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Hi everyone, after such a amazing scuba diving season in the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Koh Surin and Richelieu Rock we thought that you might like to see a summary of all Blog Pictures from the last season. We all have been extremely blessed by seeing actually every trip a lot of Manta Rays and Whalesharks. All our Boats departed as usual after a easy check in at Khao Lak Scuba Adventures PADI 5 Star IDC Center to the top destinations in the andaman sea. Again Congratulations to all PADI Course students passing their PADI Open Water Water Course, PADI Advanced Open Water Course,PADI EFR Course, PADI Nitrox Course, PADI Rescue Course, PADI Divemaster Course or internship here in Khao lak  on board the best fleet ever, the Manta Queen Fleet :) We still remember how exited all our divers including our PADI Open Water Scuba instructors, PADI Master Scuba Diver trainers and PADI Staff Instrcutors have been while they came back to Khao Lak and Khao Lak Scuba Adventures PADI 5 Star IDC center in Thailand. 

Check it our and share the blog so that everyone can see what amazing Time you had going scuba diving or snorkeling on-board the Manta Queen Fleet in Thailand with Khao Lak Scuba Adventures 5 Star IDC Center.

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Visit our website: www.mantaqueen.com
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What a year it has been for all of us here at Khao Lak Scuba Adventures! This past season was absolutely fantastic, with so many surprises along the way, to go along with the good times and wonderful people that we have experienced over the past seven months.
 
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There were all the Whalesharks, simply too many to count.
 
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The Mantas, that came early this year to Koh Bon, and stayed late.
 
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The little stuff was out all season in full force, from the smallest Clown Frogfish and baby Harlequin Shrimp, to the very special Cockatoo Waspfish.
 
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We had Leaf Scorpionfish, Marble Snake Eels, and so many cute little Seamoths this season.
 
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More sharks this year than usual too. Black Tips, White Tips, Nurse Sharks, and even a few Giant Guitarfish.
Huge Rays - Mangrove Whiprays, Jenkins Whiprays and many Bloched Fantail Rays seemingly covered the reefs.
 
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we have had guests from all over the globe this season, and introduced them to the Similan Islands in what has been the best diving season here in many, many years.
 
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The diving stayed great right up until the end. On the final day at Richelieu Rock this season, we had a curious Whaleshark approach a few groups and lazily swim around in circles for ten minutes or so.
 
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This was the first Whaleshark of the season for a few of the lucky office staff that were able to make it on the trip, and Pam was especially excited.  For the next few days we all had to listen to Pam scream "Willy the Whaleshark" every two minutes with a huge smile on her face. It was cute for the first few hours...
 
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As we all know though, all good things must come to an end. And so it is, that this season in the Similan Islands is now over. What a year it was. We can only hope that when the next season begins again in late October that it will pick up right where this one has left off. Everyone here is looking forward to completing the circle, from this season, into the next...
 
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With so many fun times and new friends made, and so much life that we have discovered beneath the waves this season, it's going to be difficult to wait.
 
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A very special thank you goes out to all of our guests, friends, families and staff from Mr. Oh the owner, Stefan the general Manager, Toun the Assistant Manager and Pam the Head of the Training department for another wonderful Season in the Similan Islands. Thank you all so much. We couldn't have done it without you!
 
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Now is the time for you to book your Similan Islands diving adventure with us, Khao Lak Scuba Adventures. You too can come to Dive, Eat, Sleep, & Repeat with us.
 
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We absolutely can not wait to meet you! :-)
 
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The season is not yet over for Manta Queen I. Despite some peoples claim that she was done for the season, turns out there was one more trip in stall for Manta Queen I out at the Similans before she finally hangs up her jacket for until the start of next year.

 

The weather has been so great this year, I recall in May of 2013 we were battling rain and waves as the low season weather had started to rear its head. So we were all very happy to see that we might actually get long sunny days and maybe a sprinkle here and there. The forecast was spot on as only once or twice did the party get spoiled with rain, mostly it was sunshine, calm water and just a hint of current under the water.

 

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Due to a late pick up we didn’t leave the port til early in the morning and it wasn’t until an hour or two before wake-up that we arrived at our destination. The captain snuck in a couple winks as everyone else woke up to get their first taste of the Similan Islands.

 

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Decorator crab on night dive

 

The diving started off a little bit murky with about 15 – 20m much less than what we are used to, and the weather has water conditions have been so unpredictable we couldn’t guess what was going to happen. We would just have to wait and see. Turns out we got lucky their too: there wasn’t many thermoclines and the water temperature peaked around 31oC, basically a warm bath. Most people were able to jump in with the basics on and even enjoying the freedom of diving in your bathing suit. The night dive at the end of the first dive is the only one we complete on the trip and for some people it will be their only one so far in their scuba career. So congrats to those guys and hopefully you were able to embrace the dark and look at all the creatures that only come out at night.

 

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Spindle Cowrie (left) and Softshell Cowrie (right) using camoflauge blend in to surroundings

 

Second day and we did one final dive in the Similans, at Elephant Head Rock before heading up to Koh Bon. Even though we had two dives on Koh Bon nothing big swam by so we had to amuse ourselves with all the other stuff on the reef; sea snake, napoleon wrasse, octopus, pipefish. Unfortunatley this trip did lack some of the ‘large’ sightings we’ve been lucky enough to spot this year, that’s how diving is and whats keep getting the sightings so great, and hopefully we kept everyone excited with all the amazing macro. Some of the highlights include a Leaf Scorpionfish on Deep Six, loads of seamoths, ghost pipefish, sea horse, frogfish, so many nudibranch…

 

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Third day began with an impromptu song by trip leader Chris and musical maestro June on the ukulele. Due to the musical genius and feel good nature of the song everyone woke up clear eyed and ready for the last full day on the boat highlighted by the three dives on Richelieu Rock. One of the nicest ‘treats’ we found under water was the baby harlequin shrimp (below left) with the adult.

 

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The last day and is a ship wreck double-header on the Pratong and Boonsung Wrecks. The Pratong is definitely coming along with the infamous Hispid Frogfish (below) and the standout. The last dive on Boonsung is great as always and lots of Kuhl stingrays and barracudas around the site as a bonus.

 

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Big thanks to everyone who came out and made this; the official last trip of the season on Manta Queen I, a really fun time and a great way to finish things off. Congratualtions to our new advanced open water divers, welcome! Hopefully see you under water sometime in the near future.

 

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Photos courtesy of Rachel Bayer and Chris Eyres

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Manta Queen 1, comin' in HOT!!!

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This season is over for Manta Queen 1 now, and what a season it has been! There is so much to say about all the wonderful creatures we have seen along the way, and all the special people and new friends that we have experienced over the last seven months.

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I guess the word "Magical" could sum it up fairly well. I mean, we have had guests from all over the globe this season, and introduced them to the Similan Islands in what has been the best diving season here in many, many years. It absolutely was the season of the Whaleshark, as I wrote about several months ago. I think I personally have seen about 20 Whalesharks this year, although I have lost count and cannot be sure. Loosing count of the number of Whalesharks that you have seen in one season is a good problem to have.

