How many of us have looked out the window and said no diving today?
Here in Phuket Thailand this week so many people did just that. Early morning was driving rain and wind and so many just turned over and went back to bed. BAD MOVE. Phuket in low season can produce some amazing diving and many who live here prefer diving phuket in low season. Less people and better still less boats and noise for the wildlife. This brings the more shy creatures out to play.
This was really the case this week for two very lucky divers and their instructor. They day was a bad one weather wise in the morning. But as the boat left Phuket and headed out to some of the smaller Phuket islands things started to improve. The wind and rain stopped and the cloud started to break up. On dive number one ant Racha Yay in bay number 1 all the normal suspects turned up. Giant morae eels, sting ray, nemo, lion fish, parrot fish, butterfly fish and all the rest.
Then back on the boat for a big hot lunch and prepare for dive number two. Everyone who comes with us phuket scuba diving knows we always love our big lunches. This was a great dive down to the collection of three wrecks all close together so can all be done in one dive. First the Harubi which was an old snorkel boat, then the wooden wreck of an old speed boat and lastly the massive bow section of a cargo vessel that sunk 3 years ago and towed to Racha Yai for diving.
Then back to the boat for another light snack before dive three. A nice easy dive on the shallow reefs and the start of home run reef and this is where we bumped into a very friendly turtle that was just happy to swim along with us for a good portion of the dive. Yes we do see a fair few hawksbill turtles on the many phuket tours that we run from phuket and the Similan islands are a breeding ground so on the similan islands liveaboard trips then you do get a lot. This friendly guy was part of the group. swimming all around us, between us and going where we went. This is what makes Phuket diving so special in low season. The creatures are used to divers but dont like the crowds and noise of high season. So when it comes to the quiet times they all come out and interact with us.
After this excellent dive it was back to the boat for afternoon tea and a look at the photos of the day. BUT the best was yet to come. When scuba diving Thailand most people think you need to go on big cruises to places like the Similans get the good stuff. Not in low season. Suddenly the captain sounded the horn and turned the boat on a new direction.
Just a hundred meters away was a Minke whale. The boat cut the speed and had a course alongside but keeping its distance. The whale was having none of it and came to investigate. The whale was swimming just thirty meters along side the boat quite happy.
In recent years there have been many types of whale sighted just off of phuket by the dive boats including Orca’s, Minke whales, pilot whales, Omura’s whales, Brydes whale and this year a Blue whale was sighted. This makes a phuket safari whale watching a real possibility as the number of different types seen here each year is growing all the time.
This means now that the wildlife in the water is as good as that in places like the Khao Sok national park. Each year many people come to phuket for the standard James bond island tour or phi phi bamboo. These are good tours but to get the best out of your stay in phuket thailand you need to do a tour like the Khao Sok safari trip and if you can combine this with a phuket day trip on the water too then who knows what you will see.
May be a day game fishing phuket will get you in areas where whales can be spotted too. Doing any of these great trips where you can get out into a marine national park or the Khao Sok national park during the day. Then back in your phuket hotel or phuket guest house in time for dinner is an excellent way to explore.
The one thing thats certain is the great sunsets that low season provides is second to none.