John and Jane in Thailand

J and J have escaped the hurly-burly of life in the USA.

Posts Tagged ‘scuba diving

Into the Blue

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As most of you know, John and I moved to Thailand primarily for the diving. On first arriving we went out with the two local dive outfits. When opportunity came to form a boat club using the traditional Thai long-tail, we took it not only for the reduction in the cost of diving but for the independence it gave us. A year ago we took another big step up; we bought our own dive boat. It is also traditional Thai but a fishing boat that was converted for use with tourists. Our partners in this venture, Ju and Devis, own the Armonia Village Resort and though they are not divers, they love being on the water and realized it would be a great resource to offer their customers. Perfect, paying guests cuts the cost of our diving way down for all the club members and we get to meet some very interesting people from all over the world.

Diving is the boat’s primary function. The islands we dive are about an hour and a half away; the ride is part of the pleasure of going out. We see the most amazing scenery and then the details are so often incredible. Scuba diving is truly like visiting an alien planet yet we don’t even need to leave home.

We also have the added fun of having our very own wreck to explore. It was deliberately sunk three years ago to create an artificial reef. It didn’t take long for the sea life to discover this WWII relic and it is now home to all manner of creatures including corals.

Snorkelers are a welcome addition to any trip out to the islands. Many of our dive sites offer amazing opportunities for snorkeler’s enjoyment. This area is so rich in diversity of fish and corals; it never ceases to amaze snorkelers and divers alike.

On each trip we always do two dives which requires that we stay on the surface for at least an hour before heading down for the second dive. We always eat a light Thai food lunch but this is also a time to have fun.

Not all trips out are for diving and snorkeling. There is the occasional fishing trip and in the evenings there is squid fishing. The boat is rigged with special green lights which attract the squid to the boat area; it is just a matter of dropping a line (no pole required), bobbing it a little, then low-and-behold you’ve got a squid. Ju is an expert chef who will gladly cook the fresh squid when the boat gets back to shore.

So, when you make your trip to Thailand, come dive with us.




Written by Jane Estes

March 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm

What the . . ? Oh my gosh!

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In August, (okay, you’re right, I should have posted this back then) when Nathan was visiting after spending the summer doing research in Laos, we went diving.  For the first dive we chose a site we have been to many times but is always beautiful and every changing.  We are swimming along when out of the blue (would that be a pun?) appears a huge object.  Oh – my – gosh!  It’s a sunken boat, a large Thai fishing vessel.  It wasn’t there last week!  How exciting is this.  How cool!! 

I thought you might enjoy seeing what we saw.  This time, photo credit goes to Nathan Green.

Written by Jane Estes

December 11, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Dive Right In

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I have been hoarding underwater photographs that I have been taking for the last five months to give you a tour of what we see as we dive “our islands”.  When the weather permits, we dive at least once a week.  “How can they afford that?” you say; scuba diving isn’t exactly a cheap sport.   To put it succinctly, the boat club.  A fellow expat, Nigel, owns a Thai long-tail boat which was sunk some time ago.  The cost of pulling it out of the water, repairs, then ongoing maintenance was too much for one man and so the idea for a club was born.  Eight of us, three couples and two singles, jumped at the chance to have a boat at our beck and call.  Five of the eight are divers.  Nigel and his wife make an even ten members.  We each put in a chunk of money, had meetings about how we would operate, worked on the boat in dry dock, and Nigel named the boat and club ‘The Blue Lagoon’.  Nigel found a Thai captain who not only takes us out, but in exchange for using the boat himself (probably squid fishing), takes care of the boat.  Kai moors it in the Saplee River which is about a 4 minute drive from our house.  We really like Kai and I know he finds us amusing.  He speaks no English, but we’ve learned enough Thai and hand gestures to get along just fine.  This is truly an international enterprise; our members hail from Britain, Germany, Norway, Thailand, and of course America.  We primarily dive two islands off of our beach (Ngam Yai and Ngam Noi) and the navy boat wreck that was sunk specifically for divers about a year and a half ago.  A third island, Crocodile, is too shallow for good diving but makes a terrific snorkeling area.  I will narrate the photos as they go along.  Have fun.

Written by Jane Estes

September 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm