MV Giamani

DRT Singapore 2017

DRT Singapore 2017 – Special Show Rates

MV Giamani (Oct to May)

Hin Daeng, Koh Haa & Phi Phi Island

2 day / 2 night incl. 7 dives

• Deluxe Cabin: S$ 898 Now S$ 800
• Master Cabin: S$ 1,020 Now S$ 910

Similan Island & South

6 day / 6 night incl. 21 dives

• Deluxe Cabin: S$ 2,694 Now S$ 2,300
• Master Cabin: S$ 3,061 Now S$ 2,610

Similan Islands & Richelieu Rock

4 day / 4 night incl. 14 dives

• Deluxe Cabin: S$ 1,796 Now S$ 1,610
• Master Cabin: S$ 2,041 Now S$ 1,830

Myanmar (Burma) Safari

6 day / 6 night incl. 18 dives

• Deluxe Cabin: S$ 2,939 Now S$ 2,640
• Master Cabin: S$ 3,306 Now S$ 2,970

MV Giamani – Summer Season
(May to August)

Phi Phi Islands

2 day / 2 night incl. 7 dives

Every TUE – WED

• Deluxe Cabin: S$ 714 Now S$ 610
• Master Cabin: S$ 796 Now S$ 680

Raya Noi & Phi Phi Island

2 day / 3 night incl. 8 dives

Every FRI – MON

• Deluxe Cabin: S$ 898 Now S$ 760
• Master Cabin: S$ 1,020 Now S$ 870


May to October


Weekend Special – SAT & SUN

Raya Noi & Phi Phi Island


S$ 285
$ 125




Phuket Airport Transfers

Starting from S$ 385
(Single Sup. S$ 99)



$ 140

Dive Crew MV Giamani

Fabio – MV Giamani Dive Crew

Fabio - MV Giamani Thailand Liveaboard InstructorFabio – MV Giamani Dive Crew member first discovered the underwater world ­in the Red Sea, and the passion for Scuba Diving started.

He was living in Italy studying mechanical and spending his fre­e time doing sport an­d nature activities. After few years work­ing in the mechanical­ sector he decided to­ change his life and ­dedicate himself full­ time to his passions: Scuba Diving & t­ravel the world.

It started with 2 seasons as an internship to become Divemas­ter and then Instruct­or in Palinuro, Italy­, an area very famous for the­ wonderful underwate­r world and famous for Cave D­iving.

He spent 3 years teaching Scuba diving and guiding in Italy, Porto Fin­o Marin Park, Palinur­o Cape, Pantella Isla­nd and Sardinia.

After this experience he decided it’s time to leave ­the “developed World”­ to start his 3 years long adventure to­ the remote and wild ­Mafia Island in Tanzania. A place very famous for ­Whale sharks, Humpback Whale, Turtle nest ­and the huge Jant Gro­uper. From there he h­as travelled all the ­South East part of the African continent.

Fabio also spent a season in Maldives,­ into the wonderful ­Hanifaru Marin Park.

Falling in love for­ Thailand, at the mom­ent his favourite div­e sites are Richelieu­ Rock, considered one of the Top Ten Dive­ Site in the world. He also loves the dive sites K­oh Bon and Koh Tachai­ with the frequently ­spotting of the big b­oys such as Mantas and Wheal­esharks.

He has a passion for everything that has to do with nature, travel, ­exploring, and all th­e sports connected wi­th them: trekking, ro­ck climbing,  Snowboarding, bikin­g and downhill, sport­ Skate and freestyle,­ hokey, swimming, but­ first of all Scuba Diving.

His Motto … “Eve­ry dive is like pai­nt for the painter, i­t’s up to us make a m­aster piece from the f­rame.”

Fabio is a licensed Scuba Diving Instructor with PADI, PSS ­and CMAS, he speaks Italian &­ English and is eager to share his passion and experience wi­th the divers from al­l over the world.

Dive Crew MV Giamani

Ricardo – MV Giamani Crew

Colona Liveaboards Thailand Tourleader - Ricardo
MV Giamani Tourleader – Ricardo

The dive started off like thousands of others, with a slow descent through clear waters onto the reef. It swiftly veered into the unexpected with the sudden raining down of four dive weights as a customer’s weight pockets malfunctioned. Nearly missing taking a couple on the head, the dive leader quickly looked up, saw that the weightless diver had abandoned her efforts to get down and, verifying that the boat was still at the drop-off point, started to head down to join the rest of his group of divers who had already descended to around 25m, all while preparing a safety sausage for release from the bottom. Ricardo, tour leader and dive instructor on the Giamani, was able to do this because 1) he knew his team on the boat and that they would take care of the diver at the surface 2) he was already prepared for this kind of contingency and could instantly deal with the situation before it became a problem.

This extensive knowledge only comes from long experience, the kind obtained first-hand from a lifetime spent near the ocean. Ricardo can be seen as coming from the old school of adventurers, not purposely looking for life in exotic, far-flung destinations but finding himself there as a result of his passion for all sports, aquatic ones in particular, and from incidents such as having been stranded several times out in the Atlantic Ocean while windsurfing as a teen – the first time for 36 hours, the second time for 12 and the third time for only two after his exasperated and worried father finally got him an emergency signalling device! These occurrences didn’t put him off in the slightest but did nurture a deep respect in him for the true nature of the ocean.

