Log Date: Saturday, Feb 20, 2016
Entry By: Thailand Aggressor Crew
Thailand Aggressor Captain’s Log
20 February – 27 February 2016
North Andaman Sea
*Air Temp. 30c
*Water Temp. 29c
* Visibility 25m
2nd Captain: Rong
Cruise Director: Clive
Dinghy Driver: Nin
Chef: Pa Phorn
Chef: Pi Phorn
Video Pro: Charge
Guests: Ekaterina, Elena, Sharon, Tim, Steve, Miki, Fran, Mike
Sunday –West of Eden, Elephant Head Rock, Deep Six, Anita’s reef
Monday – North Point, Rocky Point, Christmas Ridge, Turtle Rock
Tuesday – Koh Bon x 2, Koh Tachai Pinnacle x 2, Tachai Reef
Wednesday – Richelieu rock x 4
Thursday – Richelieu rock x 4
Friday – Koh Tachai Pinnacle, Koh Bon
Saturday 20th February 2016
The guests arrived at 4:30pm and began setting up their gear. They enjoyed a welcome briefing and a lovely pork loin dinner, then went to bed.
Sunday 21st February 2016
We arrived in the Similan National Park during the night and began our first dive at 8am. The checkout dive was done at Similan Island 7, at the site West of Eden. Here lives a resident spearing mantis shrimp which is cleverly camouflaged in plain view. Divers enjoyed watching the shrimp hunt as it lay waiting for an unsuspecting fish to swim over and become the shrimp’s next meal. We also spotted a frogfish and an octopus. At Elephant Head Rock, guests loved the winding swim throughs. One observant guest spotted a purple and yellow ribbon eel peeking from a hole in the sand. A flamboyantly colored clown triggerfish nibbled at the massive boulder, paying no attention to nearby divers. Next we headed to Anita’s Reef, also known as Hin Muan Deaw which means ‘One Roll Rock’. The reason it got this name is because the big rock is rumored to have so much life on it that one could use an entire roll of film photographing the rock. Divers enjoyed spending time here looking for small things inside the cracks and crevices, including a shiny tiger cowry and several banded cleaner shrimp.
Monday 22nd February 2016
We spent the day around Similan Island 9 visiting North Point, Rocky Point, and Christmas Ridge. Rocky Point consists of massive submerged boulders surrounded by large area of sand as deep as 35 meters. Some areas of boulders are arranged in ways that create beautiful crevices and swim throughs covered in bright gargantuan sea fans and hard corals. We got lucky today when a guide spotted a very rare pigmy pipe horse, only about an inch in length. Divers were also happy to have spotted a large Napoleon wrasse, which was extremely shy and quickly swam into the current to avoid the divers. Soon after spotting the wrasse we saw two pink whiptail stingrays and then a white tipped reef shark. What a dive! Next we headed to Donald Duck Bay where we hiked up to Sail Rock and admired the beautiful Similan scenery as the sun set behind the ocean horizon.
Tuesday 23th February 2016
Koh Tachai, a solitary island 20km north of Koh Bon, is known for its beautiful white sand beaches and lively dive sites. Tachai Pinnacle is a pair of submerged pinnacles just south of the island. This site consists of areas where there are large rocks and then smaller rocks the further east you go. Today this site was especially animated with huge schools of fish including fusiliers, giant trevally, yellow snapper, and various damselfish. Just as we were about to head up for a safety stop we got quite a surprise. Two manta rays came into view and circled the divers for nearly 10 minutes! For some guests, this was their first time seeing a manta ray and they were very excited.
Wednesday 24th February 2016
Richelieu Rock is considered to be Thailand’s most beautiful dive site. This horseshoe shaped pinnacle is marked by the top of the rock which is visible during low tide, but submerged during high tide. The topography consists of a variety of features including both sloping rocky corals as well as sheers walls dropping to depths of 33 meters. The pinnacle is completely covered in soft and hard corals which house many different types of marine life. As this site is very large with much to see, we spent the entire day diving here. Today, we were able to spot a green sea turtle munching away at some coral. We saw a massive jellyfish near the surface with tiny fish living inside. Divers were also happy to see mating cuttlefish, a beautiful octopus, several spotted boxfish, and thousands of schooling fish including trevally, snappers, and fusiliers. Some of the divers even had a once in a lifetime look at the rare, elusive pineapple fish. What a beautiful day of diving!
Thursday 25th February 2016
Well, we didn’t get enough of Richelieu Rock in one day so we decided to stay for another entire day, and it was brilliant. With a visibility of 20 meters, we got to see massive schooling yellowtail barracudas, some of which remained stationary on the sandy bottom for as long as photographers cared to take their photos. We also got another look at the fabulous juvenile pineapple fish. Two beautiful red dragon flabelinas were spotted hanging out in the channel near the mooring line. A tiger cowry rested in another crevice near a blue devil scorpion fish. One guest was especially infatuated with a juvenile trigger fish with bright blue lines forming a maze patter all over its body. Two days and eight dives later, we departed Richelieu Rock and headed south.
Friday 26th February 2016
We returned to Koh Tachai Pinnacle hoping to catch a glimpse at the manta ray from the other day. Although we did not see a manta, we were lucky enough to spot a leopard shark! For some guests, this was their first time seeing the beautiful spotted creature. Next we sailed to Koh Bon where we saw a Napoleon wrasse, thousands of glass fish, big Malabar grouper, and a sea snake. After the two dives, guests relaxed on the sun deck and we headed back to Phuket. In the evening we enjoyed a barbecue and this weeks video, then went to bed.
Saturday 27th February 2016
The guests woke up and had breakfast. Its farewell time and the guests departed the Thailand at 8:00am. It was a great week with great people and we hope to see you all soon again.