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 to get photo's with STACKS of fish in.........Good Gal!'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'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 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 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 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 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 don't'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 me...and book up a
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 ( 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'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 we are fine for dinner at the house...but did not manage to and the elusive marlin or 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's all to you!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Diving Day

Diving at Koh Racha Yai

Ha 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's up to you. The boat crews do everything for 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, 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 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'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 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 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'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 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.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Offshore Rebel (Thailand) Managing Director.
So, ladies and gentlemen...when you get off the plane at Phuket, Gae (pictured) may be the one who will meet you to bring you to the I may well be off somewhere with other customers.
Because of the various laws in Thailand relating to land ownership, it's a good idea to form a company. The company then owns the land your house sits's an effective legal safeguard.
So, now I have a fully fledged company. One advantage is that I can now buy stuff at cost price. Thus, if you wanted some diving gear...I can get it for you through my company at a much reduced cost. Also, I can now arrange any of the trips you'd like to go on direct through my company rather than going through agents...which means you (my beloved customers) can get the trips at a reduced cost rather than incurring agency fees...blah blah etc.
I have to have a Managing Director (Thai Law); so meet Gae. She is the Project Manager on the 'estate' where I have bought this house. She is fantastic at sorting stuff out...she has been an invaluable help to all of us; especially arranging the various trips many of you have gone on. Thanks to her, the taxi or mini bus turns up at the house and off you go....very easy...and of course they bring you back here at night.
Having a company also means I get a Macro Card so we can go together when you arrive and stock up the house on beer etc etc at VERY cheap rates which is another way to cut the cost of your holiday.
This week I have Honeymooners....they don't want to do much apart from wandering around looking at each other (yuck, yuck, yuck) so no adventures to report...sorry. They leave tomorrow and then it's the final week for me before I come back to start the angling season at Weymouth. But the final week should be great fun with the lads who are coming........
Jai is going to stay at the house until the end of April as we have more visitors....and she will be looking after things. She will be back in Weymouth as UK's most famous crew on May 1st and can stay until end of October..........
The house is then booked out for 6 months to an International School until October (6 months). Bookings have started for next year already. This IS a cheap holiday. I will again do rooms next year at £200 per room per week (so £100 each per week if two of you) or the whole house at £600 per week (sleeps 7).
So, for example....a three week holiday would cost you...£550 for the flights (return) and £200 per week (£600 for 6 weeks). If there were two of you that would work out at a total of £1,100 and £600 accommodation = £1,700. = £850 for a 3 week holiday! Not bad, eh. The fishing works at at £20 each (approx) for 6 to 8 hur evening trips; the diving with me is free (just pay a little bit for the air) and food is extremely cheap. It's up to you if you want to go on the various trips....
they are jammed packed days but they are not cheap....£40 to £80 each depending on what you do. But they are good!
More at the weekend!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thai Experience

Everyone has a different idea of what they'd like to do on their holiday. Thailand offers a mass of different tours catering for everything. If you have the time, of course it's more exciting to just hire a car and go wandering off by yourself...discovering things as you go. But for most of us, time is limited and it's better to go on an organised trip. The two day trip we have just done will give you an example of what's on offer and the cost.

Mini bus picked us all up from the house at 0800.
We travelled through Phuket heading north in the Koa Lak Nature Reserve about a two hour drive away.

The first stop was at an elephant trek. Many of the elephant treks are just 20 minute rides around a bit of scrub. This was a full two hour incursion into thick jungle and along streams. The 'trek' was followed by cold drinks etc and we then moved off for lunch...which was brilliant. All sorts of dishes...including vegetarian. We did not have to unravel menus and then wait for ages...5 minutes after we arrived at the restaurant lunch was on the table.

River Kayak......after lunch we were taken to the nearby river to experience a 2 hour scenic tour of the karst formations and the river....this was photo's cos it was a bit of a wet gotta take your trunks...the rapids are a bit damp and great fun!


After this it was anther 2 hour drive through mountain scenery to the east of the southern part of the area to Thailand's largest province Suratani. We were off to sample the seafood from this coastal town. For you lovers of food, this was incredible. The River Prawns were massive...I'm talking of over 1lb each! Plus crabs, shell fish, crayfish and a range of different'd love it. And need to think...just arrive and minutes later the food was on the table.


Again, no photo's cos you'd need pretty sophisticated gear for this part of the trip. After dinner we were taken on a longtail boat through the canals of Suratani towards the sea. The aim of this part of the trip was to see the fireflies which the area is famous for. There's a certain kind of tree that attracts the firefly (I dunno what it's called!) and it grows right on the water's edge. These trees were crammed with was like seeing a mass of Christmas trees lit up by white flashing lights.......pretty amazing stuff.

We were then taken to a fabulous hotel...and it was now a long and action packed first day. Those who had any energy left went to a local bar but others with more sense called in a lady masseur and enjoyed a period of relaxation in the privacy of their hotel room....very nice!

Next day....the first trip was to Thailand's Number One monkey training school...I've been to a couple of these before...good fun but this was something else. The trainer really cares for these monkeys and the owners invest a lot of money in the training schedule that lasts four months to a year! Basically, it's all about teaching the monkey to scale the coconut tree, pick out the ripe coconuts and release them from the tree. If the next tree is within jumping range, the monkey crosses trees and continues the work. The human workers below collect and stack the coconuts ready to take to market.

The owner treasures his monkey. It's an expensive investment and the monkey is extremely well cared for. Only some farmers can afford this investment and in Suratani, which is a big area, there are only two farmers that own monkey pickers...and they are in BIG demand.

After the Monkey School it was on to a fishing village where the fishing concentrates on crab. The village also makes its money from silk...right from the basic material, weaving it and creating the clothes which are for sale in a number of village shops. As you can imagine the range of clothing and silk accessories is enormous and it's very much cheaper to buy here than in Bangkok!!

Then on to the Cultural side................the trip was to include the oldest temple (1200 years old) in the region. We were given a guided tour of what it was all about by a very well spoken Thai monk...a charming, elderly gentleman who was genuinely delighted to see Europeans taking an interest in 'his' temple.

Three Buddhas.over 1000 years old. People get a bit confused as to why there are so many Buddhas all over the place...well, just how many Buddhas are there???? The answer is one. Thai's a Terrawadic Buddhas. That means they follow the TEACHING of the Buddha (Buddhism started 2552 years ago) and the many Buddhas are indicating aspects of the TEACHING contained within the 4 Noble Paths that lead to Enlightenment. These 3 Buddhas are pointing downwards with their right hands...which refers to the evil spirit of Mata and that everyone should be on the guard against evil. Leading a good life (in the ways outlined in the four Noble Paths ) will protect you from evil.

The Tai temples harken back to Hinduism which is where there intricacy and ornateness originates.

Buddha in 'Be aware of Evil' seems that 1200 years ago there was a lot of evil about as the bulk of these Buddhas are warning against it....good job things have changed so much now....the Big Buddha of Phuket currently under construction, is the world's largest Buddha in Meditation pose. So, obviously the current message is sit on top of a mountain in a scenic spot and 'Chill Out'!!!!!!!