He first found himself diving underwater at the age of 13 the way the first pioneers used to do it, by just strapping a tank on his back, going down and heeding the basic instructions he was given to not hold his breath while coming up. Literally going wherever the wind took him, he was able to travel the world doing what he loved by being sponsored in windsurfing championships.

After earning a degree in sports education, Ricardo managed to meld these first experiences into job opportunities, which ranged from organising corporate team-building adventures in 4x4s to promoting sports on behalf of his local municipality and opening a dive centre in an area without any pre-existing facilities. The only time he ended up donning a suit and tie in the morning was still to show up to work on a beach at a 5-star resort! Eventually, he ended up in the world’s southern tip working in some of the most famous spots for marine encounters: South Africa for great white sharks and sardine runs and Mozambique with its “wild” dives in Tofo where it is possible to see the big five of the underwater world on a daily basis: giant mantas, whalesharks, whales, dolphins and sharks. As for his time with the great whites, Ricardo was able to do what most would never dare as he learned how to free dive with them, training under world-renowned Michael Rutzen, aka Sharkman, who holds the distinction of having spent the most time with these awesome creatures outside of a cage. Working in Africa also gave Ricardo the precious ability of being able to fix almost all equipment problems – a necessity when spare parts would often take days or weeks to arrive.

Luckily for the Giamani, Ricardo found himself in Bangkok one day as part of a South African sports delegation and felt immediately at home in the country. He has since worked several seasons in the Phuket area, where he has been able to bring all his experience to bear to ensuring that divers safely enjoy their time underwater and to sharing his passion for the underwater world with them.

For example, he always has with him, as part of his standard equipment, two fluorescent yellow safety sausages, which are distinct from the majority of red SMBs around. One of them is connected to a reel with 50m of line. On any given dive, he often uses both, not just for safety reasons, but to ensure that everyone in his group can enjoy a comfortable dive and dive times. In the case first mentioned, by the time Ricardo joined his group on the bottom, the bright yellow tube was already bobbing on the surface and it was a simple matter for the diver, once again properly weighted, to follow the line down to Ricardo’s reel and the rest of the group for what turned out to be another great dive.

In spite of all his experiences, you won’t find Ricardo complacent about diving or garrulous about old dive stories. Rather, he’s focused on different divers’ individual needs and excited about the next dive. If you look through the Giamani’s guestbook, you’ll find such remarks as Ricardo is the “diver’s MacGyver” and the “God of Divemasters” but if you repeat such comments to him, you’ll even see that he’s capable of blushing.

MV Giamani Technical Diving

Tech Diving Liveaboard MV Giamani

Tech Divers on Tec Diving Liveaboard MV Giamani
Tec Divers ready for diving

Tech Diving Liveaboard MV Giamani – During MV Giamani’s Similan Islands season our main focus is on recreational divers, simply because the majority of our customers are recreational divers. However we are very much willing and able to accommodate the needs of technical divers during these trips.

  • Rebreather SCR & CCR
  • Twin Set ups
  • Side mount

MV Giamani’s  dive deck was originally designed for 22 divers to have ample room. We take now a maximum of 12 (including dive staff) so there are acres of space for each diver, meaning that if you need a twin set and a drop tank or a re-breather unit and a bail-out tank there is plenty of room on the tank racks for you ad  your equipment. Our new wider rear platform gives you plenty of space to organise your Tech equipment for entry and makes it very easy, for our staff, to help you exit the water.

For those wishing to use re-breathers (CCR / SCR) we carry plenty of Oxygen on board (100% O2 fills available), normally used for Nitrox blending, and are more than happy to fill your tanks for you. We can also blend Nitrox to your desired mix, between 21% and 40%, if you want to use other blends please let us know and we can arrange to have a number of tanks on board pre-mixed to the required level.

Our boat crew are very experienced at working with technical divers as the boat spends five months every year running technical diving liveaboard trips out of Koh Tao for Tech Thailand. They understand how most of the tech equipment works and also understand the different procedures necessary when diving with technical equipment.

If you require any special equipment please let us know in advance and we can normally arrange to have it available for you to rent. We can also arrange for all the special materials you need such as sorb for a rebreather unit.

In the past years we hosted many groups of technical divers on our recreational trips, including those using twin sets, re-breathers and side-mount systems.

If you wish to join us just get in touch and let us know what you need and we will be happy to arrange your technical diving requirements.

More about Tech diving in Phuket, Thailand here…

MV Giamani Log Book

MV Giamani – Chrismas Cruise 2015

Group Picture - MV Giamani Christmas Trip 2015We had just finished the short trip to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang… just the time to fill the boat with diesel, food and fresh water and the new guests were ready to embark on MV Giamani, for our long Christmas trip 6 days to Similan and Surin National Parks. A full immersion in the best dive sites that Andaman Sea could offer with the new international team from England, Finland and USA.

We started easily in Anita’s Reef… a sandy slope full of coral bommies, to let the beginners with 30 dives and “refresher” (not diving since 4 years ago) start as easy as possible without any stress. Fixing any trim, buoyancy or any other kind of issues, straight away on the spot, to maximize everyone’s experience.

Enjoying the clouds of glassfishes all around and the corals in pristine conditions , everybody came back in perfect shape and just few suggestions were given during the debriefing.

The following dives were just a matter of experiencing the dive sites at best… sometimes me or Ricardo were sharing air with the one that was running low due to the excitement, or we reorganized the groups as needed so everybody was able to finish the dive based on his own air consumption.

