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 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.

MV Giamani Log Book

17 – 19 January 2014 – Hin Daeng / Hin Muang & Koh Haa

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.

MV Giamani Log Book

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

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.

MV Giamani Log Book

22 – 26 December 2013 – Similan Islands & Surin Islands

MV Giamani Liveaboard Trip Log: 22 – 26 December 2013.

Port of departure:  Chalong Pier, Phuket Island.

Weather Conditions: Warm evening, very slight north easterly breeze.

Sea Conditions: slightly choppy seas.

On-board we have customers from: UK, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Hong Kong & Thailand.

Diving Day 1 – 23 December 2013

We awoke in the Similans in the gentle sway of the sea. A beautiful morning we watched the sunrise, as we enjoyed our steaming cup of coffee. Ricardo then gave the dive brief for our first dive of the day, on Shark Fin Reef.

Dive: 1 Shark Fin Reef- Viz 25 metres… The first dive of the trip is always a check dive making sure all are comfortable in the water, enough weight is used and air consumption is closely monitored. The dive itself was a great wake up call. Hundreds of Long tail Surgeon fish, the current drifting us down the dive site quite steadily, we also saw a couple of Trevallies hunting.

There was school after school of glass fish darting about; all trying to avoid becoming breakfast for the hungry Yellow Tailed Mackerels. We then decided to cross the reef to the other side and were not disappointed, finding a Hawksbill turtle slowly swimming about looking for some soft corals to munch on.

Dive 2:Elephant Head rock – Vis 30 metres… This is one of the trickier dives in the Similans, it drops down to over 50 metres and with the huge boulders littering the bottom and creating unique currents, sometimes really strong currents, thus causing shorter dive times due to extra air being consumed.

Another mesmerizing dive at Elephant head rock, there was some current pulling us around, but it was easily managed. The swim through’s are stunning, loads of reef fish which all seem bigger here than other sites, even Titan Trigger fish which was well behaved, seem bigger here. Giant Barracuda, Black Tip Reef sharks too.

Dive: 3 Christmas Point – Vis 20 metres… well it is Christmas and we felt a little festive, so we decided to try a different dive site than usual, we do like to live life on the edge on Giamani.

The dive site is completely submerged, except a small breaching pinnacle that stretches down to about 30 metres. There were some slight waves as we dropped down to 16 metres. Then the reef appears, introducing its bubble blowing audience to a hive of activity.

Masses of Surgeon fish, Blue Fin Trevallies, bullying the glass fish into submission, Tuna and small Barracuda hunting, another Hawksbill Turtle and a clash of the Titans, literally, a Titan Trigger fish attacking a Giant Red Reef Octopus; it’s all go on Christmas Point.

Dive: 4 Breakfast Bend – sunset dive: quite a strong drift dive, max depth 15 metres. All of the usual reef fish suspects. And some strange creatures, particularly at the end of the dive as it was quite dark, the shrimps, crabs, feather stars, all started to wake up.

A huge Giant Moray started to stir, it popped it massive head out of hole just to let us know not to come too close or stick our fingers in where they should not be. What will tomorrow bring? We are now motoring up to Koh Bon, where we will spend the night and in the morning make our first dives.

Diving Day 2 – 24 December 2013

We slept the night in Koh Bon bay, a very peaceful and still night and in the morning the weather was perfect, hardly any breeze. After our early morning slice of toast and cup of tea it was time to get wet.

Dive: 5 Koh Bon Pinnacle Viz 20 metres… The pinnacle is quite deep so a shorter dive than usual was expected. The life down there was simply amazing; it was all go from the start. After our negative entry we descended down to 26 metres, and found all chaos had broken loose. The Giant, Blue Fin Trevallies, help by the small Tunas and Mackerels were ripping into the bait fish without mercy. It was Breakfast time on the reef.

The visibility was very good, so we could see almost everything that was going on. The current was moderate, so at times we had to hang on to the rocks in order to get a good position to view the underwater action.

