[singlepic id=363 w=320 h=240 float=left]Sometimes it’s important to stop and get away from it all even if you live on a tropical island!  So that’s what we’ve just done. We took a 8 day trip around practically undiscovered dive sties in the Burmese waters of the Mergui Archipelago.  The trip -run by our friends Camille and Frank from The Smiling Seahorse company- put on a fabulous liveaboard experience.  Starting on the west coast of South Thailand we soon we’re on our way to the most deserted dive sites we had ever seen, some of which take 7 hours of travel to get to.  On the entire 8 days of diving we never saw another diving vessel, I hardly saw the other groups from [singlepic id=365 w=320 h=240 float=right]our boat under the water!  Obviously the diving was enjoyed by all of us, we were treated to Giant frog fish, 4 metre Nurse sharks sitting in caves, white tips sharks, a surprise visit from a beautiful 2.5 metre guitar shark, whopping great Moray Eels hiding in the rocks and some scorpion fish that really must be contenders for the biggest guys around!  [singlepic id=369 w=320 h=240 float=left]The dive sites featured huge boulder formations most covered in soft corals of yellow, pink and blues.  The sea fan forests were some of the most impressive we had ever seen!   [singlepic id=366 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=367 w=320 h=240 float=left]Some smaller stuff was great see too, there were tiny Sea Horses hiding in the fans, Porcelain crabs that sit on anemones that have huge character with their tiny claws waving around and Cuttle Fish that fascinatingly seemed to want to communicate with divers with displays of tentacle movements matching our finger moves.  [singlepic id=368 w=320 h=240 float=right] The folk that love to take photos of macro life were spoilt for choice with harlequin shrimps, clown fish of many varieties, Pipe Fish and loads of little critters that I forget now…  [singlepic id=364 w=320 h=240 float=left]Food was good and plentiful, boat was very comfortable as were the cabins but the real highlight for me was the disconnection from normal life.  With no phone signal and no internet the smart phone goes totally silent.  No Facebook updates, no Twitters or whatever you call them, no SMS or calls… nothing.  Even though most of us here live a charmed life on a tropical island, it’s still priceless to disconnect from the chatter and get some much needed peace from the digital connections we have now become so attached to.  I strongly recommend it.

We’re thinking of putting another trip on for April so if you sounds tempted get in touch with us at info@saireecottagediving.com or get in touch with them at http://www.thesmilingseahorse.com/

Finally thank you to Frank and Camille (and staff) for a great week!



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