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Thailand Aggressor Captain’s Log
24-31 December 2016
*Air Temp. 30c
*Water Temp. 29c
* Visibility 15-30m
Second Captain: Rong
Cruise Director: Clive
Dinghy Driver: Hem
Chef: Pi Phorn
Guests: Jane, Debbie, David, Greg, Doug, Bob, Wayne, Jeff, Iain, Kyle, Michael, Karen, Sarah, Chris, Dan
Sunday – Richelieu Rock x 2
Monday – Rocky 1, North Flanker, In Through the Out Door, Rocky 1
Tuesday – Black Rock x 4
Wednesday – Boulder Rock, Fan Forest, Eagles Nest, Western Rocky x 2
Thursday – Northern Rocky Reef
Friday – Koh Tachai Reef, Koh Bon
Saturday 24th December 2016
The guests arrive to the Thailand Aggressor around 4:00pm. After setting up dive equipment we gather in the saloon for the welcome briefing. The guests enjoy an authentic Thai style three course meal, and get to know each other a bit before going to bed. Welcome aboard!
Sunday 25th December 2016
An exciting morning as guests prepare their equipment and board the dinghy. We roll in and adjust our buoyancy accordingly, as is standard procedure for the first dive of the week. Descending to a depth of 15 meters guests are mesmerized by the beauty of Richelieu Rock. This massive sloping pinnacle is home to a diversity of small and large creatures including barracuda, snapper, cuttlefish, nudibranchs and a variety of anemone fish. After two dives we head north on our 6 hour voyage to Myanmar. While underway, guests enjoy a special Christmas lunch where the chef prepares a whole turkey and slices the meat for each guest individually. There are also grilled potatoes and veggies, cranberry sauce, salads, and mashed pumpkin. Once we arrive in Kawthoung, Myanmar we take the dinghy to the port and guests are able to see the town and walk up the hill to the temple. The port is very interesting with an impressive display of organized chaos. Soon the guests are ready to return to the boat for dinner and an early night’s sleep.
Monday 26th December 2016
Guests wake up to a beautiful Burmese sunrise which casts a soft orange glow on our first dive site of the Mergui Archipelago, called Rocky One. Here we enjoy clear visibility and only mild current as we make our way nearly full circle around the rocky islet. Schools of hundreds a yellow snapper swim near us in what looks like a bright yellow river of fish. Next we head to Three Islets for two dives. During the dive called In Through The Outdoor we spot an orange frogfish right before the swim through entrance. Once inside two black tip reef sharks circle near the divers. Between dives, some guests choose to go on a beach tour. We take the dinghy to Great Swinton Island where there is a beautiful, flawless uninhabited beach for guests to relax during the surface interval. After an hour we return to Three Islets for one more dive and then back to Rocky One for our last dive of the day. Chef prepares a filet mignon dinner, which guests are able to enjoy with a glass of wine as there is no night dive. A wonderful start to our Myanmar diving adventure!
Tuesday 27th December 2016
Today we spend the entire day at our most northerly destination on the itinerary. Black Rock is located about halfway north along the Mergui Archipelago. A single jagged outcrop, which almost appears ominous in the moments before sunrise, stands proudly out of the water by 20 meters and spreading more than 100 meters from east to west. The site features steeply sloping granite walls and ridges covered in hard and soft corals, and sea fans. On the plateaus are many anemones home to various species of clownfish. Over the course of 4 dives, we see many interesting marine animals including a juvenile emperor angelfish, a few nudibranchs, a school of batfish, and two octopuses. For lunch we enjoy a buffet a garlic shrimp, grilled veggies, cashew chicken, and ginger soup. At the end of the day, guests chat about the dives and are all very happy with their experience at Black Rock. Another successful day on the Thailand Aggressor.
Wednesday 28th December 2016
Awesome way to start the day! We begin at boulder rock where we see two blue dragon flabelina, several spotted rays and one impressive eagle ray. Next stop is Fan Forest, possibly the most beautiful site on the itinerary. Sloping limestone walls are covered in colorful, healthy, gorgonian sea fans of all sizes all the way down to a sandy bottom of 30 meters. Alongside the sea fans are bright anemones and a variety of hard and soft coral. At the top of the pinnacle divers enjoy photographing two cuttlefish and an octopus. After lunch and a nap, we head to Western Rocky where there are two divesite. At Crawfish Cave, we swim through a dark tunnel filled with lobster, shrimp, and red snapper. The tunnel goes directly through the center of the islet and takes us to the opposite side. Just 30 meters away is Eagles Nest where we are able to explore overhangs and steep, narrow pinnacles surrounded by various schooling fish before drifting away for a pelagic safety stop. We return to Crawfish Cave for the night dive and are thrilled to see the nocturnal Spanish dancer as well as many crustaceans such as crab, lobster, and shrimp.
Thursday 29th December 2016
Northern Rocky Reef is a massive sloping coral reef attached to a pinnacle with protrudes approximately 35 meters above the surface. We do two lovely drift dives here and are happy to see several peacock mantis shrimp near their burrows in the sand, hundreds of schooling snapper, and a green sea turtle. An old abandoned fish cage provides shelter for a batfish and a small school of Moorish idols. Inside the crevices we see beautiful shiny tiger cowries, banded cleaner shrimp, and the occasional hawkish. Back on the boat by noon, we set sail for a 5 hour journey to Kawthoung, Myanmar. While the immigration office sorts out our passports, guests have a chance to spend a couple hours on land to visit the local market to shop for goods such as silk, and also the park where locals and monks are spending their free time. We return to the vessel for dinner and are soon underway back to Thailand.
Friday 30th December 2016
It is a bittersweet morning on the dive deck as guests prepare for our final day of diving. We start at Koh Tachai, a large divesite comprised of two submerged pinnacles. With great visibility we slowly fin around the coral gardens and look for critters such as nudibranchs and porcelain crabs. Next stop is Koh Bon, a limestone granite islet covered in mostly hard corals. Thousands of glass fish cruise along the southern wall and we are also able to find a few Maldivian sponge crabs. The final dive of the day was extra special as one of our guests completed her 200th dive. We congratulate her under water with a homemade banner and also take an underwater group photo. Around 2pm the Thailand Aggressor heads back to Thaplamu Pier. In the evening, guests gather in the salon for a Thai barbeque and we congratulate our iron divers for the week by presenting them with their honorary gold medals.
Saturday 31st December 2016
Guests wake up and have a hot breakfast. We say our final farewells and help them with their transfers to get them on their way to the next destination. Thank you everybody another awesome week on Thailand Aggressor! We look forward to seeing you again!