Archive for April, 2012

Kee Plaza Patong – Scuba Cat’s New Retail Dive Shop

Posted on April 13th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Kee Plaza Patong – Scuba Cat’s New Retail Dive Shop

Take a look around the  Scuba Cat Diving Shop in the Kee Plaza, Patong Beach, Phuket

Better still come and see for yourself !!!!

Update on Patong, Phuket following the Tsunami Warning

Posted on April 12th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Update on Patong, Phuket following the Tsunami Warning

At approximately 4.00pm yesterday afternoon, 11th April 2012 we received a telephone call. That was to change the afternoon.

The husband of one of our staff called to ask if we had felt the earthquake which had happened in Indonesia and to warn us of a potential Tsunami. Then the Tsunami Warning towers let off their sirens……….

This put everyone in our Dive Shop on high Alert.

Kath, our ever loyal Tourleader from MV Scuba Adventure telephoned saying she was struggling to get down to the shop to prepare for the trip that was due to go out to the Similans that evening! We suggested she might like to stay at home!

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Adventure Tourleader

The rest of the staff however stayed at the Scuba Cat Shop in Patong, it is in a 3 story townhouse and so we gathered all the customers, staff and unsure tourists and invited them to go and sit up on the roof terrace in safety away for the potential wave.

Jack was manning the telephones, assuring concerned callers from India and various other places around the world that we were all OK and we would keep them posted of any developments. A concerned customer who was due to go onto the Liveaboard trip that evening called, after speaking with him we advised him to stay the other side of the Hill in Kathu until he got the all clear to come over.

At the new Scuba Cat Diving Shop, Kee Plaza Patong, the staff were moved to safety at their roof top restaurant on the 7th Floor.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Tsunami Update

Great news, all the staff and customers from both shops were accounted for.

The Scuba Cat Boats, MV Scuba Adventure and MV Scuba Sport were moved away from the Island and out into safety, Deep Open Water. Why? The ocean is deep. It is only when the wave comes close to shore when it is slowed down that the water is pushed upward into a huge wave. If they can get far enough out the wave, if it had happened would only have been a few feet high.

MV Scuba Fun had just returned from a day trip to King Cruiser, Shark Point and Koh Doc Mai. We quickly transported the customers to a hotel which was high up in the hills and waited with them for the all clear.

Then we were all surprised, Kath had walked for 40 minutes to get to us at the shop, she wanted to be with us and her customers for the Scuba Adventure trip. Ozzy, who lives in safety up in the hills above Nanai Road, had heard about the Tsunami alert when may people appeared outside his hilltop home and decided to come down and join us at the shop, figure that one!! Irish, need I say more!!!!

Everyone had been warned in Patong and the streets were cleared. Sean went down to the end of the Soi to see if the water was going out from the beach, there he met two Irish Ladies who had been caught up in the Thai staff leaving. At the time of the warning they were half way through having a haircut. The lady cutting their hair talked about the earthquake on Thai and then left, when Sean met them they had their hair half finished….. they were looking for a Pub to forget about their new hair styles.

Sean came back laughing and thought this was a great idea and promptly went and arranged beers for the staff and customers!!!!

The announced times of the Waves came and went without incident. We all proceeded to go down to the beach with our beers in hand, stupid I know but by this point we were all convinced the danger had passed.

This is what we saw………

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Patong Beach

The streets were empty, no tuk tuks, no traffic, piece and quiet…………

About 7.00pm we made the decision with the Captain and Customers agreement the Scuba Adventure would proceed on her Cruise as scheduled. Big Smiles all round from a group of very happy customers.

A Big thank you to all the Staff and Customers at Scuba Cat Diving for their calm during the warning and a big thank you to Patong for having the Tsunami warning system ready and working for just an event.

Having been here during the Tsunami of 2004 it was reassuring to see the quick evacuation of a large resort town to safety…….. THANK YOU.

Today is a new day, MV Scuba Fun is at Racha Yai/Noi on her planned day trip, the Scuba Cat IDC continues and Songkran will be here tomorrow……………the soaking we expected this year!

