Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Part One

Dinner by the Sea

Here we are then. At Gang Eng resturant, Chalong. We are right next to the sea enjoying a cool breeze and waiting for our Thai banquet to arrive.

We are currently sober.

L to R (clockwise), Keith, Steve, Moi, Jai, Janey and Ali

Rare footage of Jai and me together....

Keith announced that he was going to have a New Year's Resolution. Being so easy to get a gal, Keith decided there was more challenge in collecting their shoes and leaving the gal a state of great confusion. Ha Ha....Keith's shoe collection has started.

As I am the only one up, these few photo's are from my camera......Part 2 will follow when the revellers arise and bring forth their evidence....


Monday, December 27, 2010

Yo Ho Ho

Hmmm....we've all had a bit of problem with the Internet but all OK again now.

Our Hero Keith presents his latest colleague in International Relations. Her name is Faa. She's married to a German. He's in Malaysia. England 1. Germany 0

Bonzai restaurant. We all like this place back for a quiet dinner and another look at all the incredibly valuable antiques on display. Janey (front L) and Steve (front R) are antiques dealers so this place is like a treasure trove for them. Imagine....a whole load of Ming Dynasty China all over the place.....

Bit unusual having Classic Cars on display inside a this Austin Healey...and white RR behind us. Here Jai and I pose...which is the nearest scum like us will ever get to such riches. Jai has been teaching our various Thai friends her favourite word from 2010 (Scum...I am scum). They all fall about and think it's hilarious....and it is funny when they try to pronounce it. Mr Caines and Mr Pitman AND several other Weymouth skippers have put in requests for crew to be bought back by it's important any potential crew know the important words in our 'profession'.
Jai always wanted to meet Father Christmas....and here they are together on Xmas Day at our neighbour's Xmas Dinner Party.

Today, Keith has left us for a three day visit to Patong which is the main tourist area of Phuket. No doubt he will get up to no good at all there. And Colin, if you're reading this, I did manage to get Keith into diving gear and down to the bottom of the maybe he'll get interested!!
Janey and Steve's nephew arrives from Bangkok tomorrow. He's been teaching English there for the past four years so I am hoping he will be able to explain some of the complexities of Thai language to me. He'll be coming diving (hooray!!) and will be joining us until Jan 5th.
Tonight I give Janey and Steve their guided tour of Kata.........a small town full of Thai resturants, live music and open markets.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bonzai Restaurant...Xmas Eve

Here we are, Lord n Lady Muck, posing beside one of the Bonzai Restaurant's Classic Austin Healey. Amazing place; full of Ming Dynasty china and various artefacts collected from ship wrecks exhibited about the place. Very unusual Thai food as well with crocodile, ostrich, rabbit, deer on the menu.....bit easy to tell the owner is South African!!

Malcolm really is Father Xmas. He and his wife Carol are extremely generous neighbours and hold an annual traditional Xmas dinner. They invited all 6 of us to join in as well....with music provided by a couple of very talented Irish lads. Needless to say, with drinking starting at 1300 and the 'party' winding up at about midnight, there was a degree of merriment in the air. Jai (bless her for never drinking) had to get the car and heave us all in the back to get us home....terrible stuff this alcohol.

