Archive for June, 2012

Thank you Sang!

Posted on June 26th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Thank you Sang!

Two weeks ago a family came in to see us at Scuba Cat to ask about Scuba Diving trips for the father, Matt Hutchinson and two of his friends. I asked his partner if she was diving and she said she couldn’t as Kayla and Sean (their two children) were too young to be left alone.

Sang, who works in the office at Scuba Cat, filled the role of a child minder perfectly. She is learning to Scuba Dive at the the moment having already completed four Discover Scuba Dives and will later on be completing her Open Water Course and loves any opportunity to get out on the water. This was the perfect solution to allow the whole family to enjoy the day out together, with out Matt and his Partner having to worry about the safety of their children.

This is what the children thought about the day……

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Family Diving

“Dear Scuba Cat,

Thank you for a fantastic day. We had lots of fun in the water and boat. We went snorkelling with Sang, we saw lots of fish and stingrays. I can’t wait until my next holiday with you. Sang was wonderful with us, Looked after us and kept us safe. When I felt sea sick she gave me lots of cuddles and made me feel better. Sean went to sleep on Sang’s lap on the way home. Next time we come can Sang come with us please?

Love from Kayla and Sean”

See you all soon and of course Sang can come with you.

Could Sang help your family?


Eco – Are you a Responsible Diver?

Posted on June 24th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Eco – Are you a Responsible Diver?

Here at Scuba Cat Diving we have a long history of working to preserve our reefs for the future generations. We cannot do this alone, we need your help!

It is important that all divers have a good understanding of their roles in Reef Conservation and how their diving practices can affect the reef eco system.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Similan Islands

Learn to Scuba Dive at a responsible dive centre, ensure you will be taught to the highest standards, remember the Cheapest price is not always the best service for you or for the environment!


Here at Scuba Cat we are a 5 * CDC which is the top rating any dive centre can get from and the course quality reflects this. The maximum group size is 1 instructor to 4 candidates, the instructors all work for Scuba Cat Diving on a permanent basis, all our equipment is maintained and serviced by our full time engineer and we operate our own boats with maximum number of divers on them MV Scuba Fun 20, Our own Liveaboard MV Scuba Adventure, 12 and MV Scuba Sport is only 10. we do not believe many other companies can offer you this quality. We recently received many awards from , Project Aware and Reef Check for our environmental work, including the  first Dive Centre in Thailand to be presented the prestigious  Green Star Award.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Responsible Divers

The quality of our courses means you learn in a calm, controlled manner and also means there is much less impact on the environment whilst learning. Our Instructors give particular emphasis to teaching good buoyancy skills underwater. If you are not in control of your buoyancy you can injure yourself and our precious reef systems. A responsible diver in control of their buoyancy will not interfere with the Ocean life by damaging Corals or breaking sea fans. Practice your buoyancy over sand away from the reef, after  you have mastered this you can conformably swim over the reefs.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Similan Islands

Once you are a Certified Diver dont become complacent about your buoyancy. Every dive is different, some sites will be more challenging than others. Always dive within your limits, you have been trained to that limit for a reason both for your own safety and the safety of others.

We strive to ‘make a difference’ to the environment with our diving. With a maximum ratio of 4 divers to 1 guide, means that we can look after everyone and make sure they do no damage, dramatically reducing the impact of our divers on the reef. Ultimately as Certified Divers you are responsible, the Open Water Course certifies you to dive to you limits to a maximum depth of 18m, with a buddy. The guide will do exactly that, guide you… was your training adequate for you to be responsible?

If the answer to this is no, dont worry. We have a whole range of courses to help you become more responsible divers. Why not look at your Advanced Open Water Course, completing 5 more dives under the supervision of a Instructor. This course will teach you new skills required for different diving environments, two core dives will teach you about safe Deep Diving practices and give you basic navigation skills. Included in your optional dives are great skills to help you become a responsible diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Aware Fish Identification and Underwater Naturalist to give you a few examples.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Responsible Divers

Also there is a whole range of Specialities to enhance these skills further. The more that you learn the more you will see and enjoy, this will also make you a safer diver, for yourself, others and the environment. You could also look at becoming a Reef Check Diver, learning how to monitor the reef.

