|Scubacats weekly dive programme allows a visit to the two islands of Racha Yai and Racha Noi which are 2 hour steam south west of Chalong. We left at 0800 and settled down to enjoy the breakfast on offer and have the opportunity to meet other divers and our dive guides for the day. The choppy conditions resuted in our first dive taking place within a sheltered bay off Racha Yai where the sea was deep blue and crystal clear. Here's Jeffrey from Bristol dropping down to 18mtr.|
Here's a very tiny but brightly coloured Moray Eel poking out of its coral surroundings...funny blue mouth, eh?
The three dive day programme brings us back to Chalong Harbour at pm. Apart from our three one hour dives we were treated to a constant supply of soft drinks, fruits and Thai lunch. There was an endless supply of toast and various spreads.
The dive companies do look after you very well. They can do this because of the amount of staff every boat has. Unemployment in Thailand is officially given at 0.3% (I don' tbelieve that for a second) which means there are many more people than necessay doing a job that just one or two people could do. On the dive boat the Captain is just that...the Captain. You do not see him. He is in his wheel house doing what a Captain should do....captaining the boat! He has at least 3 boat boys running around doing all the crew type stuff. Then there is the cook.....and his helper. Then there are the dive company people...the dive guides, the photographer, the trip co-ordinator...and then there are a few of us, the customers!! We are often in the minority....and thus we are spoilt rotton.
Th dive boats are rarely full. Diving is expensive here. It used to be cheap in Thailand. Nothing is cheap now and Phuket is expensive by the rest of Thailand standards. A typical 3 dive day out is £80 which is a lot of money especially if you would like to do a few dives during your holiday here. This is why we doa lot of shore dives....free! And several Longtail Boat days which work out at £15 each for two fives.
But nothing can beat the offshore dive sites and best of all are the Similan Islands. We are due to go there on Sunday for a 5 day liveaboard trip. Jai is depressed because she cannot come because of her injuries but at least she has two lady customers also staying so she will have some company.