Jai was delighted to meet Santa Claus.....funny how these old Turkish legends get remembered on 25th December in GB. Bit of a mixed up world, eh?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Steve and Janey arrived at 0130 today.....I enjoy waiting at the airport! They'd taken 20 hours to get here what with the various diversions because of conditions at Heathrow.
As they were (and still are) on UK time zone 0130 = 0630 = time for a beer.
We arrived in Chalong at 0315 and yes, the bars were still open as they have to close by law at 0200. (Well, you figure it out!). Several beers later we finally arrived at the house as the sun was coming up. Jai had already left taking guests to Krabi to absail down some cliffs into a Cave or summat equally daft......and Keith??? Well, Keith emerged at about midday with another representative of the Thailand International Inter-Harmony group. Her name is Bla which i s Thai for 'fish'. Well, we're all anglers, ain't we??
And now we are off to Rawai for dinner by the sea!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rain Abates...Phuket avoids floods at last minute.
Thank goodness Keith has arrived....and bought the sun with him. Up until 3 days ago we were experiencing very heavy rain...unheard of in Phuket in December! But now, sun every day. The effects of the rain can be seen in the lagoon....brown water bought down from the surround Naga Hills!!
Here's pic of Keith's new friend for today. Her name is 'Thong'. Look, I don't make these names up!!!
Tonight we are off to a new restaurant opened nearby. It's one of those MK things where the cooking utensils are put on the table along with all the things chosen from the menu. And the customer does the cooking!
Should be a right laugh with Jai and Bla doing the cooking? Bla?? Who's Bla? Ah, well that's Keith's friend from 2 days ago...she's coming with us 'cos she is a better cook than Thong. Confused??? Imagine what it's like for keith!
Enjoy the snow everyone.....tomorrow 0100 Steve and Janey arrive from Seoul, South Korea. They managed to get out of Heathrow and taken a very entertaining route around the globe to get to sunny Phuket. I believe it's only taken them 63 hours to get here....should've walked...quicker.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gradens and Spirits

You lucky, lucky B*****ds....
During the April to October period 2010, I was very lucky to have a charming South African couple renting the house. Ken and Myrna just love gardening and have put lots of things into the garden here!! Just the job as the only thing I ever put in the garden is scuba tanks and weight belts. So now we have a real nice garden for you all to enjoy. Happy Days, eh?
You will all know by now that there are spirits EVERYWHERE in Thailand. When someone puts a house on some land they have taken that space away from the resident spirit. Therefore a Spirit House must be put on the land to appease the displaced spirit...and suitable offerings MUST be made on a daily basis to keep the spirit happy.
Yeah, yeah...I know some of you reading this will think it's barmy. But clearly it is not! So far, thanks to Jai's constant attendance on the spirit, we have been looked after. That has not been the case for others living on this 'Estate' and who now realise that a Spirit House is essential!!! Several have appeared in the past two months and more are on the way. Yep, I have commission on Spirit Houses.
Nice, tho', all these plants and things. It's looking good. Now we have to employ a gardener!! There's no way I'm going out there pruning or whatever it is gardeners do.
Keith arrived yesterday (for Keith's fans who are following this). We had quite an eventful first night....and no, I haven't seen him yet as he is still upstairs developing International Relations. The Thai representative who was given this honour is.......stunning...I kid you not!!
Yo Ho...another drab day of sun, sea and adventure to get through. What does Mr Caines say...'We're pissed off being so happy'. Ha Ha.

Be Not Afeard

Yo Ho........ see! There's no need to worry about snow 'n ice 'cos there's none here.
This, as you know, is the Buddha hand position for 'Don't be Afeard!', don't be afeard! Get on over here as soon as you can.
Today was a big day for me. Amazing all the things we get up to in Phuket. I finished my extended Guide Book on the local Temple. Went for a meeting with the Head Abbot of the local temple, Wat Chalong. Everyone seems very happy with the now it's gone to the publishers. Hope it will be ready soon to be available at the temple and with the tour guides. The Abbot presented me with two large books on Wat Chalong (in Thai!) and a book from America all about Temple paintings.
See!!! It's not JUST about diving, fishing, the sea, adventures, fantastic meals, scenery, elephants, ice-cream and endless bouts of lumply pumply.....there's Culture too, you philistines!!
Now, here's one of the many paintings from the Temple...and as you can see, a ship has been wrecked and is sinking. The crew are all in the sea being eaten by sharks and other savage fishies. Serves 'em right. One man has survived, however, and is being carried off to heaven by a beautiful Thai Tot. And that ,my friends, sums up my position in Thailand perfectly!!
See you all soon....Keith arrives from 3 days of 'Culture' (ha ha ha) in Bangkok in one hour..just off to the airport to get him. He'll be expecting to be whisked off to heaven ASAP! Tart.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Back Again!

