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Dive Review of Philkade in
Thailand

Philkade, Jan, 2008,

by Sherwin Isenberg, M.D., CA, USA . Report 3983.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Palau, Hawaii, Cayman, Indonesia, Calif, St Thomas, Belize, etc
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas currents, no currents
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Max depth was recommended.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Cameras handled gently by crew. Into rinse tank and then onto table. They knew who possessed which camera and handed them off in the water.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Divers board from Phuket, Thailand which is easy to reach from almost anywhere in Asia, including Singapore or Bangkok. The boat is magnificent. It was converted from a pleasure craft into a dive craft. Diving is from a smaller tender. The tender is easily entered from the mother ship's stern. However, re-entry from the water involves lifting one' body up. At my age, this would have been difficult, if not for the assistance of a lift from an incredibly strong crew member. The one thing that would improve operations is a ladder on the tender.

I have been on more than 20 liveaboard boats. The crew on the Philkade is the best I have ever encountered. It may be the famous Thai hospitality. When preparing for a dive, they handed you the equipment and even helped you in and, later out, of your wetsuit. In actuality, each diver had his (or her) personal dive valet! Every liveaboard should emulate the crew of the Philkade. The British dive masters were also excellent.

The fish life seen and photographed include huge leopard sharks, turtles, octopus (including a pair mating), banded sea snakes, batfish, morays, pipefish, lobster, frogfish (both pygmy and normal), cuttlefish, sting rays, and many more.

The boat cruises through the Similan and other islands. While there were often other dive boats on the same or nearby sites, we seldom encountered other divers. One highlight is Richelieu Rock. That day was the one day with strong currents. Never-the-less, we descended on the rope and enjoyed an amazing variety of underwater life.

The food was good, although a bit repetitive at the end. Dinner was held on the lovely stern deck in the open air. Very comfortable.

This boat and dive operation are highly recommended.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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