MV Giamani Trip Log: 17 – 19 January 2014.
Port of departure: Chalong Pier, Phuket Island.
Weather Conditions: Warm evening, very slight breeze.
Sea Conditions: slight chop on the water.
On-board we have customers from: Italy, Russia & US
A warn evening in Chalong with a cooling breeze coming from the north east. Guest arrived promptly and happy and ready for the next few days diving and after equipment check and setup the firecrackers lit for another farewell to Phuket for a few days. Dinner was served we got everyone settled in and sorted out all the queries.
Diving Day 1 – 18 January 2015
Dive: 1 – Hin Daeng (Red Rock) Viz 15 metres temp 27 degrees current running slightly north causing a little drifty a the beginning of the dive. As we descended huge school of Fusiliers greeted us. Down to twenty meters and it was like Moray Eel frenzy, they seemed to be lurking everywhere.
Scribbled File Fish chomping on the couple of dying non stinging Jelly Fish; our search for the Manta Rays continued further around the rock, unfortunately, they were not to be found.
However the Trevallies were putting on a show for us, as they smashed into the small Bait fish with all the might of a Marauding pack of hungry wolves. They are ruthless and no smaller fish is safe, when they are on the prowl.
The sea is still no calmer, so we have decided to move the boat to Koh Haa. There are plenty of places to stay where the water is still.
Dive: 2 – Koh Haa The Cathedral Viz 20 metres slight current, out the towards the edge of dive site, so we stayed closer to the island where there was none. As we went down, there at 6 metres we just cruised over the rock formations admiring nature’s handy work.
As we went round towards the entrances to the caverns we saw quite a few divers in the area too. So we decided that we would not go too far inside and stayed and watched the huge school of Yellow Snapper swim by. There was not much marine life in there, but the light as it enters the cavern is quite spectacular as a backdrop view.
Slowly we made our way round the site there are three small caverns here, but hey open up inside to reveal an amazing view, especially when you look from outside in, as the light penetrates inside, revealing all the divers, like silhouettes.
There Lion fish a couple of Scorpion Fish several Morays, White eyed and Giant, a few Yellow Mackerels hunting. Coral banded Sea Snake and several Anemone Clown Fish, small Yellow Tailed Barracudas. I have just realized that there was lots of different Yellow tailed fish down there today.
Dive:3 – The Chimney Koh Haa – Viz 15 metres, we started the dive in calm seas. We went down the sloping wall on Koh Neau dropping down, eventually to 20 metres and slowly making our way to the Chimney.
The chimney spits divers out at around 18metres, but you can go the other way, so we went inside at 18 and ascend to 8 metres and there is an escape hatch, where you can get out of. Also, a little shallower there is another, as you exit the corals they are so beautiful as the lighting his them.
We ascended one by one into the long funnel, small Cardinal Fish; we had to move them out of our way to get up. Also there are some small jaggy rocks and potential Scorpion Fish lurking so it is wise to be careful where one puts ones hands.
As we exited the chimney, we turned left into floating above the huge purple coral, they have grown so big, and they are bending over on themselves, due to their huge bulk. Amongst that lot were several species of Clown fish, Koh Haa does seem to attract Nemo and his friends.
The Yellow Tail Mackerels were helping themselves to the small bait fish joined with half a dozen Moon Wrasse, they made sorties after sortie on the poor fishes. Also we saw some large Potato Groupers a Sea Turtle, Several kinds of Nudibranch.
Dive: 4 – Koh Haa Lagoon sunset dive Viz 15 metres, as we descended straight onto of a small school of juveniles Barracudas. Not sure if they were happy to see us though.
The sun was starting to set so the torches came out to reveal some smaller critters hiding in the small rocks. Creatures like Small Spiny Lobsters and Crabs lurking for an early supper.
There are lots of fish about this evening, as sunset is the best time of the day for activity, as the reek fishes are looking for a bed for the bed and the nocturnal hunters come out to play and forage.
There was lots of Feather stars out for a stroll, if you have never seen one walking before they have really long arms and clamber over the reef searching for plankton floating past them.
The was a couple of Lion Fish out herding small prey into their lair, we had to be careful where we put our hands around there, as there were a couple of Bearded scorpion fish there too.
Further round the sight we managed to bump into a small group of Squid another set of strange creatures, they probably thought we were. They came over and gave us the onceover and were gone, I think, if they can’t eat us, then they will look for something more digestible than someone in a wetsuits and mask and fins.
Diving Day 2 – 19 January 2014
We woke in the shallows reefs around Phi Phi Islands: 6:30 am and as the sun was rising we enjoyed a light breakfast before our first dive.
The night was very calm and everyone got a decent nights rest before the activities today, so let us see what this new morning will bring the intrepid divers aboard Giamani.
Dive: 5 – Bida Nok Viz 10 metres slight current gently leading us down the site, as we entered the water there were two Hawksbill Turtles, maybe they came to say good morning, which was a nice start to the dive. Just beyond them there was huge Raggy Bearded Scorpion Fish with the upside down smile on its face, which is probably the last thing its breakfast saw before gulped down.
The usual large school of Yellow Snappers, were about they are so beautiful as they stream past us, the colours are amazing. The big boys were out to hunting of course. Yellow mackerels, Giant and Blue Fin Trevallies were all darting in between the large groups of smaller fish looking for a spot sushi for breakfast.
Black and White Banded Sea Snake was noseying around the rocks; a couple of Spiny Lobsters could be seen with the Antennas sticking out of their little holes in from the rocks small. There were small shrimp ready to clean with cleaner wrasse looking for some any fish that needs a manicure.
Dive: 7 -Anemone reef; Viz 5 metres there was a strong current evident by the way the buoy line we were attached to was stretched to its maximum. So we had to play it safe, the visibility was not so clear. We have not dived here for a while and we were looking forward to find those smaller creatures that love anemone reef so much.
The reef itself is covered in Anemones and as they sway in the current it is a most beautiful site, when the vis is good it really looks like the whole rock is just waving in the breeze.
We saw many fusiliers at around 8 metres they seem to like just hanging off the rocks in the current. Next we headed down to about 18- 20 metres in search of the smaller macro life. There are a couple of Ornate Ghost
Pipe Fish on here as well as some great little Nudibranchs and there is a very friendly pair of Tiger Tail Sea Horses.
There was a small crew of Chevron Barracuda, lurking just of the southern point waiting in the current for some poor defenseless fish to stray too far away from the security of the reef.
The current started to pick even more and the end of the dive was coming, so we decided to make for the buoy line and get out for lunch. Shame about the current and Vis but we did manage a Tiger Tail Seahorse which always makes the dive worthwhile.
Dive: 7 – Koh Doc Mai viz 5 metres from the south to north we went with the current we descended the wall dive which is covered in Oyster and Zig Zag Clams as we passed them they automatically close up and it does seem s the wall is moving very strange.
Down to 15 metres we found a cleaning station run by Box Shrimps they was no charge and they happily gave us a pedicure on our hands and nails without a single pinch, very kind. Next we bumped into a small White Eyed Moray who did not lock too happy, he was not in any crevices so he may have been feeling a little vulnerable, so we left him to sort himself out.
We also saw, even though limited by the poor vis (unusual fro this time of year) several other species of Morays, half a dozen different species of Nudibranchs, Yellow snapper, Blue Ringed and Emperor Angel fish. Lion fish and scorpion fish were also lurking. We are off back now to Phuket where we will see what awaits later.