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We have also had so many little things to show this season. Everything from Ornate, Delicate and Robust Ghost Pipefish to Harlequin shrimp and many different types of Frogfish, this season has produced sweet surprises over and over again.

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The Mantas came early this year to Koh Bon, and stayed late. The White Tip Reef Sharks were more abundant this season than in years past, being spotted regularly on many of the Similan dive sites. What a year it was...

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As for this, trip number 139 for Manta Queen 1, we had a fantastic finish to this magical season.
On the first day we adjusted the schedule a bit, making dives at Anita's Reef, West of Eden, Elephant Head Rock and then a night dive at Eagle Rock. We stopped of at the beach on Island #4 as well...

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We had Frogfish, Ribbon Eels, Spearing Mantis Shrimp, Blue Spotted Stingrays, Octopus, Seamoths and even this rare Marbled Snake Eel over the first few dives.

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We had a surprise appearance by a Black Tip Reef Shark amongst the rocks at Elephant Head, and so many swimthroughs on the night dive at Eagle Rock, in addition to the Lobsters, Cuttlefish and the Turtle that we spotted there. It was a wonderful last first day. :-)

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That night we slept at Koh Bon, and awoke to calm seas and beautiful conditions. The first dive of the day was Koh Bon Pinnacle, and it was really great. We saw our old friend Stewie the Stonefish there, along with a second Stonefish buddy of his.

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We had a school of Rainbow Runners in a tornado overhead, a Red Reef Lobster in the rocks below, and even spotted this really cite juvenile Emperor Angelfish in a small crack:

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Dive two was on Koh Bon's famous West Ridge, and in the deep area at the end of the ridge we had so much life. Schools of rabbit fish and Fusiliers, Glassfish and Trevally, all moving around between the soft corals on the floor.

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We had Nudibranch, and Scorpionfish around, Banded Boxer Shrimp and Multibar Pipefish in the nooks and crannies. We even spotted this Hookjaw Moray Eel deep in one of the cracks between the rocks:

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As we left Koh Bon we saw a large pod of Pilot Whales. They came near the boat and swam around for 15 minutes or so before heading off into the blue...

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After the traditional Snooze Cruise to Koh Tachai, we arrived at Tachai Pinnacle with the current at about half power. After making our way down the line we were able to hide between the boulders and move around quite easily.

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We had a big School of Barracuda overhead and so many Fusiliers swarming around us, it was awesome.

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There were Ghost Pipefish, a Hawksbill Turtle, a Seamoth, a juvenile Emperor Angelfish, and one lucky group even spotted a Tigertail Seahorse among the soft corals. Nice! And of course, the ever-curious Batfish we schooling near the top of the Pinnacle. Really great.

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For the sunset dive the current backed off quite a lot. We saw all sorts of stuff, the highlights being two Seamoths, Ghost Pipefish, and tons of schooling fish. Some groups were at the second pinnacle, with everything from loads of big Brown Marbled Grouper, juvenile Sweetlips, and the smallest Nudis around. It was a perfect way to finish the day.

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The current was mild the next morning, and all of the groups enjoyed a pleasant early morning tour around the pinnacle. There were lots of morays around this morning, plus a large school of Crocodile Needlefish over the top of the dome. Big schools of Fusiliers were moving between the boulders near the bottom, seemingly everywhere you looked. The small stuff was around as well, little Nudis and this cute little white Seamoth:

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And now for our last visit this season to the world famous Richelieu Rock. What can I say about this dive site that hasn't already been said? It quite simply is Thailand's best dive site. Over the course of three dives there we spotted all of the following: Cleaner Pipefish of all shapes and sizes, Ghost Pipefish, Seahorses, Harlequin Shrimp, Boxer Shrimp, Octopus, Cuttlefish, Scorpionfish, Devil Scorpionfish.

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There were also many different types of Moray Eels, Hermit Crabs, Round Crabs, Trevally, Barracuda, Fusiliers, Snappers, Groupers, Mantis Shrimp... I could go on and on. That's the thing about Richelieu. It's always a new discovery around every corner. There is so much to see there, words cannot describe the experience of diving this wonderful site.

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The final day brought us first to the HTMS Pra Thong wreck. Formerly the USS Dodge County, this is a 98 meter long WWII US transport ship. It was sunk in order to create another dive site on theWest coast of Thailand, and it is already teaming with life. It's so cool, a brand new wreck with a few easy penetration opportunities.

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In just six weeks it has become covered in huge schools of juvenile Barracuda and Fusiliers, Weedy Filefish, Dragonettes, Cuttlefish, and a few of these really cool Hispid Frogfish. Have a look:

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The final dive of this season for Manta Queen 1 was on the Boonsung wreck. The viz was great today, a perfect way to end the season. We made our way around the wreckage, spotting Porcupine Pufferfish, Honeycomb Moray Eels and Spearing Mantis Shrimp along the way.

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A special thank you goes out to the effort put forth by Cam and Dave. They came aboard having just finished their Open Water course, and by the end of the trip they had both completed their PADI Advanced Open Water course and their Enriched Air Diver courses! They literally tripled their diving experience on this one trip! Sweet!!!
So, this season for Manta Queen 1 has come to an end. A sad day indeed. We are already making plans for next season, when once again we will be able to showcase the wonder of the Similan Islands to all of our guests. Until then, Happy and safe diving to you all! :-)

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Manta Queen 6 took on a new role this trip, operating on a 4 day/4 night schedule to include the Similan Islands and it was hot, hot, hot!  With minimal breeze, the water was like glass for most of the trip and never so refreshing. 


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Diving the Similans meant a chance to explore around giant granite bolders, glide into swim throughs trimmed with soft corals and check out frog fish, spearing mantis shrimp, sea moths, pipe fish, nudibranchs and more.

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Koh Bon didn't let us down again, as two playful Mantas entertained us throughout both dives, much to everyone's glee. Tachai proved challenging with a strong current on the sunset dive, but conditions had improved significantly for the morning dive on day 3.


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Richelieu Rock was alive with activity as always with big schools of trevally, snapper, long nose emperor, barracuda, as well as seahorses, pipe fish, harlequin shrimp, tomato clown fish and tiger egg cowrie shells.


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Our last day ended with wreck dives on the HTMS Phra Thong and Boon Sung, a great way to end a fun trip with awesome guests.


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Congratulations go to 6 new Advanced Open Water divers, 4 of whom also completed their Nitrox certification.  Well done Andrea, Alexis, Marianne, Fan Yilin. Victor and Cheng Yongliang.


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Thank you for making this final trip for me on Manta Queen 6 a fabulous one, special thanks also to Fai for keeping us entertained with her Ukulele, and on behalf of Khaolak Scuba Adventures and all the crew on board, thank you for joining us. 