Here we are...back in Thailand. It's pretty warm...28 degrees...but cloudy, windy and has been raining like mad for the past two months. The Thais can't believe it; the Bar Girls are amazed and skint; the sales of umbrellas are at all time high.

Since being here I have been working like mad fixing boats.....but now, you lucky lot, we have a couple of boats we can use. One is in the north east of the Island where the famous James Bond scenery is...very nice for a day out...and the other is in the south at Rawai where the fishing marks are better.

We've had a few divers staying. They have gone now and we have a little gap due to Heathrow and Gatwick being closed. But I know at least one of you has made it here...and is in Bangkok being naughty (I hope!) and will be arriving in Phuket tomorrow evening. Our next guests arrive at silly o'clock on Thursday morning. We have plenty of invites from our neighbours for Xmas etc etc.....

I will get the camera out tomorrow and get our little Blog going properly. If you are freezing back home then it's your own bloody fault cos you COULD be here...and there is no excuse as to why you are not. Ha ha ha...forecast is now for all good from here on in!! Captains Paul n Jai!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Phuket Fishing Park

20 fish to 38lb!!!! Not bad, eh??

This lake holds some real monsters....
but remember, if you want to go for the giant arapini, it's £100 per day.

Otherwise....for all these other crazy species....£30
per day.
This was yesterday's catch.....
Sadly, in about 5 hours I have to head to Phuket airport to get on the plane back to Weymouth.
I say sadly cos (usual story) a couple of days ago the weather in Weymouth looked very good for Friday and the coming weekend......but now it looks like it's going to be wet and windy.....bugga, eh???!
Our guests are able to stay on until maybe they'll get another crack at the lake.
It's been a great winter...thank you Phuket. Thanks to everyone who's come here for thr holiday break.........maybe it will be YOU next winter??
Phone me at home 07860 571615 or email me for all details

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kata Clarity

Some days the diving at Kata, our favourite nearby shore dive, is SO clear it's like being in a swimming pool.

Here's Bob (Bob Fox) doing his fin pivot exercise as part of his PADI Open Water's hard to believe he's under water!!

Beautiful 'heads' of coral are always alive with colourful fish.

Lion Fish.........always an attractive fish to photograph....

Kata reef is a smashing place to do 'confined' dives. Nice sandy bottom then a well defined reef with stacks to see..........literally thousands and thousands of fish. It's difficult knowing where to look next....sensory bombardment!

The fascinating dance of the Juvenile Sweetlips

Scorpion fish and stone fish disguise themselves amongst the stones

Underneath coral overhangs there's always likely to be a big-eyed puffer fish..........

This may well be my last chance to go diving for this 'winter' season. Our current guests stay on until 20th March....Jai stays until the end of April...but I have to come home on 16th......ready for another busy season on Offshore Rebel. I understand the pollack fishing is really good back home so I am hoping the weather will allow me to go to sea when I return!!!!
There is growing interest in the house all year now. So, if you'd like a holiday in Phuket, Thailand, please email or phone me ....... or mobile 07860 571615 or look at the Thai web site

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kata Beach

There's so much to see at the coral reef at nearby Kata Beach.

My little Dive School is now busy with Air Hostesses from Asia.
I need more suits etc etc. All the students look like Jai as her gear is the only stuff that fits the dinky little; these photos show Khun Pear and Khun Pior....two different gals...ha ha...who can tell??

The viz yesterday was rubbish for Thailand...BUT that's when you can find the more unusual critters...

Here's a double ended pipehorse!
Very usual to see see these....

First dives..................60 minutes and

78 minutes................these Thai gals just don't use ANY air......amazing!!

I've just come back from elephant rides and Big Buddha trip with our 8 guests....and now waiting for our two air hostesses to arrive for their second dive. After today the glas will be joining Kon Tikki Dive School and be going on to do their full PADI Open Water Course....

