Once in a while we get to go diving. Although we spend most of our time in the office, serving customers, liaising with dive centres, and maintaining our websites, it’s important for us to get in the water at The Similan Islands to make sure what we tell our customers about boats, the diving conditions and everything else is up to date & true. Instead of only taking our divers, we decided to see how life is for non-diving adults and young children aboard one of our best-run and most popular liveaboard boats of the season - MV Nemo 1.
Similan Diving Tours offer diving trips on more than 40 boats, ranging from day trips to a week or more living on a boat out at sea, enjoying up to four great dives every day. We chose Nemo for several reasons, including the locations to visit on the days convenient to our team and our complete trust in the management. With children as young as 7 years old, and several non-diving adults, we set out on a 2D/1N trip to Koh Tachai, Koh Bon and the northern Similan Islands. Our divers got to see some exciting and colourful marine life at depths up to 30m, diving on Nitrox, and the non-diving adults and children visited the pristine sandy beaches of Koh Tachai and Donald Duck Bay of Similan Islands #8.
The journey began one day before departure when we checked in at Nemo’s dive centre to fit the diving and snorkelling equipment. Nemo are extremely serious about this, to ensure that each item is the perfect size ready for departure in the morning. All divers and snorkellers who join Nemo trips and need to rent equipment are required to do this in order to maximize customer comfort, safety and satisfaction.
On the morning of March 22nd, our pick up arrived at our hotel a little early, and we were ready to jump eagerly into the air-conditioned minivan. Less than 15 minutes later we arrived at the pier, where Nemo 2 (the speedboat used for transfers) was already waiting. 90 minutes later, and exactly on schedule, we arrived at Koh Tachai, an uninhabited island at the northernmost point of Mu Koh Similan National Marine Park. We received boat and safety briefings on both the speedboat and the liveaboard boat, then after a dive briefing our divers geared up while the non-diving guests were whisked away on the speedboat to enjoy Koh Tachai’s unbelievably-beautiful beach. Due to the full-moon, the current at Koh Tachai was strong as expected on the mooring line, but among the huge granite boulders, the diving conditions were clear, calm and colourful. Donald Duck Bay. The evening dinner was as good as, or possibly tastier than, lunch and many guests came back for ‘seconds.’ Everyone slept soundly in the cosy air-conditioned cabins.Lunch was served to hungry guests who enjoyed a sumptuous buffet prepared by one of Nemo 1’s unsung heroes, the lady chef who spends 6 months on board the ship. After Dive #2 at Koh Tachai’s reef, Nemo 1 set sail for Koh Bon, where a sunset dive was enjoyed, and thousands of fish seen late in the afternoon. Our divers were not visited by the Manta Rays which had been seen at Koh Bon almost every day in March, but the diving was still excellent. During the evening, Nemo 1 sailed south to the northern Similan Islands and moored in calm waters just outside of
On March 23rd, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise and after the dawn dive, several guests took advantage of the complimentary dinghy to visit the beautiful beach before the day trip speedboats arrived. The beach was empty and the conditions were perfect, and most of those who came on land walked up to the top of the famous rocks which are the most photographed part of The Similan Islands. Lots of fun was had by all and even more photographs taken than usual.
Two wonderful dives and snorkel trips later, we were reluctant to board the speedboat and return to the mainland, but all good things must come to an end. The speedboat ride back from The Similans to Tab Lamu Pier in Khao Lak was smoother and shorter than the one from Tab Lamu to Koh Tachai the day before, due to the distance and going ‘with’ instead of ‘against’ the waves. Our transfer minivan was waiting for us, and within just a few minutes, we were back in the hotel uploading photographs of our wonderful diving mini-cruise.
It is difficult to know where to start with our thanks. Conny made the preparations, both our minivan drivers were safe & smooth, the speedboat captain and crew were helpful and ensured our safety & comfort, the Thai crew (including kitchen staff, captain and boat boys) on MV Nemo 1 gave us a great service, and we were treated to Gallus as our diving guide, who has decades of experience at The Similans and completely understands each diver’s needs and adapts his leading and diving to perfectly suit them.
All in all, we had a wonderful trip on Nemo 1 and everyone came back with lots of great memories. We would not hesitate to join Nemo again in the future, and our team are already planning the next diving and snorkelling trip to The Similan Islands. Thank you, Gallus, Conny, Ivan, Mika and everyone else involved in making our stay so enjoyable.