Jellyfish are one of the most prolific creatures to inhabit the marine waters of the world. They have survived 500 to 700 million years and have developed a sophisticated system for self-protection. Scuba divers sometimes unknowingly cross the stinging tentacles of a jellyfish. These encounters are usually painful but treatable. Some jellyfish stings, however, are often poisonous due to the potent toxins they inject.

While searching for food, jellyfish can snag an unwitting swimmer, diver, or surfer. Sometimes jellyfish travel in groups, and many are quite spectacular to view from a distance. Jellyfish often wash ashore and die on the beach. Their poison tentacles sting even after death, so don’t ever intentionally touch one, dead or alive.

box jellyfish

Jellyfish Appearance

Jellyfish can be very small or very large, and their tentacles are extremely long compared to their body length. They passively procure food with their tentacles. Using its venomous tentacles, jellyfish trap and paralyze their prey. Typically, jellyfish feed upon small aquatic organisms, such as fish and plankton. Jellyfish also use their tentacles for protection against predators. Some of the most common jellyfish predators include tuna, shark, swordfish, one species of Pacific salmon, leatherback sea turtles, and other jellyfish. The Arctic Lion’s Mane or winter jelly is one of the largest species of jellyfish that feed on other jellyfish. Sea birds that prey upon crabs invariably end up preying on jellyfish as well.

Jellyfish Species Phuket

Box jellyfish are pale blue and have a distinct cube-shaped bell, which distinguishes them from other jellyfish. Some Box jellyfish species such as Chironex fleckeri and Carukia barnesi, are among the most venomous creatures in the world. Up to 15 tentacles grow from each corner of the bell and can reach 10 feet (3 meters) in length. Each tentacle has about 5,000 stinging cells, which are triggered not by touch, but by the presence of a chemical on the outer layer of its prey. Stings from these and a few other species in the class are extremely painful and sometimes fatal to humans. The Box jellyfish envelopes its prey with tentacles and restricts it with their poison. The underside of the bell includes a flap that increases the flow of water expelled and propels the jellyfish rapidly through the water. These dangerous jellyfish can be seen on Thailand’s Andaman Coast, but some species of box jellies inhabit subtropical oceans, including the Atlantic and east Pacific.

Portuguese Man-of-War. Though not actually a jellyfish, the Portuguese Man-of-War looks and behaves like one. They are common around the world. Their sting is powerful and painful. The sting can cause death if treatment is delayed. This Man-of-War floats horizontally across the top of the sea. Although it is found anywhere in the open waters Around Phuket

Jellyfish Sting

Jellyfish stings rarely cause death, but they are quite painful and need immediate treatment. It’s common not to know what stung you. It’s also common to be stung multiple times by the same jellyfish.

The question is not that one gets bored, the problem is to find enough time to enjoy all attractions that the island offers. You can spend a day on one of the snow white beaches, sun tanning, drifting in the clear, warm water, snorkeling along the coast, meeting new people, taking a snack in one of the many small stalls at the beaches, enjoy a massage or just watch the busy folks at the waterfront.

Or you can pass an afternoon on one of the pools of the larger hotels reading a good book, tasting one of the delightful tropical cocktails and just be lazy. Excursions and activities are infinitive at Phuket. Like for example an island roundtrip visit the colourful town market, a butterfly garden, Buddhist temples, nature reserves with waterfalls and rain forest, trips to the Mainland or to the many islands surrounding Phuket. The active sportsman can dive, sail, waterski, paraglide horse ride or play tennis or golf. Also the night activist will find his pleasure in one of the many bars, pubs or beach stalls or enjoying a show of international standard at Simon Cabaret or Fantase.

Dining in Phuket

The Thai kitchen is a dream itself. Fish and seafood in all variations, chicken, pork and beef prepared with exotic spices, vegetables that Europeans seldom have tasted and tropical fruits that have natural matured. All this fresh prepared and served with a smile makes every single dinner at Phuket a feast.

About Phuket

The island of Phuket lies in the Andaman Sea, a one-hour flight southwest of Bangkok. Its gently rolling hills covered with tropical vegetation, its kilometers of white sandy beaches flanked by palms and its delightfully warm water make Phuket a Paradise for watersport enthusiasts and sun lovers. You never will forget its bewitching scenery, its secluded beaches, nor the friendly Thai people, their culture and incredible cusine. The size of Phuket with its one city and numerous towns and villages allows you freedom to move about. With so many things to see and to do you won´t have time for island fever.

Scuba Dive Vacation Phuket

For divers like myself, who live in the Rocky Mountains, winter means regular ice and snowstorms, navigating slippery roads around town, and waiting for the snowplough guy to show up. We expect winter to last from November through May, and we don’t whine when it begins in October and ends in June. However, by the time January rolls around, we’ve already had three months of winter, the holiday festivities are over, and our thoughts turn toward the sunny beach.

