Similan Islands look fantastic right now

Big Blue’s first Open Water student of the 2014-2015 season; the Similan Islands looking fantastic and my first impression of the Canon Powershot D30

Wilma from Sweden was our first student of the 2014-15 season. She just successfully completed her PADI Open Water Course. Congratulations Wilma! She finished her final dives around Koh Similan on a beautiful day. With very few boats around, the beach at Donald Duck bay was almost deserted. For day trips to the Islands, now is arguably the best time to go.

For photography enthusiasts, skip to the end for a first impression of the Canon Powershot D30.

Open Water Course

Similan Open Water Course Students
Congratulations Wilma & Gustaf!

Instructor Neil Thursfield taught our first Open Water Course of the season. Wilma and Gustaf from Sweden are the newest members of the big blue family. We wish you the best of luck with your diving future. We look forward to seeing you again.

You made it look easy and already look like great divers. I am happy you were able to see Giant Moray Eels, a Turtle, Octopus and many other creatures on your first few dives. Sorry we were unable to get any photos of you underwater. Skip to the review at the bottom to find out why.

Similan Islands

Today we dived around Koh Similan. It is by far the largest of the Similan Islands. It is also famous for the best views at Donald Duck Bay. It’s always a great place to visit, but today just seemed that little bit more special.

Beach at Similan Island no. 8
Similan Beaches deserted early in the season

Maybe it’s because it’s the first time I’ve been diving in 6 months. That always puts me a smile on my face. However, it’s more likely because of the lack of people. There were only 2 speedboats at the Island today. It is admittedly great to come here around Christmas or New Year, but sometimes the crowds can take something away from the atmosphere.

For anyone thinking of coming, it is worth considering the start and the end of the Season (November or April). There are often less boats, quiet beaches and best of all empty dive sites. There is nothing like turning up to Richelieu Rock to discover you are on the only boat there!

Canon Powershot D30 First Impression

Canon Powershot D30
Canon Powershot D30

To sum it up in three words; it didn’t work. However that was probably my fault. I previously played with it on a 2 week holiday to Myanmar. It was easy to use and I impressed with its performance. I was looking forward to using it underwater.

The Powershot D30’s biggest selling point is its 25m/82ft Waterproof rating. This would hypothetically blow the competition out of the water. Most other cameras in this range are only rated to around 12m or 15m. This should make it the best and easiest camera for Scuba Diving in the Similan Islands.

I took it on the first dive today and it seemed to be functioning. I brought it back to the boat, rinsed it and dried it off. Then after trying to turn it on to view the pictures, it just refused to do so. Upon opening the battery compartment I noticed a few tiny drops of water inside. I was definitely not particularly happy.

To be fair at the end of the day after it had dried out, it started working again. It was probably my fault beacuse of a lack of preparation (but I’m too stubborn to admit that just yet). So I suppose this is less of a review and more of a first impression. I will hopefully be able to try again without destroying it and will let you know soon.