Friday, March 09, 2007

Similan Liveaboard 2007

I participated in a scubadiving liveaboard last week bound for the Similan Island chain in the Andaman Sea. The archipelago lies northwest of Phuket and takes anything between four to seven hours of non-stop sailing to reach. Well, at least that's what it took us on this 4-knots max speed "speed boat".

The boat, the "Seamoth" is the same one as the one I was on during the Hin Daeng Hin Muang trip last November. This time we boarded her from the Phuket jetty, which is fine by me as I have never been to Phuket before, so this gave me a chance to see what all the fuss is about.

The jetty was very picturesque, as there is a marina beside it, filled with yatchs and luxury boats and sampans all moored together regardless of race, colour or creed. Welcome to the United Nations of Marinaland!
Anyway, "Stand By Me" was inexplicably blaring from the PA speakers as one by one, we boarded the boat, checked our luggage and cooled down on the main deck with a suspiciously looking and exceedingly sweet green beverage. Note to organisers: Some of us do not want to get diabetes before this trip is over, thank you.

At 5.00pm local time (an hour behind KL), the captain hooted his horns, started the engines and the Seamoth left the pier towards Similan Island. The crew then fired a series of firecrackers GongXiFaCai style, as a symbolic gesture to herald its foray into the open seas and to ask for protection from the gods of the waters. Hmmm.... I guess we'll be safe from the tsunamis now. Hehehe

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