MV Giamani Liveaboard Trip Log: 1800 hours: 13 – 15 December 2013.
Port of departure: Chalong Bay, Phuket Island.
Weather Conditions: Scattered clouds, warm evening, very little breeze.
Sea Conditions: Calm with minor swells.
On-board we have customers from: Russia, Singapore and Thailand.
After the fire crackers which is an old Thai tradition, in order to bless the boat for a safe trip, we were under way; a wonderful balmy evening, sailing toward Phi Phi Island with the sunset as a backdrop
Dive Day One – 14 December 2013
We awoke at 6.30 am next to Hin Daeng, a very deep dive site, which reaches depths of 60 meters and beyond. It breaks the surface by only a meter or less. The sea was calm with only a slight breeze on the surface causing small ripples.
Dive 1 Hin Daeng – Viz 20 meters very slight current drifting from east to west. The Giant & Blue Fin Trevallies and Dogtooth Tunas with small several Mackerel tagging along were all out in the early morning looking for breakfast. The small bait fish never really stood a chance; it was a free for all feed-fest down there. A couple of very lazy Moray Eels looked like they were still sleeping, plus loads of Nudibranchs and a beautiful cowrie.
Dive 2 – Hin Muang – Viz 20+ meters there was quite a few divers on this site, maybe they know something we don’t. A few Rainbow Runners greet us with a fly by as we descend. There was a huge Grouper, groupers are usually quite timid fish, keeping distance from divers, but not this one, it was on cleaning station, and as we approached it, it did not even flinch, must have been 40 kilos in size.
A little bit further down the reef and it seemed to go all quite, all the fish seem to have disappeared. Then out of nowhere, rising from the depths, a 4 meter Manta Ray flew right over our heads. Incredible!
Dive 3 – Hin Muang – Viz 20 + meters we decided to stay and try our look again, see if we can get an even better look at this Massive Manta. Even before all the divers were in the water, it appeared again, just 3 meters below the boat, circling the reef like a huge space ship.
When all the divers finally splashed in, excited at the prospect of another sighting, we headed down but only to around 6 meters. The manta came around for another showing, hang on, another manta, two mantas together, we were blessed. One Manta had a perfect formed long tail, the second one however, had only half a tail. We stayed with them for ten minutes.
Further down the reef there was another Manta, this one had no tail whatsoever, who knows how they lose their tails, maybe fighting with sharks, and another mystery of the deep goes unsolved. Three Mantas, one dive, fantastic! Does it get any better?
Dive 4 – Koh Haa, The Cathedral viz 15 meters quite poor for Koh Haa as we normally expect about 25 meter viz. A sunset dive at Koh Haa, we dropped down to 18 meters and drifted round the corner towards the 3 huge caverns. As we entered the first cavern and made our way about 6 meters inside we turned to look at the wonderful silhouette of the other diver’s images, as they swam toward us. Loads of Nudibranchs, Featherstars, Shrimp, Spiny Tail Lobster, and we even found Nemo.
Dive Day 2 – 15 December 2013
Another beautiful sunny day with very little breeze and no surface current evident We awoke in the Phi Phi islands next to Bida Nai. We were the only boat in the area, so we decided to get a move on before the hordes of divers arrived from Phi Phi.
Dive 5 – Bida Nok – Viz in places was only 5 meters, but after a few minutes it cleared up, revealing Bida Nok’s wonders. There was a slight surge, and as we rounded the corner to the deeper part of the dive site we immediately met up with the thousand (at least) strong school of Yellow Tail Snappers.
The poor snapper’s in turn were being tormented by half a dozen Giant Trevally. Also we saw a Hawksbill Turtle, loads of Morays of different species, Giant Fimbriated and Yellow Edged plus loads of Long Toms on the surface.
Dive 6 – The King Cruiser Wreck- Viz 15 + meters we descended down the mooring line to 17 meters, there was 6/7 divers on their way up, so we had to avoid them. On top of the wreck we were greeted by two huge schools of juvenile fishes. One of Yellow Snappers and the other Barracudas, each school 500 strong, we dived headlong into the Barracudas and watched them scatter, would not do that with their parents though, they get to over a meter in length each and don’t take to kindly to silly divers annoying them..
The wreck is still an eerie place, the way the light hits it in different directions, like a ghost ship from another era. KC still attracts more divers than most other sites because it is still a fantastic dive site.
Dive 7 – Koh Doc Mai – Viz 10 meters, the last dive of this trip before we head to Phuket and pick up and drop off guests. Before heading out to the Similans for a four day trip, Koh Doc Mai is a great wall dive and ideal for macro hunters. We saw loads of Box Shrimp, Cleaner Shrimp and Cleaner Pipefish, White Eyed Moray Eels. Fusiliers, Blue-Ringed Angle fish, Coral banded Sea Snake. Great drift dive to end the trip.