded the horn and turned the boat on a new direction. 

Just a hundred meters away was a Minke whale. The boat cut the speed and had a course alongside but keeping its distance. The whale was having none of it and came to investigate. The whale was swimming just thirty meters along side the boat quite happy. 

In recent years there have been many types of whale sighted just off of phuket by the dive boats including Orca's, Minke whales, pilot whales, Omura's whales, Brydes whale and this year a Blue whale was sighted. This makes a phuket safari whale watching a real possibility as the number of different types seen here each year is growing all the time.

 This means now that the wildlife in the water is as good as that in places like the Khao Sok national park.  Each year many people come to phuket for the standard James bond island tour or phi phi bamboo. These are good tours but to get the best out of your stay in phuket thailand you need to do a tour like the Khao Sok safari trip and if you can combine this with a phuket day trip on the water too then who knows what you will see. 

May be a day game fishing phuket will get you in areas where whales can be spotted too. Doing any of these great trips where you can get out into a marine national park or the Khao Sok national park during the day. Then back in your phuket hotel or phuket guest house in time for dinner is an excellent way to explore.

 The one thing thats certain is the great sunsets that low season provides is second to none. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Phuket Scuba diving During Monsoon Season.

Phuket Scuba Diving During Monsoon season.

What can I expect on a Monsoonal day?

       Scuba diving in Thailand during monsoon season can be a great time of year to visit phuket thailand. Phuket is positioned about half way down the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman ocean. Thailand has a northern and southern monsoon. Phuket being central can get either northern or southern monsoon, both or neither. When diving Phuket this time of year can have warm sunny days and mainly short sharp showers  at night. During the day can produce again heavy showers that last 20 minutes or so then dry up in 15 minutes as well. During Monsoon season the weather and winds come from the west, right across the Indian Ocean and can produce good surf all along the west coast resorts such as Patong, Karon and Kata beaches.

What is Monsoon?

The word monsoon literally means ‘season’ in Arabic. Traders travelling the waters off the Arabian and Indian coast noted for centuries that dry, cool, northeast winds blew for 6 months and then suddenly changed to warm, moist air from the southeast. So in a nutshell, the monsoon weather is a change in the type and direction of winds (and therefore swell) that brings moist air.

When and How Does it work?

Between April to September, the wind blows from the southeast as the land mass of India, the Himalayas and beyond heats up relative to the ocean. This causes moist warm air from the Indian ocean to rush into the gap as the warmer air rises. This is the moist ‘maritime’ air that brings the monsoonal rains. Between October and March, this phenomenon is reversed, as the temperature of the Indian Ocean is warmer relative to the land. This pulls dry, cool ‘continental’ winds to Phuket Thailand. This is often called the ‘dry’ or ‘high’ season but even the flash floods only last 30 mins or so. 

 What does it mean for the scuba diving Phuket? 
During monsoon season in Phuket is really mid May till mid October. This time of year is not bad for scuba diving in phuket. The weather is better in monsoon season than it is in many countries on a good day. As far as the ocean goes we can have flat seas on good days and up to three meter waves on the really bad days. As an average the waves are 75cms to 1 meter high. This does not really effect the dive boats here as they are mostly large sturdy boats built for diving in these conditions. The main difference is the direction of the wind, weather and swell. All the locations are useable all year round. The only exceptions are King Cruiser, Shark point and Anemone reef. Although very rare these sites can be canceled in extreme conditions as they are situated out in the middle of the ocean with no protection. 

The diving is fine but if the waves become too big it can become too risky getting back on the boats after a dive. Both Phi Phi and Racha Noi and Yai are good all year as they both offer sheltered bays on both the East and West side of the islands. This means calm flat water all year. The trip out and back to Phi Phi can be longer if there is strong wind or big waves as the boats run with the wind and waves on the way out and against on the way back. The trips to the racha Islands is ok too as there is protection from the waves for most of the way from Phuket and Coral island. Then from Racha Yai. However from Coral island to Racha Yai can be a bit exposed as can from Racha Yai to Noi. This however is only in the worst conditions and most days are great conditions. You can expect an odd shower at anytime during monsoon season but then again the clouds do tend to hang around the mountains on Phuket and the days on the sea tend to be nice. During this time of year the weather will change from day to day, week to week. Just ask in the office to check the conditions on the days you wish to dive and you can pick the locations depending on the weather. 

The best things about Monsoon season.

