Something for the weekend?

Posted on October 8th, 2008 by Gareth inThailand

Greetings from Thailand flower folk. So its almost the weekend – a bit early to be counting down the run in but so what? That means its time to start thinking what are you going to do.

Over indulge on Friday night and sleep it off on Saturday?

Spend time catching up on jobs or plan to DO SOMETHING.

I’m lucky in that I live somewhere where I can do many exciting things.

This weekend I’ve finally got round to booking myself a dive. Its been a while since I donned my SCUBA gear and took the plunge under the ocean.

If you haven’t tried it then thats a real pity as there is so much to see down there be it a reef dive, a wreck dive or simply a mooch about…..

It will also allow me to take some pictures as I really enjoy getting some great shots of the weird and wonderful life down there. All these photos were taken by me – except the one of me, obviously.

I haven’t dived in this part of Thailand before but I’m hoping for good visibility, good reef, plenty of interesting fish and with luck some sharks.

Its not as tricky or as risky as you might think but its vital you get professionally tutored and certified so you don’t do yourself any harm through ignorance.

So what will you do this weekend?

Come on, think of something different that is feasible where you are and Go! and do it.

It doesn’t have to be madly strange, exotic or expensive – just different to the routine, wherever you are in the world.

You should feel better for it and have something to think of during the next week at work. No excuses, think of something and just do it.

Please share your suggestions, you might inspire the rest of us. Thanks!

33 Responses to “Something for the weekend?”

  1. Urban Pagan says:

    I love diving but have never been underwater.

    This weekend- gym, curb your enthusiasm, football, and going for a swift half on sunday because its somebody off here’s b’day.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  2. Gareth,

    You always make me feel like I have such a boring life. I love it when you share your adventures and the pictures are wonderful.

    My weekend. There are to things that I plan. One, to sleep as much as I can since I’ve only been sleeping a couple of hours at a time. Two, go out on a date with my husband to have lattes and something yummy bad for you!!! That makes me excited today thinking about it.

    • Gareth in Thailand says:

      Hope you find something good to eat, maybe try Vietnamese or a new Chinese place and then order something you wouldn’t normally, say frog or something?
      The first two photos took a lot of patience to get as the fish s ldom do what you want them to and can be very shy.
      The clown fish (or Nemo shot) was taken in Australia on the Great Barrier Reef.
      The Scorpion fish was in the Philippines.

      • Authentic Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Indian, Greek, Peruvian, Hawaiian are all quite plentiful where I live, so finding something different is tough until new ones open up. However, we have a change in plans, so we will be in a different city close to many new places including a really good authentic gelato place, an ice cream to die for and a cupcake place…hmmm, that’s for the inspiration.

        Your photography is really good.

  3. Jim says:

    I well remember diving with you off Koh Samui Gareth – I’m assuming those photos are with your yellow cased underwater camara? They’ve come out really well, nice one.

    Is that last one of you in a manhole? Any beer in that cellar?

    This weekend, heading back to Doo-bye after my 3 weeks in India….golf maybe on the cards at somepoint and maybe a run along the beach….

    • Gareth in Thailand says:

      Hi Jim,
      It is the same camera, Sony DSC P12.
      Technically we were diving off Koh Tao but staying on Samui but it was all good, until that lass puked off the back of the speedboat.
      The last one is me coming out of a ship’s hold on a wreck dive near Boracay, Philippines.

      • Jim says:

        Good memory….Boracay has to be on the list – hw does it fair to Samui – less developed I assume?

        • Gareth in Thailand says:

          Its a lot smaller, one of the best beaches I’ve been on on the one side and on the other (windy side) lots of kite surfing and wind surfing. It has a reasonable Golf course a tone end as well.
          One of the best things is for a small amount of money you can get a boat and go island hopping. Most of the nearby isalnds are completely deserted and all have great beaches and good snorkling and a few caves.
          Worth a go mate.

  4. Lib says:

    Nice photos Gareth, and lucky you living in such a wicked area to go diving.

    As much as I would love to dive, I unfortunately can’t get over my fear of deep water.

    I tried snorkelling in the Maldives but even with that as soon as I got to a depth I was uncomfy with I pretty much had a flid.

    Perhaps its something I should try and get over in the future. With a PADI cert, are you only allowed to go to a certain depth? How does it work?

    As for this weekend, already booked and going to London with a b’day celebration on Sunday. Might try a new drink then.

    Vermouth and cider anyone?

