Sawasdee Ka! I am Saffron, an English musician and film-maker turned underwater photographer and videographer.
I would like to personally welcome you to Scubafish and show you around some of the wonderful scuba diving opportunities that Ko Lanta has to offer.
During an extended diving trip to Ko Phi Phi in 2002, I added an underwater dimension to my work as a television producer/director. An interest became a passion and so Liquid Lense was born – an underwater digital photography and videography academy. Liquid Lense was an immediate success and it was apparent that combining it with a dive centre made good commercial sense.
Ko Lanta was top of the list as the ideal place to be based as the island is perfectly located to easily reach some of the most diverse diving in the world by day trip. The dive sites around Ko Lanta provide superb diving and offer stunning visibility, vivid colours and a huge variety of marine life as well as excellent underwater photography opportunities.
The offer from Narima Bungalow Resort in 2004 to jointly develop a small, friendly PADI dive centre in Ko Lanta, was too good to miss, so Scubafish came into being and we bought our first boat, MV Moskito.
Narima held a special attraction, in part because of their emphasis on being environmentally aware and this soon led to developing Aqualogy as the third member of the family, with the aim of encouraging research and awareness of the local ecology on land and in the sea. We continue to win awards for our efforts to help conserve the marine environment. Over the next three years, as our reputation grew, we developed a particular skill in helping people overcome any anxieties about the underwater world based on a warm, personal approach.
At Narima Diving, we nurture an environment in which learning to dive happens individually or in small groups and where we encourage you, our guests, to progress at your own pace. Using such an individually tailored process and developing our own special brand of personal teaching methods has enabled many initially cautious people to become intrepid explorers of the world beneath the waves.
Our approach means that we are committed to ensuring your dive holiday exceeds your expectations and offer an exceptional service to our certified divers as well as those learning to dive. We believe that you should be able to dive the way you want to, so we offer a range of ways to customise your dives so that you get the most out of your underwater experiences with Scubafish.
Wanting to keep our personal approach but finding that we were fast outgrowing Narima, in 2007 we negotiated with our friends at the Baan Lanta Resort and Spa in Kantiang Bay (3 km along the coast from Narima and recognised as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world) to establish a second dive centre – Scubafish At Baan Laanta. This was an exciting moment as we built and equipped a new shop and bought our second boat, MY Scubafish. We were awarded PADI 5 Star, Gold Palm and IDC status soon after.
Running a successful, small (we employ about 35 people at the height of the season) and growing business that constantly strives to exceed its customer’s expectations, requires a surprisingly wide range of skills. We are ethnically wonderfully diverse with colleagues from all over the world to complement our core Thai team. Between us we have to cover instructing, boat captaincy, marine engineering, safety, marketing, finance and accounting, catering, driving, customer care, information technology, underwater photography & videography, marine biology, Thai law, business systems and administration. Not surprisingly we attract people with a very wide range of skills and qualifications which include stonemasonry, fire-dancing, banking, psychiatric nursing, classical violin, housebuilding, retail management, stilt walking, aeronautical engineering and environmental waste management! Together it adds up to a fun, dedicated team who enjoy each other’s company and mix well with our guests.
In 2011, we designed and built our new Scubafish Headquarters on the main street in Kantiang Village which has allowed us to improve and increase the range of services and facilities on offer to our diving guests. Our new premises includes a large dive retail area, dive equipment servicing and maintenance workshop, training classrooms, the Liquid Lense edit suite and a great multi-media space in which to entertain and relax. This coincided with Pimalai Resort and Spa (our neighbours at the other end of Kantiang beach) asking us to provide a world-class diving facility to complement their world-class resort. Scubafish At Pimalai is the third, and we anticipate last, part of the jigsaw if we are to remain true to our intention to balance being big enough to be well equipped and professional with being personal and friendly.
This year, 2012, sees us sadly say goodbye to MV Moskito which has been a long and faithful good friend, but allows us to introduce you to the newly constructed MV Maya II which brings even faster journey times, plenty of space to relax in and will get us to the further dive sites quickly and comfortably.
Like all the best journeys, knowing the destination is not a necessity. A sense of adventure, a compass and an open mind are all you really need. Quite where I am on my journey, I don’t really know, but so far, it has been as wonderful as it has been unexpected. Come and share the adventure on this beautiful island.