Marine Life of Phuket – Napoleon Wrasse

Posted on April 10th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Marine Life of Phuket – Napoleon Wrasse

The Napoleon Wrasse with it’s human characteristics is the largest of the Labridae family. It has distinctive thick fleshy lips, like Angelia Jolie, and a large hump on the head above the eyes that becomes more prominent with age.  The males are bright electric blue to green, purplish blue or a dull blue green, whereas the females and juveniles are red-orange above and red-orange to white below.  Mature males are recognized by black stripes along the body and blue scribbles on the head and juveniles have two black lines behind the eyes. The Napoleon is one of the largest fish on the reef with males growing to 2m in length and females 1m. It not uncommon for them to weigh up to 190kg.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Similans Liveaboard

Napoleon Wrasse, also commonly known as humphead and maori wrasse reach sexually maturity between 5 and 7 years. The female life span averages 30 years and males 25 years. They are Protogynous hermaphrodites. This is when females become males at about the age of 9. The factors controlling the sex change is unknown. Napoleon Wrasse are solitary but at certain times of the year when spawning is due to take place, the adults will move down current towards the end of the reef. The fertilized eggs float in the plankton until the larvae hatch and then they settle onto the substrate.

The Napoleon adults are found on steep coral reef slopes, channel slopes and also lagoon reefs varying in depth from 1m to 100m deep. The Juveniles are often found amongst branching corals in the shallows. They are diurnal feeders being active during the day and sleeping in favoured caves and large crevasses.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Liveaboard

The Napoleon is carnivorous and is an important part of the food chain in maintaining a healthy and balanced reef. They are opportunistic predators eating crustaceans and mollusks. They are one of the few predators of the toxic sea hare and box fish. They have also been known to eat the almost indestructible crown of thorns.

Unfortunately, one of the main predators of the Napoleon is man!!! They are highly prized particularly in South East Asia and are one of the most highly valued fish in the luxury live reef fish trade. They will fetch $100 per kilo and $400 for a set of lips!!!! The Napoleon has been classified as a threatened reef fish. Their slow reproductive cycle, late maturity, longevity, predictable spawning sites and natural rarity have made it highly vulnerable to over-exploitation.  In numerous countries it has become a protected reef fish making commercial fishing for it illegal. It is necessary to control fishing practices as there has been a decline in numbers and unfortunately it is not possible to breed this fish in captivity.  In 1995 the Maldives banned the export of this fish and the population has increased.

Napoleon Wrasse are naturally curious and will often spend time around divers. Some have even been known to recognize individual divers and actively seek them out.

If you would like to know more about the identification of species why not sign up for on a  Underwater Naturalist Specialty Course, which will enhance your knowledge and highlight the key things to look for or a cruise on board MV Scuba Adventure or MV Scuba Fun for a chance to see these for yourself.

Multi Level Dive Planning

Posted on April 8th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Multi Level Dive Planning

What does that mean? When on dive boats sometimes you have divers on there who look at their computers and don’t know how to interpret what it is telling them.

The first thing you should do when buying a new piece of dive equipment is be trained on how to use it. With computers this means reading the instruction manual, and knowing what the numbers mean. The best way to do this is by taking the Multilevel Diver Speciality  which incorporates how to use dive computers. This means you don’t switch your brain of just because there is a dive computer on your wrist.

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

Dive Computers

So what are the benefits of the Multilevel Speciality?

It allows you to extend your bottom time by planning your dives in a slightly different way to what the RDP tables show you.

To be able to do this you would use the eRDPml, this will allow you to plan a dive safely within the RDP guidelines, then follow your plan using your dive computer. By doing the dives this way you will have several benefits:

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Speciality Courses


If your computer fails then you can still dive using the eRDPml as all your dives are planned before going into the water

It allows for proper dive planning, computers will allow you to dive in a way that is not recommended, and if you follow them blindly without knowing the theory behind what you are doing they will give you penalties for subsequent dives.

You learn the safety procedures for planning multilevel and computer dives.

By planning dives as multilevel dives and following your plan you will gain credit for the slower nitrogen absorption rates as you ascend during the dive. Most divers already dive in this way, so it is just a matter of gaining credit for what you are actually doing anyway.

During the Multilevel course you will learn about dive planning, organisation, dive techniques and potential problems. You need to take into consideration aspects such as air consumption, topography and temperature to come up with a realistic plan that will maximise the enjoyment of the dive. With the eRDPml the planning is simple and then you just need to follow that plan underwater. It is important to understand the concept behind the dive plan and use your computer to help you follow this, rather than allowing the computer to dictate the dive. Computers estimate the time remaining underwater, and are a guideline or calculator that reads depth and time accurately. They have very limited dive planning functions which is why you need to plan the dive first using the eRDPml.

