Thailand Aggressor Captain’s Log 3rd Feb 2018
*Air Temp. 30c
*Water Temp. 28c
* Visibility 20m
Cruise Director: Clive
Deck hand: Rong
Deck Hand: Bank
Instructor : Billy
Sunday – Zodiac, Deep six West of Eden , Anitas Reef x2
Monday- Elephant Head Rock, Stonehenge, Elephant Head Rock, South of Eden, Stonehenge.
Tuesday- Three Trees, Christmas point x2, North point, Koh Bon
Wednesday– Koh Bon Ridgex2, Koh Tachai pinnacle, koh tachai pinnacle
Thursday : Richelieu rock x4
Friday – Koh Tachai pinnacle, Koh Bon West ridge.
Guests arrive to Thaplamu Pier and board the Thailand Aggressor via dinghy by 5:00pm. With the crews help, our divers set up their gear and head to the main lounge for the weekly overview followed by a 5 course family style Thai dinner.
We awoke early to a great sunrise and really nice calm water, we headed to our usual check dive site Zodiac and descended onto the sandy bottom, all our guests checked their buoyancy and practiced a few skills and we were off, we headed east towards the sloping coral reef that forms this divesite and saw stingray and a giant moray. For our second dive we headed north and dived at deep six we saw our resident stonefish and also a black ribbon eel we headed east and saw a school of giant trevally hunting in the shallows many schooling bannerfish were also seen out in the blue. After a great thai buffet style lunch we moved the boat slightly south to west of eden, our resident mantis shrimp was deep down in the hole and we could just about see its weird eyes, We headed to Anitas reef for our late dive and had great one we had such luck with one group seeing a Very rare Porcupine stingray, we stayed at Anitas for the night dive and saw lots of lobsters and a sponge crab, after the dive our guests retired in preparation for a great days diving tmmrw.
Not such an early start this morning our guests were happy to have an extra half hour in bed, we planned the day to spend it around the middle Similans and started at Elephant head we saw some stingrays in the sand as well as a very beautiful ornate ghost pipefish, for our next dive we moored up at island four and dived Stonehenge this is a sloping coral reef teeming with many reef fish, our guests had enjoyed Elephant head so much they requested to repeat the site and we had another amazing dive with many different critters to find we saw the ribbon eel as well as a large free swimming Moray, for our afternoons dives we dropped back down to island 7 and jumped in at south of Eden the marine life was amazing and we found mantis shrimp and also a great encounter with a very friendly turtle. On the night dive we saw many lobsters and also some nudibranchs moving across the sandy bottom, some of our guests went to bed early and some stayed up for a documentary on marine life.
We awoke at the southern tip of island 8 and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise, we decided to head to the very north of this chain of 9 islands and do our first dive at 3 Trees, this is a great drift dive and we headed out over the sand to the reef all the time being pushed along by a gentle current, some guests saw a large school of Barracuda and also there were many Triggerfish in the sand also seen were garden eels and some Jaw fish in the sand, we stayed up at island 9 for our 2nd dive and dropped in at Christmas point, the boulders here are spectacular and form some great swimthrus. On the dive we saw a white tip reef shark, and a very photogenic mantis shrimp that posed wonderfully for our photographers, on the way up to the safety stop there was a few bangs from one of our guides and a Manta ray cruised around beneath us, what a great end to the dive, we decided to stay at Christmas point and chance our luck for another fly by from this magnificent animal, sadly no sighting but we did see a few barracuda and some giant morays, On our fourth dive we descended at North point we saw a pygmy pipe horse and a huge school of fusiliers, We headed north after the dive to Koh Bon for our night dive we saw Spanish dancers and a moray out feeding. After the dive we had hot chocolate and our guests had an early night.
First 2 dives today would be at the west ridge of Koh Bon, on the first dive we headed for the deep and saw a school of snapper and some oriental sweetlips under an overhang, after a cooked breakfast we headed around to the north ridge, the current was quite mild so just gently pushed us down the ridge, we saw scorpion fish everywhere then about 40 mins into the dive a huge manta ray cruised in and entertained our guests for a good 10 minutes what a fantastic dive, After the dive we cast off the mooring line and headed due north to Koh Tachai to do a dive at the pinnacle that lays around 400m off the island, we gathered everyone for the briefing and towards the end the captain popped his head around the door and told us another dive boat had seen a Whale shark we hastely got ready and descended the mooring and not 5 minutes into the dive our luck was in as the 6m giant cruised around us, we spent most of the dive looking out into the blue and had about another 4 or 5 sightings there was much shouting at the surface afterwards and our guests were so happy for many this would be there first sighting, for our fourth dive we headed to the reef for a drift and some photographs with som banners and flags our guest had bought with them, we then cast off the mooring and enjoyed a sunset cruise to Surin islands and an early night after great days diving.
Richelieu rock today this site never seems to stay still the amount of glass fish here almost obscures the rock. We planned to spend the whole day here and during the 4 dives we will get to explore the whole rock, our first dive would be to the north side and we payed a visit to the resident thorny sea horse as we pointed out this beautiful little critter a school of Trevally cruised by we also saw octopus and cuttlefish, after a good full breakfast we headed back to the rock and descended on the south side and explored the deeper rocks. We made a tour around the deepest rock as we had heard a tigertailed sea horse had been found, we searched in the spot but didn’t locate it but we will look again at a later dive. The schools of fish here are in abundance and we saw yellow tailed Barracuda and many Groupers, for our third and fourth dive we stayed in the center of the horseshoe formation and found many small critters including porcelain crabs and a couple of mantis shrimp. The hunting action never ceased all day and the trevally became very active around the time the sun was setting, After the dive we headed south again and had some celebrations for birthdays and significant mile stones including one guest who celebrated her 500th dive and her retirement, what a trip this had been for such a holiday…
Sadly just 2 dives today then back to our home port, our first dive we waited till 8:30 in the hope of seeing the larger marine life and as we descended we had a treat of the huge school of Barracuda that reside at this top dive site, also sighted were snapper and giant trevally, we also saw a very large giant moray free swimming. For our final dive of the trip we headed further south to Koh Bon in the hope of seeing another manta ray………… We had a great drift dive and found the very illusive devil scorpion fish and a sea snake. One of our guests who had a very keen eye also found a tiny nudibranch that was not so common to this region. We all surfaced and returned to the mothership, the staff took care of the guest’s eqpt and we began our journey back to port and our great end of trip BBQ.
We wake up around 7 and guests are served their usual made to order hot breakfast as crew loads up the luggage. By 8:00am we head to the pier by dinghy where our transfers are waiting to take everyone to their next destination. A huge thank you to our Aggressor divers from Brazil and the US another amazing week on board. ‘Khap Khun Krap’ and See you next time!