A Night out in Rawai

Oooooo; look.......there's SO much to choose from. AND the menu is in pictures......we are SO happy it's all in pictures.......A delighted Jacky discovers she can speak Thai.

Yes!!!!!!! They do white wine in's amazing!! Sue and Jacky are SO happy to see the wine list!!

Jai's decided to become European and up her Bra size!

Jacky (yes, we have two Jacky's) impresses a local gal with her charm and poise.....

Poor Old Bob.....always picking up the tab

And here's the the famous Freedom Bar....look at all the smiling faces.
How can anyone not have a good time over here?????????

Phuket Fishing Park

Our favourite fishing lake is brilliant.

We have 3 anglers amongst our 8 guests this week with Bob Fox, Fred Froment and Willy Ramthor.

Here's a photo of Bob with a Mekong Catfish

And here's Bob again with a species that we cannot pronounce let alone spell.....but I am sure there is someone out there who can help us?? What's this critter called? It fights like mad and looks a bit like a bream. Very solid, powerful fish.

Khun X is our resident guide and helper....and he's a very able angler himself. Here he is with a Siamese Carp

Willy took most of the photos which is why there weren't many shots of him....but here he is with a siamese catchfish

Fred is the least expereinced angler of the three but he couldn't go wtong with 7 fish to 26lb. This was his best fish and was another mekong catfish.

And here's Fred with another of those unpronouncable fish.......

And Bob's got another one too.

The lads landed 17 fish. They were smashed up a few times with the fish biting through the traces. All the tackle was hired so we fished with what we were given......for sure the lads would have aught much more if they'd brought their own stuff.

This lake is providing great fishing. It costs about £30 a day (0800 to 2000) with rods and bait and assistance provided.
There are giant Arapaima in the lake. I've seen two of 80kg and 90kg landed but there are arapaima to 150kg in the lake. It's a lot more to fish for these....5,000 Baht per day (£100) but you are in with a seriously good chance of cathcing one or more.....

Friday, March 5, 2010


Today Keith and Richard joined 4 other Individuals on a 'game Fishing' trip out of Chalong.

With Game Fishing (or any fishing for that matter) you get what you pay for. The current price for a mid range game boat with air conditioning and all the works is £900 per day! This is for a 9 hour day. You are limited to 4 on the boat.

A good game boat is £1,800 per day between 4 of you! Unfortunately in UK we are mainly all skint. Thus paying £55 for an 11 hour day out wreck fishing on a 100 mile round trip will cause most UK anglers emotional game fishing is probably way out of most anglers' range. And, to be fair, I think Phuket is ludicrously over-priced.

One way round this is to join up on an Individual trip on the equivalent of a UK inshore trip. Chartering the whole boat cost about £400 (8 hour day) or about £75 each as an Individual. There will be up to 8 on the boat but often it's more like 6.

The boats are OK....there's no Air Con for that price but you will be very well looked after with lunch, fruit and soft drinks all included.

Keith and Richard joined such a trip and were rewarded with 7 small tuna between them but they also saw (it wasn't their turn when the game fish hit....which is why it's better to charter the whole boat for 2 of you!!) two sailfish landed, one lost and a marlin lost. A couple of barracuda and a wahoo were also caught.

Now this IS a good day out from Game Fishing standards....there will be MANY trips when no sailfish are caught and certainly no marlin hooked up!! So the lads fully appreciated that they had been on a good trip and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Here's one of the sailfish that was bought in and kept due to 'deep hooking'. The Thais are not the best in the owrld at releasing fish...but if you charter the boat then you could do so ONLY on the understanding that the sailfish or marlin are released.
When EFSA held its Game Championships here in 2003 and chartered 20 boats they did so only on the strict understanding that the skippers would release everything...which they did.

Anyhow, we have found a good boat with a good skipper and I hope we will enjoy a few more successful results......