During the Multilevel diver course you will learn more about safety stops, decompression theory and the care and maintenance of your dive computer.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Specialities

So what are you waiting for, sign up for your Multilevel Diver Speciality today………become a SAFER Diver and continue your adventure

Do’s and Don’ts in Thailand

Posted on April 6th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Do’s and Don’ts in Thailand

A quick guide to some of the Customs in Thailand


Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Do's and Don'ts in Thailand

Thailand is a very patriotic Nation and the Thai national flag will be seen on display just about everywhere in Thailand. It isn’t just government buildings that fly the flag because it will be seen on boats, tuk-tuks, roadside stalls, private businesses and private homes. The flags may sometimes be slightly damaged or faded by exposure to the elements, but they are still a proud symbol.

The meaning of the Flag:

Red = Nation: the stripes represent the blood spilt to maintain Thailand’s independence.

White = Religion: the stripes stand for purity and are the colour of Buddhism, which is the country’s main religion.

Blue = Monarchy, blue is Thailand’s national colour and it represents the Thai monarchy.

Thai Flag History:

The current Thai flag was adopted on September 28, 1917, making it one of the world’s older flags. From the mid-19th century until 1916, Thailand, which was called Siam until 1939, used a red-based flag with a white elephant on it. That flag was replaced in 1916 with a red-white-red-white-red horizontal striped flag, which was modified in 1917, when the blue centre replaced red.

Interesting Facts:

The Thai flag is called Triaranga or Triarong, which literally means ‘tricolor’.

The Thai flag may be seen alone or it may be flown with other flags, which have their own meaning. For instance, the National Flag may be flown alongside a yellow flag with the Royal Insignia. This is the King’s flag with yellow representing the King as he was born on a Monday. Similarly, Queen Sirikit has her own flag, which is blue (she was born on a Friday) with her own individual Royal Insignia.


Be respectful about Buddhism. Dress correctly in Temples. Don’t sit on Buddha images, sit before them with feet pointing backwards. Don’t misuse a Buddha image. Icons should be kept in a place of worship and not used as furniture or ornaments.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Do's and Don'ts in Thailand


Thailand is a Constitutional Monarchy. King Rama IX, HM King Bhumibol and his family are totally revered. You will see images of the Royals everywhere. Always stand when the National Anthem is being played, for example, at the cinema before the film starts. Do not make disparaging remarks about the Royals. There is a strict lese majeste laws and offenses can be punishable by imprisonment.



Monks are commonly seen in Thailand. The majority of males in Thailand would have experienced being a monk at some time in their life. Monks are recognized by their saffron robes. Women should not touch or hand anything directly to a monk. Also a woman should not be alone in the presence of a monk.

 Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Do's and Don'ts in Thailand


Thai people do not shake hands. They will greet you with a Wai, which is a prayer like gesture at chest or head level with head slightly bowed. This gesture is not only used as a greeting but also for respect or for reverence if performed in front of a Buddha image. Respect is demonstrated by the height at which the hands are held and how low the head comes down. It can also be used to express thank you or goodbye. The Wai is not used for children and people junior in age or status will always offer the Wai first. If someone Wai’s you, do not be frightened to respond.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Do's and Don'ts in Thailand


Do not touch a person’s head or ruffle their hair. The head is considered to be the highest and the purest part of the body. Do not touch the head or ruffle hair. Apologize if you accidentally touch somebody’s head.

Feet are considered spiritually as well as physically the lowest part of the body. It is highly disrespectful to point feet at someone or to pick things up with the feet. Do not wave your feet around someone’s head. If you should touch someone accidentally with your foot, apologize. Stepping on Thai currency with the King’s Head or sitting in the temple with feet pointed to a religious icon is considered sacrilegious. Stepping over food is also a huge faux pas!!!


Always remove footwear before entering a house or temple.



Dress respectfully. If visiting Temples then cover up! Topless sunbathing is frowned upon in Thailand.


Eating in Thailand is a social event. It is normal to have several dishes for everyone to try. Once you are full leave a little food on your plate as this signifies that you have finished. If you empty your plate your host will think that you have not eaten enough. Thai’s eat with a fork and spoon, occasionally they will eat noodles with chop sticks. Do not lick your fingers!! If you need to get the waiter/waitresses attention then don’t call them with the fingers of the hand pointing up. This equates to raising the middle finger in Western society. Turn the hand so the fingers are pointing down and beckon.


Thais are non confrontational. Public disputes or criticism are to be avoided at all costs. Raising your voice or loosing your temper will never be constructive in Thailand. Loss of face is a disgrace to a Thai, so they try to avoid confrontation and look for compromises in difficult situations.


Public displays of affection are frowned upon in Thailand.