Cruising Grounds

Captain’s Blog – June 2008

Crew News:

Sunil Sharma returned from leave and Jyothi has gone on her annual leave.

News from the old Captain, Avnish Dhall, is that he is now well ensconced in Southampton. He completes his Medical refresher and his ISO/ISM lead auditor courses this month.

Deckie, Jaynard, resigned for personal reasons. We have yet to fill his position.

Ship’s News

June went by with mostly routine maintenance work going on the boat and work being carried out to prep for the approaching drydocking.

July 1st week and a week of trials at sea:

On 3rd July Kalizma left for Koh Phi Phi to test ship’s machinery and diving equipment. After a day trip in generally overcast conditions, the yacht arrived and anchored in the South Bay.

Morning of 4th July brought forth a promise of a wonderful day and we loaded our divegear in the tender and left around 9am for Ko Bida Noi, a beautiful setting for a dive. The divemaster, Saini and I went down but were not impressed as the reef itself was not that spectacular. There were some fish but we had a 0.5-1kt current to swim against. Once our air was exhausted it was the turn for Vivek and Jessica to get some instructions from Saini followed by a shallow dive. Once all done we set out for Hin Bida, an underwater reef between Koh Bida Noi and Koh Ma. We started at 30m and swam against the current circling S of the reef and eventually came up the shallowest point that was about 4m, the reef being a limestone formation covered by corals.

We saw a huge lobster, a moray eel and a leopard shark in addition to the normal reef fish. After getting all the equipment back on board and cleaned up, I took the crew ashore for a well deserved dinner.

The next morning Saini and I did an exploratory dive on the Kingcruiser wreck that grounded on the Anemone reef and sank in 1997. The wreck was well preserved and covered with barnacles and a multitude of fish at a depth ranging from 19-30m. (We saw a huge lionfish) We then proceeded to do another dive at Shark point (Hin Mu Sang), just S of Anemone reef. Here we also had a current to swim against but once we reached the reef there was some spectacular fan corals and a multitude of sea anemones. On the way back (after the dive) we found a cove on the W side of Koh PhiPhi which went in a long way and has a small bay with a beach at it’s very end. On our return to the yacht, the deckies tested out the jetskis and the other watersports gear.

On the 6th we hoisted anchor and headed back for the Marina, safely tying up at HW.

Pictures - Raja Ram doing maintenance(left), Saini – DiveMaster (right).

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