Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thailand Live board diving Andaman Sea.

Thailand Live board diving Andaman Sea. by PJ Widestrand

A wonderful sunrise welcomed us to the Similans. We did the first dive at our new, secret dive site, and enjoyed the 40 meter visibility and the social, to say the least, Hawksbill Turtle we usually meet here!
As always Island #9 had great conditions, with a gentle Leopard Shark, 4 Turtles and plenty of schooling fish. Afternoon dive at the Three Trees, with lots of tiny colorful fish.
Plenty of schooling fish and several Leopard Sharks in crystal clear water met us at Koh Bon.
Further up north is Koh Tachai, with the normal, healthy current bringing in lots of life. The Batfish cleaning station is amusing to observe! More Turtles... Sunset dive with an inquisitive Eagle Ray!
The turnaround point of the trip was Richelieu Rock. Big swarm of Chevron Barracudas in the shallows, lots of {Big-eye Trevallies, Snappers, Nudibranches, a Cuttlefish, Ghost Shrimps and a rare Zebra Moray EelSnappers, Nudibranches, a Cuttlefish, Ghost Shrimps, Big-eye Trevallies, and also a rare Zebra Moray Eel! And yet another Turtle
A very atmospheric afternoon dive at Koh Bon, with a Devil Ray and a school of young Batfish ended the third day.
Fourth, and unfortunately the last, day of the trip started with a dive at island #9 in the Similans. Whitetip Shark, schools of fish and a very scenic dive indeed. Grand Finale at Sharkfin Reef, with 3 Blue Ribbon Eels, Mantis Shrimps, Jawfish, Nudibranchs and big Moray Eels.
Nice conditions all the way back to Patong.
About the Author
PJ Widestrand is a Tourleader and Video - Pro. He has been diving all over the world including Cocos Islands, Galapagos, Komodo and for the last 6 years he has been working in Thailand. Learn more about Similan Liveaboards

Monday, January 29, 2007

Taking Great Photos Underwater

Taking Great Photos Underwater
By: Rob Daniels

Copyright 2006 Rob DanielsThe Nikonos, manufactured by Nikon, was the first true underwater camera and to this day remains the industry standard. Nikon has discontinued their first-rate Nikonos line of underwater cameras and lenses, although you may still find the Nikonos on the used market or eBay.Underwater photography is a great way to record your experience with non-divers of the wonderful world below the waves.If you simply want an underwater camera for a day, you might want to consider either a Kodak or a Fuji single-use disposable camera. For those beginning in the field of underwater photography, an inexpensive waterproof disposable camera can be a good way to get started. Some of the disposable underwater cameras are equipped with an integrated flash unit.One of the difficulties casual snorkelers and divers who are attempting underwater photography struggle with is the lack of visibility in the view finder on underwater cameras. Too many commercially built underwater cameras cases merely depend on lining up dots, which isn't sufficient for proper composition of underwater pictures. Very few underwater cameras have a finder large enough to be used accurately underwater.Serious enthusiasts who want the advantages of a single-lens reflex auto-focus camera may prefer a land camera in an underwater housing. Some of the more advanced and specialized cameras have an underwater mode that change the features, operation, or interface of the camera for underwater use. Imagine having an underwater camera that takes 220 shots at 12 million pixels that you can see and delete underwater. When most people think about shooting digital pictures underwater, they think of large underwater camera housings, intricate flash strobes and a very large budget. But that is not always the case Canon is making an entire line of underwater housings for many of its digital point-and-shoot cameras in the PowerShot line. While serious underwater photography still requires higher-end equipment, these cameras and housings can produce some very good results. Digital cameras can also afford more shooting time underwater with a larger 1-gig compact flash card.Another important item to consider before taking any underwater shots is the proper camera lens. The basic camera systems available for underwater photography have a thirty-five millimeter lens.There are some real disadvantages to underwater photography. One particular challenge in underwater photography is the use of a flash. Flash photography underwater is limited in range to about 8 ft at the extreme, 4-6 ft commonly.Browse through any collection of (good) underwater photography, and you will see that every image is either macro or wide-angle, without exception. For this reason alone, many divers new to underwater photography start by concentrating on macro subjects. Doing macro underwater shares many of the same concepts as shooting on dry land. The trick is to shoot close with a wide angle with an auto-focus camera because depth of field underwater is very unforgiving. If you're a new to underwater photography, four feet should be the maximum distance from which to photograph your subject. When you are estimating the camera-to-subject distance underwater you are estimating the apparent distance, the actual distance is 25 percent further away.Remember Underwater Photography starts as skill development, then composition followed by technique and finely artistic realization. Many of the rules of land photography still apply underwater but they must be used with some thought. The irony of underwater photography is that for all its beauty, the biggest enemy is the water itself. Unlike taking photos topside, when reloading is a simple process, cameras cannot be reloaded underwater.Even if you are not using it for underwater use, sand and sea air can damage the delicate mechanisms within the camera. To take effective pictures underwater you need to be able to concentrate on your subject and the operation of your camera equipment. Underwater photography is great fun, but getting good results is extremely tricky and the equipment is very expensive.
Article Source: http://www.superfeature.com
Rob Daniels is an avid snorkeler and outdoor enthusiasts more at Snorkeling Shop www.snorkeling-shop.com and Future Photo www.future-photo.com

