As we arrived to the pier in Khao Lak, the heavens opened and we got caught in a heavy rainstorm. This however, did not dampen the spirits of our guests. When we all woke up in the morning, we awoke to the most colourful sunrise and a flat calm ocean.
We started the trip with four beautiful dives. Anita’s Reef was the starting point, which was a lovely easy check out dive. The water conditions were perfect and the visibility was amazing. We encountered a little bit of current here but it still kept the guests excited for the next four days!
Deep Six is a personal favourite. The boulders here are exquisite and provide lots of places to investigate. We even have the chance to swim through the rocks here to courtyard type places, which hide Glass Fish from the bigger predators such as Trevally. We were extremely lucky on this dive as a White Tip Reef Shark decided to join us and swim so gracefully past us from shallow water to deeper water.
The last dive of the day was at Hideaway Bay. Many of the guests were looking forward to this as we usually get to see critters out in the dark that we do not usually see by day. Some of the sneaky critters we found were Flounder, Shrimp, Crabs, Octopus and Blue-spotted Stingrays.
Elephant Head Rock is one of the biggest dive sites in the Similan Islands well known for the big boulders and huge typography. There was a lot of current today on this site, we also saw a White tip Reef Shark here! In the blue we watched Giant Trevally and Tuna hunting the small-unprotected fish along the outside of the boulders.
North Point showed us a Pygmy Pipe horse hiding amongst the seaweed and some huge seafans, which make for a great photograph!
Koh Bon was covered in Giant Moray Eels, Tuna, Trevally, Trumpet fish, and Octopus. The Octopus were teasing the smaller fish and playing with them with their tentacles and showing us an impressive colour display.
Koh Tachai as always, was fantastic. We always find the sunset dives here to be full of life and chaotic fish movements. Here we found hundreds of schooling Yellowtail Barracuda, Great Barracuda, Bluefin Trevally and many smaller schooling fish. What a great day of diving!
Richelieu Rock was the site most people were excited for. We descended down the mooring line, as it appeared to have a little current, and dropped into the dive site. Throughout the two dives here we were blessed with Great Barracuda, Yellowtail Barracuda, Cuttle Fish, Octopus and had the pleasure of getting up close with a Peacock Mantis Shrimp. We also saw a huge Potato Grouper which scared the life out of me! The colours on that were absolutely beautiful. The visibility here was not that great, however, the rock was still very pleasing to the eye with all of its soft corals carpeting every surface you could see.
As the visibility and current at Richelieu Rock proved to be quite difficult we decided to move on back to Koh Tachai Island for the final dives of the day. We decided to explore the second pinnacle this time to see what we could find. It certainly did not disappoint. We found schooling fish, a huge lobster and the coral was in very good condition which made it very nice to look at.
The last dive of the day we took it easy and had a nice time on Koh Tachai Reef. Here our guests spotted some Octopus, a Spearing Mantis Shrimp, Snapper and Fusiliers. After we surfaced someone from another boat spotted a Whale Shark so we all jumped in the water in snorkel gear. We sadly missed the Whale Shark but it added another dimension of excitement to the trip for the last day.
Hin Luang had amazing visibility that made the yellow soft corals look great. There was little current, which made the dive very easy and pleasurable. We looked for Stewie, our local resident Stonefish but he was not in his normal place. After searching for a while we located him! I guess he fancied moving house.
Our second to last dive was on Koh Bon North Ridge. The visibility was perfect. The water temperature was perfect and there was plenty to see. We had a nice slow relaxing dive here. We were astounded by the amount of Giant Moray Eels, Trevally and even a few Painted Lobsters!
On our way to Boonsung Wreck all we heard was people shouting “WHALE”. Everyone rushed to the sides of the boats and there it was, a Minke Whale. The captain followed the whale slowly for almost 30 minutes allowing us all to get a good look as it kept coming up to the surface for air. It felt as though it was flirting with us. Every time it surfaced everyone was cheering and applauding. It really was a magical sight.
Boonsung Wreck A.K.A FISH SOUP!! What a dive! We saw the Leopard Eels, schools of Pufferfish. We also saw a cool Nudibranch hanging out on the side.
On the safety stop we saw the biggest Batfish ever. It was very curious with us and kept swimming towards our faces. It was very cheeky. It certainly was a fish soup down here again today! What a lovely end to a great trip.
The team on Manta Queen One would like to say huge congratulations for those who completed any PADI courses with us on this trip. Also we would like to thank every single one of you for coming aboard and making this trip what diving is meant to be about….FUN!
The Team od Manta Queen 1 powered by Khao Lak Scuba Adventures