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 Happy diving J

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Only two more trips left on Manta Queen III before we shut down for the low season and get ourselves prepared for next year.  So (at least for the staff) it’s definitely mixed feelings about leaving, but a little added excitement in that we know there are only a couple more times we get to dive each site and so we have to make the most of it and show all the divers how amazing we are all at finding things big and small in our home away from home, also known as the Similan Islands. 

 

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It appears that low season is starting to show itself a little; the odd spot of rain or gust of wind, but in between this it was sunny skies and flat water; personified but the lobsters that ignored the chance to wear sunscreen and thought looking like crustaceans would be a better fit. Quite amazingly it never actually rained while we were diving, just a ‘splash here splash there’ at the end of the day, but never for more than an hour. 

 

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The first day was a nice introduction to the flora and fauna here, starting on Anita’s Reef as usual and a chance to get into the swing of things before we move onto the more challenging dive sites. Finishing things off with two great dives on West of Eden and Deep 6 before our one and only night dive back at Anita’s Reef and a well deserved dinner. 

 

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“Unfortunately” (and do take note of the inverted commas) we changed the schedule slightly on the second day. It started as usual with a dive on Elephant Head Rock, one of the best dives in the Similans, full of swim-through’s, sharks, stingrays and the squashed birds also known as seamoths. Then we skipped Christmas Point and headed straight up to Koh Bon for two dives (this change in schedule is the unfortunate part), where after jumping we did the were greeted with sea snakes, napoleon wrasse, oh and a manta ray!!! Second dive and as luck would have it the manta ray was still around and though it didn’t stay for long we gave us a couple flyby’s before taking off into the blue.  Last dive was back to normal on Koh Tachai definitely one of the nicest dive sites covered in fish and coral.

 

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The third day was Richelieu day, why do only three dives there when you can do four? With that in mind we woke up nice and early at Richelieu ready to dive. Apart from all the amazing stuff that you can see their (which I could list at length but I don’t want to cause too much jealousy) one of the local whalesharks must’ve been feeling a bit lonely and decided to come by  to hangout. What a great surprise. No sign of him on the second dive but he did come back on the third dive before heading off to wherever whalesharks like to hangout in between trips to Richelieu.

 

The last night on the boat and chef definitely out did himself with a feast for all us, leaving everyone happy with full bellies and a great day of diving.

 

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 Awesome shot of a bumblebee shrimp to the top left. So much great macro to find here at the moment. Also a nice bonus when there are whale sharks and manta around to look at as well.

 

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Last day and we dived on two ship wrecks. The first one (Boonsung) we had all to ourselves for the morning dive as no other boats had a chance to get out there yet. 

 

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 Last dive on the Premchai Wreck and a great chance for everyone to finish off the trip. Everybody nice and relaxed and really confident after a trip with some surprises from mother nature but in the end the fish were great and the weather was usually on our side.

 

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A very big thank you to everyone on the boat. I hoped everyone had a great time. Congratulations to all the new Advanced Divers and those who completed a Deep Adventure Dive.

 

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 Peace and love and a special shout out to our birthday boy on the boat, celebrating above with a nice ticket to the 'gun show'.

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Alright then, here we are. It's May 3rd today, and Manta Queen 1 has just come in from another spectacular 4 day/4 night diving adventure!

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 first dive of the trip was at the always beautiful Anita's Reef. Anticipation was high as one after another dive group stepped into he water. The dive certainly lived up to our expectations. Blue Spotted Stingrays and Garden Eels in the sand, Octopus in amongst the rocks, and even a cool little Devil Scorpionfish walking around.

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The second dive of the day was at West of Eden. We saw so much great stuff - Octopus, Lobsters, Seamoths, and this really cool Frogfish. It's always a great dive there.

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Deep Six was next, with its awe-inspiring swimthroughs and fantastic topography. We found Morays, Tiger Cowries and even spotted two little Seamoths together. Nice!

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The night dive was at Turtle Rock, Island #8. Big Lobsters, crabs and hunting Morays were all there. We even had a beautiful Green Turtle show up to do our safety stop with us. What a great first dayThe next morning began with a dive at Elephant Head Rock. What a magical place! So many cool swimthroughs, and interesting marine life too. Highlights were a family of Seamoths and this beautiful blue Ribbon Eel:

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After a trip to the beach in Donald Duck Bay and a short walk up to the viewpoint underneath Sail Rock it was on to Christmas Point. Christmas Point is always cool. Swimthroughs. Check. White Tip Reef Shark. Check. General, overall coolness. Check. And it's on to Koh Bon! :-) Awesome.

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Of course Koh Bon is famous for Manta Rays. We all know this. Sometimes you see them there, sometimes you don't. Well, on this trip we were kind of lucky. Many of the groups saw a Manta on this dive, but a few did not. I guess that's why they say that you've just got to be lucky...

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The sunset dive was at Tachai Pinnacle. It was Tachai in its classic conditions, with some current and tons of fish activity. We saw schools of thousands of Fusiliers out in the blue. We has big schools of Trevally and the big school of Chevron Barracuda that is usually around. In addition to this, some groups saw a few Octopus and most of the others were able to spots few different Ornate Ghost Pipefish hiding amongst the bush corals. A fantastic finish to an amazing day.

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Day three we decided to switch it up a bit. We elected to drive back South to the Similan Islands again and do some more dives there. We did the always interesting Shark Fin Reef first thing in the morning, drifting along with a fairly strong current for most of the dive. Shark Fin Reef is a pretty large site, so it's not a problem to lazily drift along in one direction the entire time.

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We spotted tons and tons of schooling fish along the way. Everything from Tunas, Rainbow Runners, Banner fish and Fusiliers, all the way down to huge schools of the smallest Glassfish swirling overhead. One lucky group even saw a rare Bartail Moray hiding deep in one of the crevices. A great way to start the day!

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Next up was Deep Six, hoping for a few sharks. One lucky group did see a large White Tip Reef Shark, and many groups spotted a really cool Blochted Fantail Ray hiding under an overhang. We also saw the cute little Seamoths again, and did a few really cool swimthroughs as well.

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West of Eden must be one of the best Similan Dive sites around, and it was really great again today. We saw so much stuff, highlights being a few different Frogfish and this absolutely beautiful Green Turtle. Fantastic!

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The night dive this evening was at Anita's Reef. Octopus, huge Lobsters, Nudibranch, hunting Moray Eels and a few of these Big Red Crabs were the order of the day.

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On our last morning we again adjusted the schedule, giving us one more dive at the crowd-favorite Elephant Head Rock. With all of its magnificent swimthroughs, and interesting marine life, it is a really special dive, every time. This morning was no different, as we made our way through the maze of boulders spotting 3 White Tip Reef Sharks along the way.

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The final dive was on the Premchai wreck, and on the way we came across a friendly pod of Dolphins...
The Premchai is an old Tin mining dredger that sank in 2001, and it is now absolutely teaming with life. Schools of Snapper and Sweetlips overhead, Scorpionfish and Nudis covering the wreck, and Crocodile Flatheads in the sand. A fantastic way up end the trip.