The best thing about the Phuket diving during this time of year is the cheap hotel prices and there are less people on the dive boats. The dive sites are less crowded and the fish are less spooked. The visibility is normally very good too unless a big storm has just passed by. There can be a bit more wind or an odd shower and remember even if its cloudy and raining on phuket there is a good chance of sun out on the ocean. Phuket scuba diving is great all year round. In a two week holiday you can get a bit of everything. From one extreme to another. 

All the normal Phuket tours run here all year round. Ok yes when the weather is really bad the small speed boat tours to places like James Bond island may be canceled until the weather changes. But in the tropics that can be just one day as the weather changes from hour to hour. There are plenty of other trips available that are not affected by the sea. A great Phuket safari thats a must for nature lovers and photographers is a visit to the Khao Sok national park. This can be an over night trip exploring the jungles or lakes or you can do a 2 night trips combining both jungle and lakes. 

Then for the keen fisherman Phuket game fishing is some of the best in the world. Just like the scuba diving people come from all over the world for the awesome game fishing phuket has on offer. Again this can be affected by the weather in low season but one day can be rain and the next blue sky and sun. All its means is that there is a chance that you will have wet days as well as sunny ones.

One last thing to remember is that the similan islands that lie to the west of phuket being a marine national park closes from mid May and does not open again till mid October. The similans are closed for 6 months each year to give the stunning reefs and wildlife a break from the noise and disturbance that tourism brings. The similan islands liveabaords are the best way to explore the islands when it comes to scuba diving. Then for the best snorkeling in Phuket the best way is by speed boat that will take you to four of the nine islands and get to all the best snorkel locations. The similan islands are by far the best of the phuket islands for both diving and snorkeling.

Just remember that this time of year one day can be a typical monsoon day and the next a typical tropical island paradise style weather. This time of year is awesome and does create the most stunning sunsets. Truly worth a visit.

Friday, May 26, 2017

An Awesome Visitor To The Similan Islands. The Biggest Creature To Have Ever Lived.

The Similan Islands has always been a heaven on earth when scuba diving Phuket.

Now if the Similan islands that lie just off the west coast of Thailand in the warm Andaman ocean did not already have a thousand reasons to go there it now has one more decisive reason to visit.

Up till now the big draw for diving in the similans has been the clear waters, the stunning corals and the largest fish in the ocean - The Whale shark. Now there is one even larger visitor spotted. The biggest creature to have EVER lived on the planet. The Blue Whale.

When doing a similan islands liveaboard over the season many people have been lucky enough to see a variety of whales from the Minke whale, Orca's, Brydes Whale, Pilot whales, Curviers beaked whale, Omura's Whale and now the Blue Whale too. This is looking to be an amazing location to see a large selection of whales too. 

A phuket safari to the similans by no means is a cert to see these giants of the oceans just as when on any phuket scuba diving trip we can only take you to the locations that give the best chance. Like Richelieu Rock, and Koh Tachai are a top locations for the whale shark and add Koh Bon to the list for the Manta ray too.  But luck still has to play a part too. 

But the blue Whale is without a doubt the most awesome creature for anyone to dream of seeing. 

The blue whale grows up to 110 feet in length. Its heart is the size of a small car. Its major artery is big enough that you could wedge a small child into it (although you probably shouldn’t). It’s an avatar of hugeness. And its size is evident if you ever get to see one up close. From the surface on a boat you can not make out the entire animal—just the top of its head as it exposed its blowhole and took a breath. But as it dives its head tilted downwards, its arching back broke the surface of the water in a graceful roll. Its only then you can see the size of the animal as the head dives the rest just follows and you see it seems to go on for ever. 

But why did they get so big?? There are several answers. We’re not short of possible answers. Some scientists have suggested that giant bodies were adaptations to the recent Ice Age: At a time of uncertain climate and unstable food supplies, bigger whales could store more fat, and their large bodies  allowed them to more efficiently migrate in search of the best feeding grounds. Some pointed their fingers at competition between early baleen whales, forcing some members to become giant filter-feeders. Others said that whales became big to escape from titanic killers, like the megalodon shark, or the sperm whale Livyatan. Yet others have pointed to Cope’s rule—the tendency for groups of creatures to get bigger over evolutionary time. may be a bit of both. But the one thing for sure is when you see one of these you will remember for the rest of your life. 

There are so many phuket tours these days to see all the sights around the area of Phuket Thailand like James Bond island but non will come close to the chance of diving with a Blue Whale and thats for sure.  