    • Gareth in Thailand says:

      With open water diving cert you are licensed to 18m. Generally this is deep enough as the deeper you go the less colour and light you get, also the deeper you go the shorter you dive as the pressure of the air you breathe increases, hence you use more of it.
      PADI is a good standard and teaches all you need to know to dive safely for recreation. If you want to advance from there you can for things like wreck adn cave diving as well as nitrox for deep dives and so on.
      Its something you’ll never regret doing, I’ve never me anyone yet who did their PADI and regretted it or thought it was a waste of money.
      Generally itws cheapest to do in Asia. Philippines is about the cheapest at the moment but Thailand and Malaysia are still good value.

  5. Hi Gareth

    Being underwater is a feeling nobody can magine until they have done it. Good onya for this post. I was a professional pearl diver for a while and it is a world of its own.

    In 1996 I had the privilege to dive the SS President Coolidge in Vanuatu. It is the largest diveable shipwreck in the world. My group spent a week diving the wreck and it was marvelous! Most dives were around 35-40m and I managed to make it to 56m on one dive, though it was only for a short moment as you could imagine.

    Diving gives me the sensation of flying. It is like defying gravity and controlling your bouyancy with the beaths in your lungs. It is definitely a world of its own!

    Have fun in the crystal clear waters… Those are lifetime memories.

    Regards – Sean

    • Gareth in Thailand says:

      Thanks Sean and welcome to GSTF.
      I’m not a big wreck diver but they can be enjoyable. If you get the chance there is a great site in Palawan in The Philippones, one bay has loads of wrecks, as the US targetted cutting off the Japanese supply lines they hit about 12 ships in one bay.
      Like the sound of earning your crust pearl diving to, where & when?
      56m sounds cool but I think I’d end up narc’d, I went to 38m off Sipidan in Borneo as there was a great many hammerheads circling down there, was awesome to be that close but it caned my air & put me in pressure group that meant long wait for my next dive.
      Cheers for the thoughts mate.

      • We were a bit on the narc’d side, I think. Hard to say, actually. I can’t describe the feeling and am not sure if it affects me or not.

        I was pearl diving for the famous Pinktata Maxima in North West, Western Australia back in 1997. We operated off an 80ft Pearl Boat called “Barrier Pearl”. Diving for pearls was fun. Cleaning the boat from front to back, wasn’t…

        We also got caught in a Cyclone for 8 hours (blue alert) and that was an experience to take home to the family. I discovered that my insides (belly) weren’t made of steel afterall.

        Regards – Sean

        • Jim says:

          Great adventures Sean and thanks for sharing…

          I got my PADI in Sharm el shiekh, Egypt which took some beating, on par with the barrier reef but no cyclone or sick bag required :-)

        • Urban Pagan says:

          Sean and Gareth

          give us more tales about diving! I am never going to do it as I would be too chicken and panic as soon as my head was under a lot!!

          I do however want to do the great white cage experience. I love sharks. Amazing creatures. The idea of seeing hammerheads from the water would blow me away.

        • I can’t say I’ve done the Great White (atleast I’m not aware of being near one). I have however done sharkfeeds whithout a cage. Now that’s much more fun but it wasn’t done with Whites or Tigers. It was reefsharks, whalers etc. The biggest was about 6ft and that was impressive in itself.

          It was in Vanuatu and we were a group of 20 (only a 5% risk of getting taken – LOL). You could hear the fish meat tearing underwater and see the eyes turn back in the sharks eyesockets at they fought for the food.

          The rule was: If a Tiger turns up – back to the boat pronto!

          Good fun.

        • Gareth in Thailand says:

          Sharks are normally great to see. From small reef sharks up to the big lads like the hammerheads.
          In general they are graceful and fascinating to watch. Maybe its because of the films and stories but there is something almost hypnotising about them.

          As for dive stoires – The worst – well once I was diving and we had a complete idiot in the group, he was caning the booze the night before until all hours and expected to be fit. He kind of hid his state from the dive master and so ended up suiting up and going in. After about a minute he puked through his regulator and nearly choked. Fish came from everywhere to feast on it. His dive ended quickly as its simply poor practice to be in a state and dive as well as dangerous.

          One of the best dives I did was a drift dive off Sipidan island in Eastern Malaysia (Borneo). Here at about 15m there is a cliff that drops to about 800m. So you drop down, a bit like the scene in ‘The Abyss’ but then stop at about 30m, make yourself neutrally bouyant and then drift with the current along the cliff face. This was were the hammerheads were circling in a big group below us but the real highlight was the hundreds of giant turtles nesting in the cliff face. Many were really tame and swam out very close to us, at over 1m wide and 1.5 long they were a really great sight.

