Absolutely everyone on board was super excited to jump in the water for the first dive of the trip. We could not get in faster! The first dive was at Anitas Reef, which is typically a sandy sloping bottom and a huge coral bommie which we call 1GB Rock. It gets its name because photographers say that they could take 1GB photos in this one area. It did not disappoint. Here we saw Tuna, Flounders, Blue Fin Trevally, and thousands of Glass Fish. It was very pretty.
After the first dive we then went to West of Eden. There was so much life here, keeping the diving exciting and the guests extremely happy. We saw some small critters such as The Spearing Mantis Shrimp, a bunch of Scorpion fish meaning we were being very careful with our buoyancy as they are poisonous, huge Sea Fans, a free swimming Blue Spotted Stingray and also, everyone’s’ favorite, a Hawksbill Turtle.
The next dive site also did not disappoint. Deep Six showed us the life it holds within the granite boulders such as Map Pufferfish, Unicorn Fish, Sweetlips and schooling Emporer fish.
The final dive of the day was our night dive. Located at Hideaway Bay. This was an exciting dive for a lot of the guests as it was the first ever night dive for many people, and they all did brilliantly and loved it. Through the darkness we came across sleeping Parrot fish, Red Crabs hidden in the cracks of the corals, Shrimp with their glowing red eyes and a Triton Shell open and moving around. That was really cool.
The first dive was at Elephant Head Rock. This is known for its big boulders and huge typography under the water. We were lucky to find the swim throughs which are covered in soft corals and sometimes nudibranch. We got to witness some giant Trevally hunting for their breakfast.
After we had all had our breakfast we went on the second dive of the day, North Point. This is the most northern point on the Similan Islands. Here we have big current and had to use the mooring line do descend. It was worth the current though as we got to see many cool things. Some of what we saw included a Sea Snake, Titan Trigger fish that were being a little bit too friendly, and even a Pygmy Pipefish. It was a beautiful dive.
Dive three of the day was at Koh Bon West Ridge. This is a walled dive site with a limestone structure that is very beautiful. It is also a Manta Cleaning Station, but unfortunately, as hard as we all looked, it is still too early in the season for the Manta. We did see some Black Velvet Snails, a few Tuna darting around and some Moray Eels hanging out of their homes.
Our final dive of the day was at Koh Tachai Island. What an incredible dive! As soon as we dropped in, we descended onto two Great Barracuda chilling in the current. Above our heads we had schooling Yellowtail and Pickhandle Barracuda, maybe 200 +. To our sides we had free swimming Moray Eels. We also had hunting Giant Trevally. It was an absolute mess of fish. Fish, fish, everywhere.
Richelieu Rock Part One and Part Two. The visibility here was really bad. Pushing 5 meters. It was a shame as the site is one of the best. We didn’t let that spoil our fun though, it just meant we had to get in closer to the corals and rocks. Even with the bad visibility we saw so much life here on both dives. We saw more schooling Barracuda, schooling Rabbit Fish, Great Barracuda, a very dosile Hawksbill Turtle, and even 3 Cuttlefish (2 males trying it on with one female). We were meant to be doing third dive here but as the visibility was quite bad, we decided to go back to Koh Tachai. Koh Tachai once again did not disappoint. We had so many free swimming Moray Eels, a very happy looking Black spotted Pufferfish and even some Octopus. We had quite a lot of current at this site but it was a lot of fun playing in it.
The last dive was Koh Tachai Reef. This was such a pleasurable dive. It was easy, slow and beautiful. There was no current and the water was warm. The site is a sandy bottom with lots of coral which forms a ridge. Here we found a dead fish, but on closer looking, we found the hunter. It was a Spearing Mantis Shrimp sitting in his hole, looking very pleased with himself. We found the smallest and cutest Scorpion Fish and an Indian Walkman.
After the dives and dinner we got to watch a thunderstorm that rolled in very quickly. The sky was lit up pink, purple and white. It was quite a sight. However, the rain just kept coming and coming.
Day Four, The last day!
After the storm last night we all woke up sleepy, but to flat calm conditions and an amazing sunrise. This put excitement back in the air for our last dives of the trip.
Koh Bon Hin Luang was our first stop. This is a very deep site in which we had to do a negative entry as the current is strong and we need to find the dive site. Everyone was down and the signal of okay was passed around. On arrival on the pinnacle it was breath taking. The visibility was easily the best of the trip and there was so much coral. Even though our bottom time was limited, we all had an awesome time. We saw….. a LEOPARD SHARK. He was free swimming very fast down to a depth of about 40 meters. It was very cool. Back on the boat, everyone was showing the biggest smiles I have ever seen. Great dive!
The second dive today was North Ridge. The visibility was insane. We could see the surface from 25m and we could see 30m across. It was really beautiful. Here we found some Pufferfish hanging out mid water which was really cool. We also saw a juvenile Angel Fish, Giant Barracuda and a dive guide with a helmet! Very very good dive here today.
Our final dive site of the day was Boonsung Wreck. The visibility on the surface seemed pretty good. However, when we dropped to 6m it was a pea soup colour. You could not see a thing. When we finally got to the wreck we could make out her shape and began exploring. There was thousands of schooling fusillers, Pufferfish and baby Barracuda. We also found some baby White eyed Morays which were very inquisitive. We came across some Leopard Morays and also 2 HUGE Lobster! It was a amazing way to end the trip. What a fantastic dive.
This was a brilliant trip! To all of our guests on Manta Queen One Thank you so much for being such a pleasure to be around and for your awesome diving. And a special Congratulations Chelsea, Luke, Gildas, Julian for completing their PADI Advanced Course! A huge well done to Caue and Ludmilla for completing their PADI Open Water Course and also the PADI Advanced Course, you guys were busy! Another congratulations to Roman for completing his PADI Nitrox Course and Anna, who also completed the Adventure diver programme and also congratulations to Marc who completed his deep diver! It was indeed been a very busy four days! Thank you all once again, its been a blast. Roxi
Roxanne Ames, the Manta Queen 1 Team powered by Khao Lak Scuba Adventures!