How Your Typical Phuket Scuba Diving Day Trip Will Run
I’ve dived in many places around the world and it’s fair to say that scuba diving in Phuket differs greatly from anywhere else I’ve experienced. Most of the best diving spots in the world are fairly remote with limited infrastructure but Phuket is very different negating the necessity of staying in a dive resort or very close to the boat departure point. As a result divers come from all over the island to join us, so if you’re wondering how it works read on…
The time varies depends on where you’re staying (see below) but will be between 06:30 – 08:00am from the reception area of your hotel. If our drivers can’t immediately see you they will ask the hotel staff to call your name. Please check your name is on the list or you could end up on an elephant trekking tour…
Pick Up Times
Mai Khao/Nai Yang 06:30am
Bang Tao/Laguna 06:45am
Kamala/Phuket Town 07:00am
Rawai/Nai Harn/Chalong 07:50am
Each minibus have six to seven passengers so please be a little patient, we do sometimes experience delays but as a general rule of thumb if the driver is more than 10 minutes late then please give us a call on +66(0)76384285 or +66(0)818946353. You should hopefully arrive at the meeting point around 08:00am where our tour leaders (Born, Pu or Chok) will check your name and introduce you to your guide/instructor. For those making their own way to the pier please have a look at the photo below of the meeting point.
The Pink Bus Adventure
Your guide for the day will then escort you to the pink pier buses. Not all nationalities respect the sanctity of the queuing system so you’ll have to put your manners in your pocket and become a little primitive for 5 minutes and get your elbows at the ready to claim a coveted seat on the gaudy coloured chariots. If you have earplugs then this would be a good time to whip them out, the bus wranglers love their whistles and blast on them constantly to guide the drivers whom generally completely ignore them. Your guides who are not worthy of a seat will always ensure that they’re on the same bus and can usually be found hanging precariously off the back.
When you reach the other end look for your guide who will be waiting for you nearby to show you to the boat. Please don’t take it upon yourself to find the boat.
Boarding The Dive Boat
There’ll be many dive and snorkelling boats moored at the pier so your guide will direct you to the correct one. Before stepping on you’ll be asked remove your footwear and place them in a basket, it’s bad luck to wear shoes on the boat and all areas have protective matting so you really won’t need them. If you do place your shoes in the wrong basket it’s very difficult for us to track them down although they occasionally show up on local market stalls.. It would be prudent to bring your least expensive footwear just in case.
Once on-board you’ll be gently ushered upstairs to wait until all divers and equipment are present. You’ll be requested to wear a life jacket whilst we’re in the calm, shallow water of the bay which you’ll be able to take off when we reach the open sea and deeper water (don’t ask). Before departing the pier there will be a safety briefing and a roll call to ensure everyone who should be on-board is present and those who shouldn’t are chucked overboard.
The Journey To The Dive Site
After you’ve had some breakfast it’s time to relax, both of our boats have plenty of space and you can wander around and choose a comfortable spot. If you’re participating in a course you’ll probably have to set your own equipment up but if you’re already certified then this will be done for you.
Your guide/instructor will give you a full briefing on safety aspects and of course all the wonderful marine life we hope to find for you. 15 minutes before dive time a buzzer will sound which signals it’s time to get ready, we will split the dive groups into 2 drop times to make sure everybody has space on the dive deck, your guide will let you know if you’re in the first or second group. Once you’re all kitted up and buddy checks are complete it’s time to get wet and enjoy the wonderful diving Phuket has to offer.
Even though there can be up to 50 people including staff on the boat we keep the dive groups to a maximum of four to every guide/instructor. Our staff are highly experienced and realise that it’s the marine life you’ve come to see and not other divers so we all try to find our own little bit of the ocean although it can occasionally get a little congested around ‘special’ sightings.
We try to be conservative as practically possible so all of the dives will feature a safety stop at the end before surfacing under your guides surface marker buoy. Some of our dives will bring you back to the boat and on others you can go with the current and our boat will pick you up from wherever you finish the dive, this is dependant on conditions and dive site.
Our boat crew will assist you with getting back on board after the dive, please take of your fins, hand them to the boat crew and uses one of the two ladders to exit the water and back to your original space on the dive deck. There may be special instructions if the water is a little choppy so listen out for any additional instructions from your guide or the boat crew. It’s always a good idea to keep your mask on and regulator in until you’ve completely exited the water.
In Between Dives
You’ll have at least one hour from ending the dive until you submerge again. Take into consideration that you’ll be donning and doffing your kit, grabbing a bite to eat and getting a brief for the next dive, you won’t have a great deal of time. We do like to keep things relaxed on our boat so there’ll be nobody shouting at you to hurry up but we do have a schedule to keep so your co-operation is very much appreciated.
The Journey Home
After you’ve finished your hopefully fantastic three dives it’s time to head back home. Take a shower to get rid of the salt water and then relax with a cold beer (THB 60) or a soft drink (THB 20). Fill out your diver logs and talk about the marine life you’ve seen. Our tour leader will give a final briefing when we’re about 20 minutes from the dock. One thing that they’ll definitely mention is to please stay off the dive deck until the staff have finished unloading the equipment bags. Now…for some reason divers seem to go a bit deaf when this request is announced and pile onto the dive deck as soon as we dock under a misguided conception that you’ll get home earlier – you won’t. Please be patient..
Once the bags are unloaded it’s back to the pink buses on the pier to your awaiting minibus and back to your hotel after what we hope was a fantastic day.
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