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Overdue update!

10Aug

Written by Zico

 

Has it been a month since our last blog entry?!? Wow, time is racing by for us here. Eric spent most of July working on the website, which is now live:

Visit the Ko Lipe Diving website

Come and check it out, tell us what you think and if there’s anything we can do to improve it. He’s worked literally day and night on the website, only stopping to visit the boat, eat and sleep! Having never designed let alone built a website in my life, this was my first time seeing just how many hours went into making a website. I was well impressed when I saw what he could do!

The usual struggles that go with starting a business are still going on…of course made that much harder by the fact that neither of us speaks the language. I won’t bore you with the details. Let’s just say that we are facing an uphill battle but we are determined to reach the top!

Our dive boat, affectionately named the MV Chalaam Waan (which means whaleshark in Thai), is starting to come together. She’s been completely transformed and so far, we’re pleased with the results.

It hasn’t been easy and it’s a daily struggle to get our boat builders to understand what we want, then to actually do what we want, and finally to keep our costs down. Building a boat has a way of blowing a budget beyond what you expected, and then some! I start to understand the heartache many boat owners go through. But seeing your own design come to life, wow, that is truly something.

Construction has finally begun on the dive shop as of two weeks ago, but it’s been slow progress due to the rain on Lipe. Just getting the construction materials sent over on a cargo boat took a few weeks – endless back and forth phone calls and price discussions and then finding a crew to unload the materials and bring them to our build site. Going through this, I start to appreciate just what every other business owner has had to go through to build their shop/resort on Lipe. Sometimes your transport costs can actually exceed the cost of the materials, it’s crazy!

 

Now for the photos:

 

 dive boat MV Chalaam Waan

Stairs leading to the upper deck

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan

The upper deck looking towards the front of the boat

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
That doorway on the right leads to the classroom/multimedia room

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
The onboard classroom/multimedia center, where you can watch your PADI videos or have a look at your photos

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
The beverage corner where we’ll have coffee/tea/water for you to help yourself to

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
Make yourself a cup of coffee then come on over, set your cup down for a moment and enjoy the view…

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
The upper deck – here they have just finished putting fiberglass on the outside portion of the upper deck

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
Starting to build the frame for the partial wall that will go encircle the upper deck

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
The frame is almost complete

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
View from the side of the boat

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
Putting in the walls

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
Looking down from the sundeck

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
Finished! No worries about your bags and other personal belongings rolling off the deck and into the sea!

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
View of the sundeck

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
This extension is for the antenna

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
Working on the sundeck

 

 

dive boat MV Chalaam Waan
Sun worshippers this is for you!

About the author
Zico

~ Zico ~