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A big congratulations goes out to all of the students on board this trip. Andy taught Ya-Ting Yang her Advanced course, Chehab taught the PADI Advanced Open Water course and Nitrox course to Mathieu and Vincent. Ishmael taught an Advanced course as well, to both Tim and Lilly. Joe taught the PADI Enriched Air Diver course to Emma, Hanne, Edwin and Lars. Aine taught two students, Marco and Madeline the PADI Open Water course. Sweet! Great job by everyone.

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So, this amazing season that we've had here in the Similans is just about finished. There are just two weeks left this year, still time for you to book your diving adventure with us here at KSA! We hope to see you soon on one of our liveaboard boats, cruising the islands and spotting the big fish, which are still around!

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MQII Trip 147

 

Day 1 Koh Bon and Koh Tachai

 

We start the trip as usual as a check dive to get everyone's weights right and head off among the many coral bomies covered in glass fish along the wall towards the ridge, current is slight and visibility good but they improve a lot once past the ridge, as is becoming all too common now, we are visited once more with the grace and beauty of the mantas as we hang on the ridge admiring the show of these incredible creatures.

 

Tachai greets us with warm clear water and hardly any current as we approach low water, the barracudas are back with turtle and sea snakes, ghost pipe and bat fish, a great start to the trip.

 

Day 2 Richelieu rock

 

On our way to Richelieu the captain received a message from another dive boat already there that they had seen a whaleshark.....keeping this to myself during the briefing for the surprise during the dive, the biggest fish we will ever get to sea is an awe inspiring moment as these gentle giants slowly cruise by accompanied by remoras trevallys rainbow runners and cobias.

Not forgetting that here it's also about the small stuff, Richelieu reminds me of an overpopulated city where every inch of rock and every crack had something living and feeding and hunting..... Always the highlight of the trip.

 

Day 3

 

HTMS Prahtong

This wreck is improving in leaps and bounds, sunk about only 2 months ago the amount of life that has taken up residence here already is incredible, glass fish, barracudas, anenome fish, crabs and frog fish, also more work has been done to make the wreck more suitable for diving with more holes and accesses cut into the hull.

This is going to be an incredible dive in only a few more months...... Roll on next season !!!!!!

 

Boonsung

 

All the usual suspects here at the famous fish soup!!!!

This old tin dredger still attracts  divers because of the shear quantity of fish life..... A good indicator of what the Prahtong will be like.

 

Special thanks to Wang and Steve for doing their Nitrox course and Ana and Enrique for their advanced.... Keep up the good work and hope to see you all again next season..........b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0076.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0096.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0119.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0136.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0139.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0160.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0244.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0248.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_mq2.JPG

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The Mantas seem to love us as much as we love them! Can you blame 'em? I mean, just look at us!!! :-)

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Well now, it is the end of April and we have just a few weeks left in this, what has been one of the most memorable seasons on record. Manta Queen 2 continues to produce the goods, with incredibly calm seas and huge fish lending us a hand, we are having trip after trip chock full of amazing experiences. Thinking back, I believe that I have had Mantas and Whalesharks on something like twelve out of the last fourteen trips, and again we had them both on this trip as well. Can't ask for much more than that.

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We began this past trip as always, searching for Mantas on Koh Bon's West Ridge during our check dive. We saw none, but there were plenty of other great things to hold our attention. Rainbow Runners in the blue. Octopus and Moray Eels in amongst the rocks. Shrimps and Multibar Pipefish in the cracks and crevices.

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Dive two began with a briefing for Koh Bon Pinnacle. The plan was to dive the Pinnacle, and then do the West Ridge again on dive three if any of the other boats had reported any Manta Ray sightings. Well, as we were gearing up and driving over the West Ridge towards the Pinnacle, we had several reports from divers on the surface that there were Mantas directly below them. We changed the plan immediately and turned the boat. Jumped in on the West Ridge and moved West along the rocks towards the end of the ridge. Then we waited. Lucky for us, it only took about a minute before the first Manta appeared...

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Moving slowly out of the blue, she swam past and disappeared. This was only the beginning. Over the next 55 minutes one and then the next came in close to the dive groups, checking out the divers as much as we were checking them out. Over the course of the dive, we figured there were at least three or four individuals making passes, although we never saw more than two together at the same time. Koh Bon - Mission accomplished.

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Next it was off to Tachai for two afternoon dives. While on the way to Tachai we had a visit from a pod of Pilot Whales. They are so beautiful, gracefully coming up for air in front of the boat over and over again. After spending 15 minutes or so watching them, we continue North to Koh Tachai.

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The first dive there on Tachai Pinnacle was a little wild, with the famous Tachai current set to medium power, but we still had a wonderful dive. The current backed off quite a bit for the sunset dive, making it easier to move around the pinnacle and opening up more possibilities for us. Over the course of the two dives we had so much life, everything from little Nudis and Ghost Pipefish all the way up to big schools of Barracuda and even a Hawksbill Turtle. The sunset dive was especially nice, with big schools of Trevally and Fusiliers out in the blue. Always nice to see. After that... dinner time!!!

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The next morning we awoke to sunny skies and blue water. Again the current on Tachai was pumping a bit, but it was possible to hide behind many of the rocks for some of the time. A challenging dive, but still good fun with lots to see, including this really well camouflaged Ghost Pipefish:

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Then It was on to Richelieu Rock. Three dives there rounded out the day, with all three being different but equally nice. Schools of Trevally, Barracuda, Snapper and Fusiliers seemed to always be overhead. Every crack and crevice was loaded with shrimp and crabs of all shapes and sizes, from the Ghost Boxer Shrimp and Harlequin Shrimp, all the way up to the big Round Crabs. Ghost Pipefish, Jan's Cleaner Pipefish and Tigertail Seahorses were spotted along with Octopus and Cuttlefish too. Richelieu really is a very special place, no wonder is in consistently ranked as Thailand's best dive site.

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On the third day of diving we woke up at the new HTMS Pra Thong wreck. And old WWII transport barge, it's a very new wreck on Thailand's West coast, having been sunk just last month. Quite a big ship, its 98 meters long and 14 meters wide, laying on it's side in 27 meters of water. It has been scuttled specifically for diving, with several holes cut into the different decks to allow safe and easy penetration diving. We cruised around, entering into some of the larger holes, and peeking into some of the smaller ones. Really cool. Oh yeah, it's becoming so commonplace on these trips now, that I almost forgot to mention. This is where we saw the four meter long Whaleshark as well! So nice, at the end of the dive we were just above the wreck, beginning to move toward our safety stop, and here she comes. She was swimming lazily into the mild current, and she stayed with us for about five minutes before taking off onto the blue. A fantastic treat for us before heading back on the boat for breakfast. What a wonderful morning!

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The final dive was on the famous Boonsung wreck. We had a few special finds on the Boonsung, the stand-outs being multiple Frogfish and one cute little Seamoth. So cool!

