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Thailand Aggressor Captain’s Log
17-24 December 2016
North Andaman Sea
*Air Temp. 30c
*Water Temp. 29c
* Visibility 20m
Cruise Director: Clive
Second Captain: Rong
Deck hand: Hem
Chef: P. Phorn
Chef: Pa Phorn
Dive master: Ashley
Sunday – West of Eden, Deep Six, Elephant Head, Anita’s reef x 2
Monday – Sharkfin Reef, Elephant Head, 3Trees, North Point, Mooring Bay
Tuesday – Christmas point, Koh Bon x 4
Wednesday – Koh Tachai x 2, Richelieu Rock x 2
Thursday - Richelieu Rock x4
Friday – Koh Tachai, Koh Bon Ridge
Saturday 17th December 2016
Guests arrive to an energetic Thaplamu Pier at 4:00pm and board the Thailand Aggressor by dinghy. There is time to settle in and set up gear before the general boat briefing, followed by an authentic Thai style dinner. Now we are off to bed in anticipation of the diving adventures to come. Welcome aboard!
Sunday 18th December 2016
An early morning in the Similan Islands as guests gather in the salon for coffee and a light breakfast. After a final safety briefing, divers are in the water for their check out dive at West of Eden by 8:00am. Divers are excited to have started the week with this beautiful site where they see a free swimming, feeding moray eel, a spearing mantis shrimp, a peacock mantis shrimp, a dart goby, and a massive Titan triggerfish. Just north on Island 7 is the next site called Deep 6, where large stacked boulders are surrounded by schooling bannerfish, pairs of emperor angel fish, and a variety of anemone fish. For the afternoon we head to Anita’s Reef, a sloping coral reef with a sandy bottom covered with garden eels. Photographers especially enjoy ‘One Roll Rock’ as they snapped photos of a small, green dragon wrasse and brightly colored gargantuan sea fans. This amazing day of diving will be hard to top but Thailand Aggressor is certainly up for the challenge!
Monday 19th December 2016
What a beautiful way to start the day! A moderate current at Sharkfin Reef allows divers to relax as we drift along a steeply sloping granite wall. The sandy bottom is covered in scouring goatfish and the occasional peacock or honeycomb grouper. Inside a deep crevice two black tip reef sharks are sleeping soundly. Next we backtrack a bit to Elephant Head Rock, the biggest pinnacle in the Similans. Beautiful swim throughs covered in purple soft coral are home to schools of sweetlips, yellow snapper, and a very unique fish called the clown triggerfish. After a delicious buffet style Thai lunch of minced pork, papaya salad, grilled veggies and cashew chicken, most guests have a nap to recharge for the next dive. Three Trees is an enjoyable dive with crystal clear visibility. North Point is also very nice and divers get to have another look at a black tip reef shark. For the evening we head to Mooring Bay, where we are protected from waves and current for the night dive. Divers gear up, grab their torches, jump in the dinghy and we are off to the bay. There are many crustaceans out tonight and everywhere we turn there is another lobster! Afterwards we head back to the boat for hot coco and then it’s bedtime for the guests as it has been a long and exciting, yet tiring day.
‘Good morning’ from North Andaman Sea! After a fun and interesting dive at Christmas Point, guests gather in the salon for a hearty homemade breakfast of French toast, baked ham , bacon and made-to-order omelets. The vessel sails northwest out of the Similan Islands towards the island of Koh Bon, a limestone islet distinguished by a large hole on the side of a steeply sloping ridge which continues under water to a deep sandy bottom. We start at the south western wall and slowly make our way to the northern ridge over the course of three dives. Divers are pleased to have seen the Maldivian sponge snail, which was formerly only known to exist in the Maldives. At the pinnacle we stop and wait to see if anything comes by the cleaning station and among the thousands of glass fish we are graced by the presence of a large Napoleon wrasse. On the northern side several clown fish dance around an orange and blue anemone and many cleaner shrimp inside a large coral bommy. Returning to the south western wall for the night dive, guests agree this is the best night dive yet, complete with sponge crab, barracuda, octopus and cuttlefish!
Wednesday 21st December 2016
The first half of the day is spent at Koh Tachai where there is a pair of submerged pinnacles marked by buoys at the surface. Starting at the deep side we descend to a depth of 28meters and make are way around the boulders to the coral garden. This colorful area is covered in both hard and soft coral, sea whips, and sea fans and is home to a variety of nudibranchs, crabs, damselfish, and snapper. Above us we see hundred of fusiliers, batfish, schools of trevally, and at the very top just under the surface is a school of needlefish. The top of the pinnacle is a flat plain with some hard corals and here we find two friendly, photogenic day octopus. After two to the dives we pack up and head northeast 20 kilometers. We arrive at Richelieu Rock in the afternoon and remain here for the last two dives. In the evening, the chef prepares a savory filet mignon which the guests are able to enjoy with a glass of wine as there is no night dive tonight. We head to the calm waters of the Surin Islands for the night, and soon the occupants of Thailand Aggressor are sound asleep.
Thursday 22nd December 2016
Richelieu Rock is perhaps Thailand’s most famous and most beautiful dive site. At the surface the site is marked by the top of the pinnacle which is above sea level during low tide and below sea level during high tide. Forming a horseshoe figure, the pinnacle falls steeply to the surrounding sand bottom at a maximum depth of 35 meters. Throughout the day the currents varied from mild to moderate with a visibility of about 15 – 20 meters. Due to the large scale of this site, we are able to dive here up to 6 times seeing something new on every dive. Over the course of a day and a half, divers encounter plenty of anemone fish including the tomato clownfish, as well as schools of pelagic fish such as chevron barracuda, rainbow runners, and bigeye trevally. Some special finds include a green sea turtle, cuttlefish, a Napoleon wrasse, and a spiny seahorse! What a day!
Friday 23rd December 2016
There is a bittersweet tone on the dive deck this morning as guests gear up for their final day of diving. The first dive is at Koh Tachai Pinnacle where we have excellent conditions and great visibility. From there we head south and have our final dive at Koh Bon. After the dive, guests relax while crew washes and hangs up their gear. On the way to Thaplamu we have the departure briefing and congratulate our three iron divers. Some guests depart when we reach the pier while most remain on the boat. In the evening, a barbecue is served buffet style and the guests enjoy their last night on Thailand Aggressor.
Saturday 24th December 2016
Guests wake up, have breakfast, and depart the Thailand Aggressor by dinghy at 8am. Thank you everyone for an unforgettable week and we look forward to seeing you again! Kap Khun Krap!