MV Giamani Christmas Trip 2015 - Guest BookThe first two days we explored all the possibilities offered by the Similan Island: Deep Six, North Point, West of Eden, Elephant Head Rock and Turtle Rock to cover all the possible “god’s displaced boulders scenario”. A variety of huge rocks placed one on top of the other, in uncertain balance, peculiar in the Similan. Both above the surface and underwater.

Breakfast Bend with a storm of batfishes and a napoleon wrasse; Honeymoon Bay with a sudden small frogfish just right before the safety stop completed the schedule of the first two days.

We then proceeded towards Koh Bon and Koh Tachai for a third day surrounded by the usual schools of emperors, travallies and giant ones, barracudas and rainbow runners.

A sweet raisin muffin for snack, a visit to the empty pristine beach of Tachai and we went to jump for a sunset dive with two small black tip sharks suddenly taking a look at this bunch of divers! Jet Ski Rock: it always brings some new surprise to the ones whom are visiting!

Waking up the morning after, me and Ricardo were impressed by finding again, for the fourth time in 2 weeks, the Tachai Pinnacle without any sign of current. Close to the full moon day and with a supposed 0.4m change in tide! So we were able, again, to reach the second of the “twin peaks”, swirling around the impressive coral garden that’s in in between the two. Big groupers quietly swimming all around… one even chilling using a coral like an hammock!!
The subsequent three dives took places close to Surin Islands, home of the Sea Gipsies. Was the first visit to the Surin’s dive sites (other than Richelieu Rock) this year… and we were rewarded with a couple of white tip sharks, another napoleon wrasse, huge lobster and thousands of snappers and fusiliers all over.

Time for Christmas eve dinner, with our cook best recipes including proper Lasagna, roasted pork, soup and some thai specialties. Plus a panettone cake for dessert.

Definitely the correct amount of calories to stand the Christmas diving day at Richelieu Rock: starting against a medium-strong current, just to wake up with the Giamani’s aqua gym class! The four dives on this amazing pinnacle in the middle of nowhere made everybody happy and full filled, particularly the 6 cuttlefishes mating and fighting brought awesome footage in the cameras of the divers around.

Another super dinner, just to be sure to not become too slim, and a good night of sleep, preceded the last two wrecks dives, covered by fishes of every kind. We finished our Christmas trip sailing back to Chalong as usual, relaxing on the sun deck or reading some book around the common area. And along with the washed equipment, our Santa Claus’s beards, used to dive in Richelieu Rock the day before, lined up, drying in the sun, on the bow of Giamani.

MV Giamani Technical Diving

Technical Diving Trips in the Gulf of Thailand

USS Lagarto Deck Guns
USS Lagarto Deck Guns

The Gulf of Thailand was heavily patrolled by US subs and during 1945 they sank dozens of “Marus”, Japanese freighters & tankers carrying everything from simple supplies to POW’s (Prisoners of War). Plus there are plenty of other wrecks to explore.

MV Giamani offers every year from May – September Tech Diving Liveaboard trips to dive the most important wreck such as HMS Repulse, HMS POW, USS Lagarto, Shigure, Hatsutaka plus others…

Our trips are perfect for Tech Courses and to complete Open Water Divers needed to complete your certification. We offer IANTD & TDI CCR courses and all PADI Tec Rec courses. Special packages for course plus liveaboard trip are available on request.

From November to April MV Giamani is doing recreational diving trips in the Andaman Sea to Similan Islands, Surin, Richelieu Rock plus the southern islands. Tech Divers are welcome!

Questions? Like to get on board? Please Contact Us Now!

More about Technical Diving in Phuket Thailand here…

MV Giamani Technical Diving

Technical Diving in Phuket, Thailand

Tech Diving MV Giamani
Technical Diving on MV Giamani

Technical Diving – The phrase itself, may invoke thoughts of long dark caves, polar bear infested Ice diving, dark and haunted wreck diving or deep diving, so deep, in fact, you can actually see The Mariana Trench, first hand. Diving in any form is intimidating to the layman.

The hardest part of learning to dive is to go into the shop and ask about any particular course. The Dive industry has for years tried to make this progression easy for the beginner. Try as it may, the industry of diving, is still a little intimidating to break into.

Technical diving is becoming more and more popular and is nowhere near as difficult to get into, nor is it the elusive restricted field that it once was. You do not need to go to college and spend 10 thousand dollars on a course and work in the North Sea for the rest of your life to have a career in this business.

With more and more dive schools offering Technical Diving and Technical Instructors courses, it has never been so open before, though it can be a bit of a mine field. Of course, it is not everyone’s idea of fun. But it does have its appeal, and not only in the male dive environment, as women are getting well into the tech side of things too. Interested? more about Technical Diving courses.

Technical diving defined

Tech Divers on Tec Diving Liveaboard MV Giamani
Tec Divers ready for diving

Technical diving is the use of advanced and specialized equipment along with techniques that enable divers to access to depth, longer dive time, and unusual
underwater environments more safely than otherwise possible.’

Nitrox used to be considered technical diving, but with the widespread use of the mix now appearing on nearly all Liveaboards and most day boats, it is now considered more as a part of recreational diving than technical diving: unless mixed at 36% or greater.

