The Start of a New Year
Following the Turkey stuffing butties and New Years celebrations it very quickly became apparent that not everyone had stopped enjoying their vacation period. As we settled alongside island 4 of the Similans under the night sky ‘flexibility’ was the word that sprang to mind when we viewed many liveaboard boats set to dive the following day.
This needed some cunning planning and adjustment, because lets face it, no one likes to descend into scuba diver soup!
A few chats with Dive staff, the Captain, boat boys and chefs we changed the following days schedule by 30 minutes much to the merriment of all our Thai staff as they could have a bit of a sleep in for once. It may not sound like a large margin of movement but when we are on a schedule & a routine sets in then even the slightest change has the element of confusion at some point.
With nervous anticipation I looked out towards our first dive site “Hideaway Bay” to see 6 boats dropping divers right on time with our usual schedule. Time for one more cup of tea Matt the diving can wait a little longer. By the time we had briefed our guests and donned equipment the surface became awash with SMB’s and pockets of boiling water around them. The plans working, everyone is ready, the staff are happy, the guests are excited and we descend onto the reef with no other dive company in site.
It worked for the first dive, surely we may get lucky if we do the same for dive 2…..Hey presto, the dive site to ourselves, again! By the end of Day 1 we had decided to continue being flexible with the timings, Day 2 and we reaped the same results but it was no more apparent to how significant a difference we had made when we moored at Richelieu Rock.
Thailand’s premier dive site that is constantly recognized as being in the top 10 dive site rankings worldwide was amass with dive boats. Again we used a little thought and delayed our schedule by 40 minutes and whilst all others where eating their lunches we had the number 1 site to ourselves. An amazing dive site and stunningly beautiful with masses of schooling fish and just us. What an absolute pleasure, it couldn’t get any better than this.
Oh yes it can, dive 4 of the day and our 3rd at Richelieu had all on board grinning from ear to ear, extremely thankful for our first 2 dives being stunning and empty of divers we couldn’t believe our luck as the few remaining dive boats sailed off into the distance leaving us alone on the dive site above and below the surface. I always enjoy the final dive at Richelieu, there’s something quite special about the sun slipping out of the sky and striking shards of light across the rocks grassy summit and I must say that this, for me, was the best dive of the season so far.
Flexibility……its a right little gem.