Sunday, January 28, 2007

2006 Dec 27 Similan - mating cuttle fish (fr Shirley's DC)

From sygw01
cuttle fish

Turtle in Similan Islands

From oenogeek
Turtle eats a banana hanging out

Similan 3 - Thailand

From etll
Manta ray sighted

Thailand scuba diving

Scuba diving is Thailand’s most popular water sport and the country boosts some of the most beautiful dive sites in the world – the water is clear, sea life plentiful, transport and accommodation readily available and instruction to a very high standard. Diving in Thailand is comparatively cheap, and once you have achieved your certification in Thailand, you can use it to go scuba-diving all over the world.
Diving is available at all times of the year, although visibility changes according to the season. In the Andaman Sea, the best time to dive is from October to April, and in the Gulf of Thailand from May to September. At recommended dive sites in Thailand the water is so clear that the under-water world is visible from the surface: whale sharks, manta rays, marlin, flying fish, dolphins and coral reefs.
All reputable dive shops are affiliated with PADI or other international dive bodies, and most hold courses in multiple languages. All over Thailand, you can expect modern amenities, international standard boats and professional facilities.
For group or family travelers, all good live aboard operations will take non-divers along at a substantially reduced fee. Friends and family can relax, swim, sunbathe, snorkel and still enjoy the food, trip, scenery and experience of sailing in some of the world’s most beautiful waters.
Underwater experience
Day 1 : Transfer from Phuket Airport to Chalong Bay. Board night boat from the bay to Similan islands.
Day 2 : Arrive Similan. Rest of the day at dive sites around island exploring the reefs of the Similan Archipelago and myriad colours exhibited by countless fish and corals. There are three dive spots scheduled, and one night dive.
Day 3 : Continue your diving odyssey at three locations. Three daytime dives are scheduled at Ko Bon island and Ko Tachai, home to manta rays, whale sharks and colourful coral. There is one dive at Surin Island.
Day 4 : Three dives scheduled at Richelieu Rock, playground of the whale shark.
Day 5 : Dive at three more Similan locations before taking the night boat to Phuket.
Andaman adventure
Day 1 : From Patong Beach, Phuket, sail overnight to the Similan Islands.
Day 2 – 3 : Wake up at a Similan dive site and after breakfast, explore the area. Surroundings Range from delicate sloping reefs to giant boulder drop-offs The variety of marine life here is exceptional, with diverse corals and an enormous huge range of fish. Set sail For the Myanmar Banks in the evening.
Day 4 – 5 : Two days are spent on the Myanmar Banks exploring marine life including many different varieties of shark The area is subject to strong currents and changing underwater visibility visibility so it is strictly for experienced dives.
Day 6 : Dive at Richelieu Rock and Ko Ta-chai. Return to Similan in the evening
Day 7 : The last full day of diving around Similan, visiting several important reefs such as Shark's fin and Elephant's Head. Evening departure for the return passage to Phuket.
Day 8 : Early morning arrival at Patong. Participating divers should be certificated, but there is plenty of action on these tours for non-divers and various entertainments on board the mother ship, plus the chance to explore ashore.Divers' paradise
Day 1 : Arrive Samui and continue by boat to Ko Tao (Turtle Island). After lunch, enjoy swimming and snorkeling around this tiny island considered to be the best dive site in the Gulf. The marine ecology of Ko Tao is the habitat of several rare species, including spotted rays, giant trigger fish and the occa-sional and harmless whale shark.
Day 2 – 7 : Enjoy diving lessons offered by international-standard diving schools or discovering the beautiful under-water world with experienced divers.
Day 8 : Leave Ko Tao for Chumphon. City tour and visit to the many caves and beautiful beaches. Overnight in Chumpon.
Dive sites
ANDAMAN SEA : Dive sites are found off the coast of Phuket with prime spots such as Shark Point, Red Rock, Ko Yao, Ko Yai, and the twin islands of Ko Racha, extending to the Similan and Surin islands to the west, Krabi and Trang to the east.