Usually people try their first taste of tech diving using a re-breather, maybe in a local swimming pool as part of their scuba class, it is a great way of learning differing techniques to diving. Re-breathers offer different kind of operating systems with semi closed re-breathers and closed circuit re-breathers

Technical diving requires detailed training, specialized equipment before any certification. Training is offered by more and more dive shops each year, in choosing your instructor and the organisation.

It is advised that any decision on learning should be taken very seriously, and a
comprehensive check of credentials and experience of the instructor and agency should be thoroughly explored before signing up for any course.

World record

Phuket has a fantastic history for technical diving; a new world record was set in these waters not so long ago. English diver Mark Ellyatt, a true pioneer and legend amongst technical divers, along with his crack team of support divers, which included Tec Instructor Phil Phelan, David Hansen, Mike Stark, Glen Dunkley, Monton Bumpenyu (Khun Gai) and Sveinung Skoglund, broke the previous record set a few years earlier.

In 2005 Ellyatt set a world record of 313 meters beating the previous record by 5 meters for the deepest solo scuba dive ever, right here in the seas around Phuket. Ellyatt compared the successive world record attempt to being like ‘a lonely trip, like a trip to the moon.’

Very trippy indeed Mr Ellyatt; it surely takes considerable planning, courage, drive passion and a very active safety conscious attitude to make such a dangerous dive. Make no mistake; diving to these depths is risky, no matter how experienced you are.

Apparently it took only 12 minutes to get to the depth of 313 meters; he spent another minute collecting his thoughts and markers, and then a further 6 hours 36 minutes to make the journey back to the surface.

Ellyatt chose a relatively slow ascent rate at about 18 metres a minute, stopping at 250 meters; the next 4 stops were each 20 metres apart. He planned the dive thoroughly, taking into account gas mixtures, decompression stops, water temperatures and currents as well as physical and mental health; everything had to be prepared to the letter.

Ellyatt took six tanks down with him on the descent, during the rest of the dive, had a further 2 dozen more brought to him upon depths of ascent. Someone remarked since that Ellyatt used more tanks to go 313 meters than operation Desert Storm needed to liberate Kuwait.

Ellyatt said at the end of his dive that he was ‘exhausted, but very happy’ he had dived solo, deeper than anyone had before; he had surfaced without any additional help and without any decompression illness symptoms.

This sort of diving is extreme to say the least and these sorts of depths are not reached every day by just any one. Mark Ellyatt is a full time technical dive Instructor and has twenty years of experience teaching with thousands of dives in all waters around the world; many at depths greater than 200 meters.

Tech Diving in Phuket

Most technical divers at one point or another, are asked why they want to get into this technical stuff? One of the most common answers is to go beyond the limits of scuba diving. To get away from the cluster, the diver soup of some sites, which can be plagued by so many divers at popular resort areas around the world.

Another reason is to visits the rarely seen deeper ship wrecks that lie off the limits of the normal recreational diver radar. These wrecks tend to be in a better state than those frequently visited by the Scooby Doo crowd. Whatever your reasons may be and jokes aside, there is a serious side to diving and this should be in the back of every divers mind at all times.

There are several organizations operating tech courses here in Phuket the most popular technical courses are by

  • PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors)
  • TDI (Technical Diving International)
  • SSI (Scuba Schools International)

Here in the Phuket area there are many excellent options for technical diving:

Some of the wrecks here are the famous King Cruiser (popular training ground) which sank in 1997 it can be reached by local boats in two hours from Phuket.

The Teak wreck is a fairly new wreck, sitting in 40 meters of water and just outside the port of Tablamu, situated near Khao Lak).

HMS Vestal, an old British Second World War ship sunk by the Japanese in the last days of the war and its sister ship HMS Squirrel. The marine life on these sites is spectacular, visibility depends upon local conditions, and both sites are world class technical sites.

There is also an abundance of cave diving, for example: in Khao Sok National Park have many caves to explore and train in.

Also the Sra Keaw Cave near Krabi, there are also caves near Trang(situated a little further south of Krabi). More and more caves are being found and explored each year.

There are even a few caves and caverns around the Islands of Phi Phi and Koh Haa.

There are deep water dive sites for the Tech diver to discover too. The waters off Racha Noi and Hin Muang and the famous Similan islands, all offer stunning dives and all reach depths of 60 meters plus.

They offer fantastic visibility and marine life, with large Trevally’s, Tuna’s and other Jacks plus some huge Barracuda. Also many large pelagic fish visits these sites frequently. Whale-sharks and manta rays are not uncommon here.

More about Tech Diving on board MV Giamani

Important Note: Attempting to perform Technical Diving without proper training and equipment will more than likely result in serious injury or death

MV Giamani

Colona Liveaboards Phuket Thailand

MV Giamani - Class of its own of Liveaboards Thailand
MV Giamani

Colona Liveaboards Thailand have been operating liveaboard Trips out of Phuket since 2000, primarily to Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock in the north and Hin Deang and Hin Muang in the South. We have also made trips into Burma (Myanmar) and the Andaman Islands.

MV Giamani

She was purpose built as a diving liveaboard in Thailand in 1998, in 2007 Colona Liveaboards took possession of her and started running trips to the Similan Islands and Burma. In 2011 she spent a month in the Andaman Islands running trips from there. With the retirement of the MV Colona VI in 2011 she took over her six day schedule which she will be running for the foreseeable future. Comfortably housing a maximum of twelve guests there is plenty of room for relaxing and a spacious dive deck .

