Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tony and the Ladyboys

You know how it is....you're out minding your own business, thinking about all the culture surrounding you...taking in the aromas of the delicate spices emanating from the multitude of restaurants....and then, you are grabbed by several very tall.....ladyboys!!

What do you do? Make a run for it? I don't think so. These long legged creatures wouldn't be easy to escape from. So, the advice? Just enjoy the moment...stand about, like tony, looking handsome and cool....and hope (or maybe you would hope?) that you won't be asked back to the hotel...ha ha. Maybe then those unused leg muscles MIGHT make a gesture of an effort to escape.

And would your best mate or Grandaughter to come to your assistance?? Nope? They'd just look on with knowing grins and pulling faces...and leave you to squirm your way out of the situation. Clive and Leah are not going to let Tony forget this for a VERY long time.

Ah...the pleasures of Patong.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Colin's First Dive in Thailand........

Colin Nappin (are you all reading this, Derby and Co?) took his first dive with me to day from the little beach of Yan Nui. However, as he's a fit young man, we were able to cross the half mile gap between the beach and a small offshore island by inflating our BCD's and finning out on the surface to preserve our air for the island dive.

Dropping down to 9 metres, I waited for Colin to break through the poor viz into the clearer water below....and here he comes

It was a lot clearer once we got under the first metres of poor viz created by the current travelling around the island.

Lots of starfish......I like these big blue and black hairy ones...

Now and then, inbetween the zillions of little fish, a bigger critter wanders out from the blue...

Look carefully in amongst the coral cracks and there's often a small moray eel to be seen.......

So, considering colin and Keith were out the lash big style the night before...well done to Colin for getting his act together and enjoying his first dive over here.

We'll try a few better ones now he's got back into his diving and hopefully get out on one of the local longtail boats and start exploring a few of the quiet islands.

The lads have gone off to Patong now to watch a Thai Boxing Tournament.......

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Day After Boxing Day...Tradtional Sports.

Elephants at the Ready

Apart from the elephant trail that runs behind the house, there are three more 'safari's' on offer along the road from Rawai to Kata.

Each trip entails a wander into the 'forest' and over a few obstructions that can be pretty scary if it's your first time on an elephant.....

Tony got the sports model which was a high speed youngster, a bit like him, and together, along with the driver, they shot off into the lead.

Here's a delightful and colourful shot of the family out on safari in true colonial style....complete with sunshades.
The forest here runs high above the sea so the riders are treated to panoramic views out to the west.

What a great way to spend the Christmas holidays, riding about under the forest canopy on these impressive animals. From L to R we have Khun Naraseuan, Clare, Louise, Warren, Leah, Khun Manameer and Tony. There is a family quiz here of 'spot the Hayden'.....where is he????
These sunshades are just great.....

Tomorrow, 28th, it's all change as we are off to scuba diving from Yan Nui beach in the morning and then Thai Boxing in Patong.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in Phuket..................Karon Beach and The Green Man, Chalong 2010

The simple pleasure of sitting on the beach...looking out to sea on Christmas Day. Perfect for the kids!

A happy Christmas Day on the beach for Hayden......and then joined by sister Leah.

Thai people love children....everywhere these two went they attracted attention...Ah; the proud Parents!

Christmas in Phuket is all about the beach of course. Sun, calm sea, sand...fresh fruit to eat whilst looking out to sea....what could be better. For those of you reading who have children, please be assured...Thailand is a safe country (well, as safe as anywhere can be....but of course vigilance is always required!!) with very pleasant beaches and, for MOST of the time.... no current.


Following the day on the beach, we moved to the Green Man Pub at Chalong, about a mile from the house. The Green Man is unashamedly British....complete with timbers, rough cast walls, old photographs of the 'home countries' and good old English grub.

This may seem madness....but it is not. It is astute business as many people, especially Ex Pats who are living here, enjoy a little reminder of Britain from time to time. Howard, the owner and landlord, does an excellent service here....and also made a pretty fine Santa Claus with his big booming voice and big presence.

L to R....Jai, Clare, Leah, Tony, Lousie, Hayden and Warren...Christmas Dinner!!!!

Leah samples a Christmas Cocktail.....just like the perfect young lady she is!

The Christmas Grub was perfect...turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings....followed by Xmas pudding. We were all stuffed.

Earlier in the day Jai and I went to a neighbour's house. They too had put on a full course Xmas Dinner and there were a few Thai people there. The Thais REALLY struggled to eat the food and asked me in amazement if this was what British people REALLY ate?? And if so, how??????

