Liveaboard Boat | Similan Islands

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy New Years, friends! This blog has experienced some major neglect due to a busy holiday season, travels for work and to see family, shipping out tons of orders for Handle With Care Shop, and most time-consuming of all, a rebranding of our photography website and blog.

We are determined to finish documenting our around-the-world travels from 2011, as much for ourselves as for our readers! Expect to see much more frequent posting from now on. We left off in Phuket and still have tons of photos we want to share from Singapore, Indonesia, and Australia. 
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From Phuket, we joined a liveaboard boat to do some scuba diving around the Similan Islands, a string of islands off the West Coast of Thailand. We were aboard the board for 4 days and 4 nights with about 20 other divers. We went scuba diving 4 times each day (except the last day) for a total of 14 dives! Yuriy had done some scuba diving here in the past, but I was a total newbie. I got certified back in Seattle right before our wedding because I knew it would come in handy during our travels. 

We got our own little private room on board just big enough to fit a double bed with a space for our luggage at the entrance. Couldn't complain because we had windows on either side of the room with views of the ocean. The first night Yuriy and I were both extremely nauseous throughout the night. The boat rocked all night and I had nightmares of drowning.

We woke up at 6 am each morning and went straight to the ocean. The day ended with a dive after sunset, which required a flash light underwater. The trip was very much about routine. The human body builds up nitrogen when underwater, and needs time on the surface to release that build up. You can only stay underwater a certain amount of time before getting sick, and you must stay on the surface a period of time before going in again.  

Daily routine: Wake-up. Dive 1. Shower. Breakfast. Break. Dive 2. Shower. Lunch. Break. Dive 3. Shower. Break. Dive 4. Shower. Dinner. Sleep. Repeat. 

After the first few dives I wondered what in the world I had gotten myself into! I couldn't fathom a dozen more dives!! Each dive required suiting up and getting out of all that wet gear.  I was tired and didn't have a chance to relax before the next dive. Everything felt uncomfortable, wet, tight, salty, heavy. 

It didn't take long to get used to the routine, however. It became so repetitive that some days I started to lose track of time and couldn't remember if we had eaten lunch yet or not and which dive we were on. I began to feel like a fish. I was in the ocean 4 times a day and showering 4 times a day. I was constantly thirsty, no matter how much water I guzzled.

The breaks in between usually lasted an hour or so and were spent reading, sunbathing on the boat roof, or trying to brush out the constant tangled mess my hair was in. The people on the boat were from all over the world and we had a good time sharing travel stories. The Thai food was amazing and it made up for any discomfort of living on a boat. 

We got some underwater photos from a friend who dived with us, and we'll share those next!

- Julia

By the way, our professional camera started dying when we were in Laos, and by this time, it was hardly functioning. All of the photos in this post were taken with our little compact camera. I'm so glad we had it for back-up!

Trying on gear to make sure it fit before the trip! 


Every boat in Thailand lights fireworks on the first night of a trip for good luck.





The dining room and communal area of the boat. 

The top deck of the boat was the perfect spot to sunbathe and enjoy sunsets.








Inside our tiny mint green room.

Looking out the door from our room.
Reading in my down time.

We ate so well three times a day. 

Doesn't get much better than a Thai buffet. 

Endless fruit every day. So satisfying when you're hot and thirsty.


Our dive master -- an experienced diver who was essentially our underwater tour guide.

We shared our dive master with another diving couple, Steve and Lydia. We did all of our dives throughout the trip with the same group.


33 comments :

  1. Dang it - you guys are amazing, even with a point & shoot!

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  2. This looks awesome! I can't imagine getting wet and dry so often but im sure you get used to it like you said. I'm so glad you are back to posting, i was trying to drag the last few posts out, haha :D Happy new year and can't wait to read the rest of your adventures!

    P.S. i have previously commented under the name "infinite"....same girl!

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  3. sounds like a fun adventure. I am surprised you two lasted for all those dives and all that time on a boat. I am not sure I could hold out for that long. Looking forward to seeing your underwater photos.

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  4. Similan is my most favorite island in Thailand.

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  5. wow that sounds like such an intense schedule! I don't know if I could do it. your pictures still look great even with the compact camera :)

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  6. Amazing! I would love to do a diving trip like that!!

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  7. I want to go and do this right now! mostly because I'm hungry and would like that buffet. great post.

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  8. I've been here. We also went island hopping. And i can say that Similan Islands -- one of my favorite places on earth! :)

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  9. I've been here, we went island hopping across Phuket! :) One of my favorite places on earth. Lovely photos! <3

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  10. Great footage from your back-up camera!

    Love the fact that the footage of your dive trip is mostly food :) Look forward to the diving pictures!

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  11. My goodness the food looks amazing! Thanks for the pictures--I've heard amazing things about Phuket, and it's great to see your adventure come to life!

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  12. I am looking forward to your posts on Singapore. I have just got back, missing the heat :(

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  13. What an amazing experience! I've only gone diving twice (in Belize) and I remember how wiped out I was afterward. 4 dives/day!!! WOW! I can't wait to see the underwater photos.

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  14. I love your hair on this post, it looks great lighter.

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  15. I just took a one hour ferry ride and never felt so sick in my life! not sure how you managed for four days! you do such a great job of describing your experiences. I can almost feel the saltiness of the ocean reading your post.

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  16. Abby a.braaten@rrt.netJanuary 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    your shirt(the colorful halter) is so cute! Where did you get it?

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  17. So looking forward to see the underwater pictures, I have heard great things about the Similan Islands!! And the Thai food.... mmh, best food in the world :) Hope you are doing fine, sending you some sunshine from Melbourne! xox

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  18. Yeah sorry to make y'all hungry in a post about diving. :)

    Abby- Thanks! It's American Rag from Macy's.

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  19. You are both adorable and what a fun adventure! I was in Thailand many years ago and would love to go back! Loving all your wonderful pictures!

    Liesl :)

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  20. how fun! did they teach you to dive on the trip? or you knew already?

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. Hope your Australia blog goes up soon! I'm going in April and I'm curious as to what you two got up to there. Thanks for the severe case of wanderlust :)

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  23. Alina- I got certified in Seattle a few months before we left on our trip. You can get certified in Thailand too, but it will be a few full days of class/diving.

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  24. I just got back from 2 weeks in Thailand and those food pictures are making my mouth water! Such good food in Thailand :)

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  25. it must be a great experience! I love the pictures and I would probbaly love the food they served:)

    Life and travelling
    Cooking

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  27. Lovely pictures! I don't know if I can last doing the same daily routine as yours for few days. However, you got wonderful pictures! Your food looks delicious and nutritious! I always prefer to have vegetables in my every meal. And fruits are really helpful to replenish the lost energy while diving.

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  28. Woww!!! nice trip. If you can’t decide for your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
    I love here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.

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  29. Woww!!! nice trip. If you can’t decide for your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
    I love here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.

    ReplyDelete
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