Never been on a liveaboard before? Want to know when we leave from the pier, what to bring onboard? No worries here’s a short list of frequently asked questions and some general facts about our liveaboard trips.
What is a liveaboard trip?
Basically it means you live.. on board! Meaning you’ll live,eat,dive and sleep on the boat for the duration of the trip.
How do I get to Khao Lak?
The easiest way is to fly to Phuket Airport then come to us via a taxi which takes just over an hour, if you would like a pick up we can help arrange a taxi for you at the airport. If you are travelling by bus, you need to get off at Khao Lak, Nang Tong Supermarket, we are just 20 metres from there.
When do we depart and get back?
We leave the shop around 19.00 to go to the pier, the boat departs normally 20.00. We get back on land around 15.00
What the size and capacity of the MV Vilai Samut?
The MV Vilai Samut is 26m long and 6 meters wide. She has two decks and a sun deck in the front. We take maximum 18 passengers but we always have plenty of space onboard. She has a maximum speed of 12 knots, we usually have a cruising speed of about 8 knots.
What to bring on the boat?
You’ll find you don’t need a lot of stuff while you’re out at sea. Bring some change of clothes, toiletries, sunglasses, suncream, logbook, some money for sodas and beer on the boat. Camera/computer charger if you intend to use them on the boat. Otherwise a good book if you just want to relax between the dives. If you’re diving with your own equipment, of course you’ll need to remember to bring this along as well.
What do I do with the rest of my stuff while I’m on the boat?
You can leave your big luggage in our dive shop for the duration of the trip for no charge.
How much experience do I need to join on the boat?
We cater to both new divers and experienced ones. Diving in small groups lets divers of all sorts to dive with their equals and dive within their limits. The first dive of the trip will be a check-up dive to get everyone in the water and comfortable. It also lets us assess our dive groups and if they’re unevenly matched we can change them around some.
We also cater for snorkelers who can also enjoy the clear waters of the Similans.
Can I do a course on the liveaboard trip ?
Yes it is possible to do a number of courses on the boat, PADI Advanced Open Water being the most popular. It is also possible to make your PADI Open Water Course by completing the theory and confined water exercises on land, then making the 4 Open Water Dives during your trip, the remaining dives you can enjoy as fun dives.
How long are the dives?
We have a maximum 60 minutes dive time on our day dives and 45 minutes on our night dives. If a manta shows up after 59 minutes we’re not going to drag you out of the water though The dive time will of course depend on air consumption, depth, conditions and wishes of the dive group where they want to spend most of the time under water.
What kind of tanks are you using?
We’re using 12L Aluminium tanks with K-valves. We do have 15L tanks that you can rent if you use a lot of air as well. We also have DIN-adaptors. Please let us now before the trip though so we can make sure we have enough on the boat with us.
What can I expect to see during the trip?
The Andaman Sea can boast with some of the biggest variety in marine life in the world, up to 400 species of fish have been documented around the Similan Islands, and we’re sure there’s more to find! With most families of reef fish you’ll find here there’s up to ten different species ! Ranging from macro with nudibranchs, slugs, shrimps,crabs up to big fish like sharks, giant barracudas and manta rays. Also we see reptiles like sea snakes and sea turtles on a common day! On a lucky day you can spot marine mammals on the surface like spinner dolphins and whales.
Our dive guides and instructors have great passion for the marine environment and if you want to learn more about it they’ll be more than happy to share their knowledge, we also have some great Marine Life books on board for you to browse through.
One thing to remember though, we only see what the ocean decides to show us. We can never guarantee what’s gonna appear on a dive and that’s part of the beauty of it.
We’ve seen some extraordinary things during our 8 year run in the area. A family of killer whales swimming by on the way to Richelieu Rock, 4 Guitar Sharks playing in relatively shallow waters, Manta Rays jumping over the surface,Sailfish cruising by on safety stops… encounters like these are rare but they continue to happen every season and reminds us that anything might happen and that it’s always worth keeping a watchful eye out in the blue!