Dive 271: Koh Bon Pinnacle, Koh Bon (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:56:00
Max depth: 35.4 metres
Temperature: 28 C
Visibility: 40 metres
Buddy: Axl
Surface interval: 14:54:00

What an absolutely spectacular dive! We descended onto the pinnacle and it is just covered in beautiful soft corals and an amazing array of fish life. On top of the pinnacle were big schools of little fish and a small school of predatory giant trevally scoping out the little fish and occasionally darting in for a feed. Scary looking things.

We swam down to towards the bottom of the pinnacle to around 35m and there were still loads of colourful corals. We saw a giant moray eel actively swimming about. The fish life on the pinnacle is just amazing. However the top of pinnacle is at around 20m so we were running low on NDL by the time we got to the top although I still had 130bar of air. We swam off into the blue to get to the main reef, which was around 200m of heavy swimming in the blue at around 13m. After feeling like I had sucked my tank dry already, we got to the reef and I still had 80 bar.

The reef had a lot of dead bleached coral with little fish swimming around. We saw another giant moray actively swimming around. We came across a massive group of muppet dives from another boat, arms flailing about. It looked pretty damn funny.

I also saw loads of lionfish, bluefin trevally, pufferfish, longfin batfish, clownfish and anemonefish, and golden pilot jacks.

Dive 270: Three Trees, Similan Island #9 (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:58:00
Max depth: 26.2 metres
Temperature: 29 C
Visibility: 30 metres
Buddy: Axl, Stefan
Surface interval: 03:06:00

Another superb dive with a descent into the blue into 20 metres of sand and large boulders. Lots of sea fans, a few barrel sponges, and loads of red and purple soft corals. Axl pointed a few cool things like a spearing mantis shrimp, a cute little juvenile oriental sweetlip swimming like mad on a piece of fishing net, a white feather star walking around on the sand, and a tiny pipefish.

Halfway through the dive, Stefan’s French buddy had a problem so Axl surfaced with him and I completed the dive with Stefan. He was taking photos so swimming along slowly, which suited me fine since he always found some cool stuff to photograph that I always missed.

I also saw a massive circular batfish, a spiny lobster, a lionfish, loads of closed up anemones with anemonefish and clownfish poking out from the top, a clown triggerfish, masked porcupinefish, a parrotfish with a remora clinging to its left side, yellowfin emperors, and right at the end we saw a school of around 30 blackfin barracuda and a lone dogtooth tuna circling around us on the safety stop. Nice dive!

Dive 269: Pinnacles, Similan Island #9 (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:55:00
Max depth: 32.6 metres
Temperature: 28 C
Visibility: 25 metres
Buddy: Axl
Surface interval: 03:02:00

The swell was still tossing the boat around as we jumped in. We descended on some large rocky outcrops with a few gutters that had large fan corals, barrel sponges and plate corals on top. We ended up a bit deeper than originally planned, and I spent a fair bit of the dive coming quite close to the NDL.

The site had some absolutely enormous boulders, including one that just looked like the hull of a ship with a pointy end rising out like the bow. Really majestic and awe-inspiring. There wasn’t much growth on the big boulders save for the occasional small fan or green tube coral but there were quite a few parrotfish or angelfish looking for snacks.

We saw a couple of hawksbill turtles on the dive, one was near the the bottom of a mooring, persistently trying to crack some sort of crustacean that was stuck on a rock. Towards the end of the dive on massive beds of dead coral was another turtle that looked like it was eating a crab, with a few angelfish waiting for scraps.

I also saw a giant moray eel, a couple of giant trevally, a couple of lionfish, Kuhl’s stingray, a pair of clown triggerfish, and blue faced angelfish.

 

Dive 268: Amongst the Rocks, Similan Island #6 (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:54:00
Max depth: 35.4 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Axl
Surface interval: 15:23:00

The weather turned foul overnight with wind and bigger swells. It was raining on and off during the morning, and there was a fair bit of swell as we were gearing up. I was still feeling a little nauseous as we jumped into the water!

We descended straight into about 20 metres of water over some massive rock platforms that were absolutely covered in fans, coral gardens and fish life. The site is covered with big rocky outcrops and some nice gutters. At the top of the site is a beautiful shallow reef. Absolutely gorgeous dive!

I saw a couple of ribbon eels (one black and one blue and yellow), a lionfish, three seamoths (bizarre looking things as they’re crawling around on the gravelly bottom), lots of fusiliers, oriental sweetlips, angelfishes and butterflyfishes, a pair of scissortail dart gobies that darted back into a hole as I swam over, spotted boxfish, a giant pufferfish, a spiny lobster hiding in the crack of a rock, and a few predatory giant trevally looking for their next meal.

 

Dive 267: Eagle Ray Rock, Similan Island #4 (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:54:00
Max depth: 27.7 metres
Temperature: 30 C
Visibility: 40 metres
Buddy: Axl
Surface interval: 02:59:00

We dropped into a big patch of sand when straight away the Frenchman in our group spotted a giant moray eel sticking its head out from under a small bommie. First moray spotted on the trip!

The first part of the dive was a fairly nice drift until we got to some massive boulders. Here we saw the “Green Monster” come in, which is a crap load of green water and the visibility drops significantly, although we still had 10-15 metres visibility in the Green Monster until we swam up a bit shallower. In amongst the big boulders the current swirls a lot so it felt like I was swimming in a bit of a washing machine, with some moments where I get swept around and then the next moment having to fin quite heavily to get around a big rock into more sheltered water. Some nice swimthroughs. Not as enjoyable as the other relaxing dives due to the changes in current – was surprised that I still had a fair bit of air at the end of the day and hadn’t chewed through it as much as I thought I would have.

I saw a giant triggerfish through a crack, a few dogtooth tuna, giant trevally, an octopus hiding in a hole, ring angelfish, humpback unicornfish, a small egg cowrie and then a couple of large cowries, lots of fusiliers, loads of different angelfish and butterflyfish, and moorish idols.