Our Liveaboard Dive Crew

Tour Leader / Instructor / Divemaster – Ricardo

Ricardo has been the tour leader on the Giamani for several seasons and is a certified PADI/SSI instructor. He originally hails from Portugal and, in addition to his native language, speaks English, Spanish, some French and Italian and is working on his Thai. Before settling in Thailand, he spent many years working and travelling on different continents, including South Africa which explains his unique English accent. In addition to making sure that everyone has a good time both in and out of the water, Ricardo is an experienced technician and actually enjoys tinkering with mechanical stuff, so feel free to discuss with him any equipment problems you might be having and you’ll discover why he’s called the “diver’s MacGyver”! For a more in-depth profile on Ricardo, click here…

Favourite Dive Sites: Elephant Head Rock & Koh Tachai Pinnacle.

More about your Colona Team at:

MV Giamani Log Book

28 Feb – 02 Mar 2014 – Hin Daeng / Hin Muang & Koh Haa

MV Giamani Trip Log: 28 Feb – 02 March 2014.

Port of departure:  Chalong Pier, Phuket, Thailand.

Conditions: calm and settled.

On-board we have customers from: Italy, Japan & Finland.

We checked everyone’s equipment; all is well, fireworks lit for the blessing of the boat, dinner served and customers chilling out watching the back drop sunset over Phuket behind us.

Diving Day 1 – 1 march 2014

We wake to a beautiful morning, very few clouds and calm seas. Coffee and a light breakfast set’s us all ready for our first dive. After our boat and dive briefing we are set for our first dive of the trip. The excitement is higher than normal, due to the fact that Whalesharks and Mantas Rays have been seen on the last couple of trips. So let go diving and see what we can find.

Dive: 1 Koh Haa Jay Viz 25 metres slight current running south. Our small group headed down, straight on top of a marauding school of Blue Fin Trevallies we watched on helplessly as they laid into the hapless glass fish, it was a massacre.
Further along the reef we saw several species of Moray eel, Giant Yellow, edged and the White kind, there was a small team of Yellow Tailed Barracudas on patrol. A Coral Banded Sea Snake came by; we watched it as it searched the small crevices for its breakfast.

Dive: 2 Hin Daeng, Viz 20 metres strong current there was no point in fighting it so we just went with the flow. We hit around 20 metres depth and went in search of the big boys. Following the reef towards the north end of the dive site, we saw a couple of Scorpion Fish lurking on top of the rocks waiting patiently for their next meal.

A Giant Moray and I do mean Giant Moray Eel with his head out of the rock looking menacing, all the teeth showing as if to say look at me. Further on round the reef the current changed directions, so we had to turn around and head back. Then out of the blue, the biggest Manta of the season so far, maybe 5 metres plus, huge, he gave us a fly by then was gone. Let’s see if we can find him on the next dive.

Dive:3  Hin Muang The current was strong and allowed us to drift quite quickly from one end of the site to the other. The Viz was very good, the bottom at over 65 metres and the magnificent marine life.

We had heard that there were four Manta’s in the area, we searched and searched but to no avail. What we did see was several very large Titan Triggerfish, and Filefish. I suspect however, that a Pod of Dolphins are in the area, I heard a couple of squeaks and clicks and as a lot of the usual reef suspects were not in residence could indicate some large predators in the area.

We will try our luck on Hin Daeng next dive, maybe we can have a little chat with the Manta from the dive before.

Dive: 4 Hin Daeng– Viz 25, no current, after a tricky dive on Hin Muang we decided to enter the water a little earlier to take advantage of the low tide. The instant we went down a two and half metre Manta Ray was waiting for us, she stayed with us for 12 minutes at a depth of 10 metres.

Then, from nowhere, two more Manta’s came by one about 3 and half meter the other maybe 5 Metres. The larger one for some reason seemed to chase the small one away, interesting behavior. All 3 Manta’s were female.

The dive seemed like a dream, surreal in fact, two Manta Rays kept following us, they came around and around. The whole dive, they stayed with us, a dive of a lifetime, the only reason we came up was we all had finished our air; otherwise, we would still be dancing with the Manta now.

Diving Day 2 – 2 mar 2014

We awoke in the shadow of Bida Nok, Phi Phi Islands: 6:30 am after yesterday’s excitement, everyone was ready early and could not wait to get into the water. So let’s see what Bida Nok can turn up..

Dive: 5 Bid Nok Viz varying from 15 meters down very little current. Bid Nok another great wake up dive Bida Nok as usual teeming with life, Yellow and One spot Snappers everywhere, Hawksbill Turtle seem to follow us for about 5 minutes.

A young Great Barracuda came by to see what we were doing and I had no answer for him. Several species of Scorpion Fish including Lion Fish heard small fry into its lair. Unfortunately no Manta’s on this dive, but we have been terribly spoiled already. On to our next dive, breakfast first, and then we will go hunting ghost pipefish and seahorses.

Dive: 6 Phuket Shark Point strong current and Vis 10 metres+. We saw many Moray Eels, but the highlight of them was the Fimbriated, hiding inside a large sea sponge.

We also saw a Tiger Tail Seahorse, Durban Dancing Shrimps and a Jens Pipefish. There was a small school of Yellow Tail Barracuda and some Blue fin Trevallies.  Several Lion Fish and a very unhappy Scorpion fish, reason unknown.

