If you’re about to embark on a Similan diving safari for the first time, you’re in for a real treat. Diving on a liveaboard offers a whole new diving experience when compared to day trips, and it’s a sure-fire way to rapidly increase your diving experience.
Similan diving safaris will typically involve diving three to four dives per day, usually taking divers to depths of up to 30m. If you haven’t already taken your Advanced Open Water course, you may wish to do this first. However, most companies will still take you on their liveaboards, as long as you complete a Deep Adventure dive on board to ensure you’re fully briefed on the nuances of diving at depth.
If you’re new to diving to 30m, then there are a few simple things you’ll want to bear in mind to make sure you get the most out of your Similan diving safari. Here are my top three…
Check your air more frequently
The deeper you go, the greater the pressure, the more air compresses, the more air you’ll use. In a nutshell – it’s essential to check your air even more frequently than usual when diving deeper. It’s a good idea to let your dive guide know when you reach 100 bar, and always let them know when you reach 50 bar.
Keep calm and focus on your breathing
During Similan diving safaris your dive guide may choose to stay a bit deeper for longer, with the majority of the dive spent between 30m to 20m. You will use more air at this depth, but it’s where we find some of the most beautiful diving in the Similan Islands. Improve your air consumption so that you can dive for longer by keeping calm and focussing your attention on your breath. Nice long slow exhales and good buoyancy will ensure you’re not dubbed the “air pig” of the group.
Keep a beady eye on your no decompression limit
During a Similan diving safari you’ll always be diving with a computer. It’s really important that you understand how it works, and that as well as checking your air regularly, you also check your No Decompression Limit (NDL). Some dive companies will ask that you keep at least 10 minutes on your NDL as an added safety measure. If you’re using your own computer, you may want to check your NDL against your dive guide’s to make sure they’re not vastly different. Also, always be sure to stay behind your guide so they can easily communicate with you, and never go any deeper than them in the water to make sure you’re diving a similar profile.