Another good way to see the whales is on a phuket game fishing trip. This is because the fishing boats stay away from the busy diving and snorkeling areas and thus to places where the whales can be spotted. The game fishing phuket has to offer is excellent all year round. There is a standard trip that will get a wide selection of fish but the "Big game" trips are where you are more likely yo see the big whales off in the deeper waters to the west of phuket and the phuket islands.  Either way there are some spectacular sights to be seen on any phuket tour

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Such A Great Sight And So Tragic To see What Some People Will Do.

Thailand Divers in Phuket Thailand has some sad but also very interesting story on a very rare shark.

One of the rarest fish in the oceans the Mega Mouth shark was by accident caught in a fishing net but then rather than free it the sold it still alive to a Japanese scuba diving center who then penned it in and held it captive till it died. 

Most good scuba diving centers like we have here in Phuket Thailand are 100% passionate about the oceans and all that live in them and do all we can to protect them BUT it seems not all scuba diving centers are not so protective of the oceans. 

The megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) is a species of deepwater shark. It is rarely seen by humans and is the smallest of the three extant filter-feeding sharks alongside the whale shark and basking shark. this just goes to show how rare is was since it was only discovered in 1976. Since its discovery in 1976, few megamouth sharks have been seen, with 61 specimens known to have been caught or sighted as of April 2015, including three recordings on film. Like the other two planktivorous sharks, it swims with its enormous mouth wide open, filtering water for plankton and jellyfish. It is distinctive for its large head with rubbery lips. It is so unlike any other type of shark that it is usually considered to be the sole extant species in the distinct family Megachasmidae, though suggestion has been made that it may belong in the family Cetorhinidae, of which the basking shark is currently the sole extant member.

This shark is said to be the last of the prehistoric sharks still around with may be the exception of the Greenland shark. This is why its so sad that a deep water shark was held captive in the shallows for scuba divers. In Thailand there are so many marine national parks like the Similan islands where the thousands of people who come scuba diving Phuket each year can see all the great species of fish in the wild. This captivity of wild creatures is something that all good scuba diving centers are strongly against. 

The appearance of the megamouth is distinctive, but little else is known about it. It has a brownish-black colour on top, is white underneath, and has an asymmetrical tail with a long upper lobe, similar to that of the thresher shark. The interior of its gill slits are lined with finger-like gill rakers that capture its food. A relatively poor swimmer, the megamouth has a soft, flabby body. The megamouth is considerably less active than the other filter-feeding sharks, the basking shark and the whale shark. The megamouth has a stout body and a long, wide bulbous head.

Megamouths are large sharks, able to grow to 5.5 metres (18 ft) in length. Males mature by 4 m (13 ft) and females by 5 m (16 ft). Weights of up to 1,215 kg (2,679 lb) have been reported. As their name implies, megamouths have a large mouth with small teeth, and a broad, rounded snout, causing observers to occasionally mistake megamouth for a young orca. The mouth is surrounded by luminous photophores, which may act as a lure for plankton or small fish. This white band is present in both sexes and is thought to be used as a means of identification to other megamouth sharks. Their mouths can reach up to 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) wide.

In 1990, a 4.9-m (16-foot) male megamouth shark was caught near the surface off Dana Point, California. This individual was eventually released with a small radio tag attached to its soft body. The tag relayed depth and time information over a two-day period. During the day, the shark swam at a depth of around 120–160 m (390–520 ft), but as the sun set, it would ascend and spend the night at depths of between 12 and 25 m (39 and 82 ft). Both day and night, its progress was very slow at around 1.5–2.1 km/h (0.93–1.30 mph). This pattern of vertical migration is seen in many marine animals as they track the movement of plankton in the water.

Although these awesome creatures are seen all over the world they do seem to be more common around Japan, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. But they have been spotted in the Indian ocean and Vietnam do this does mean it may be possible to find one on a night dive in the similans when they come close to the surface to feed. So fingers crossed next time people say there is not much to see on a night dive remember these great fish are in the area of your Similan island liveabaord and just as none have been seen yet the sighting of these fish are going up every year since they were only first seen in 1976. 

