MV Giamani Trip Log: 1800 hours: 15 – 21 Nov 2013.
Port of departure: Chalong, Phuket – Thailand
Weather Conditions: scattered clouds, slight rain with gentle breeze
Sea Conditions: Calm with gentle swells
On-board we have customers from Italy, Hong Kong, Russia, Australia and USA.
We set sail into the night for Hin Daeng, after watching the blessing of the boat with fire crackers, dinner is served and most of us find our cabins and try to catch some sleep before the full day of diving that awaits us.
Diving Day 1 – 16th Nov 2013
Dive 1 – Hin Daeng: Viz 25 Meters – the sky is looking a little cloudy and there is a slight chop on the water. There is also another boat here. The visibility is 30 meters plus. There is only a very small current running south to north. Many Moray Eels including Giant, and White eyed. There is a small school of Bat Fish as inquisitive as ever and approach our group. There are many Glass Fish which is also a good sign, as we might see some more Trevally and Tuna hunting on the other sight s like we have here.
Dive 2 – Hin Muang: Viz 25 meters – all good fun at Hin Muang, there has been a new mooring line installed, but it is very deep, at least at 40 meters. We will not be going down there that way again. There is even more fish on here then on the sister sight of Hin Daeng, absolutely amazing, we were here last week and there were Dolphins now they have gone and it seems the fish life has come back. It’s very busy down here with Rainbow Runners and Barracuda running the show Trevally’s and Tuna also in on the hunting act, also we spotted some rare Nudibranch.
Dive 3 – Koh Haa: The Chimney. Viz 25 meters – after about a two hour journey from Hin Muang, we were ready for another dive. This time in the idyllic setting of Koh Haa, is what can only be described as a Blue Lagoon Paradise. The viz was 25 meters, very slight current if any. Fish absolutely everywhere, the highlight of the dive, is the vertical swim through, called The Chimney, one at a time divers ascend up The Chimney it is a funnel full of Marine life you have to push out of your way to get through. It’s easy to navigate, full of light and lots of room and great fun.
Dive 4 – Koh Haa: The Cathedral. Viz 25 meters – a sunset dive here at Koh Haa is quite spectacular, there is loads of activity, with most of the fish preparing for night time on the reef, fish are very active during this time of evening. It’s a great way to end the day. We also found the large caverns at about 14 meters underwater, they are very easy to navigate, and you can swim inside without any fear whatsoever. There was a huge school of Fusiliers and we also found a Spiny Lobster lurking in the rocks
Diving Day 2 – 17th Nov 2013
Dive 5 – Bida Nok: Viz 25 meters – we wake up on the waters that surround the Phi Phi Island group, Bida Nok is the island furthest from Phi Phi main island and offers some of its best diving. Today we did a 60 minute dive and we saw a Leopard shark, a couple of black Tip reef Sharks, Octopus, Trevally, Dog tooth Tuna. At the end of the dive, there was also a 2 meter Great Barracuda spotted, big big teeth.
Dive 6 – King Cruiser Wreck: lies down at 32 meters and we managed a 50 minute dive here, the visibility was fantastic here also. The wreck itself is barely recognizable from what it was a few years ago, but it still makes for an excellent dive. With many predators lurking, as the whole wreck is a nursery for the local young fishes. Yellow Snapper, White Eyed Moray Eel and a school of at least a thousand juvenile Barracuda followed us everywhere. Advice time: be wary of depth, time and limits paying particular attention to your dive computer.
Dive 7 – Koh Doc Mai: Viz 15 meters – this is a gentle drift dive against the back drop of the wall of Koh Doc Mai. We found Cleaner Pipefish, with Durban Dancing Shrimp, two Blue Ringed Angel Fish, and a Sleeping Nurse Shark to name but a few here.
Sunday 17th November: We arrive back to chalong to pick up a couple more guests and to say farewell to some others. Two guys from the UK and two from Switzerland join as we get under way for the Similans.
Diving Day 3 – 18th Nov 2013
Dive 1 – Sharks Fin Reef: The conditions this morning are warm and calm, the viz here is 25 meters, plus water temp is 30 degrees and absolutely no current again. The size of the fish seem bigger here, there is the usual hunting packs of Jacks, but also large Unicorn Fish Surgeonfish, Octopus and Bearded Scorpion fish
Dive 2 – Deep Six: Viz 25 meters – the current is building up now, but still not too strong. As we descended down, we saw a juvenile Black and White Coral Banded Sea Snake coming up for a breath of air. But the highlight here was the Peacock Mantis shrimp that seemed to wallow in the limelight and much to the delight of the waiting paparazzi of underwater photographer’s
Dive 3 – Elephant Head Rock: Viz 25 meters – there was a slight down ward current and surge we managed a depth of 28 meters although 50 meters is easily possible here. We saw two massive Great Barracuda that seemed to be just taking it easy. Giant Trevally and Pick Handle Barracuda also seen hunting here and near the end of the dive there was a Black Tip Reef Shark, slowly cruising, there was a Nudibranch laying eggs on the rocks below.
