After a 6 month break we are pleased to announce that the Similans are open. We’re very excited to see the developments in the Similans and the Mergui, especially after last season saw an improvement in conditions and sightings of majestic mantas and wonderful whale sharks.
Similan Coral Conditions 2015
Although we are excited about the upcoming season, there have been reports in the press of another coral bleaching in 2015. We will have to wait until we starting diving in the Similans to find out whether they have been affected or not. According to the NOAA there should be no stress on the Andaman in this region at the moment. As ever, we will keep an eye on this and keep you posted with how it is.
Introducing Our New Dive Master – P’Itt
First we would like to say “Congratulations!” to P’Itt on completing her dive master course this past low season. She headed over to Koh Tao in July to take the course while things were quiet in Khao Lak, and she successfully completed it in September. P’Itt is now qualified to guide divers around the Similans and the Mergui, even though she has been diving here for years already. At the moment she is back in the office continuing her role of ‘Tiny Boss’, but will be out in the Similans regularly throughout the season guiding divers and completing DSDs with those that want to try diving here.
DiveRACE Class E – First Season in the Similans
The DiveRACE Class E has had a delayed start, but it will finally make its maiden season on the Similans. We’ve been tracking the progress of this boat since we first heard of it, as it looks set to be an excellent addition to the mid-range category of Similan liveaboards, you might have read our news article about it here. This season the DiveRACE Class E will not only be venturing out into the Similan National Marine Park, but it will also go into the Mergui and explore what Burma has to offer for divers as well.
More Options for Burma Diving
For the 2015-2016 Burma diving season we are excited to see a number of Similan liveaboards exploring the Mergui Archieplago. There are now more options for diving trips to Burma, not only in price range, but also in date range and availability too. This season the MV Giamani will once again visit the Mergui, as mentioned before, the DiveRACE Class E will take a look, the Deep Andaman Queen and SY Diva Andaman will continue their trips there and of course the Thailand Aggressor visits Burma as well.
Speedboat Regulations for Similans 2015
On 13th October 2015 P’Itt joined local business owners with the Similan National Park head office to discuss some new regulations for speedboat operators this season. It seems that there is an increased interest in protecting the environment, which is excellent progress after worrying reports about the decline of coral at Koh Tachai towards the end of last season.
The Marine office will no longer allow people to walk in the jungle at night to view chicken crabs, this is a great development as it allows the nature to stay untouched and undisturbed that bit longer. The office has also announced that it will be very strict about the touching and feeding of marine life: turtles, in particular. If anyone spots snorkellers or divers acting inappropriately then the advice is to photograph them and send these photos onto the marine officers.
The office announced that they have they added some new mooring lines around the Similans and a better system for taking customers to the beach. This should help a little to protect the coral directly around the islands. They have also constructed a staggered timetable for speedboat operators, outlining who can go to which beach at what time. This should also have a positive impact on the environment in the long term and we should see some quieter beaches. As always, though, lets see what happens and who sticks to the new rules!
We hope that these new guidelines will help to protect the environment and keep the Similans a little quieter than they have been in the past few years. Once again we will keep you posted about what happens.