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Phuket Diving Newsletter

Thailand Scuba diving News

Welcome to 2003! Here in Phuket, the diving season in currently in full swing. Divers are enjoying 30 plus metre visibility and 30 degree Celsius waters (66 feet and 87 F for our North American friends).

Between February and May, sightings of leopard shark, black tip shark, manta rays and whale sharks are the norm - this is the best time for you to head over to this part of the world if getting up close and personal with a docile whale shark or graceful manta ray has always been on your diving wish list.

Last year we were once again lucky enough to have frequent whale shark sightings at Richelieu Rock near the Burma Banks northwest of Phuket. In fact, Richelieu Rock is considered by many to be the best place in the world to swim with whale sharks in clear blue waters!

As for manta ray enthusiasts, here's a story you'll want to hear. One of our dive instructors just got back from a liveaboard trip to Hin Daeng on the Colona VI where he spent 45 minutes of the second dive watching 3 Mantas performing loop-the-loops and constant fly-bys. Tough job, innit? If you'd like to join him, drop him a line at Thailand@Dive-The-World.com

Diving Conditions Run-down

Andaman Sea:

Between January and April, expect Thailand water temperatures of 28°C - 30°C water temps with unpredictable thermoclines to 26°C; air temperatures of between 30 and 38°C.

Currents:

Light to strong.

Visibility:

East of Phuket - Phang Nga Bay - Phi Phi Islands and Kingcruiser Wreck: 10 - 20m
South of Phuket - Racha Islands and Hin Muang: 20 - 40m
North of Phuket - Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock and Burma: 20 - 40m

Wind conditions:

January can have prevailing morning winds that result in choppy surfaces, but these usually die down by the afternoon. The period between February and April offers calm conditions.

Rain conditions:

Mainly dry with the odd and brief rain storm and showers.

Sheldon Hey

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