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Thailand Aggressor Captain’s Log
16th – 23rd April 2016
North Andaman Sea
*Air Temp. 30c
*Water Temp. 30c
* Visibility 25m
Cruise Director: Clive
Second Captain: Rong
Deck hand: Nin
Dive instructor: Colin
Video pro: Deaw
Guests: Johannes, Franciscus, Anthony, Debra, Elizabeth, Everett, Ivan, Nathalie, Laura, Janet, Ronald, Terry, Maria, James and Richard
Sunday – Anita’s Reef, West of Eden, Elephant Head Rock, Deep Six
Monday – North Point, Christmas Ridge, Three Trees, Turtle Rock x 2
Tuesday – Koh Bon x 5
Wednesday – Koh Tachai Pinnacle x 3, Koh Tachai Reef x 2
Thursday – Richelieu Rock x 4
Friday – Koh Bon x 2
Saturday 16th April 2016
Guests boarded the Thailand Aggressor by dingy from Thaplamu Pier at 4:30 pm. They settled in their cabins and set up dive gear before gathering in the saloon for a hearty pork filet mignon dinner and drinks, and then off to bed as we set sail for the Similans.
Sunday 17th April 2016
Arriving early this morning to Similan Marine National Park, we anchored at dawn in Honeymoon Bay and guests watched the sun rise over Similan Islands 5 & 6. Our check out dive at Anita’s Reef went very smoothly as divers enjoyed good visibility, practically zero current, and a wide variety of things to see. ‘One Roll Rock’ was teeming with life as always, and divers encountered colorful butterfly fish and angelfish, schooling yellow snapper, a few pesky cleaner wrasse, a shiny spotted tiger cowry, and the highly distinguished clown triggerfish. What a beautiful start to our weeklong diving adventure!
Monday 18th April 2016
Today’s diving destination is the northernmost part of the nine Similan Islands. This area of the islands does offer a variety of views for visitors to admire including steeply stacked boulders and white sandy beaches, but the real magnificence happens under water. Christmas Point, like all westward sites in Similans, is characterized by its large stacked granite boulders which form many interesting crevices and tunnels for divers to venture through. Here we were excited to have seen a Napolean Wrasse swimming nonchalantly under a ridge, a toothy yet shy giant barracuda hovering above a large boulder, and a friendly green sea turtle who was not afraid to pose for our underwater photographers. In the evening we departed the Similan Islands with fond memories and colorful photos, and are now headed northward to Koh Bon.
Tuesday 19th April 2016
Koh Bon is a rocky limestone islet where divers come mostly in hopes of spotting manta rays. The western ridge of the island slopes steeply from high above sea level to about 35 meters below, where it finally hits the sandy sea floor. Deep on this ridge we can find an underwater cleaning station where larger fish such as reef sharks, leopard sharks, mantas, and Napolean wrasse come to feed and be cleaned. We were very excited while gearing up today as everyone was in anticipation as to whether or not we would be lucky enough to spot a manta ray. To our luck, within only 10 minutes of the first dive the manta rays showed up! And they stayed all day! Throughout the day we spotted four different mantas who were very friendly and extremely photogenic. Now, we can only wonder what is in store for us tomorrow, and whether we can top our awesome day of manta action.
Wednesday 20th April 2016
Our diving adventure continues at Koh Tachai Island, where two dive sites await full of interesting marine life for us to see. Koh Tachai Pinnacle, also known as Twin Peaks, are a pair of submerged pinnacles with the deepest part of the site at about 33 meters. Here we found a wide range of rock clusters decorated by gargantuan sea fans and hard corals home to oriental sweet lips, big marbled grouper, and hungry emperors. We enjoyed drifting along with the schooling fusiliers and watching several barracuda as they hovered meters above. Just as we thought the dive couldn’t get better, we received a huge surprise. From out of the blue a crept a massive, graceful figure getting bigger and closer until we were face to face with a humungous, majestic whaleshark! This must have been the highlight of the entire trip.. We watched in awe at the mysterious whaleshark with its mouth open and gills flared, as it passed by paying no mind to divers. As suddenly as it had appeared it disappeared again, fading back into the blue without a trace.
Thursday 21st April 2016
Richelieu Rock, which is said to be Thailand’s most beautiful dive site, is a horseshoe shaped pinnacle which falls steeply to a sandy bottom of 33 meters. It comprises of sheer walls with numerous small caves and crevices which are home to various types of marine life. The rock itself is draped in vibrant soft corals, hard corals, and sea fans. The site is layered by thousands of tiny glass fish and small schooling fish which make the rock seem to come alive in constant motion. We enjoyed watching the peacock mantis shrimp guarding his burrow, a few curious batfish, and the resident sea turtle as it munched away at some coral. Today we had an especially unique find in one crevice where we found the rare ornate ghost pipefish accompanied by an even more rare pineapple fish.. a truly once in a lifetime find!
Friday 22nd April 2016
As one day at Koh Bon was not enough for our guests, we decided to return and do our last two dives there in hopes of spotting our favorite big floppy you-know-what one last time. Unfortunately we did not spot a manta today, but were lucky enough to see a black tip reef shark emerging from the thermocline and also some schooling bannerfish on the ridge. We later saw a leopard shark, which laid patiently in the sand as each diver got a close look, then a huge Napoleon wrasse during the safety stop. Afterwards the crew cleaned the gear and the guests relaxed on the sundeck as we sailed to Thaplamu. In the evening guests enjoyed a delicious seafood barbeque and the week’s video thus concluding our journey in the North Andaman.
Saturday 23rd April 2016
Guests woke up and had breakfast. We said our farewells and guests departed the yacht by dingy at 8:30am. Thank you everybody for another wonderful week of diving on the Thailand Aggressor!