It's been windy here virtually every day since I arrived in early December. For many (sunbathers, kite surfers, culture vultures, walkers etc), a bit of breeze is very welcome but not for us chaps who want to go sea fishing. The seas have been too uncomfortable for inshore fishing from the longtail boats and too rough 70 miles off for our planned Similan Island trips.
This means I have been doing a lot of diving...like, every day! At the moment I have Neil as my 'private student' and now Coz and Wad from Dorset have arrived. Yesterday was Coz' first sea dive after our first day spent in the pool learning the basics....
Here we have Neil posing on his second sea dive. This was a particularly good dive. We had moved out onto the sand clear of the coral reef to practice navigation and bouyancy control. A bit of current was moving so we drifted a bit further away from the reef than I'd planned so we continued our dive over sand in the hope of seeing a few stingrays. We were rewarded with spotting 8 stingrays of varying sizes....excellent.
Wad (Mark, from Weymouth) has done a bit of diving in Koa Toa and UK. He has dived with my illustrious son Tom around Weymouth and Portland. Thus, as can be seen here, he is very able to be silly underwater. It actually takes a good deal of bouyancy control to be silly in a controlled manner...so, well done to Wad for showing us how it should be done.
This was Coz's first dive in the sea. The first 'drop down' from the surface is always the most worrying and one that will never be forgotten. Coz (short for Corinne!) was great. No probs at all....a gentle descent and then into a nice forward position so we could take the first steps at buoyancy control and dive profile.
Despite it being her first dive, Coz easily managed an hour and we surfaced with her having plenty of air left whilst her acrobatic boyfriend, Wad, was sucking on the final molecules in his tank. It just shows that with calmness and control, the dive can last a long time. The great thing about this Kata reef is that there is so much to see. It is crammed with life and thousands of fish with many different species including a resident school of young barracuda that are often completely surrounding you...it's an impressive sight. And everything can be viewed from the safety of the sandy sea bottom that runs alongside the reef. Perfect. As our trainee divers become more confident (the last thing I want is for our 'trainees' to wack themselves on the coral reef) then we can start to explore further into the reef itself.
Today is the 1st Jan 2012. Our UK friends should be tucked up in bed now (it is 02.17 your time) after a good session of celebration. Here it is 09.17...Jai has gone to water the garden at her house and to visit the Temple. I am here 'writing' and waiting for the first appearances from our 6 guests from upstairs...who knows when that might be??
No diving for a couple of days now. Today we aim to go to the Rawai Sea Gypsy Village for a fresh fish, prawn BBQ lunch. Sadly, this will be our friend Keith's last lunch as he has to return to UK tomorrow. Keith has systematically broken the hearts of the young ladies of Chalong and has actually been banned from several bars because the ladies are fighting over him and it is causing serious disharmony in their ranks!! Ha Ha, what a laugh...being banned cos the female bar staff get too upset when you walk in!! Can you imagine that happening in UK???
We have a lake fishing trip planned for the 3rd and will be joined by several other UK anglers who are staying in nearby Kata. On the 4th we (Neil, Neil's wife Jan, Wad, Coz, me) are booked to go diving all day out on a longtail boat with our local skipper, Captain Tawan.
It's all go here in sunny Phuket.....it could be YOU next Xmas or next year!!! Get that holiday planning on the go!!