MV Giamani Liveaboard Trip Log: 20 – 22 December 2013.
Port of departure: Chalong Bay, Phuket.
Weather Conditions: Warm sunny evening, very slight easterly breeze.
Sea Conditions: Calm with minor swells.
On-board we have customers from: Italy and the UK (Jersey).
We set sail earlier than usual, heading out towards Phi Phi and with the most amazing sunset we have seen this season; stunning. After the firecrackers, we set our dive equipment up, did not take long, had dinner, sat around the table discussing tomorrows dives with the others and then off to bed.
Diving Day 1: 21 December 2014
We woke at 6:30 am to the early morning call from our tour leader Ricardo; he is so energetic in a morning.
We had moored over night on the dive site of Hin Daeng, the sun had only just begun to rise high enough to turn out the boats lights, such a beautiful morning. Let us hope the diving here is as good has it has been recently.
Dive 1: Hin Daeng – Viz 25 metres, no current whatsoever, however, unfortunately, the waves were on the increase. We did our buddy checks and giant stride entry into the blue, what would be waiting for us this time on the red rock?
As we ascended down to 27 metres, it became apparent that with no current, there was not much movement from the fish; they all just seem to be taking a breather and just hovering around. As we ventured a little further around, the action started to hot up, the small Yellow Mackerel were viciously hunting the poor bait fish. It’s great to watch, but I would not like to be a bait fish, no mercy is shown to them at all.
Around 40 minutes into the dive I noticed something long, black and white in the distance. After a double checked to see what it was, it had already disappeared, was it a figment of my imagination or was it a manta. 5 minutes later as we were going towards our safety stop, there, from nowhere, it appeared a 4 metre Manta; it gave us one fly by and was gone.
They are magnificent creatures, well worth the trip out here. We did our safety stop, happy at seeing one of the monsters of the deep. We have to go to Koh Haa now the waves are getting to big and it’s not so much fun.
Dive 2: Koh Haa – The Chimney – Viz 25, no current, as we approach Koh Haa the waves were less than at the Hin pinnacles, but still a little choppy. We entered the water just three divers, slowly we swam for about 30 metres at a depth of 6 metres and once we found the Chimney, we entered and descended down.
The chimney is so full of fish; it’s hard to see where you are going, it’s a fantastic dive site. At 18metres, we exited the chimney, and then slowly made our way around the huge soft coral garden. Then we turned and headed out to the deep water drop off. Here it seems that you can fly. As we hovered over the edge of a deep drop off, in the distance I could just make out a large shape heading our way. The small fish in the deep quickly darted away. It was a 1.5 metre Barracuda, looking for lunch no doubt. Once it saw us it swam by and with flick of its tail it was gone.
There was also some very large morays eel and numerous Scorpion fish, one being the rarer of the species the Devil Scorpion fish.
Dive 3: Koh Haa. The Cathedral Viz 25 meters slight current. The cathedral is a favorite of all who come on Giamani. There is three super large caverns, guarding the first is a huge Mappa Puffer fish that we actual have to almost push out he way to get inside. As these caverns are so large the diver gets a good feel what it would be like to cave dive, without actually putting themselves at any risk whatsoever.
There are two more caverns which have a large tunnel existing between the two, and this is another great experience for all divers to see. There is absolutely no danger of getting lost here, they are huge areas with lots of light, and we always look forward to diving these sites at Koh Haa.
We saw Cuttlefish, Two huge Moray eels, and a Hawksbill turtle, and loads of Wrasse and Parrot fishes, Nemo was there too.
Dive 4: Koh Haa Sunset dive around the lagoon. Gentle drifting current, going nowhere really we dropped into the blue just as the sun was starting to dip down, would not be long before it was dark. We saw a huge Great Barracuda come straight at us, and then turned at the last minute. A 500 strong school of juvenile barracuda appeared as if on cue. Towards the end of the dive we were followed by a hit squad of squid they watched us for 10 minutes.
Diving Day 2: 22 December 2014
The sun had begun its climb in the sky, as we started to wake. The sea was looking a little bit choppy, and the colour was green, the wind was a little blustery. But it was warm and we were ready to dive on Bida Nok, Phi Phi Islands.
Dive 5: (Phi Phi Island) Bida Nok – Viz 10 metres dropping down to 5 metres in parts, there was a small current running west to east as the tide went out. We dropped in on the southern point of Nok, we descended down the side of the wall to around 18 metres where we found the ref and slowly carried on down till we got to 26 metres. As the viz was not as good as it has been on here lately, we could not see everything that was going on.
However the dogtooth Tuna were out in force and smashing the Yellow juvenile Snappers, which in turn, excites the Trevallies and they start a sortie on the poor smaller fishes of the reef. A fantastic spectacle, better than any TV wildlife documentary on TV; other fish we saw were a pair of Emperor Angel fish, Blue Ringed Angle fish, many different kinds of Moray Eel, Sea Snake and a Hawksbill Turtle.
Dive 6: Coral Garden (Phi Phi) Viz 15 metres. Originally we had intended tog o to Anemone Reef unfortunately the conditions have said otherwise, so we have decided to go with another dive around Phi Phi.
There is always a good chance to see seahorses and Pipefish here so let’s see. Juvenile Barracudas joined us for a quick look, Bit of a drift dive here always a beautiful dive with many soft corals reds greens blue purple corals, very pretty there is a huge school of yellow Snapper and they seem to flourish maybe because all the big predators are still on the deeper sites, Coral Garden is only 16 metres deep at tops.
We saw Sea snake loads of walking feather stars, scorpion fish spot Lion fish several large swim through’s proved very exciting particularly with the surge of the sea. We are now off to Koh Doc Mai for the last dive of the day.
Dive 7: Koh Doc Mai Viz – 15 metres great wall dive to end the trip we saw A school of Black Fin Barracuda, pregnant Puffer fish, well it was fat at least. Also Blue spotted stingray, Tiger tail Seahorses and some unusual Nudibranchs.
Now we are of to Chalong to drop off the guests from Italy and pick up 11 more for our Similan trip.