We daydream about white sandy beaches, warm clear water, colourful coral reefs, lazy or swarming marine life, and the setting sun over rippling waves. Non-divers, as well as friends and family of divers, feel a deep urge for warm tropical breezes, fascinating geography and sumptuous accommodations. Scuba divers, anyway we look at it, we can find someone to join us enthusiastically on our next beach getaway.

So let’s dream the dream dive. Here are some questions to consider when planning your next dive trip:

1) Where do I want to dive?

Some of my warm water favourites include Cozumel, Mexico and almost any site in the Caribbean. Of course, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia is another popular tropical destination for divers with more available time. A cool water suggestion is the Fiji Islands. Your local dive shop, scuba travel guide, or internet search can provide more or less exotic recommendations depending on your preferences.

2) Should I travel with my equipment or rent equipment at my destination?

Personally, I prefer diving with my own, previously fitted, well tweaked, and properly maintained equipment. I recommend at least taking your own wet suit, regulator, and mask; these are personal items where hygiene is important. If you like your fins, take them with you; they lay flat a the suitcase. It can be a hassle getting your gear in and out of airports not to mention your suitcase, so some travelling divers find it easier to rent their equipment. Most dive operations offer rental equipment. Be aware that some offer higher quality equipment than others. Know before you go. If you decide to take your own equipment, take your regulator to your local dive shop for inspection and parts replacement, if needed. To be sure, try out your equipment in a scuba pool. Diving in your own gear is the best, but faulty equipment can ruin an otherwise great dive trip.

3) Do I want a package dive deal (best) or separate fees that I manage and choose?

Dive packages are often the least expensive way to dive, especially when you bring a dive buddy. How many dives and how many tanks of breathing gas are in the package? What other perks come in the package? Remember to take your diving certification card(s). Most dive operators require proof of certification, and some need proof of skills.

4) What kind of accommodations do I want?

The offerings are as plentiful as they are diverse. You may want a cabin on sparsely populated beach, a beach with a pulsating nightlife, or luxury accommodations aboard a cruising yacht. How many nights are included? Are meals included in the price? How many meals, snacks, beverages? You may be surprised at the array of offerings out there. Just know that there is a match for every budget and any time frame. Just ask a scuba travel guide.

5) Do I want to take underwater photographs?

Three to four dives per day are common on a dive vacation. Serious underwater photographers wouldn’t think twice about taking their camera equipment. They wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to snap that stunning coral reef, rare seahorse, or super whale shark. Many hotels and resorts provide special areas with ample power outlets and large work tables for photographers to work. And, inexpensive underwater cameras allow novice photographers to enjoy underwater pictures of their friends and treasures.

When should I plan my dive trip?

Now is a good time. It’s best to make reservations well in advance, so start planning!

Why Do Divers Have to Wait to Fly?

Flying after diving

The answer relates to pressure inside the body. If the surface is the baseline, each person has one atmosphere of weight at this level. Divers do not notice this weight. However, for every 33 feet (10 meters) of sea water (fsw = feet of seawater) that a diver descends on a dive, another atmosphere of weight is added to the pressure. This pressure turns nitrogen in the blood into solution, and the plasma becomes supersaturated. During ascension, the opposite is true. Pressure decreases as dives ascend altitude. The decrease in pressure causes nitrogen to come out of solution and form bubbles in the blood stream.

Bubbles form when divers

  • ascend to the surface after a dive
  • ascend to altitude after a dive (as in flying)
  • ascend to a higher surface altitude without pressure

During the required wait time, divers’ bodies blow off saturated nitrogen bubbles and reduce pressure before flying. It is the same reason divers use surface intervals between dives. It is also the reason divers make safety stops on the way up to the water’s surface after each dive.

Recommendations for Flying After Diving

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and Divers Alert Network (DAN) recommend the following wait times for flying after diving:

  • A minimum pre-flight surface interval for a single dive is 12 hours.
  • A minimum pre-flight surface interval for repetitive dives or multiple days diving is 18 hours.

Following these recommendations greatly reduces the risk of decompression sickness (DCS). The recommendations do not guarantee 100% that a diver will avoid DCS, which is also known as the diver’s disease called the bends. Another important factor to consider is dehydration. Divers should stay well hydrated when on a dive trip.

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Flying After Diving

Diving After Flying

Diving after flying is not a problem. Divers can head straight to the ocean for a dive upon arrival at the airport without the risk of DCS.  High concentration of nitrogen in the blood occurs only after diving. The nitrogen typically becomes supersaturated and forms bubbles at lower pressures. Before the first dive, a normal amount of nitrogen is in the blood.

Note that longer flights allow more time for dehydration, which is also a problem in DCS. Scuba divers should drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids on a long flight to prevent dehydration. Some divers tend to arrive in a hot country and head straight to the bar. However, alcohol contributes to dehydration, so drink extra water.