Dive:7 Koh Doc Mai this is the home of the Ghost Pipefish, so we set out with intention. However it soon became obvious that we would not be able to find them due to the current. Normally the current runs from north to south and vice a versa, however today it decided to run in two different directions, strange but true.

As we descended we set off into the current  gently going with the flow, then it changed and started pushing us back from the direction we came from, after about 30 metres it changed again pushing us back the other way. Anyhow we managed 57 minutes the Viz about 8 metres, maybe less.

We did see Jens Pipefish, a very large school of juvenile Barracudas the Small Mackerels were in abundance, they seem to love the strange flow of water, they were hunting feverishly bombing the small baitfish and snapping up and any poor strays.

All in all another great trip aboard Giamani, the boat sails tonight for the Similans and beyond. Will they find more Whalesharks and Manta’s only time will tell; so, until the next time, its good bye from me and goodbye from him, Goodbye!

MV Giamani Log Book

07 – 13 February 2014 – Andaman Sea Liveaboard Safari

MV Giamani Liveaboard Trip Log: 07 – 13  February 2014.

Port of departure:  Chalong Pier, Phuket Island.

Conditions: Beautiful warm evening as the guest arrive full of life and ready for the next weeks adventure.

On-board we have customers from: Spain, UK, USA and Italy

All equipment checked and set up the fireworks and blessing to Buddha and now we are waiting for evening dinner. Tomorrow we will awake on Hin Daeng ready for the day of diving

Diving Day 1 – 8 Februar 2014

The sun rising, bringing its warmth to our boat, as we enjoy our early morning coffee and toast. Ricardo our wonderful Tour Leader enlightens us with briefings about safety and our first dive. The conditions are perfect the temperature in the low twenty, no breeze the sea is flat.

Dive: 1 Hin Daeng Viz 25 metres, at the beginning of the dive everyone did a quick dive check and buoyancy check all weighted correctly, off we went. Hin Daeng is a huge pinnacle of rock shooting up from over 65 metres of depths. It’s a great place for pelagic as they like to swim up from the deep into the shallow gathering plankton and the more aggressive hunters like to use the depth to gain speed in which to attack their early morning prey.It was a little quite this morning however, there was a strong current come in from around the rocks making it difficult to get all the way around. There was several huge Moray eels want in the currant to grab some breakfast, the Trevallies and Tuna  were out hunting, but only the small boys, we did not see the Giant Trevallies as of yet, sure they will come soon enough.

Dive: 2 Hin Muang Viz 20 metres moderate current today, the moon is becoming fuller so the currents are dropping each day. Hin Muang though is still susceptible to currents so we must be careful not to stray off the reef too much or you can get swept away. The fish life here is always amazing; the Trevallies never fail to entertain, as they smash the smaller bait fish up. The Mackerels and Blue Fin Trevallies close in for the kill, and clearing any scraps away that the big boys have left. We also saw the solitary Hawks Bill Turtle that lives here, as it made a dash for a quick breath of air.Moon Wrasse, Long Noose Wrasse, Parrot Fish, Giant Moray Eels, were also seen. Along with an array of other reef fishes that make this site so spectacular, Moorish Idol, Giant and Red Tooth and Picasso Triggerfish, Rainbow Runners, several Huge Groupers and rock Cods. Next Koh Haa

Dive:3  Koh Haa Lek Lek Viz 30+, this dive site is not dived by many companies as they prefer to dive the usual cathedral and Chimney. Lek Lek is one of the deepest drops off in the group of small islands here. The current was mild and allowed us to drift very gradually along, half way through  the dive, a huge ball of thermocline came bounding through, dropping the temperature and Viz  down considerably, but it cleared up just as quickly, revealing back to us, the magnificent marine life.Here we saw some more huge Giant Morays, Rainbow Runners flying along the edge of the reef searching for a bite to eat. Two large Coral Banded Sea Snakes not together, but here none the less. Other fish: Porcupine Puffer Fish, Cube Box Fish, Wrasse, several species of Grouper, including, peacock Brown Large and Giant. We also saw Trumpet Fish and Flute mouths hunting, they accompany the groupers and hide close to them sticking to their backs like glue and then, at the last second, revealing themselves to their unsuspecting prey.

Dive: 4 Koh Haa – The Chimney – Viz 25, no current, it’s a beautiful end to a perfect day here in Koh Haa as the sun sets we descend on one of the most spectacular site of the trip.We descended into the depths to about 18 metres, in the search of scorpion fish we found a couple one Bearded, one Raggy, both large and both very ugly. Also we saw a spot fin Lion Fish and a couple of Common Lion fish.As we turned the corner of the reef into a swim through we saw the entrance of the chimney its not so big but as the diver enters it opens up to reveal a bat cave of fish, it is so full of fish that the diver must literally move them out of the way to get through.Carrying on around the dive site over the edge of the underwater cliffs one gets the feeling of flying over canyons it’s the closest thing we can get to flying. Another great dive to end our first day of the safari. We are now of to Phi Phi Island where we will sleep and do our first dive in the morning

Diving Day 2 – 9 Februar 2014

We awoke in the shadow of Bida Nai, Phi Phi Islands: 6:30 am and as the sun slowly emerged from its lumber, we, the divers, on Giamani enjoyed coffee and toast and the odd bowl of corn flakes time for dive.

