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26 – 30 December 2013 – Similan Islands X-Mas Charter

/ MV Giamani Log Book

MV Giamani Liveaboard Trip Log: 26 – 30 December 2013.

Port of departure:  Chalong Pier, Phuket Island.

Weather Conditions: Warm evening, very slight breeze.

Sea Conditions:  very calm seas.

On-board we have customers from: UK, US and Canada.

A warn evening in Chalong with a cooling breeze coming from the north. Guest arrived happy and ready for the next few days diving. After equipment check and setup dinner was served and the firecrackers lit for another farewell to Phuket for a few days. We are also celebrating a birthday the birthday of one our guests.

We have some people doing the Advance Course some doing the Nitrox course and one doing the Open Water Course

Diving Day 1 – 27 December 2013

After our trip through the night we were welcomed to the Similans by a rising sun, how beautiful, after a light breakfast and briefings for the dives we were ready for our 1st dive.

Dive: 1 Honeymoon Bay Viz 40metres slight drift dive from north to south… The visibility is simply outstanding here this morning. On the surface all guest perform a buoyancy check, making sure they are waited correctly. Once performed off to dive we go.

A simple relaxing dive to start the trip several Giant moray eels, lots of Fusiliers and juvenile Fusiliers, and bait fish beating chased about by the groupers and small emperors fish. We also saw a Titan Trigger Fish, no trouble of this fellow. Two Emperor Angelfish on a cleaning station having an early morning manicure.
We also saw a couple of Lion fish hiding under the rocks obviously been a very productive nights fishing for them as they look well fed.

Dive: 2 Anita’s reef Viz 30 metres…very slight current if any, we dropped down the sloping reef to ten metres, where we found huge sways of Garden Eels. Strange little Eels that sway in the current, half of their bodies buried into the sand, when divers get to close they sink back into their holes.

A huge Trevally and Spanish Mackerel came hurtling into the sandy area chasing a fish, both large pelagic predators hit the sand with a bump, not sure what kind of fish they were chasing, but, the Trevally got fed and the large Mackerel shot back out into the blue still hungry.

Closer inside the reef on top of a couple of Bombies the smaller Blue Fin Trevallies, Goat fish and Emperors were smashing the small bait fish, it’s an amazing site to witness, thousands of tiny fish scatter as they are under constant attack from these relentless  predators.

Dive: 3 West of Eden Viz 15 metres…visibility not as good as the other two sites, but just as much life here, if not more. It must be red Tooth Trigger Fish mating season, every few meters along the bottom they are sat on their little nest that they arrange by blowing water jets from their mouth onto the rocky bottom, exposing the sandy area underneath.

We swam into the slight current towards the other dive site in the area Deep Six. As we reached the huge boulders, the current could be felt getting stronger, so we turned around and headed back in the drift.

On our way back, there was a couple of Moray Eels fighting.  A Yellow Edged and a Giant Moray. I missed the start of the fight, so not sure what they were squabbling about, but the Giant moray had a large cut to its mouth and the Yellow Edge had a few slashes along its body, it is best to give them a swift swerve, no point it getting involved.

Dive: 4 Breakfast Bend (sunset dive) Viz 15 metres, after three dives today, we decided a pleasant drift dive to finish off the day.  Huge school of fusiliers, almost luminescent in colour flew by us, after that we bumped into yet another Large Red Octopus must be breeding season too.

Then not one but two Large Napoleon Wrasse, we have not seen either of these two for a few months so it was good to see them again. Tonight we sleep in the Similans, Island #9 to be precise.

Diving Day 2 – 28 December 2013

We woke in the shadow of Island #9: 6:30 am and the sun was slowly bringing its light and warmth to our boat, after coffee and toast and maybe a bowl of corn flakes, it’s time for a dive.

Dive: 5 Christmas Point  Viz15 metres… no current here the dive site bottoms out at over 50 metres, our depth was 26 metres. The bottom is littered with huge boulders, they are literally the size of houses, and we swam in-between and over the top and in some cases through the gaps.

Many mackerel and Blue Fin Trevallies looking for an early snack, Hawksbill turtle and the elusive Ribbon Eel were some of the critters we encountered on this dive. Plus several large Morays, Peacock, Blue lined and Jewel groupers. Also Oriental Sweetlips Red-tailed Butterfly Fish, Lined Butterfly fish and some Banner Fish to name but a few of the species on this site.

Dive: 6 Koh Bon (The Ridge) Viz 20 metres… Current quite strong, the Vis has dropped a bit here since last week and the current has picked up, also there are some larger waves outside of the Island bay. Due to this, we jumped from a different point; in essence we did the dive back to front, starting from the North side of the Island finishing back in the bay, as opposed starting in the bay.

Trevallies, Emperors all hunting on the wall, Scorpion Fish scattered along the top of the ridge, Moon, Rainbow and Speckled were just a few of the  Wrasse we encountered. Also the East Indian and tomato Clown fish were hiding in their anemones. Close to the wall there is many different species of Blennies popping their little heads out of the crevices as we drift by.

Dive: 7 Koh Tachai (Plateau) as we went down the line we saw several other divers coming up, so we had to make way for them. As we descended to 15metres, we went looking for our friends, the two Napoleon Wrasse we had seen on the previous dive here, alas they were not to be found.

Onwards and upwards, we hit 25 metres and started gently circling the magnificent Plateau, the huge boulders protecting us from the surging current.  First they appeared as a silhouette maybe fifty, a hundred, maybe even more, Pick Handle Barracudas came in close, so obviously hunting, like a hungry pack wolves at feeding time, and they are a formidable force.

Then another smaller group this team an even bigger species of Barracuda, Yellow Tails, this turned into a wonderful dive experience, better than any wildlife documentary.

Fantastic, just as they swam by the Giant Trevallies came in bombing raids, one then two of them, then a whole task force, ripping the small bait fish to shreds, the little fish had nowhere to go.

Already our air was dwindling and the safety stop approaching rapidly. We will be back to Koh Tachai again; maybe if conditions are good in the morning, we will have to see.

Dive: 8 Koh Tachai (Anchalee Bay Reef) after a great day of diving a sunset dive was needed. No current whatsoever, depth no more than 12 metres. We cruised this stunning little bay for 40 minutes, finding Crabs small Spiny Lobsters an absolute mass of Glass Fish that seem to only have a few small Mackerel as predators.

The coral in Anchalee Bay is in absolute pristine condition, nowhere else where we dive are there hard corals like these, a real eye opener. We are almost absolutely sure that hardly anyone knows about this dive site, let alone ever dive here. We will be back.

Diving Day 4 – 30 December 2013

Dive 13 – The Teak Wreck Viz excellent maybe 30 plus metres here today a little swells making the dive a little testing on the surface, slight current, again the school of Batfish we there to greet us 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. A couple of our guest completed their Advanced open water course on this dive. So congratulations to them.

Dive 14 – The Thai Muang Wreck: Viz 20 metres again same as last week, there was also a mild current it seems that the currents are definitely picking up now.
This old Tin Mining Vessel is from the days of the Phuket Tin Mining era. Sitting at 20 metres and is the home for so many fish and also it’s a nursery.  We saw a very small Titan Trigger Fish here, also two Honeycomb Moray and White eyed Moray and a huge amount of Yellow and Blue Striped Snapper.