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February 1st 2014

31 Jan 2014 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >

Exclusive Big Blue wreck to explore
HTMS PraabOne of the best kept secrets for diving in Thailand is Chumphon National Park. It covers an area of around 320 square kilometres and hosts some beautiful Islands. In the waters around these Islands are some absolutely stunning divesites. The good news is that the area is very rarely dived, and no fishing is allowed, so there is a wide abundance of marine life encompassing the entire area. The even better news is that Big Blue diving is THE ONLY dive resort on Koh Tao that ever goes there. That's a pretty important detail, so let me say that again just to be sure you got it.. Big Blue is THE ONLY dive resort to take people diving there...! We regularly run full day trips there for our fundivers. How come only we go? Simple, we have a dive boat that is really really fast, and it can make the trip in over half the time any other dive boat on Koh Tao could, so we can still fit in 3 dives so you get your money's worth.
Now, in continuing the theme of wrecks, Chumphon National Park houses a wreck that is very similar to the HTMS Sattakut, but lies in shallower water. It's called the HTMS Prab. Like the Sattakut, it was a US Navy landing caft infantry vessel in World War 2. It was involved in landing troops on D-Day, and also in Italy shortly thereafter. Following the war it was purchased by the Thai Navy and it lived out it's life until 2011, when it was decommissioned and donated to the National Park to act as an artificial reef. So there it sits, at about 22 metres off Ngam Noi Island, just waiting to be explored.
On one of the last trips to the National Park, we also stumbled upon a freshly sunken Thai fishing boat. It was sitting in really shallow water and could only have sunk a few days prior to our visit. It would be good to see if the wreck is still there.. after all, what's better than diving a wreck? why diving two wrecks of course!
If you'd like to dive the HTMS Prab, go into the office during your stay with us and bug the divemasters to run a full day trip. They'll always agree to it as the full day trip comes with breakfast, lunch, as many soft drinks as you can manage and chocolate cake. Just take one look at our full-time divemasters and tell me they don't like cake... it's a given.

More monkey business
After writing about monkeys, and wondering whether or not Jamikiri resort houses a monkey sanctuary, long term Koh Tao resident and Big Blue member of staff Wibeke got in touch to confirm that there was once a "sanctuary" of sorts, if sanctuary means cages at the entrance to the resort with monkeys in them.. Staff apparently used to ask visitors not to put their hands inside the cages as the monkeys could bite. One of Wib's friends went for some pampering one day and following his aloe vera body scrub or whatever it was, as he stood outside the entrance feeling all relaxed and refreshed, one of the monkeys, having escaped, suddenly landed on his shoulder. As he was armed with the knowledge that they could bite, he completely freaked out whilst the monkey held on for dear life in between attacking him. I guess he had to go somewhere else for another massage to calm himself down. I don't know if that was the cause of the "sanctuary closing, but there are no longer any monkeys residing in the resort!

 

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