I'm going to write this blog differently than the usual way that I put them together. Instead of a play-by-play of each dive in order, I'm going to start with Richelieu Rock and then Tachai.
Richelieu was so good this trip, it's a bit hard to explain it here. Let me just say this. One one dive there, we saw all of the following:
Juvenile Tigertail Seahorse
Ornate Ghost Pipefish
Juvenile Trapeze Angelfish
Jan's Cleaner Pipefish
White Eyed Moray Eel
All this on just ONE dive!!!
Consider then that we had excellent visability and a total of three dives there, and you start to see what I mean. Three different Seahorses, three different Ghost Pipefish, all types of Nudis, and many different kinds of pipefish, including our little friends the Sunset Pipefish, which only seem to come out at the end of the day.
There is a reason that Richelieu Rock is widely considered to be the best dive site in all of Thailand, and today was it. Meanwhile... Holy big Barracudas, Batman!
Tachai Pinnalce was awesome this trip as well, with the highlight being absolutely huge schools of Chevron Barracudas circling about on a few of the dives there. Very little current and tons of marine life greeted us on all three dives there. Schooling Trevally, Tuna and fusiliers by the hundreds seems to be everywhere you looked.
The morning dive at Tachai on day two saw a few of the groups swimming over to the second pinnacle. For me, that pinnacle has got the best, most beautiful soft coals on the entire trip. Absolutely Magnificent. We even spotted a baby Devil Scorpionfish at the end of the dive. So cute!
I also want to offer congratulations to all of our students on board! We had quite a few this time around, no fewer than eight Nitrox students and three Advanced students. So, the newly certified PADI Advanced Open Water students are Claus, Jordine and Mark. Newly certified PADI Enriched Air divers are Martin, Claus, Francisco, Sander, Rosa, Niclas, Bart and Charles. Way to go guys! Sweet!!!
Koh Bon has seen a good week, with Manta Rays being spotted there nearly every day, four out of the last five days in fact. Manta season has definitely started! Unfortunately for us, we didn't see any when we where there on the first day of our adventure. The diving was still really nice though, with great viz and very little current on the West Ridge. We saw Napoleon Wrasse, schooling Sweetlips and Emperor fish, Trevally and Dogtooth Tuna.
The best part might have been the three octopus together, the female trying to decide which male to mate with. The two guys were fighting it out, each determined to win the girl for themselves. I must say, it was really quite a show.
The final day we dived at Koh Bon Pinnacle and the Boonsung Wreck after waking up to this stunning sunrise:
Koh Bon Pinnacle had some tough viz, but one group still managed to find two large rays, one large Jenkins Whipray, and one Marbled Ray over two meters across! Winner. We saw our old friend Stewie the Stonefish, still sitting in the same spot and almost completely covered in brown algae now. He's getting very hard to recognize these days. Here's my dive group at the safety stop, making the Stonefish signal. Nice!
As we were driving to the Boonsung wreck we had a visit from a small pod of Dolphins, a very nice surprise. The Boonsung wreck is always a great dive, and today was no different. We saw the Honeycomb Moray Eels that live there:
Along with loads of little White Eyed Morays. Spearing Mantis Shrimp, schools of juvenile Trevally and Barracuda. We saw Gary the Ghost Pipefish hanging around near the net where he lives, and tons of other cool stuff too!
Manta Queen 2 runs three day, three night liveaboard trips through the middle of May this year, so there is still plenty of time for you to come and join us on one of our upcoming adventures. Contact us anytime for more details. We would love to have you!