To see such a rare creature in the wild will make the news no matter where you are and if you are on on of the Phuket tours and you see one then you will personally be responsible for the mass increase of tourism to that area. Any phuket safari trip that comes across a fish this rare will make you a local star. Just think you are on the first phuket game fishing trip to see one. Or in a sea canoe at James Bond island and a dark shape swims under you and your gopro gets one of these??
The sad thing about most sighting are when its too late to help then which it why this case was so sad as a perfectly healthy one was caught and given to the people that should be there to help it and all they did was pen it in and keep it captive. Thats whats so sad. The megamouth shark is so rarely seen that its existence eluded us until 1976. To this day, the species is officially known from just 102 specimens

We've yet to discover where these creatures give birth, exactly where they live, or even how many of them are out there. But just recently, divers off the coast of Japan managed to free one of the lumbering giants after it swam into a fishing net. Like so many of the ocean's largest inhabitants, megamouth sharks (Megachasma pelagios) use their 50 rows of tiny teeth to sieve krill, small jellies and other plankton from the surrounding water – and those dietary preferences likely had something to do with how this individual landed in a midwater net. 
The colossal fish are known to dive up to 1,500 metres beneath the surface, but their krill prey regularly migrate from deep to shallow water. Scientists suspect that megamouths follow suit: spending the daytime hours in the depths and ascending to mid-water at night to feed. The composition of their liver oil, which helps sharks stay buoyant, also supports the hunch that they clock ample time in the shallows. 

So just remember there are still plenty of things to discover in our oceans. So why not learn to dive phuket is the perfect place. You may never know what that one day doing a discover scuba diving phuket trip will turn up. Follow it up with a PADI Open water course similans and you chances of some amazing finds goes up drastically. Now that will be a trip to remember. Diving Phuket may not only change your life but history itself. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Phuket Thailand is the Best all round Holiday Destination

Thinking of visiting Phuket Thailand ? 

Come and have a look at the new Thailand Divers website for the 2017 - 2018 season. Full of new Phuket tours and trips for all the family. Thailand Divers is not only a Phuket dive center but a one stop site for all you need when in Phuket. 

From choosing your Patong beach hotel or guest house to all your tours to places like James Bond island or phi phi bamboo trip. We, as you will expect run all PADI courses all year round so if you are looking to learn to dive Phuket is the place to do it and Thailand Divers is the Phuket dive shop to choose.  

Thailand Divers has been training new and experienced divers for over 13 years. The dive centre is located on the West coast of Phuket - close by the best diving locations in Thailand. Day trips, similan islands  Liveaboards and much much more. Thailand Divers is the perfect place to discover scuba diving phuket and many other places too.

Thailand Divers started in 2004 as a small dive shop located right on Patong Beach, offering dive trips to the local reef by traditional Thai longtail boat and basic PADI courses. The company quickly gained a reputation for its professionalism and quality of service and expanded its product range to include Similan islands liveaboard trips to the world-famous Similan Islands and beyond. Our trips now go to the similans,  then to the Surin islands and Richelieu Rock and then even up into the Burma banks in a great eight day adventure. A similan liveabaord is a trip you will remember and compare all other dive trips.

Our staff are all certified PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors (or above) and have many years of diving phuket and teaching experience from all over the world. All the scuba equipment used for courses and fun diving is of the highest quality and regularly replaced or serviced to maintain the high level of safety expected at Thailand Divers. So, if you are looking for the most modern Phuket scuba diving facility, the highest standards of safety and teaching, and the friendliest staff in Phuket, then look no further!

We have kept the same prices as last year so amazing value if you are looking to learn to dive in Phuket and do your PADI Open water course  phuket  and thus diving in one of the best locations available anywhere. 

The amazing Similan Island national parkSurin Islands and Richelieu Rock are all located in the National Marine Park of Thailand - the National Marine Park opened its doors to another high season of amazing scuba diving in Thailand

The Similans islands is not just for scuba divers but also for snorkelers and sightseeing - we run a fantastic Similan Hopper trip which visits 4 of  islands and offers great snorkeling to all. This year it is even possible to do you open water course similans too. Where better to complete your open water course. 

There is so much more to discover too. There are some amazing phuket tours and activities. There is an awesome phuket safari over night to the stunning khao Sok national park where you can do an overnight jungle safari or explore the lakes and rivers on the lake safari or combine them both in a 3 day 2 night trip. Plus Phuket is perfectly situated on the east coast of the Andaman ocean which makes Phuket game fishing some of the best in the world. This draws many sport fishermen to Phukets shores each year. The big game fishing Phuket offers is all year round which makes it idea for all seasons.

These days you can even choose you Patong beach hotel as we are always getting asked where are the good places to stay so we have spent the last year asking all our customers about their patong hotel and have put together a collection of the better ones. These hotels and guest house patong are all hidden oasis's in quiet streets and yet very close to the town centre and beach. They all are very comfortable and all of a standard well over their price range. 

Thailand Divers really is the one place you can have the same quality of  patong guest house, hotel, tour, course, day trip and liveaboard as you expect from Phukets priemier dive centres.