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My group were practicing threat bubble ring skills at some of the safety stops, and by the end of the trip we were getting good results...

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Congratulations to all the students on board. Kam taught Natalya her PADI Advanced Open Water course, and Bonnie, Matt, Ryan and Alex all completed their Advanced course with Mattias during the trip. Nice work people, way to knock it out! You are all now officially in the 30 meter club!

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I must say, this season has been absolutely fantastic. The best part? It's not over yet! Book one of our last remaining liveaboard trips this season and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. This season is sure to go down as one of the best ever in the Similan Islands, and there is no better way to experience diving in the park than with us here at Khao Lak Scuba Adventures...

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Mantas, Mantas! They seem to be everywhere at Koh Bon recently! What an amazing start to this, trip number 145 on Manta Queen 2.

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After a promising check dive on Koh Bon's West Ridge, in which several groups spotted a Manta Ray, excitement was high before dive number two. After deciding to switch it up a bit and do Koh Bon Pinnacle for the second dive, we all did the traditional Manta call during the briefing... Nipple rub... CHECK!

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Even our Panda Bear mascot got in on the action...

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We dropped into the dive site with high hopes, and we were not disappointed. We saw Ornate Ghost Pipefish, A Blotched Fantail Ray, some really big groupers, a Black Banded Sea Snake... and a Manta Ray! She came to visit us when we were on our way to the safety stop. Did a few circles around all of the groups and then left and swam off into the blue.

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Dive three was again back on Koh Bon's West Ridge, hoping for more Manta action. Well, mission accomplished, as just five minutes into the dive we had one Manta swing by a few times to say hello. Then we saw a Hookjaw Moray Eel, a few big Tunas, a Cobia, and then more Mantas! There were a total of three different Mantas on this dive, and everyone on the boat was together on the West Ridge, with two Mantas at the same time and no other boats around! It was just us as one and then another and another Manta came cruising past to get a good look at all of Manta Queen 2's divers. They are so beautiful, cruising around effortlessly in the currents, sometimes coming in quite close to take a good look at us. It was sweet!

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In addition the mantas, we had a large Napoleon Wrasse come by to show off a bit. Beautiful. Then at the safety stop, one group had a lone Black Tip Reef Shark come by and circle them a few times. Just out in the blue. Cool!
The sunset dive this time was at Tachai Pinnacle. We saw loads of cool stuff, but the highlight had to be a school of several hundred large Tunas passing by. Nice.

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After a wonderful dinner and a good night of sleep, it was up early on day two for one more dive at Tachai Pinnacle before heading North to Richelieu Rock.
The morning dive was really great, with excellent viz and a lot of life. We saw Barracuda, Dogtooth Tuna, Fusiliers, Batfish and so much more. There were Octopus and Moray Eels out hunting, small Stingrays in the sand, and loads of cool Nudibranchs among the rocks. It was a really nice dive for all.

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And now, for the main attraction, Richelieu Rock. Over the course of three dives there, we saw all of the following: Ghost Pipefish, Harlequin Shrimp, Orangutan Crabs, Zebra Morays, Tigertail Seahorses, Juvenile Angelfish, Devil Scorpionfish. Tiger Egg Cowries... I could go on and on.

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Oh yeah, and a boat full of happy divers, because we also had a Whaleshark! There have been so many this season, but it's still amazing every time. This one cane between the dives, so nearly everyone jumped in and snorkeled with her for a while. She was about four meters long and stayed around for 20 minutes or so, coming and going into the blue and then back around again. Finally she left, and we all headed back to the boat to finish our lunch. Another great day at Richelieu Rock is in the books! The last day was awesome, with dives on the new HTMS Phra Thong wreck and the Boonsung wreck.

The Phra Thong in Thailand's newest wreck, and it's changing fast.

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Just in the last few weeks there has been so much life moving in. Today we saw more new stuff, a school of large Big Fin Reef Squid, a huge Nudibranch (I'm not sure what type, but it was at least 15cm long...

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We also saw the Hispid Frogfish again, although this time it was a different, much smaller specimen:

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The final dive of the trip on the Boonsung Wreck is always fantastic, and this week was no different. We saw Frogfish, Ghost Pipefish, Porcupine Pufferfish and so many Honeycomb Moray Eels. Even the Blue Spotted Stingrays were hanging out in the sand again. Sweet!
There were no fewer than ten courses on board this trip! Julie taught four PADI Advanced Open Water students - Morgane, Camilo, Miguel and Alex. Good effort guys, on completing your Advanced course onboard during the trip. Congratulations, and welcome to the 30 meter club! :-)b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2829.JPG

Mark had five Nitrox students, Thomas, Per, Mohammed, Ahmed and Mohammed. He had fun with them!

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Joe was teaching as well, with his lone student Elisabeth completing her Deep Specialty course. Awesome!

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A special thanks goes out to Stefano also.

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He was a cool dude, always lively and even standing in for some impromptu briefing action. He actually did pretty well, and knew what I was going to say some of the time! Nice.

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Well then, another trip is in the books, and Manta Queen 2 has certainly had a fantastic season this year. Come and join us before the season ends, I promise you'll be glad you did!

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Here we are back from our trip number 38, having just 5 more to go we still having amazing conditions at the surface and underwater like the last months. That helps a lot to enjoy the marvels Similan islands is ready to share with all of us. Because the surprises still appearing on and on, seems we always have something exciting to report from every single trip, and this time are:

The Manta Show at Koh Bon

The amount of Frogfish spotted along the trip (specially at Pra Thong Wreck)

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Starting with the Frogfish we were amaze again with this guys at Pra Thong, our new Wreck, that being there since just 1 month is crazy the amount of special creatures living there already. 5 Hispid Frogfish were the highlight of the dive!!!!!, that together with amazing nudis, Indian Walkman, Dragonets, Flounders, Soles, Leatherjacket Filefish.

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Speaking about the Manta Show, few groups had Mantas at Hin Luang and West Ridge right at the beginning of the day, but the Show started in our second dive, with at least 4 Mantas playing around back and forth along the whole dive, such a great dive!!!!, was really hard to pay attention to other subjects like Napoleon Wrasses, Sea Snakes, Devil Scorpionfish....., with this guys around.

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But Koh Bon wasn´t the only place where this Flyinng carpets appear, because few groups spotted in different dives at The Dome (Koh Tachai), where the current challenge the skills of everybody on board in 2 or the 3 dives we did over there. Luckily the formations around are giving us a lot of options to hide and enjoy the frenzy of Trevallies, Barracudas, Emperors, Tunas.....Hunting around.

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Richelieu Rock delivers the typical goods like Seahorses, Harlequin Shrimps, Ornate Ghostpipefishes, again the Baby Clown Frogfish and Freckled one, Devil Scorpionfish, tons of Nudis and Pipefish and more Trevallies than normal around the rock.

