Since all boat operators in Phuket offer 3 dive day trips you might think that is the only choice. Since every website offering diving in Phuket advertises the same 4 trips it is hard to believe that it is not the right way to spend a day diving in Phuket. In this article, I explain what and why Aloha Diving™ is doing differently.
All dive sites around Phuket are situated between 1.5 hours to 3.5 hours by boat away from Phuket. That means travel time from a dive site and back is a big part of your day spent on the water. To squeeze in a day 3 dives, it needs to be very well timed. Therefore the boat operators have the rule of 50 minutes of dive time including a safety stop followed by a 60 minutes surface break. The time of the cycle starts with the arrival of the boat for all divers aboard. If you do 40-minute dives it gives you a bit more time to relax on the boat. As an experienced diver, you might want to maximise dive time. The strict weekly schedule minimises the ability to adjust the program to weather, current and sea state.
When you are looking to maximise dives a day. A 3 dive itinerary is looking as follows:
6:30 am to 7:00 am (depending on your location) pick up from the Hotel by a shared shuttle bus with up to 12 stops for 12 passengers
8:00 am arrival at Chalong Pier
8:30 am or later when all 40 to 80 guests are on board
11:00 am 1st dive limited to 50min
1-hour lunch break from 11:50 am to 12:50 pm
12:50 pm 2nd dive for max 50min
1:40 pm to 2:40 pm surface interval and cruising to another area
2:40 pm 3rd dive for 50min
3:30 pm departure and course back
5 pm arrival back at Chalong Pier
This timetable is the best-case scenario. When one of 40 to 80 divers aboard delays somewhen throughout the day the whole day gets delayed. That’s why most of the time the boat arrives back between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm. You will feel tired and wish to have dinner followed by a good sleep.
To maximise the experience throughout the day and of course to get quality dives, we created a 2 dive itinerary. If you like to know more about how we select a suitable dive site you can read what’s all about in the article wind and sea state or ocean current and tides. You will get more out of each dive and each day. Let me explain to you why by looking at the itinerary.
7:50 am meeting at Chalong Pier
8:00 am departure and cruise to the first site
10:00 am 1st dive as long as your air lasts or max 90 min
The lunch break starts when the last diver exits the water. Usually around 11:15 am
The 2nd dive starts after 90 min surface break.
Arrival back at the marina is between 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm depending on many factors.
By doing 2 dives you absorb less nitrogen compared with 3 dives. A longer surface break will help to off-gas too. Pure dive time gets greater too. By doing 2 dives 75 minutes you have the same dive time than doing 3 dives 50 minutes.
The conclusion is that the day is less tiring, gives you a better overall experience and you have still time to explore Phuket after diving.