Ha Ha......massive difference in cultures, eh??
Nice bit of triffle this........................Happy Christmas Hayden.....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lift Off...the blog is working again

Hooray....we have lift off....at last.

Today is 24th Dec. Jai has been here since Nov 1st and the house has been fully booked ever since. She had a charming Honeymoon couple for two weeks in Nov and then two families came via our booking agent over here in Phuket for the last two weeks of November.

Since Dec 3rd Jai's been looking after fellow anglers Tony and Clive. I arrived on 11th Dec and the rest of Tony's family arrived on the 12th. Clive ran away (why, I wonder???) on the 10th...muttering summat about 'darn kids' and the need to be in an hotel next to the bar he'd decided was to be his main home for the holiday.....

Because Tony's daughter is here with her two little kiddies, the holiday has revolved around them. Parents of young children will fully understand this. (Most of us have been there, done that, run away etc etc). This means that there has been no fishing or scuba diving. Louise and Warren...the young parents...are keen to learn scuba but everytime we get in the pool, their kids jump on them, kick them or generally make outrageous demands which require INSTANT satisfaction. Doesn't this remind you all how bloody HARD it used to be???? Maybe someone wiser than me out there can tell me (and Louise and Warren) WHY do we get involved in having kids....eh?????


So, I have given up trying to get them diving and today Jai and I went off on our own to enjoy a terrific dive at Kata Beach. The water was clear and warm; stacks and stacks of fish....an hour's dive on only half a tank as it's shallow with no current and VERY peaceful, stress-free diving. Excellent. We then drove over the nearby hill to another beach...Yan Nui and had another 1 hour dive. Followed these two dives up with lunch on the beach...it really brings home why I wanted to be in Phuket for the cold winter months....fabulous!

If you have read any of the past blogs....you'll knw why I go on and on about the diving. If you're thinking of coming here....you MUST come!!! You will love the diving. I would enjoy teaching you. We have all the kit...it's nuts to miss out on this and you will NEVER get a cheaper chance than this to come on a holiday to to Thailand. Staying with me and Jai and using our dive gear is as near to having a free holiday as you are ever going to get. Yes, I KNOW you have to pay for the air fare...but £550 return (12,000 miles...= 21.81 miles to the £1 What's the current taxi rate where you live? Eh??????? Come on; get saving!!!!

Anyhow...this blog is now working...so I will get on the case and keep it updated.

The next two days are XMAS and Boxing Day and, because we have children here, we will be doing as near to a traditional Xmas as possible....we're off to an English pub tomorrow evening for the turkey dinner and even Father Xmas. Boxing Day is all silly games, and watching a silly pantomime laid on by ex-pats. Mad, eh?

But we will be on the beach first!!!!!!!

Enjoy your Xmas whatever county in good old UK you are shivering away in...just think...it COULD be you here next year!!!!!


Dec 24th. Testing, testing, testing. It's been a nightmare to get back onto the blog...technical hitch after technical hitch...who said computers made life easy???? Certainly not me. So; this is a test run....are you working? Over.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jai 'In the Blue'

So, I'm back in Weymouth, cleaning and scrubbing my boat all week ready for the season and Jai.....diving in Phuket. Is this fair I hear you say....No! It ain't!! We are booked until the end of April so Jai is running the Thai side of Offshore Rebel.

Jai was given the mission of going out with the camera and taking photo's of 'The Blue' rather than the dinky little things that hide in the rocks.

So she has.......and here's some of her photo's.

I asked her to capture the feeling of flying and space underwater...plus to get photo's with STACKS of fish in.........Good Gal!

Aahhhh....flying....it's great, eh?

And a little wreck to finish up with...thanks Jai.....and as Jai would say...'Oooooo, velly nice'

You can see the diving is great...and it became a very popular thing for our guests to do...don't forget...learning to dive can be part of your holiday...it's all free with me...and then if you like to go onto a full blown Padi Course with Kon Tiki Divers, that can be arranged. You'll love it.
Next year, Kon Tiki have planned some very exciting one day, two day and three day snorkeling safari's....much cheaper than diving but you'll have a wonderful tie going with them to the fabulous places they have planned to visit.
So far, I have 2 rooms available in January for the first 3 weeks, Feb is all booked, two weeks with the house free in March, 3rd and 4th week of arch is booked.
So, it's going fast....email me..phone me...or it will all be gone.
£200 per room (sleeps 2) per week or £600 for the whole house (sleeps 7). Jai and I will be there as your guides if you book a room and we will be there IF you like if you book the whole house...up to you!
Thanks to everyone for making the first season such a resounding success...it was a LOT of fun. Thank you.
Paul and Jai

Friday, March 20, 2009


A few last holiday snaps.....the last few days shot by with us doing plenty of things....but now we are all back and ready to go to sea tomorrow...