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The first day of the trip gave already to all of us the tips of how amazing this trips would be, having lucky encounters with several Sharks at Elephant Head Rock and West of Eden, Marble Ray at West of Eden, 2 Frogfish at West of Eden plus the 2 Clown Frogfish at Turtle Rock, 9 Ornate Ghostpipefish at Anita´s Reef!!!, Marbled Snake Eels, Ribbon Eels, Decorator Crabs, Octopuses, Turtle......

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And special congratulations to our Brand new Advanced Open Water divers on Board, Chunli, Veronica, Eric and Fabian, well done guys

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And of course, we almost forget about that Minke Whale we had around Richelieu Rock several hours, was great to see you around so close to the boat but sad at the same time to see how two dinghys from another boat chase you non stop, trying to cut your way, full speed around you....., seems everything is valid for just a picture.

 

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Kai Thong had the Midas touch again with Mantas and a whale shark on his first dive at Koh Bon.  The rest of us were kept in suspense until the second dive where 3 playful 5m Mantas frolicked and danced with us to our delight for most of the dive.

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Koh Tachai was met with strong current yet again, but ghost pipefish, barracuda, bat fish, juvenile sweetlips and angel fish were still a highlight.  A more relaxing dive on the north reef was enjoyed later in the day at Sunset.  The day ended with the sound of a well earned beer being cracked open at dinner and our guests analysing the day’s photos and video footage from various go-pros used.

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The sundeck proved very popular on this trip with people vying for space on the bow to rest their weary heads & gaze upon the stars before being rocked to sleep.  According to some however the rambunctious snorers onboard disturbed the otherwise peaceful and serene nights ;)

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Richelieu,despite being a bit green, proved splendid as ever with an awesome amount of fish at every turn, including barracuda, trevally, long nose emperors, fusiliers and snappers.   Oh and I should take this opportunity to mention two whale sharks!!  A small 2.5-3m Whaley as well as a 5-6m beauty.   The larger of the two circled around us for some time to everyone’s awe.

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The last day ended with two wreck dives on Phra Thong and Boon Sung Wrecks respectively.  Unfortunately upon arrival at Boon Sung, we were greeted with the sight of a commercial fishing boat moored up to one of the bouys.  To my dismay I discovered a net across part of the wreck and proceeded to bundle it up before any fish were caught up in it.  The net itself had done quite a bit of damage to a part of the wreck which is normally home to a large honeycomb moray and frog fish and it was a shame to see that. 

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The wreck dive completed an Advanced Open Water course for 3 students Nicole, James and Li Min.  Congratulations!!  We also had two Open Water Students onboard who successfully completed their course with instructor Alex.  Well done to Wang Kun and Wang Yu.


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On behalf of KSA and all the crew onboard Manta Queen 6, a big thank you to our lovely guests for another great trip. 

 

As ever...happy diving!


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It's getting closer to the end of the season now, but the weather is quite nice and the big fish are still around in great numbers. Manta Queen 2 is consistently lucky this year, and these last few days did not disappoint.

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Between the first two dives on Koh Bon's West Ridge dive site, we saw no less than four different Manta Rays, Black Tip and White Tip Reef Sharks, and a small Devil Ray! The first dive everyone had a few of the Mantas for most of the dive, and on dive two we saw them again for a while. It really was a spectacular show!

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After all that Manta action we headed North to Koh Tachai for two dives at Tachai Pinnacle. There we saw schooling Trevally and Fusiliers, along with many Ornate Ghost Pipefish.

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We had Batfish and Baraccuda, Moray Eels Black Banded Sea Snakes. A few lucky groups saw a Hawksbill Turtle on one of the dives, and two groups were fortunate enough to spot this cute little Seamoth hang out atop one of the many boulders...

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After a nice dinner and a slide show featuring all of the wonderful creatures one can possibly see at Richelieu Rock, it was off to bed, feeling tired but satisfied at what an amazing day of diving we had all experienced.
Day two began with another dive on Tachai Pinnacle first thing in the morning. There was a lot of current and challenging conditions, bet we still managed a great dive, spotting Great Barracuda, more Ghost Pipefish, Shaded Batfish and Trumpet fish along the way.

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Next up was the world famous Richelieu Rock, Thailand's best dive site. Three dives here produced the goods, with so many creatures large and small being found on the site. We saw a few of these really cute little Peacock Mantis Shrimp:

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Pipefish of all types, Spindle Cowries, Tiger Egg Cowries, Big schools of Snapper and Trevally, and a few juvenile Angelfish. We saw more great stuff, like Banded Boxer Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Durban Dancing Shrimp, and many different types of Morays including White Eyed Morays, Fimbriated Morays, and this highly secretive Hook Jaw Moray. Nice find!

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The sunset dive was nice with A LOT of fish action in the shallows, Trevally, Barracuda and Rainbow Runners schooling overhead. A wonderful way to finish the day.

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After an evening cruise to the Southeast during dinner, we awoke the next morning at the new HTMS Pra Thong wreck, Thailand's newest shipwreck. It went down only about a month ago, so it's in perfect condition at the moment, great for some light penetration. It's an old WWII cargo ship, 98 meters long and about 14 meters wide. It's laying on its starboard side in about 27 meters of water. It's really very interesting to check out the wheelhouse and other areas of the bridge because they are still so clean and easy to navigate.

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The fish are moving in now as well, with more and more fish on the wreck with each trip. We got super lucky on this trip, and many groups found this very rare Hispid Frogfish (AKA Shaggy Frogfish) walking along the sandy bottom near the wreck...

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Staying with the shipwreck theme on the final day, the last dive on this trip was the wonderful Boonsung wreck. In stark contrast to the first wreck this morning, the Boonsung has been down for 30 years rather than just 30 days, and it is absolutely teaming with life. There is so much to discover here, everything from Seamoths and Frogfish to Ghost Pipefish and Blue Spotted Stingrays. It really is a great dive, every time.

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A special congratulations goes our yo Mark's three PADI Advanced Open Water students on board this trip - Sarah, Nick and Sophie. Great job guys, and welcome to the 30 meter club! :-)

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Well, this fantastic season is coming to and end soon, but there are still seven more trips scheduled for Manta Queen 2 before its finished. NOW is the time for you to come out with us and discover why everyone is saying that this is the best season the Similans have seen in many, many years. Contact Khao Lak Scuba Adventures today to reserve your spot on one of our upcoming adventures. There is still one month left in this season, and with five different boats to serve you, you'll be sure to find something with us that fits your schedule. Hope to see you soon underneath the waves!

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Everything is possible in Similan Islands, everything can happen when less you expect it. This time we rubbed our nipples for calling the mantas... but instead, we had a whale shark. There has to be a scientific reason for this misunderstanding between manta and whale shark. Experts say that there is a slight difference between the manta call and whale shark call, so there could be misunderstanding.

 

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Let's get started!

This trip has brought people from many countries in the world. We had Americans, Germans, Swiss, French, Spanish, Chinese, English...  This amaze me, how international can be SCUBA diving. Sun is shining in Similans, but clouds are going around and from time to time you can see the light rain coming.