Dive 4 – Koh Bon Bay: A night dive to finish off with, down to 14 meters the viz is excellent many different kinds of Crabs and Shrimps, Brittle Star Fish, Scorpion Fish and a Cuttlefish.
Diving Day 4 – 19th Nov 2013
Dive 5 – Koh Bon Pinnacle: Viz 30 meters – no current yet again in the morning, which is nice. There are many divers here which is unusual for this site. Large Blue Fin Trevally and Rainbow Runners hunting out in the blue distance, Raggy Scorpion fish, Dog Tooth Tuna too.
Dive 6 – Koh Bon Ridge: Viz 25 meters – the current is definitely gaining in strength pushing us out toward the ridge. Possible sightings of big fish can be enjoyed here. Trevally and Moray Eels along with a couple of Coral Banded Sea Snakes, Emperors, Surgeon Fish, Unicorn Fish, Blue Fin Trevally and several different species of Gobies hiding in the rocks
Dive 7 – Koh Tachai Pinnacle: Viz 25 Meters – no current as it is high tide, which means we experienced a little surge throughout the whole dive. 100 Pick handle Barracuda, 2 very large Great Barracuda, one kamikaze Parrotfish that for some reason was swimming around like it was possessed, Rainbow Runners and Bearded Scorpion Fish.
Dive 8 – Koh Tachai Reef: Viz 20 meters – gentle slight current, enabling a pleasant drift dive lots of small Glass Fish being stalked by small Groupers. Being another sunset dive, it is again a very busy dive site, with most fish actively out and getting ready for the night time. Just before the end of the dive we have an incident with two Titan Trigger fish, they seem to get upset that we were passing through their borders uninvited and let us know about it, by trying to bite several of our group of diver’s fins.
Diving Day 5 – 20th Nov 2013
Dive 9 – Tachai Pinnacle: Viz 25 meters – It was rather cloudy on this morning and quite with a slight chop upon the water. As we descended, it was obvious that there was more current than yesterday. The Trevallies and Barracuda were out looking for breakfast. The highlight of the dive was two Octopuses mating, the different colours and the different shapes they changed to is amazing.
Dive 10 – Richelieu Rock: Viz 25 meters – the seas had calmed down by the time of the second dive. We saw Pipefish; one species was the Cleaner Pipefish and another one we could not recognize, there were so many different kinds of Nudibranch and Shrimps. Yellow Snapper, Silver Trevally, and Sea Bream, a Stonefish lay in wait and a Sea Snake and Great Barracuda were cruising.
Dive 11 – Richelieu Rock: Viz still about 20 meters – no current and calm seas. Octopus, White Eyed Moray Eels plus a Giant and a Fimbriated Moray sharing the same hole; Four Legged Starfish that had been obviously mauled by the elusive and tiny Harlequin Box Shrimp
Dive 12 – Richelieu Rock: Sunset dive, viz 20 meters – depth 16 meters, great conditions. There was so many fish, Silver and Blue Fin Trevally, Snappers, Emperors all hunting the small glass fish. 30 Yellow Tail Barracuda a meter plus in length, also we saw a Cuttlefish at the end of the dive
Diving Day 6 – 21st Nov 2013
Dive 13 – The Teak Wreck Viz 20 meters – calm seas, very slight current, as we approach about 20 meters in depth, we were greeted by a twenty strong Batfish welcoming party, and they stayed with us for the whole dive. The Teak Wreck is quite a deep dive so it is a short dive, but well worth it, what a wonderful shipwreck.
Dive 14 – The Thai Muang Wreck: Viz much less here than on the other dive sites, there was also a mild current, this is an old Tin Mining Vessel form the days of the Phuket Tin Mining era. It sits at twenty meters and is the home for so many fish and also it’s a nursery. We saw a very small Titan Trigger Fish here, no doubt practicing its terrorizing tactics for the unsuspecting divers for the coming years.
We arrived back to Chalong at 17.30, and Giamani is ready to go again.