Monday, February 25, 2013

Similan Islands Diving

About 50 miles west of Kao Lak on the west side of Thailand and north of Phuket lie the 7 islands that make up the Similan Island group. This is a marine reserve sanctuary with no fishing allowed within 3 miles...unless you're Thai and then you can do whatever you want!
 
 
 The sea is crysal clear here and the diving is amazing......loads of things to see both large and small. You can even see the bottom in the photo above....and it's 15 metres deep here.
 Dropping down we (my dive partner, Dada, and me) went through a big shoal of Giant Trevelly....a bit ironic as the lads in the Wahoo Festival were miles off trying to catch them. These fish were in the 10kg to 15kg range and a fantastic sight...like a moving wall of silver.
 Now and then a Giant Trevelly passed close by as we 'hovered' at 10 metres.
 And other species of fish came to inspect us. A lot of divers head straight for the sea-bed but dropping gently with regular stops allows you to see all the big pelagic fish belting around in the top layers.
 We dropped to the botom....right on top of a turtle. They're nice to film...(I got a new underwater HD Video...very nice!!) and don't seem bothered by the close proximity of divers.
 As mentioned on Facebook, there were 12 Chinese Zodiac signs plus this mermaid arranged in one of those mystical Eastern displays that only the mysterious Asian mind understands. This is to ward off another disaster like the 2004 Tsunami that damaged many of the Similan Island dive sites. They are recovering now in that the damaged corals are regrowing........but the fish life is as varied and plentiful as ever.
 This is one such sign...I don't know what it means or to what it refers. I asked Jai...she said ''Why you ask me? I am from Barcelona. I know nothing''. Ah, well.....it looks nice underwater and these photo's are being taken at 20 to 30 metres so that shows how clear the underwater visibility is.
 Hard to believe we are actually underwater for many of the photo's I took....look at this one...lots of little blue sea fans showing up with fantastic clarity. It was hard to judge just how far we could see underwater...I could certainly see the hull of our boat 30 metres above us...and looking into the distance, the visibilty seemed to go on and on into the Deep Blue!
 

 This is a Sea Cucumber....usally they are lying quietly on the bottom but this one was off on its own adventure........
 Tucked under this coral outcrop, you can just make out the big stingray resting on the bottom.
 

Diving with Dada is such a treat. It's great to watch her underwater. She's MV Phoenix's Divemaster and very nearly at  Instructor level. Her buoyancy control is just amazing; at total ease with the sea...and you can see from the air she's emitting that she hardly breathes...therefore our dives are unusually long.

I've been extremely fortunate to be involved in the Wahoo Fishing Comp for the past two years...it has allowed me to enjoy some fantastic diving inbetween my required Radio Catch Reports....terrific.

I wish I could get more of my guests here to take the PADI course and join me on a Dive Liveaboard trip to the Similans. Next February, Jeff Whittard will be joining me on a trip as he has now progressed to Advanced Open Water Diver through the PADI programme....maybe a few more of you will get into the diving when you come here for your winter holiday!!!!!

3 comments:

  1. hi Paul,
    i am marcos!
    I am trying to organize a similan fishing trip next week. I am writting here in order to get more anglers for the trip due to we need two more people. it will be 3 days and 2 nights fishing between 12-14 march or 13-15march. price between 9000-12000bath/person icluding food,drinks,equipment.... and we will practice jigging,popping,trolling and bottom fishing. everybody that could be interested or have any question please contact me at marcos_checa4@hotmail.com thank you paul! nice pictures diving in similan

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