 

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Similans are bringing more ghost pipe fish than last year for sure. Anita's Reef is full loaded with this guys. West of eden, Elephant Head rock bring us the same guests as always. Seamoths, Ribbon eels, Sting rays, Nudis, Mantis Shrimps... and a cockatoo is discovered in Turtle rock in the night dive plus our couple of clown frog fish  well together and more seamoths.

 

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Next day first dive is divided in two dive sites, Hin Luang and Koh Bon North Ridge. In both of them there are amazing things awating for us. As I said, we did the proper manta call, and the two groups that jumped in Hin Luang sighted a peaceful Whale Shark on the top of the pinnacle and stay there for 30 minutes. This is the first Whale Shark we see in Hin Luang in this season. :D  The second group sighted 2 mantas and one of them was just at 30m deep slowly hovering the sandy bottom.

 

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Second dive in west ridge bring more surprises, like 2 sail fish just in the first drop, and more mantas swimming in the thermo clines, white tip reef shark and marble stingray hidden in a hole.

We experience Koh tachai with a slight current in the first dive, but second and third dive we experienced the full power of it. "Full moon Koh Tachai". A river can be heard on the surface. Trained biceps are needed to go down by the line. The strength of the current is quite high. Still when arriving to the bottom, everything is OKEY!! :D this time we didn't spot any mantas or whale sharks.

 

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Richelieu is empty, I mean, there is only our boat and MQVI, when in general there is average 6 boats. A bit of current, cold water, but brought everything we needed. 3 beautiful dives there, but our resident whale shark didn't show up.

 

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Still another surprise is coming the next day, in the new wreck Prah Thon Wreck, close to main land, when a Whale shark passing by stayed with us like saying "I know couple of groups didn't see my friends, and now I am here for the rest". So everyone in the boat saw mantas and whale sharks and me, I am very happy with that. 


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A bit of congratulations for those who passed the advance curse with us plus Nitrox curse plus those ones who did 100 dives and those who passed the Whale shark, Manta and Shark conservation specialty.

Amazing job and such a good fun!!

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Manta Queen 6 set to sea on the 15th with another full boat of guests, 12 divers & 1 snorkeler. Our snorkeler Janice eager to blow bubbles too, participated in a PADI Discover Local Diving program, which allowed her 2 dives at Koh Bon & a chance to get up close & personal with a turtle. 

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Two Mantas, Whale shark and a black tip reef shark were seen at Koh Bon, a great start to the first day. We traveled to Koh Tachai for the sunset dive and early morning dive on Day 2.  The "Dome of Doom" lived up to it's reputation - strongest current experienced in a long time. We kept as sheltered as possible and enjoyed ornate ghost pipe fish, bat fish, "Barry" barracuda, giant puffer, juvenile sweetlips, Kuhl's ray and more.

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We almost had Richelieu Rock to ourselves with only Manta Queen 1 for company and it was spectacular as always with big schools of trevally, barracuda, snapper and long-nose emperor providing lots of action.  Congratulations to Kjersti who celebrated her 100th dive here and braved the tradition of diving naked. Her boyfriend Christoffer joined in for moral support, but all this occurred away from prying eyes behind a secluded pinnacle, much to the disappointment of the rest of the group ;)  Kjersti kindly forward me a discreet photo for the blog as proof she did indeed bear all for the occasion, however I haven't been successful in uploading it...sorry boys. ;)

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Our trip came to an end on Good Friday and what a good day it was!  We were in for a wonderful & very unexpected surprise at HTMS Pra Thong, when a curious 3m whale shark cruised by for a visit. I hope he or she is there to stay!

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Three of our guests signed up for their Advanced certification and one for a Deep Adventure Dive.  Congratulations to Alexey, Felix, Clement and Jack respectively.

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Thank you to everyone on board for an entertaining and enjoyable trip on Manta Queen 6.  Safe onward journeys and happy diving!
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ANOTHER WHALESHARK for Manta Queen 2 Trip #143!

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We are now most of the way through the season, and the conditions are fantastic! Blue water and great viz greeted us for the first two dives of Manta Queen 2's trip #143 at Koh Bon's famous "West Ridge" dive site. Manta Queen 2 has been a lucky boat this season, but today we had no Mantas. Then again, we saw so much other cool stuff that we hardly even missed them. We saw schooling Slate Sweetlips above the ridge, and a pair of big Napoleon Wrasse.

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After two dives there we headed North to Koh Tachai for a few dives on Tachai Pinnacle. Always a treat, Tachai was in rare form this afternoon. We jumped in with clear blue water and very little current. On this dive there was plenty to see, with Ghost Pipefish, a huge Moray and a juvenile Emperor Angelfish being spotted almost the rocks. We also saw this really cute baby Yellow Spotted Boxfish trying to hide from us...

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The sunset dive was wonderful as well, Although the strong current that Tachai is famous for did start to kick up a bit. We managed to see plenty of interesting marine life while hiding between the rocks. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good day!!! :-)

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The following morning we did one more dive at Tachai, and despite the strong current one lucky group found a really big Bloched Fantail Ray resting on the sandy bottom before we headed North to Richelieu Rock. Three dives there at Richelieu and we saw all kinds of great things... Ummm... Including a WHALESHARK!!!

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She came around early on the dive, disappeared for a while and then came by again as if to say goodbye and wish us a happy lunchtime. Other noce finds included Sunset Pipefish and schools of big Barracuda, along with Tigertail Seahorses, Juvenile Angelfish, Bent Stick Pipefish, Peacock Mantis Shrimp and even a few Zebra Moray Eels. We also saw quite a few Ornate Ghost Pipefish.

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This time we switched it up for dive number nine, deciding to check out one of the newest wrecks on Thailand's West coast, the HTMS Pra Thong wreck. It went down just about a month ago. Quite a big ship, it is a 98 meter long WWII cargo ship, laying on it's side in 27 meters of water. It has been scuttled specifically for diving, with several holes cut into the different decks to allow safe and easy penetration diving. Really good fun. It's nice to see more and more marine life week after week, making their home on the new wreck.

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The final dive of our three day adventure was on the Boonsung Wreck, an old tin mining dredger that sunk in the 1980's. Absolutely teaming with life, the Boonsung wreck is always a fantastic way to finish the trip. Large schools of Baraccuda, Trevally and Fusiliers cover the wreck. Smaller stuff like Nudis and Spearing Mantis Shrimp can be found as well. Frogfish and Ornate Ghost Pipefish are usually around, and there are always tons of Honeycomb Moray Eels hanging out of the nooks and crannies. It really is a great dive, every time. A wonderful finish to an unforgettable three days!

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I want to offer a big congratulations to all of our students on board this trip. Mathias, Jakob, Jacob, Michelle, Josh and Gregor all became newly certified PADI Enriched Air divers, so they are now all in the Nitrox club. Way to go guys! also, Romoina completed her PADI Open Water course during the trip, so she is now a certified diver. SWEET!!!

