WEAST COAST Trip, where East Coast dive staff meets the Weast Coast dive Staff.
It's almost the end of our beautiful season and at this time of year we gather instructors and divemasters from all over Thailand to have some fun with us on a Professional divers only trip, where the East Coasters meet the West Coasters, we've got divers working in Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phi Phi and Phuket. Diving with a bunch of professional divers with the only agenda being FUN this is going to be an epic end to the season!
With a black moon in the sky and the promise of some fun and ripping currents our awesome professional guests were eager to leave!
We started our adventures down by the South of Similan Islands, first dive at Sharkfin Reef where the morning tide gave us some fun drift, we saw Pygmy Pipehorse, Turtles, huge Moray Eels and many more critters. Next up was Boulder City- the most southern site in the area, and we were greeted by Leopard sharks, whitetip sharks and too many stingrays to count. We're only doing three dives a day for a change of pace so we save Elephant Head Rock for a rockin sunset dive, we had hunting Trevallies and Emperor fish, schools of Banner fish and of course the swimthrus made the already awesome topography even more fun! It was such a good dive one of our instructor guests proclaimed it to be his best dive of his life!!
The tide tables told us the current would be super strong in the morning so we decided to do a slightly easier site than planned and went to deep Deep Six, we found our Whitetip Sharks again an overhang full of Lobsters, a Turtle flying by in the current and a school of Batfish hanging out in the shallows, and yes the current was crazy, but we're all pros we still managed an awesome dive.
Next up we did probably the most elite dive of the trip, an unknown spot to the southeast of Elephant Head Rock, to the small and very deep pinnacles which are covered in the most obscene Seafans, and beautiful corals, the only problem is it's too deep to have a very long dive, we all ran out of bottom time pretty fast, but some dives are quality not quantity, and everyone was very happy to do it, especially when we see sharks again and a big marbles ray too!
We then went up to Koh Bon Island and decided to do two dives here for the chance to see the big stuff and yes we were lucky enough to meet a couple of Manta Rays and the resident Leopard shark, Devil Scorpionfish, Octopus, Snakes, and 100s of Bannerfish too.
It's already day 3 and we're up at Koh Tachai Pinnacle doing our first dive on the Dome and sure enough we have a wild current which gave us unbelievably good visibility 40m+ we saw the Barracudas and tons of Fusiliers, and even a huge free swimming Moray! We end our day with two dives at the amazing Richelieu Rock, little current and great visibility again, we saw Seahorse, Ghost pipefish, and the sweet little Pineapple was a favourite for many who have never seen one. Sunset dive was outrageous as usual with masses of fish darkening the sky with clouds of glassfish and silver sides coming out from wherever they hide in the daytime.
We sometimes forget how lucky we are to have such amazing diving, and feel humbled when other instructors say how great the diving is here :) I think next season we'll have some new staff too
All good things must come to an end unfortunately, but we still have 3 more dives to do on our last day so we start with a nice deep dive at Koh Bon Pinnacle aka Hin Luang which means Yellow Rock it's a beautiful pinnacle covered in yellow soft coral with tons of fishes early in the morning, lovely nudibranchs, octopuses and even a cruising Leopard shark! We then jumped on West Ridge again to have another chance to see Mantas but unfortunately they have already quit for the season it seems as they were not around, still a great dive with a nice current and lots of fish action, cuttlefish and Peacock Mantis Shirmp, Maldivian Sponge Snail and loads of huge Giant Trevallies in the blue.
We finish up at the Boonsung Wreck for a guaranteed amazing dive, of course as always too many fish around we have to push them out of the way to see the wreck along with the masses of fusiliers we see Pompano and Barracudas, glorious Nudibranchs, and beautiful Honeycomb Morays too.
Well, there couldn't be a better end to an awesome season! Hope you all will come again next year!
SEPCIAL THANKS TO:
Ban´s Diving Resort Koh Tao, Maria, Michael, Mookala, Richard
Phi Phi Scuba, Georg, Simone, Ekatering
Wet Zone Divers, Michael
Big Love, the Manta Queen Family
Trip Leader Liane Muffy