THE THAILAND DIVE AND SAIL TEAM'S BUSY SEASON

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It’s now the middle of the Similan diving season and time for a recap and overview of what is going on from our base in Khao Lak and the Similan Islands. At the end of 2014 our company director, Nareekarn Itngarm (aka “It”) came down from Bangkok to join the team. She will be heading up our new philanthropic efforts and has already set to work on the Manta awareness programme. At the moment she is putting everything in place for Dr. Fabrice Jaine’s presentation in Khao Lak. This will be held on the 9th March at Sparrow Bar (but more about that later!).

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At the beginning of the season we were joined by Charley, a camera-shy diving enthusiast from the UK who came to complete her Dive Master Training with us. You might have seen some of her articles about free diving our on our blog? She has been busy exploring, documenting and researching this aspect of diving and has been involved with the numerous Boonsung Wreck Trips we’ve had going out. You can also check out the new Instagram page she has launched too.

UP-TO-DATE ADVICE AND INFORMATION ABOUT THE SIMILANSIn fact our whole team have had a lot of experience on an array of liveaboards this season. This is one of the main aspects that makes Thailand Dive and Sail the company that it is. We like to be out on boats diving all the time, this way we can stay on top of how each boat is operating and have fresh advice for guests looking for the right liveaboard for their needs. It also means that we can constantly have updated information about the state of the Similans, as you can read from our recent update here.

Even though it’s the height of high season, we have been busy updating our website. Our information about the Similan Islands has had a big update. In fact, we think that this is new and exciting information that you wont find elsewhere on the web all in one place. For example, did you know that the Similans were created more than 250 million years ago? You can read more interesting information about the Similan Islands here. This is part of our efforts to always stay aware of the latest information and conditions of the diving in the Andaman.

MANTA RESEARCH

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If you have been following our news and facebook updates over the past few months, you will be aware that we will be embarking on our fifth, that’s right, our fifth, Ray of Hope Manta research expedition with the Marine Megafauna Foundation.

As predicted, this season’s trip has been a huge success so far, and we haven’t even gone anywhere yet! Dr. Fabrice Jaine will be the host once again, and will be on board teaching us and our guests from his wealth of manta knowledge. The See and Sea Organisation have also started collecting glasses, mosquito nets and bins, amongst other things, to take to the island of Bo Choo and distribute among the Moken community there.

There is now only 1 cabin remaining on the Ray of Hope trip, so if you are interested to join please contact us now and become part of manta research and history.

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Diving into the Realm of Manta Rays

After the trip is completed, as previously mentioned, Dr. Jaine will be conducting a presentation at Sparrow Bar in Bang Niang: ‘Diving into the realm of Manta Rays’. This will take a look at manta conservation and how the diving community can help protect these majestic creatures. Shark Guardian will also be presenting from their bank of facts about sharks and the conservation of these large pelagics.

‘Diving into the realm of Manta Rays’ will be held on the 9th March at Sparrow Bar.

New Manta Ray Article

Ric has written an interesting article about Manta Rays for the Khao Lak Magazine. It is based on his popular See and Sea ‘Magnificent Manta’ presentations that he has conducted on a few liveaboards out in the Similans. The presentation explores more information about Manta Rays, how we can protect them and also how to dive responsibly with them. You can read the article on www.visitkhaolak.com.

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PRIVATE CHARTERS

This season we have also been lucky enough to organize a few private charters for people looking for a particular type of day trip to the Similans. We have organised a couple of trips to Koh Prathong already; Ric has led these with the help of P’It.

Koh Prathong has turned out to be a very popular destination for non-divers this season. Other non-diving day trip charters have included a combined snorkel at Koh Tachai with some land based adventure at Koh Prathong. The lunches on the beach at Koh Prathong always go down well – they are delicious! The ride across the savannah on the Tak Tak cars is also a big hit. Not forgetting the wildlife we have seen…nicobar pigeons, monitor lizards and chicken crabs, to name just a few species!

Private Charters are very laid back days, perfect for a more intimate trip to the Similans, Koh Tachai or Koh Prathong.

by Sam Pering

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