Monday, 7 July 2008

Captain's blog - beginning July 2008

M/y Kalizma at Ko Phi Phi

The month of June came and went without any particular happenings, routine maintenance was carried out, weekends some of the crew went hashing (running). Hash house harriers are a tradition invented by English expats in Malaysia and has spread all over the world. I also discovered the world small as I met my old Electrician from Ukraine that worked together with me 5 years ago on another ship.

Me and Volodymyr

As far as crew changes concerned Sunil Sharma returned from vacation to charge his batteries, Jyothi Thomas left for her well earned vacation. Deckhand Jaynard Payumo resigned in order to pursuit his career marketing Crocs on a sailing boat. Good luck for him! Jaynard’s replacement is still open.

Phuket HHH circle

Finally, on 3rd July Kalizma left for Ko Phi Phi to run our equipment. We left at noon during overcast skies and generally miserable weather. We arrived PP at abt 6pm and anchored in the bay S of the Island.

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. We arrived at the E of the Island and made fast to a mooring buoy and started to gear up while 6 other boats from PP came along and dumped their divers in as well. By the time undersigned and Saini went down the cacophony of the boats around us was deafening. The reef itself was not that spectacular, many dead clam shells were seen. A lot of fish was present and we had 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 Ko Bida Noi and Ko Ma. During the transfer we enjoyed a refreshing watermelon to wash out the taste of salt. Once at Hin Bida, we found yet again an anchor buoy where we made fast and geared up. We started at 30m and swam against the current circling S of the reef and eventually came up the shallowest point that was abt 4m, the reef is actually limestone formation covered by corals, quite nice dive. We managed to see a huge lobster, a moray eel and a leopard shark in addition to the normal reef fish. By this time it was time to head back to Kalizma for lunch.

Ko Bida Nai

At the time we arrived we saw many speedboats at shore hanging around a few trees, after having a closer look we discovered the trees were full of monkeys that were being fed by tourists. Afternoon went putting gear back into condition and for the evening all crew (except standby engineer) went ashore for dinner at Phi Phi Banyan Villa restaurant where the food was good but service was slow considering the amount of customer’s. We had a delicious seafood dinner with grilled fish, grilled squid, deep fried prawns, Chinese fried vegetables, fried rice and mixed seafood Tom Yam soup, once we had finished all we rolled onboard.

Dinner @ Ko Phi Phi

Morning on 5th was equally sunny if not more than the 3rd and we set forth only Saini and undersigned this time for the Kingcruiser wreck that grounded on the Anemone reef and sank in 1997. The wreck was marked with two buoys and we went down by the anchor line. The current was abt 1kn, but at places it was less where you could get lee from the superstructure. 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, must’ve been abt 40cm long, came swimming with all plumes wide open, apart from that the fishes were ordinary. After returning to the surface we headed for 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, we also caught two leopard sharks sleeping on the seabed. Once up on the surface it was time to head back to Kalizma.

In front of Ko Phi Phi

On the way we explored the W side cliffs of Ko PP where there are small coves carved by the sea during ages of erosion. We entered the biggest cove that goes a long way inside and at the end has a small bay with a beach and a hut built (for overnight visits?). Very picturesque scenery but unfortunately a lot of floating garbage in the water. Once back on Kalizma it was time to put back the gear and lunch time. In the afternoon the girls went ashore Ko PP for shopping and swimming and Saini and Rajaram took out the jetskis for a spin. Evening went for the boys in Ko PP enjoying the Saturday night beach party.

Ko Phi Phi

On the 6th Kalizma awoke to a sunny, dead calm sea with gently incoming swell, at 0900hrs we hoisted anchor and headed back for Yacht Haven Marina. The transit was uneventful and at 1400hrs we tied up to our usual berth. Rest of July will now go preparing for the drydocking as well as ticking off jobs from our list that can be done before that.

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