Manta queen 1, 2 to 6 february 2018
After a heavy rain during check in time we made our way to the majestic manta queen 1, ready to head out to sea and the sunny Similan and Surin islands. We had 22 exiting guest on board ready to start the journey.
The next day, diving day one started out peacefully with a beautiful sunrise and calm weather. After a great briefing from our trip leader Chris everyone went to the dive deck and geared up, excited and ready to go diving!
The first dive at hideaway Bay was a good start for some beginners and rusty divers to get used to diving again. The second dive was at deep six, the third at elephant head rock and the fourth was a night dive close to the island where earlier that day most of the guests enjoyed a walk on the beach and a little climb up to the amazing sunny viewpoint.
Dive day two was an exciting and challenging day, shortly after a full moon we experienced some slightly strong currents at the dive sites which in return gave us a lively underwater world. As the currents carried plenty of food for the fish to feed, it was an active feast. The "green monster" also came by giving us a bit of a chill and a cool experience. We started our dive day at north point, continued our 6th dive of the trip to hin luang, koh bon. Dive numer 7 was at west ridge of koh bon and we ended the day at the dome of koh tachai. As we were diving plenty of Tuna turned up. Some of us did navigation and peak buoyancy performance practice for the AOW at the bay which was also full of fish and sea stars so still a great dive site. During the whole training a batfish kept following us and kept an eye on what we were doing, at the end of the dive we waved goodbye to the batfish and i'm sure that he waved his little fin back at us and shed a little underwater tear, till next time batty boy!
Day 3 was rocking at richelieu rock. After a pumped up briefing finishing with chris banging the boat deck to the beat "we will rock you" all the guests joined in clapping to the beat before descending to the dive deck, pumped up and excited for another rock and roll dive.
The sea horses weren't shy today as we saw different sea horses at several dives, cute yellow little buggers chilling at the bottom of the sea smiling to us as we took some great photos of them. There were also plenty of scorpion and stone fish, doing a great job at blending in with their surroundings, but not good enough for our dive guides not to spot them. Barracudas, angelfish and many others also joined us on our dive. Some of the AOW students did the fish identification specialty which was a challenge at richelieu because there were so many different fish to spot! They did a great job and learned some more signals and discovered some fish they had never seen before.
At a briefing we were told that during the dive we could see some unique blue sponges which at first were believed to only live at the andaman islands, but now they also live at the Similan and Surin islands! During one dive we actually saw five of them close to each other.
Dive day 3 ended with an amazing party on deck! The whole dive staff, boat crew and the guests joined in. We used an SMB light as a disco light and created our own dive dance on the spot! A night of which i'm sure will stay in the memories of everyone on board.
Dive day 4 we started at west ridge and later on started going back towards mainland. Our second dive of the day was at the sea chart wreck, an awesome thing to see and quite a different sight and dive than the previous days. The visibility was great this day so as you're descending you could easily see a huge part of the wreck already. Big schools of fish surrounded the wreck and it was also a fun experience to swim in between them and give them a little scare a few times. Afer the sea chart wreck we checked out the premchai wreck, another cool wreck to see. During this dive we saw a number of beautifully spotted eels. Unfortunately this was our last dive of the trip! Shortly after we came back to the pier, back to KSA where we gave our goodbye hugs, exchanged contact details and took some final happy photos with each other. An unforgettable enjoyable trip it was!