Dive 279: South East Rocks, Koh Torinla (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:49:00
Max depth: 20.4 metres
Temperature: 30 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Sophie
Surface interval: 04:00:00

A nice relaxing dive on the site, which is basically a whole lot of big granite boulders starting at about 10 metres sloping down to around 25 metres.

I saw loads of fusiliers, a very cute baby bent stick pipefish, a Schultz pipefish, quite a few hunting flutemouths, a couple of spider crabs sitting on a sea fan, partner gobies with their little shrimp companions, a pretty flatworm, phantom bannerfish, lionfish, a couple of decent sized moray eels including one that looked like it was about to have a square off with a grouper, garden eels poking out of the sand, cute little yellow cub boxfish, pufferfish, a big porcupinefish hiding under a rock, 5-line snapper, oriental sweetlips, a few dogtooth tuna, lots of black and white striped cleaner shrimp and a few batfish.


Dive 278: Turtle Ledge, Koh Surintai (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:45:00
Max depth: 24.1 metres
Temperature: 29 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Sophie
Surface interval: 02:54:00

A fairly nice dive despite a some marathon swimming against a mild current. I don’t like diving for the bloody exercise!

We jumped in and descended onto some big boulders. There was a bit of current swirling around the boulders but usually just a few big fin kicks would get you back behind a big boulder to hide from it.

A third of the way through the dive, the DM James swims off into the blue. He mentioned before we jumped in that if the current was OK then he would do this and we were to follow him, which we did, but he quickly swam out of sight and we could only spot him from his bubbles. We finally caught up to him at a massive boulder that was the size of a small house (perhaps a single room cottage sized house) but we swam around it and then drifted back with the current back to the reef.

He later told us back on the boat that we should’ve kept up with him so that we would have enough bottom time to hang out there to look for big fish and rays but since we swam so slowly then we didn’t have time to stay out there. He seemed pretty shirty about it but hey, we weren’t bloody told that we had to keep up so we just did our usual leisurely paddle pace.

Still, a good dive with lots to see – a couple of big morays, some cute little cube box fish (a little juvenile yellow one and a dark one whitespotted one), a couple of lionfish, lots of little garden eels poking their bodies out of the sand, a cleaner pipefish, a big spotted grouper underneath a rock, oriental sweetlip and schools of grey sweetlip, ring angelfish, batfish, giant triggerfish, and big schools of yellowback fusiliers. Kept looking in the sand to find some partner gobies but no such luck.


Dive 277: Batfish Rock, Koh Tachai (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:46:00
Max depth: 27.7 metres
Temperature: 28 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Sophie
Surface interval: 12:09:00

A nice dive back at Batfish rock. We descended down the mooring line where there was a fair bit of current on the surface, which died down a little on the bottom. We swam around the big boulders, finding lots of batfish, bluefin trevally, giant trevally, coral groupers, large brown groupers, fusiliers, a mantis shrimp scurrying along the sand, giant triggerfish, a banded sea snake free swimming in the water, and lots of colourful butterflyfish and angelfish.

We swam out into the blue a few times, seeing more giant and bluefin trevally patrolling amongst the schools of fish. Saw a school of barracuda in the distance. The whole time a couple of friendly batfish followed us around, swimming right up to our faces, and Sophie and I would have a giggle as they would check us out.

Got annoyed at the dive guide James again, who kept on telling me to come up shallower as we were heading back to the mooring line at around 8 metres. No idea why he has a problem if I want to have a slow ascent rate. We were still at 41 minutes of a planned 50 minute dive so there was no fricking rush. What the…

Dive 276: Tachai Reef, Koh Tachai (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:41:00
Max depth: 15.5 metres
Temperature: 29 C
Visibility: 30 metres
Buddy: Tom
Surface interval: 03:08:00

Night dive

A pretty nice and relaxing dive off the back of the boat straight into the reef. I was hoping to see a giant moray swimming out hunting but no such luck for me, although everyone else bloody saw one!

Saw quite a few parrotfish sleeping in their holes, lots of feather stars that closed up with the light shining on them, hundreds of cleaner shrimp, a spiny lobster’s antennae poking out of a hole, a red crab that was about 15cm wide, and bannerfish.

Still had 150 bar left at the end of the dive – shame the planned dive time was so short!


Dive 275: Batfish Rock, Koh Tachai (Thailand)

Dive time: 00:51:00
Max depth: 22.6 metres
Temperature: 30 C
Visibility: 40 metres
Buddy: Sophie
Surface interval: 02:54:00

What a stunning dive! We descended onto Batfish Rock and swam amongst the big granite boulders where there were soft corals and sea fans sprinkled around. There were schools of little fish everywhere, giant trevally and bluefin trevally cruising past and hunting the little fish, a school of batfish hovering near the bottom and as we cruised past one of them followed us around for about 10 minutes. We swam off the main rock and out into the blue where there was a massive school of barracuda hovering in midwater and occasionally swirling around us and in front of us with a few giant trevally swimming with the school as well. The batfish was still following me at this point, and would come up and swim very close to my face and when I reached out to touch it, it almost looked like it would let me stroke it before it turned away at the last moment.

Also saw amongst the big boulders some large black sweetlips, oriental sweetlips, a brown grouper that was about a metre long, a banded sea snake, a giant triggerfish moving bits of coral between its jaws to get at some food, a flutemouth, quite a few anemones with anemonefish, filefish, and lots of various colourful reef fish.

We ascended up the mooring line where we hung on for dear life during the safety stop as it seemed like the current was roaring, even though it wasn’t so bad on the bottom. But as soon as we let go of the line to drift back to the boat the current seemed OK.

Sophie and I were all smiles back on the boat!