GULF OF THAILAND : Sites are around Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, Ko Tao, Ko Nang Yuan, Mu Ko Ang Thong Marine National Park, and Ko Chang in Trat Province near the Combodian border.
EAST COAST : On the east coast of the Gulf, Pattaya offers dive trips out to Ko Larn, Ko Sak, Ko Krok, Ko Rin, Ko Pai and Ko Marn Vichai. There are dozens of dive shops offering courses and tours to any level and in any language.
Misconceptions about learning
IT IS DANGEROUS.v Not true. All the recommended dive companies listed here are PADI certified and have well qualified, experienced staff. As long as divers follow instructions and are prepared, there is less danger than swimming in the sea.IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO LEARN AND IS EXPENSIVEv Not true. All PADI centres offer beginner’s courses in a swimming pool for a half or full day. Becoming PADI certified will take four days in Thailand. Anyone over eight years can do a “Bubble Blowers” course in a pool for free. A Discover Scuba Diving course will cost around 4,000 baht and take one day. A full Open Water PADI course will take four days and cost around 10,000 bahtIT’S DIFFICULT AND YOU HAVE TO BE VERY FIT.v Not true. Anyone over the age of 12 can do a PADI certified course. As long as they are in good medical condition and have no history of asthma, heart or breathing problems, a severe cold or problems with your ears, then they are ready to dive.Precautions & preparations
There are some precautions and preparations that should be taken before diving, whether you are experienced or a beginner.
v Never go diving too soon after or before flying. The change in atmospheric pressure can cause “The Bends” either underwater or in the air, so divers should always consult an instructor to time diving and training to flight schedules.
v Never dive after a heavy meal. The blood flows to the stomach to aid digestion and may cause cramp.
v Never consume alcohol before diving (including the night before). The underwater effect of alcohol is multiplied many times, leading to disorientation and lack of judgment.
v If a heavy smoker, cut down before beginning to dive.
v Always follow safety procedures as advised by the instructor.
v Never go diving alone.
v If a diver has experience but has not been diving for a while (six months or more), they should tell the instructor and ask for a quick refresher course on procedures, safety and practices.
v Look for PADI certified dive shops only. Ask around at the resort to see who is recommended. Don’t take the first option or the cheapest (necessarily).
v If sure to dive before leaving on a trip, access the official PADI site at Padi.com and look for PADI certified dive shops at the destination.
v Read as much as possible about the destination. If experienced, a diver should know about the best dive sites before they even get to a resort.

Information from http://www.tourismthailand.org/

Friday, January 26, 2007

Five Minutes in Thailand scuba

From simonspear

The Thai island of Koh Phi Phi was very badly hit during the 2004 Tsunami. This film shows how the underwater world had recovered 8 months later. The good news is that there was very little damage to the reefs or coral, and the marine life looked very healthy. The resident Leopard Sharks were out in full force and when we visited the Gulf of Thailand around Koh Tao, we were even graced with the appearance of a wonderful Whale Shark. However our stay was slap bang in the middle of the diving 'offseason', so the visibility was low (normally under 10m), apart from on a couple of notable occasions. This film hopefully shows that the diving can still be very good in the offseason and just how truly spectacular it can be in peak season.The island above ground was recovering well, but our thoughts go out to anyone who lost loved ones during the terrible catastrophe on that fateful Boxing Day. ... (more)

Lunla Diving Club: See whale shark and manta Ray

From wannapong22

We are so happy to meet a new friend. We are a diving group from Thailand

Whale Shark of Thailand

From oenogeek

Here's a 10 meter whale shark from video diving in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand

scuba - Google News