The Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock
Trip Start Oct 31, 2011
20Trip End Nov 25, 2011
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It's the start of our Similan Island Liveaboard dive trip and it's 4:00am *arghhh*. Need to finish getting ready and be at the dive shop for pickup at 5:30am. Naturally, the pick up was on 'Island time" and showed up at 5:50am. The trip up to where the speed boat picks us up was 1 1/2 hours long. We then waited another 2 hours for other people to show up before we boarded the speed boats that would take us to the island where we would transfer to the liveaboard boat. We finally arrived around noon.
They inform us that we will be doing our 1st dive at 1:30pm and we still haven's been assigned our cabins ... ? The boat is full to capacity ... 28 divers, 6 dive masters, captain and crew. They have left all of the luggage and bags on the dive deck which is soaking wet with sea water ... a lot of our stuff was already wet before we got in the water
Apparently, the reason we haven't been assigned our cabin yet is that there is still someone in it! He's not leaving until after the 1:30 dive ...*arghhhh*. To make matters worse, out of the 28 divers on board, there is only one other couple who speak english ... the rest are Russian (don't get me started). So now we have to hurry, hurry to get ready for the dive and then we all waited around will the Muppet show continued on the dive deck. I don't have a good feeling about how the rest of the three days will go.
Disappointing dive ... coral all smashed up, fishing nets all over the reef, inexperienced divers kicking anemones to pieces and grabbing at coral in order to pull themselves around. Dive masters did absolutely nothing to prevent it. We each had to pay 2,000 baht (almost $70) each in environment fees as the Similans are a Marine Park. I'm wondering what that money goes on to do??? grease someones palm I would guess. We finally get our cabin after the dive ... they've stuck us in the lower deck cabins which have portholes but no fresh air as they are sealed shut. The air conditioner isn't working properly and the room smells of mold (which is turning the pealing wallpaper black right under the air conditioner). Charming !!
We do a second dive at 4:30pm and our third was a night dive
The usual Muppet Show occurs on the dive deck and everyone gets into the water
After our fourth dive of the day, the boat headed back to the Similan Islands where it anchored for our second night. No engine noise this time, but still the air con wasn't`t working properly, the cabin was still 10 degrees hotter than the hallway, smell of mold and roaches made for another fit full night. I woke up just before the "Good Morning Everybody"`started. I could hardly breathe, I was so congested ... I had pains in my chest and I was exhausted. I decided to pass on the diving for the last day and try to give myself some recovery time. Marcus did the three dives that day but he said that it was a bit boring.
The speedboat picked us up for the trip back around 1:30pm ..
The driver was a MANIAC !!! He put the peddle to the metal and flew through Phuket doing 130 kms and hour (that`s like traveling 130 kms through Yorkville). The minivan would literally bank the corners on 2 wheels ... I was not happy !!
We're going to take a break from diving for a few days ... may do only one more before we go.