Another attempt at fishing bought yet more small tuna. Dave the Australian guide says he's gonna come and visit us in Weymouth. I've invited him out to see how we fish in England...so maybe some of you will get to meet him. Smashing bloke...knows his Game Fishing inside out.

Gary....'Now where's that f***in Condor? I'll 'av 'er'

Bert says this was one of Gary's better jokes.
Sweet, eh? The lads were on the kayak trip and the weather came up very rough. Our two heroes looked after the terrified (I'm not joking) customers and made 'em laugh. What brave lads they were!

Bert was impressed Gary did modelling in his spare time

Bert said he was off to 'get in touch with his feminine side'. So he went on a flower arranging course. See, there ain't nothing these two won't try.

Bary ran out of jokes so Bert took over...and presented one little Japanese girl with a silly hat. They are SUCH good lads!!

Bert's great escape. Gary and Bert started off in a canoe together but it wouldn't go...I wonder why. When Gary wasn't looking Bert buggared off...quick!

I know....but Bert looks so pretty I know you'd all want to see this again. Ha Haaaaaa

Here's Bert again...attending his flower arranging course

Escape Plan under way....

Bert lost Gary and then got lonely so tried to find something to remind him of his mate..........

So, that's it everyone. We are all back....well; not quite! As there are still more of you lovely people going to the house...Jai has stayed behind to keep things going until the end of April. She'll be coming over on May 1st to do the crewing bit.
She told me the current group are very keen divers so she'll take the camera and email me some more underwater stuff....so watch out for one more entry.
Now I told you it was going to be busy out there next season....February has all but gone. I think we have ONE room free in the second half of February. Half of March has gone. January's started to get booked............so don't delay...seriously...it'll all be booked before you know it. I think you could ask any of our guests what they thought of their Thailand Adventure Holiday and I know they will say it was brilliant...because it was!!
Share some of it...email me...and book up a slot.....pwhittall@aol.com
Thanks for reading everyone...this little blog peaked at 423 in the middle of March and averaged overall 260 hits per day which is very good as it was obviously just one or two to start with until the word got round.
Happy Fishing this year to all of you!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gary and Bert fish with Wahoo

Gary at the Wahoo Office

Quality Shimano tackle onboard

Reel Hooker is a superb craft complete with air conditioned, experienced staff and top cuisine

Roaring out for fishing grounds

Bert with the Thai skipper

Bert in the fighting chair trolling for tuna

Gary hits the tuna!

Gary and Bert are into their 5th day already of their 10 day stay with me.....and what a delight they are to have around. They are keen to make the most of their time and have been busy!!

Yesterday they chartered Wahoo's (http://www.wahoo.ws/index.html) mid range Game Boat Reel Hooker. Now I might as well tell you what it costs because this is not for everyone...but the lads reasoned that this was a rare (maybe a once in a lifetime only) opportunity to try for a big fish on a quality game boat. Game Fishing IS expensive. Those of you who have tried it around the world will know what I mean. The boat cost 44,000 Baht for the day which is £880. Because I now have a registered business in Thailand I am able to act as the booking agent. I have no desire to benefit from this so am able to pass on the discount to my customers..thus we were able to get £120 deduction (which is what I would get as the agent) taking the cost down to 38,000 Baht which is £760. There's up to 4 people max on a Game Boat but Gary and Bert wanted to have the boat for the 2 of them.and why not!! Good for them.

The day starts at 0830 and finishes at 1730. The boat is fast, superbly equipped with top range Shimano tackle and offers top quantity service with excellent cuisine (it's called that on Game Boats). Wahoo have an Australian fishing guide onboard Reel Hooker and the lads were full of praise for his obvious expertise and enthusiasm.

But Game Fishing is all about trolling all day in the hope of raising a sailfish or marlin (there's stacks of small tuna about) or maybe a wahoo or dorado. If you get a good billfish on...it's another matter to get it in because they are manic and leap all over the place.