Always make sure that your skills are up to date, if you haven’t dived for a period of time make sure you take a “refresher” course or a Scuba Review to bring your confidence back as a diver, do this for your safety, the safety of your buddy and the safety of the environment.

Ask our staff on board the boat to help you with your ideal diving weight. The weights you will need will vary on different dives. Are you used to diving in Fresh Water? What type of exposure suit are you wearing? What type of tank do you have? Our qualified staff are there to ensure your days diving is aas enjoyable as it can be. If you are over weighted your legs and feet will be dragging downwards. Did you know even if you are not touching the reef,  kicking up sand can have a negative impact on the corals around you?

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Similan Islands

At Scuba Cat we have a no touching policy, remember the precious corals and Marine Life can be destroyed even by the gentlest touch. Many marine animals have developed a camouflage to help them survive along with a stinging defensive system, can you be sure that you know them all?

Please take photographs, this is a great way of sharing the underwater world with many friends and family. However  it is easy to become distracted when trying to get that perfect shot and accidentally kick the corals with a fin tip or lie on the rock/corals to get nearer your subject, please dont, would you like it if a giant stood on your house? Why not get our Professional Videographer to make a memory of your day for you.

All our instructors are aware of the importance of protecting the reef and they remove rubbish from underwater, if they see any. This doubles the effect as customers see us taking care of the environment and follow suit and show a good example by removing anything underwater that should not be there. Once a month we hold an Underwater Clean up event in conjunction with Project Aware and there dive for debris initiative, why not join in with us?

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Responsible Divers

We want you to come and dive with us, enjoying the trip leaving us as a better informed, responsible, and environmentally aware diver.

Congratulations to our new E learning Divemaster

Posted on June 23rd, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Congratulations to our new E learning Divemaster

Bryan Donaldson is Scuba Cat latest Divemaster having completed all the requirements for the course this week.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  E learning Divemaster


This is a very proud moment for all of us here as we have known Bryan for a while now and he has completed all of his courses with us here at Scuba Cat. Bryan is very unique to us as I am sure he is to , nearly all of his theory training has been done using Elearning, even one course that he has yet to complete the Practical training for!

Bryan spent along time working overseas and used the evenings to complete all of his theory before he came to us to complete all of the diving in Phuket.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Elearning

We first met Bryan over a year ago when he came to Scuba Cat to complete his Open Water Course with our Master Instructor, Sean Porter. He had already completed the E learning theory for this course. After a successful course went on to complete his Advanced Open Water Course then returned home but his diver training did not stop there.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Dive Briefing


Whilst away he completed his training for the Rescue Course, Nitrox, and Digital Under Water Photography on line again.

Bryan came back to Scuba Cat later that year doing his Rescue Diver Course and EFR with another Master Instructor Claus. And the speciality training with Tony Lock completing 5 specialities, Night, Deep, Search and Recovery, Nitrox and Wreck. He was now with ‘s elite… Master Scuba Diver.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Divemaster


Returning back to his day job again Bryan embarked on his elearning for the Divemaster, not only completing this but also completing the Dive Theory online too.

Bryan came on board MV Scuba Adventure as part of his training to Hin Dueng and Hin Mueng where he practiced leading dives, got an insite into boat Management and of course drew maps and gave briefings, a great addition to his Divemaster Course. (and still found time to sleep!)

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Divemaster

"Hard at Work!"

The practical portion of this course was recently completed, by his original Instructor Sean having been started by Master Instructor, Vince Callahan.

Bryan qualifies as a Divemaster on 18th June 2012 with 120 Dives and lots of experience assisting Courses, on Daytrips and Liveaboards.

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

We are looking forward to starting Bryan’s IDC (Instructor Development Course) on 1st July, and yes you guessed it he has already completed the elearning portion of this course too.

Congratulations Bryan! Do you want to be next?

Want to go Deep?

Posted on June 22nd, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Want to go Deep?

This is often the first question asked by divers after a dive, some divers seem to enjoy the dive more if they have been deeper rather than staying in the shallow water.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  5 * CDC

For some divers deep water holds a fascination not experienced in the shallows.

