Our trip on Manta Queen 2 started just like any other, with only small waves and minimal currents on the West Ridge of Koh Bon. We made two dives there, finding spearing Mantis Shrimp and this really cool octopus. It was not shy and let us get really close. Perfect for photos!
We headed up toward Koh Tachai and the waves began to get a little larger. We did make two amazing dives there, seeing these schooling Barracuda on the evening's sunset dive.
The next morning we did one more dive on Tachai's North Pinnacle. It was beautiful as always, with stunning soft coral everywhere. When we surfaced from the dive the waves and wind were building. The Captain and I decided it would be best to skip Richelieu Rock because of its exposed position, and instead head back South to the relative shelter of the islands at Koh Bon and the Similan Islands. One Dive at Hin Luang (Koh Bon Pinnacle) yielded a mating pair of Napoleon Wrasse, and a sighting of Stewie, our favorite resident Stonefish. Always a crowd favorite, he's so ugly that he's cute! See for yourself:
Next we went South to Similan Island #7 and an afternoon dive on Deep Six. Swimthroughs and a small Hawksbill turtle were the highlights here. This left us with plenty of daylight left for a beach trip on Island #4, a rare treat for us on the North tour.
After a night dive at Honeymoon Bay and a briefing for the next morning's dive we retired. Sleep well earned after a long day of diving!
We jumped the next morning at first light in Elephant Head Rock. That place is so great, with many swimthroughs and such cool topography.
We found this family of Sea Moths at 29 meters. They blend in so well, very difficult to spot amongst the rocks. Check them out:
The final dive of the trip was on the Sea Chart One Wreck. It's a deep dive, 24 meters at the top of the wreck. The visibility was really good and it was a perfect way to cap off an exciting trip.
Congratulations to all our students this time around! Advanced Open Water course graduates include Bradley, Olivia, Lisha, Jordane and Jean-Christophe. The two newly certified Nitrox divers are Wenchen and Mina. Congratulations to all of you on a job well done!
Until next time, just remember when you are planning a trip and you are dealing with the ocean, expect the unexpected, and then just enjoy it!!! :-)