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Trip: Similan liveboard
Friday April 10 2009 06:10:06 PM
Date: from Mar 28, 2009 to Apr 1, 2009
Dive trip description:
My trip with the Queen Scuba started on Saturday evening at Tap Lamu harbour near Khao Lak. After ship briefing the Thai members of the crew lit a big bunch of firecrackers to bring good luck to our trip. Dinner was served as the ship sailed out to the sea under starlit sky.
Wakey-wakey at 06:30, small breakfast and briefing for the first dive. We started at Anita's reef fringing islands 5 and 6. Nice easy dive to meet the garden eels among other things. A good choice for the first dive where there is always some fine-tuning to be done after some months of no diving. An abundant breakfast was served immediately after we got out of our gear.
The second dive of the day was at West of Eden on the west side of island # 7. Here the huge granite boulders are dominant with beautiful soft corals and big sea-fans. Unlike at Anita's reef, here the current was quite strong giving some hint of the conditions to come during the rest of the trip. After the second dive, a table full of different delicious Thai dishes was waiting for us. After the lunch most of us were ready for a nap.
The third dive was at Shark fin reef and the last dive of the day was a night dive at Anita's reef. Then dinner and early good-night. No problems of getting sleep.
Now we really got in the normal daily routines. Weak-up call at six, a small breakfast + briefing and into the water at seven. A great way to wake up. Morning dive was at Elephant's head rock (Hin Pusa). A deep dive to 30 meters around and about the huge boulders. A shark's shadow passed by while I was observing the Longnosed unicornfish and Batfish. Current from moderate to strong.
Next dive was a more shallow one at the reef at North point, but the third one was emblematic to this trip - a great wall dive at Koh Bon West Ridge in a quite strong current. Barracudas and Trevallies were around although no Mantas which we were eager to see.
The fourth dive of the day was sunset dive at Koh Tachai pinnacle. Strong current and not so good visibility put the expectation level down but how wrong I was. After getting down to 15 meters at the main pinnacle, a hectic tank-clinging began. An there it was - a huge Manta appeared from nowhere and swam (or should I say flew) slowly by in the current apparently with no effort. We hanging to the pinnacle with our fingertips laying flat to avoid the current blowing us away and looked this magnificent creature and couple of its buddies for some 30 minutes. Totally amazing.
Our early wake-up strategy proved to be successful as we were in the water at Richelieu rock before anybody else. This is said to be one of the top divesites in the world and this opinion is easy to share. There is so much to see that we did altogether three subsequent dives here before moving on. Soft corals and anemone carpets create the setting for looking for all possible small creatures nudibranchs and pipefish. We even succeeded in finding the mysterious Ghost pipefish. What a strange and beautiful little creature.
The sunset dive was again at Koh Tachai pinnacle. Current was again very strong but our hopes for seeing Mantas were high. We positioned ourselevs at the same spot than the evening before and after a short while the Mantas appeared again. Not very hard to guess what was discussed at the dinner.
A calm morning at Koh Bon pinnacle. Strong currents were expected but to our surprise there was no current at all. A deep dive to 36 meters to see sharks. Only one Leopard shark was spotted deep down below us at maybe 45 or 50 meters.
The last dive of this trip was at Koh Bon West Ridge. While shooting a Mooray eel hiding in a burrow in the staghorns, a Manta appeared very close. A great ending to this great trip.
Thanks to very professional and friendly crew of the Queen Scuba - Thai and non-Thai alike. The amount of divers aboard is limited to less than 20 which is luxurious. No hassle or bustle, a great deal of individual service including the helping on and off of wetsuits and gear. The dive-deck is very well organised and diving is done always in two waves which the break up into the dive teams or buddy-pairs in the water. The divers and instructors come from different countries and through different dive-shops so this arrangement is convenient and works well. Thanks also to my dive-shop, Raya Divers of Phuket who arranged my booking and provided a highly professional instructor for me.
Modified: Wednesday January 20 2010 12:19:27 PM
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|Date||Dive site||My Rating||Max depth||Dive time||Author|
|Show||01-04-2009||Ko Bon||18.7 m||60 min||tuuq|
|Show||01-04-2009||Ko Bon Pinnacle||36.1 m||37 min||tuuq|
|Show||31-03-2009||Ko Tachai||17.0 m||48 min||tuuq|
|Show||31-03-2009||Richelieu Rock||22.7 m||58 min||tuuq|
|Show||31-03-2009||Richelieu Rock||22.4 m||58 min||tuuq|
|Show||31-03-2009||Richelieu Rock||21.3 m||61 min||tuuq|
|Show||30-03-2009||Ko Tachai||15.6 m||59 min||tuuq|
|Show||30-03-2009||Ko Bon||23.4 m||41 min||tuuq|
|Show||30-03-2009||North Point||14.6 m||52 min||tuuq|
|Show||30-03-2009||Elephant Head||29.8 m||37 min||tuuq|
|Show||29-03-2009||Anita's reef||17.3 m||47 min||tuuq|
|Show||29-03-2009||Shark Fin Reef||22.4 m||47 min||tuuq|
|Show||29-03-2009||West of Eden||23.3 m||45 min||tuuq|
|Show||29-03-2009||Anita's reef||19 m||44 min||tuuq|