To enable divers to go deeper than the entry level of 18m there is the Advanced open water course and then the Deep diver specialty, these enable the diver to go to a depth of 30m and 40m respectively.

The main reason divers go deep is to see and experience things not found in the shallower waters. This could be shipwrecks, often better preserved due to less exposure to the weather and sea conditions. Deep water pinnacles which often have fantastic sponge and coral life due to less impact from surge waters, or a particular marine live that prefers the deeper waters.


There are though disadvantages to going deeper, less light penetrates the depth, so reducing the colours, less bottom time due to increase nitrogen loading during the dive, nitrogen narcosis affecting the divers judgment and faster air consumption due to the pressure.

Deep diving is safe as long as certain precautions are taken. These are covered in the Deep Speciality  course.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  5 * CDC

Simple precautions such as regular air checks, proper dive planning using tables or eRDP combined with a dive computer, safety stops and slow ascents.

The Deep speciality course also teaches the use of drop tanks or pony bottles as a precaution for low on air situations.

Most divers when completing deep dives also combine this with diving using computers or multilevel dives plans using the eRDP. This way a longer dive is permitted than using dive tables alone. The Deep diver course also goes into the theory of this and the benefits.

Nitrogen Narcosis is a phenomena only experienced at depth, due to the partial pressure of the nitrogen gas in the air we breath. It affect different divers at different depths, but generally the deeper you go the more pronounced the effect would be.

During the Deep diver course you would complete 4 dives to enable you to go to a depth of 40m safely. The course covers the planning  and execution of the dives, accounting for narcosis, DCS, air consumption, navigation and gaining the most from the dive.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  5 * CDC

Want to go deeper still?  ask us about the Tec Rec Courses

Marine Life of Phuket – Banded Sea Snakes

Posted on June 21st, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Marine Life of Phuket – Banded Sea Snakes

Banded Sea Snakes are found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region.  The Latin name is Laticauda Colubrina and belongs to the Laticaudinae family. Snakes within this family are able to survive on land and in water.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Similans

"Banded sea Snake"

The snakes frequent shallow water as they must surface to breath air. This curious snake with it’s placid nature is recognised by it’s black bands that run the full length of the light blue body. On the underside there may be cream or yellow colouration. The amount of bands vary between 20 and 65.  The tail is laterally compressed, thus acting as an oar helping to propel themselves through water.  The snake has valvular nostrils with valve like flaps, which close upon submersion. Snakes do not have gills, but they have a left lung that runs almost the entire length of the body. The eyes are protected not by eye lids, but modified scales. The face is highlighted with yellow on the snout, upper lips and bar above the eyes.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Marine Life

"Close up of Banded Sea Snake"


Typically, the female is larger than the male. Lengths may vary from 75cm to 200cm. The maximum recorded length of a Banded Sea Snake is 360cm!! This reptile has ventral plates which helps it to move on land. They are oviparous, which means that they return to the land to lay their eggs.  The males of the species have two penises, but only one is used when mating. This is known as hemipenes. Once the eggs hatch the young make their way to the sea.  Sea snakes move in the water relatively slowly, which means that they are unable to chase fish. The juevenile snakes rely on sand smelts and sand perches for food. As they develop they switch their diet to damsel fish and surgeon fish in addition to crabs, cuttlefish, eels, fish eggs and squid.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Marine Life

"Banded Sea Snake at the Surface"

Banded Sea Snakes are often seen hunting in crevices. The fixed front fangs are very small and are designed to immobilise prey. This highly venomous marine reptile releases a neurotoxin, which affects the nervous system.  The snakes produce 10-15mg of venom. A fatal dose is as low as 1-5mg, that is ten times more lethal than a rattle snake and black mamba. It is possible for a decapitated snake to produce a life threatening bite, so fishermen should be aware!!!!

This is an inquisitive creature that can be mistaken for an eel. The snake, with it’s passive nature is compelling viewing as it hunts amongst the crevices and cracks on the reef.  Watching them hunt and ascending to breath can be a diver’s delight.

Why not sign up for a   Underwater Naturalist Specialty Course, to learn more about the identification of species to enhance your knowledge and highlight the key things to look for or a go look for yourself on board MV Scuba Adventure or MV Scuba Fun.