Anyhow, to cut the fishy story short...the boys caught plenty of tuna...so we are fine for dinner at the house...but did not manage to and the elusive marlin or sailfish....one of the photo's shows Gary's exhausted state after trying to land his fish...ha ha

Big 'un on!!!! But it got off......

It's up to you what sort of fishing you want...and of course it depends on your holiday budget. Tomorrow evening we will pay £20 each and have 4 of us on the longtail boat with my friendly Thai skipper and fish from 1600 to midnight using my tackle. We will catch barracuda, grouper and snapper plus some other bits n pieces. It's cheap and it's fun. There are mid price range 'wooden warrior' boats (£220 for a 12 hour trip split between up to 8 of you on the boat if you charter the boat) or you can go as an individual at about £55 per person. Lunch and drinks are always provided.

At the other extreme, I have 2 customers who have chartered the Wahoo Game boat for a 7 day 'Liveaboard' big game trip to the Andaman Islands at the end of March. I leave you to figure out how much that will cost!!

Phuket is good because you really can have fun on whatever budget you have....sure you 'get what you pay for' but there's plenty to do that is very cheap or even free...it's all to you!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Diving Day

Diving at Koh Racha Yai

Ha Ha............me diving.........
Yo Ho...Jai diving.

Today, Thursday, Gary and Burt were off Game Fishing which gave Jai and me the chance to go and have a dive without having to worry about looking after customers underwater.

The diving in Thailand is fabulous and this was a great day out with exceptional visibility, loads to see and a water temperature of 29 degrees.

The dive boats go from Chalong which is a 5 minute drive from the house. I go with Kon Tikki Divers who have taken on the Padi Open Water courses for my customers who have become interested in the diving through my little 'pre school' and shore dives.

The day starts at 0800 when we are taken to the boat. You can hire all the dive gear or provide your own...it's up to you. The boat crews do everything for you...you don't have to do a thing...the level of service for which Thailand is famous is top class. On the boat (which was a superb vessel with air conditioned saloon, sun deck, good coffee bar etc etc we were offered a good cooked breakfast...bacon, eggs, toast, coffee.....as we travelled for 90 minutes to our dive site.

Three Moray Eels watching me watching them

Angel Fish hovering by an old mooring rope

Coral Formation..it looked like someone's neck with a medal hanging from it!

Big turtle hiding in a cave

It's very hard to capture the magnificence of the underwater scenery on film...tumbling granite boulders, dramatic and colourful coral formations...stacks and stacks of fish...gin clear water...it's just great. This dive started with a nice current so we were off flying with very little effort required...just 'o with the flow' as the saying goes. Some dives just have everything on the go. I have never seen sailfish when scuba diving but on this dive three went above us at high speed...fantastic. We saw so many different species of fish, crabs, shrimps plus a couple of big octopus and a bonus turtle...brilliant.

Mantis shrimp....there were loads of these about

Mimic Octopus imitating a stone

Octopus just starting to reform into a different form of disguise

The first dive was an hour in length.with 15 metres maximum depth. On resurfacing, the crew assist you (IF you want their help) to get out of the dive gear and then a short walk upstairs to the top deck and a good Thai dinner is ready for you. If you don't want Thai food...then there are other European options...

An hour or so later it's time for Dive 2.

Different species of moray eel showing itself

Another different kind of moray eel hiding in the coral

Mantis Shrimp....watch out..for its size, these pack the hardest punch in the marine world

The colourful but dangerous lion fish

Dive 2 was even better. Jai and I were accompanied by two instructors who were also enjoying a 'day off' and just wanted to have a day diving without any worries. It was a great little group as we were able to enjoy two very lengthy dives. This dive peaked at 17 metres but gave us a 70 minute dive...much to the annoyance of the boat Captain who thought we should be back after 40 minutes.

It was one of those dives which you just did not want to end..and in 29 degrees sea temperature there's no worries about getting cold after an hour. I just wish I could get all of you over here to experience this...it is really superb and would give you memories you would never forget.

We were on a 2 dive day...some boats were off on 3 dive days.it's up to you what you'd like to do. Our 2 dive day works out at £55. For this you get transport from the house/hotel or whatever and back again; all the dive gear, breakfast, dinner, fruit and pancakes on the way back.......free coffee and water with soft drinks costing 40 pence.

The day started at 0800 and we were back at 1500. The 3 dive day boats are back at 1800. It is extremely good value and Kon Tikki are a great outfit to go with especially as their dive centre is also in Chalong....just 5 minutes away.