Dive: 5 Bida Nok Viz varying from 15 meters down to2 metres at times very little current. Bid Nok has as many if not more fish life than any other dive site around here yet the Viz can let this site down a little.There is a huge school of Yellow Snapper maybe over a thousand strong, as they streamed by they almost bring a tear to the eye, such is the beauty of these little fish. We saw a Devil Scorpion Fish, quite rare, well actually more difficult to find, being so excellently camouflaged, one must be very observant to find these little, but yet deadly fish.Flute mouths and trumpet fish, Trevallies, and Mackerels all out and about in search of breakfast, there were some small Tuna out hunting on the edge of the reef too, all exciting stuff. Couple of Morays tussled for a spot in the rocks, and a couple of black tip reefs Sharks zinged by, far too quickly to show anyone else. Next stop Shark Point!

Dive: 6 Phuket Shark Point No current and Vis 20 metres+ Shark hunting time. There was one Leopard Shark, on the second pinnacle, about 1.8 metres long. We also saw a cuttlefish, Fusiliers, Emperor Anglefish and a Juvenile too.The conditions here were perfect; the past few weeks have been a little tricky at times but not today. Fimbriated Moray Eel and Yellow edged Moray too; we also saw a couple of beautiful Flatworms ‘Spanish Dancer’ and a couple of Ornate Ghost Pipefish.

Dive: 7 Koh Doc Mai absolutely no current and 15 metres of Viz, very easy dive. We saw three Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish Loads of different Nudibranchs, Koh Doc Mai is great for macro life always bring your camera.

We now sail back to Phuket for an hour where we shall refuel and then we set sail for the Similans and beyond. With the conditions very calm we should make good time.

Diving Day 3 – 10 Februar 2014

Similan Islands and another beautiful high season morning to kick of the Similan part of the safari.

Dive: 8 Shark Fin Reef Viz 10 metres which is unusual as the vis is usually 25+ metres. There was a small current which seem to take on different directions throughout he dive and this is possibly why the Viz was not so good. We saw large Moray eels by the bucket loads they were looking for a bite to eat no doubt after a long night on the reef. A couple of Dogtooth Tunas cam and gave us a fly by. Fusiliers, Huge Parrot Fish and several species of Wrasse added colour to the dive. We also saw a couple of dark shadows out in the blue, who knows just what was lurking down there, possible a couple of White Tip reef Sharks or maybe a couple of large barracudas.

Dive: 9 Elephant Head Rock Vis on the west side down to 10 metres, however as we crossed the site through all the swim throughs, the Viz got better up to 25 metres. There was very little current today, which makes a change as this site is susceptible to crazy currents at times.And it’s the swim throughs that make Elephant Head such a special site. There are over a dozen areas where the diver can glide in-between, under and through the rocks; it is a very beautiful place.The fish life is always busy to. There was a huge school of Blue Fin Trevallies out hunting and they are not shy, as they came by us to check out whether they could eat us, fortunately we are too bony and don’t taste so good so they let us on our way.The Dogtooth Tunas and Mackerels were out hunting too, they had their eyes on a large school of Baitfish, which they bombarded and smashed till their stomachs were full.Moray eels grow very large here to. Also there are several species of Scorpion Fish, Fusiliers, snapper’s, Emperors and Goat Fish all out in the mid morning hunt for food. Triggerfish Wrasse and parrot fish are well represented here as well.

Dive: 10 North Point (Rocky Point) Viz 10 metres again we had bad viz for this time of year very strange indeed. It still did not stop u s having a great dive. North Point ca get very deep indeed, so as we descended slowly down the site amongst the huge boulders that litter the bottom, it is quite easy to lose check of the depth here, so caution is required. A little Elephant Head rock there are some swim throughs which have been formed by the huge Granite boulders,  and as we made our way through them we saw a couple of Jens Pipefish dancing in the protective small cavern of one of the boulders. Further round a large school of Goat Fish appeared to see what we were doing, satisfied they swam by. Further off and into the deep we could just make out two larger shapes, just what these were remains a little mystery, but you can bet that they were Grey reef sharks which have been attracted into this site by the cooler and murkier waters.

Dive: 11 Breakfast Bend Sunset dive viz 15 metres this dive site is a favorite for this time of day, as it has a gentle sloping reef which drops down to 20 metres and then beyond. The current can be strong here, but today, it was almost nonexistent.Fishes we saw ion this dive were all out looking for their supper included: Fusiliers, Titan Triggerfish, Picasso and Red Tooth triggers, Napoleon Wrasse (huge), Emperor Angle Fish Blue faced Anglefish Royal Angelfish and several juveniles to, also, Butterfly fish, Pig Face, Spotted and Lined Butterfly.We also saw some garden eels, they are always excellent to observe as they hide most of their body in the sand, and just poke their little heads out hoping to catch a few morsels of food as it floats by

Diving Day 4 – 11 Februar 2014

We slept the night I the safety of Koh Bon, and it is here where we shall do our firsts dive on the Pinnacle, which is always an exciting dive, with very large pelagic turning up here on a regular basis: so let’s get wet and see.

Dive: 12 Koh Bon Pinnacle with very little current and the Viz about 10 metres we still had to take the dive slowly. There is always a chance to see large pelagics on this dive as it is untamed and can be rather unruly, thus attracting the bigger boys, however on this occasion it behave itself and all had a pleasant dive.The Blue Fin Trevallies and Dogtooth Tunas were both working together to bring havoc amongst the large school of Bait Fish.  There seems to more and more Blue Fin Trevallies lately they definitely seem to be congregating on the putter reefs which sells bad news for the smaller fishes as they barge their way in smashing and grabbing any fish that dares to venture into their line of vision.