          As for you fear of deep water above you, I think you’d get over it very quickly. I’ve seen a few who were litterally terrified at first but determined to go through with it and all ended up being addicted to diving.
          Give it a go mate.

        • Urban Pagan says:

          this gives me a bit of confidence actually! great stuff from both- I am fascinated by it. I suppose the thing I need to overcome is the fact that I wouldn’t need to hold my breath!!!

          It is one of those must do things I suppose!!

  6. Svasti says:

    Hey Gareth,

    Oooh, I’ve come *this close* to scuber-ing, but haven’t done it yet. I love being in the water – on it, over it or under it. I think I have aqua lungs. Or gills. I’m rather jealous to hear about your little weekend trip. We definitely need to see pictures.

    I’m starting my weekend early – tonight (Thursday here). Off to a gig with a band called the Black Seeds – not to be confused with the Bad Seeds (of Nick Cave fame).

    The rest of the weekend will probably be a little mundane. Well, except for the fact that my folks’ place (where I’m staying at present) is near a very lovely creek, and not far up from that is a lake with ducks. And rather a large amount of wild life for a huge Suburbia-Urbia area. So I’m getting on my little red mountain bike for some exploration.

    Oh… and my sister with my baby niece and I are probably going to visit our 93 year grandmother. Awww, doing nice things. Its been a while since we last saw her. Not that she keeps things real straight these days any anyway…

  7. mike says:

    Something for the weekend Gareth?

    I can feel a song coming on …..

  8. Sarah says:

    I am a living proof of a boring least I feel so at times.. :-(

    • I don’t consider my life boring actually because I am not one to be adventurous. I like staying home and occassionally going out, but not every week. Everyone is different. Embrace you differences.

      • Sarah says:

        Thanks for the advice, my life is just boring at certain times, when I feel like boring..I do like to stay at home rather than going out except on weekends when I still have to do my grocery shopping..

        • Gareth in Thailand says:

          Hey come on, out in Malaysia there’s so much to see and do, its one of my most favourite spots in Asia.
          Chinese, Indian and Malay food, some of the best SCUBA, windsurfing, swimming, etc….
          THe post was asking you to something different, not necessarily dangerous, expensive or exotic.
          Come on Sarah, you can do it – climb a palm tree to get fresh coconut, sit down and try and invent a new fruit cocktail, try and invent a new Sarah dish in the kitchen…..

        • Hey Sarah,

          How about you and I go relax at OSHO? :-)

        • Svasti says:

          Sure, I can just see that happening now! CC in robes anyone? :P

  9. Kathleen says:

    What beautiful photos – I’ve never gone scuba diving, but have come close to hypothermia while snorkeling. It’s a whole other universe underwater. It seems to timeless.

    Gareth, I’m curious about night diving. Is that something you’ve done? I understand it’s an entirely different experience, and the inhabitants completely change.

    • Gareth in Thailand says:

      Night dives are great. I’ve done about 20 or so. Snap and shake your glow stick, wrap it around your tank, check your torch batteries and off you go.
      Generally at night you see much different wild life to the day. My last few night dives off the Barrier Reef in Aus I saw lots of shrimp, lobster and a freaky Octopus (they just don’t move right). Generally you have to know what to look for a bit more than you do on a day dive. We did see a big shark as well, about 10ft (but maybe it it seemed bigger at night, might have only been 6-7ft in the day).
      You need to be focused a lot more on your compass and being aware of where you are so maybe do a lot of navigation work before you attempt as afterwards you don’t want to be miles from the boat.
      Highly recomend it.

      • Jim says:

        Agreed Gareth – night dives are the way to GO!

        Em & I dived in the lesser Antilles – a Dutch enclave called Bonnaire and the night dive was Xtra special as the pier has luminous phosphorous type growths on the wooden legs that lit the sea bed up – like starts under water…lots of lobster as well.

  10. aussiecynic says:

    Oh what a boring weekend I have ahead compared to the rest of you…
    Starting tomorrow I shall spend the day painting a wall
    Saturday will be spent doing house work… we are suppose to get the first fine day in 4 weeks so my dryer can have the day off and the wahing might get dry on the line…. YIPPEEEEE! and painting the rest of the lounge room and dining room…
    Hubby will spend Saturday listening to the horse racing…

    OO YEH

    sorry for shouting its just so exciting… I have driven this mountain and know what its all about…
    hope no roos get on the track… or bunnys..

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