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It's always a little sad to end the trip, but there is some good news... We are going out again tomorrow!!! Come and join us on Manta Queen 2 for our next adventure! We sure would love to have you!!! :-)

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Starting out on day one was blue skies and flat seas. As usual with the welcome dive briefing it was said that visibility was normally around 30m here in the Similans Islands.. Well, mother nature made a liar out of me when we jumped in and was around 10m..When this happens some people are slightly disappointed but as a lot of people were used to diving in far less visibility at aroudn 1 - 2m they were excited....always think positive people!!!!

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Macro was at its peak with lowered visibility so we were all focused on the little creatures that surprise. Some of the most fantiastic nudibranchs with fun names such as the 'LSD nudi" and the "batwing nudi"......

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Baby seamoths are some the the cutest things around and look like wind up toys you used to play with in the bath as a child...crawling on the san and rocks.

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With some super experienced divers on board finally got them their first Mantas and also whalesharks swimming around. Is always fantastic to tick things off after years of diving.

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All in all was a great trip and hope to  see you all again....

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First of all apologies to all for the lateness of this blog. no excuses but i couldnt remember the password... hmmm technology is not my forte..

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Anyway, even though it was a few weeks ago this trip still sticks in my memory as one of the best trips of the season. Weather was just fantastic with glassed out conditions on the surface and sunshine everyday without a cloud in the sky,

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All the beautiful creatures were out and about and with many photographers onboard the dives were slow and relaxed taking advantage of the 30m visibility and balmy 29c waters... well......29c most of the time. as standard in the Similans there are these wonderful things called 'green monsters' which roll in when you least expect it bringing cold water as low as 22c and limited visibility...Lets just say it keeps everyone on there toes and those who chose to go sans wetsuit were thinking twice about the choice of a rash guard over their snug warm wetsuit they left on the boat...

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Saying all this what keeps these conditions interesting is that all the good stuff seems to appear out of the green when this happens. So when all the divers are giving their little squeals of surprise over the shock of the change in temperature these squeals turn into screams of delight when whalesharks come out of no where above them feeding.

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Richelieu Rock was absolutely "ROCKIN' having 2 whalesharks there all day and even having a small manta cruising around the back of the boat on our surface interval, which people had a chance to snorkel with. Gearing up after the first amazing dive a whaleshark even surfaced at the back of the boat as people were putting on their fins pretty much giving us a preview of what was to come.

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The thrid dive on Richelieu was mine and would say everyones favourite dive of the trip with the whalesharks passing so many time and even looikng as if they would run into each at some points, as if they were that large and not enough room for them both. 

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The feeding of the whalesharks was something spectacular in itself with one group with huge cameras having a whaleshark each for most of the dive and with that huge mouth agape and swimming straight for you the pictures and videos were just amazing. Everyone was loving the evening with beers a plenty and everyone sitting around watching each others movies of the out of the world day at Richelieu Rock.

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This trip was also made so enjoyable by all the people....As trip leader i found everyone so much fun and enjoying each others company and having. with people from russia, taiwan, china, and brazil, with the shared love of diving it was a fantastic atmosphere which i wish could be there on all trips..thanks

 

Its not something that happens all that often and never be disappointed in the underwater world but you've got to be in the water to see it.. so come on over and jump aboard!!!!! you never know what could happen.

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From check in to check out Trip 125 has been a lot of fun. With a smaller group of 8 divers & 1 snorkeler, everyone on board became well acquainted with each other early on and the laughter flowed.

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For the first time in a long time our big beauties of the sea failed to make an appearance, despite the crossed fingers & nipple rubbing for good luck. Spirits weren't dampened however, as plenty of other marine life & various underwater antics kept us entertained.  

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Highlights included schools of barracuda, long nose emperor & trevally feeding frenzies, several octopus, giant morays, ghost pipefish, seahorse and the list goes on.

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With a full moon pending, some of our dives were plagued by green monsters, as well as big disorganised groups of divers from another company, so our guests celebrated pink hot pants worn outside my wetsuit Superman stylee, as well as Even & Aine's super bright fins -  easy targets to search for & follow. 

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We all had a chuckle at Even's expense over his map or fish drawing ability rather, when his ornate ghost pipefish were called into question by one of our guests Alison..."what are those? Chicken fish?" We later likened them to rubber chicken fish and the term stuck. I will never look upon a ghosty in the same way again :)

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Songkran was celebrated with every opportunity to blast each other with the hoses on our dive deck & cold water from the bubbler. Our last evening together was spent around the saloon table watching a slide show of photos taken from the trip above and below the water. Some of our underwater antics were caught on camera much to everyone's amusement...a joy ride with Piya in our group who had a DPV...is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's Super Divers!!

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Congratulations to Larissa & Luciano on completing their 3 adventure dives. And a big thank you to an awesome group for another fun & entertaining trip. 
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Happy Diving!
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From the Biggest to the Smallest. Like our blog title is saying we had things to keep happy everybody expectations. Full of macro life and big things appearing. But we hadn´t just fun underwater, we were as lucky to have on board a DJ with a turntable deck in the best moment possible, Songkran, Thai new year´s Day. Such a good time we had with you Alvin, thank you very much!!!

Remarkable things we had this trip speaking about the tiny fellas were again our friend the baby Clown Frogfish at Richelieu Rock, is great to see you growing up. As well the other two Clown Frogfish at Turtle Rock seems they like each other again and were sharing this time the same piece of coral.

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Tons of Nudis, few of them complectly new for us were one of the highlights for the macro lovers, specially at night time, with a broad amount of them.

Seamoths were really active this trip, hunting, fighting between them shelf, spinning, displaying the wings……

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Ornate Ghostpipefishes like every single trip were present in most of the dives, being a perfect subject to train your eyes for the rest  of the creatures living in Similan Islands and around.

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One of the main attractions of Koh Tachai were the Mantas, we had manta in the 3 dives we did over there, that together with a Eagle Ray circling the top of the Dome for few minutes. Other Rays we spotted along the trip were of course the Kuhl´s Stingrays, a Marbled Ray resting peaceful into a cave at Koh Bon West Ridge and a Jenkin´s at The Dome.

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And of course we had Whale Shark this trip, seems is being harder not to have at least one than have it, they still out there!!! This time appears in our first dive at Richelieu Rock, visiting all the groups around the pinnacle. KABOOMMM!!!!!

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Another suspects we enjoyed this last 4 days were the Crocodile fish, Decorator crabs, Orangutan Crabs, White Tip and Black Tip reef Sharks, Stonefish, Marbled Snake Eel, Lobsters, Moray Eels, Barracudas, Maldives Sponge Snail, Pipefishes, Harlequin Shrimps, Tigertail Seahorses, Leopard Sole, Ribbon Eels, Freckled Frogfish, Turtle, Sea Snake….

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And like i said at the beginning, in this really special trip we had a special guess who has on board a turntable device to share with us his musical skills the last two nights,  we all had so much fun, including the Thai Crew who has few special requests they enjoyed on the dancing floor.


HAPPY SONGKRAN!!!!!!!

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