Dive:13 Koh Bon Ridge Viz in the bay 15 metres but as we got to the ridge it dropped a little to 10 metres. There was very little current so we could just gently fin around this dive site with no problems at all.Normally out on the ridge there is current and this is where the Big Boys tend to hangout when they are in the area. Alas today it was not to be, we had heard rumours of Mantas and a Whale shark being here yesterday but it turned out to be folly.We still had a fantastic dives with huge school of Fusiliers there to greet us as we entered they water of course there was the usual Blue Fin Trevallies lurking around searching for scraps, Dogtooth Tunas and also towards the end of the dive, a huge Giant Trevally came by for a close inspection. Also we had a massive Mappa Puffer fish come right up to us, eyeball to eyeball. Great dive, now we are our way to Tachai.

Dive: 14 Koh Tachai, oh dear me where to start, well when we jumped in there was no current and the bottom was clearer than a daisy, beautiful. As we descended, it was as though we had descended into a Wild West saloon, such was the action and chaos. Trevallies (of course) flying around, but not little one huge Blue Fins and Giant 40 – 50 kilo plus fish attack anything that took its fancy, little further on 50 Yellow tail Barracudas cam by check us out, and let us go with a warning. Further along again, trumpet Fish stalking their prey attaching themselves to large Groupers for camouflage.Rainbow runners came into play, again bigger fish here than most other sites of the Andaman coast, Rainbow Runners are a predatory fish and they hunt in small packs around here sometimes though they school and give the reef fish a real run for their money.Moving along a little more, over a 100 Chevron barracuda even bigger than the yellow tails were just cruising no doubt waiting for the current to kick so they can go hunting too. All in all Tachai is one of the best sites Thailand has to offer, it’s beautiful, it’s amazing, it’s all action and it never ceases to amaze all divers who come here.

Dive: 15 Koh Tachai Reef after a great days diving we decided to chill out on Tachai reef and what a great sunset dive it turned out to be. As all the usual fellows were getting ready for their night on the reef a few other came oput to play. We saw two large red Octopuses, A Hawksbill Turtle that prove not to be camera shy and several of the group got some great photos of her. The wrasses and Parrot fish were getting ready for a night’s sleep and several morays were looking for a protective rock to hide in or behind.

Diving Day 5 – 12 Februar 2014

We woke with the sun on our backs and Tachai behind us, and as we had our early morning tea and toast, we chatted about what would be in store for us today, at one of the best dive sites in the world Richelieu. But before that we still had the little matter of attacking the Tachai Pinnacle again.

Dive: 16 Koh Tachai Viz this morning not as good as yesterday but it was still not fully light. Tachai is still amazing any time of the day, with the current blowing cross the reef we fought it for a little while then let it bring us back to the mooring.All the usual suspects were out hunting breakfast Giant Trevallies large Blue Fin Trevallies Rain bow runners and Tunas causing havoc amongst the more vulnerable fishes of the reef. Also we saw a Clown Triggerfish these little triggers are by far the most easily identifiable triggers of the entire family. Another great dive now and when we surfaced there was a huge pod of Dolphins performing acrobatics for, what seemed like, our entertainment.

Dive: 17 Richelieu Rock Viz 30 metres slight current on one side of reef. Richelieu, showed, it is still the daddy of dive sites in Thailand today. Absolutely stunning are two superlatives and there are many to describe this site.Huge 50 kilo Grouper, Yellow tail Snappers, Juvenile Barracudas, Trevallies, Mackerels Tunas, further down the chain to the smaller stuff, Pipe Fish, Nudibranchs, Gobies, Dart Fish, Cardinals, Sweet Lips.

Dive: 18 Richelieu Rock all the same as we left it. This dive we saw Tomato Anemone Fish, Eastern Clown Fish (Nemo), Durban dancing Shrimp Box Shrimp mantis Shrimp, Cleaner Shrimp, Jens Pipefish, Albino Pipefish, Hawk Fish.Spanish mackerel came spinning by to, a big one, a solitary predator looking for a early dinner. The Trevallies of course were out to. One more dive on Richelieu then we head off closer to home.

Dive: 19 Richelieu Rock another amazing dive on the rock. We dropped down right in the middle of a feeding frenzy Trevallies, Tunas and Emperors all using the current as a springboard to attack attack attack. As we made our way through those rascals, we found ourselves in the middle of a hungry pack of Barracudas all 50 of them and all over 1.3 metres in length. We swam with them for ten minutes just watching observing them as they did us, with their black eyes, simply stunning.

Diving Day 6 – 13 Februar 2014

After our 5 day trek we found ourselves on day 6 moored up just outside Tab Lamu Pier on the mooring of the Teak Wreck

Dive: 20 The Teak wreck sits down at 40 metres, the Viz was at 10 metres which is good here. As we descended down to 24 metres we found the wreck just where we left it last time, not surprising really as it is over 80 metres long full of Timbers and festooned with marine life. Batfish, scorpion fish, Yellow Snapper and one spot Snapper.

Dive: 21 Thai Muang (old Thai Tin Mining Dredger) Viz 8 metres this dive site is a nursery for juveniles. We saw loads of Grouper, Lion fish, Snappers, parrot fish and wrasse and of course the huge school of Juvenile Barracudas.