On our safety stop we had 5 minutes with a large school of Batfish they are very friendly and inquisitive After a 40 minute dive we ascended back to the surface for OUR breakfast and get ready for the next dive.

Dive: 6 Koh Bon Ridge Viz 25 metres mild current… We descended, with the Viz easily at 40 metres, down the wall in Koh Bon Bay to 24 metres and cruised out towards the ridge. There were some Emperor fish hunting with some Blue Fin Trevallies coming to greet us, along with some Angle-fish, two Blue Ringed and Emperor.

There was quite a few scorpion fish there too, the Raggy and bearded scorpion fish also we saw several Lionfish.

Oriental Sweet Lips and Oblique Banded Sweet Lips too, also we saw a Coral Banded Sea Snake about a metre in length. Quite a few Morays were popping their heads out to see what was going on, closer to the rocks the smaller Hawkfish was busy looking for small bite to eat.

Dive: 7 Koh Tachai Pinnacle Viz 20 metres… no current at all till the end, and then it just started as we exited the water. We all descended down the mooring line, we soon reached our max depth of 25 meters, this site goes to 35 and then beyond.
Instantly we were surrounded by a hungry pack of Giant Trevallies, checking us out, making sure we were no threat to them or their food source. Then school of Blue Fin Trevallies gave us a fly by and were gone.

As we moved slowly across the reef, a rarer visitor to these waters lately, a Napoleon Wrasse, then on closer inspection, another one, even bigger. These poor Wrasse’s have been almost hunted out of existence by hungry Asian fish market traders. They are the biggest Wrasse species and are beautiful to watch.

Then from nowhere, a huge school of Black Fin Barracuda, all averaging about 60 cm in length, schooled around us, eyeing us up, as if to ask, what you doing down here, before shooting off into the blue and beyond. The Trevallies were back, this time really moving in and out of all the divers, they were beginning to hunt, this should be exciting.

And so it was, all of a sudden one flew into a huge Bait Fish school and the rest followed, what happened next was complete carnage, it was just a blur of silver and blue and yellow, we had to keep our heads low, the small Yellow Tailed Mackerel came in for the scraps. Still searching for our 1st Manta, but no complaints, hopefully we will be back to Tachai Pinnacle in the morning.

Dive 8:  Tachai reef sunset dive Viz 20.metres… Another great end to a great days diving, drifting down Tachai reef, as all the fishes get ready for the night. Loads of Feather stars and Shrimps, plus two huge Giant Trevallies came flying in to see what we were up to, they seem to be getting very intimate with each other, gliding by rubbing their bodies against each other

Diving Day 3 – 25 December 2013

We slept on Tachai Island under a clear starry sky, the weather so mild. Discussions of what we may find on Richelieu Tomorrow. Anything can turn up there, well almost anything.

Dive: 9 Koh Tachai Viz 25 metres +… at the start of the dive there was no current, so we dropped off the descent line and hit the bottom at about 20 metres There we found two Reef Octopus, together in a loving embrace. Further round the reef all creatures were starting to wake, the Yellow Tail Mackerel were heading straight for the Glass fish.

Then a school of Blue Fin Trevallies came by, followed by half a dozen Tuna, the current had now begun to start moving. The Barracudas however, had still not shown up, maybe they had had a tough night on the reef.

We saw a Clown Triggerfish, they have amazing colouring, several species of Lion Fish and a scorpion fish, also a huge Parrot fish with markings like I have never seen before. Plus a couple of Oriental Sweet lips, school of Moorish Idols and heaps of Longfin Banner Fish. There really is just too many fish to mention here…
Next dive Richelieu Rock!

Dive: 10 Richelieu Rock Viz 15 metres… very little current, we dropped right on top of another octopus, instantly it changed its body colouring and texture to that of its surroundings, they are fantastic masters of camouflage.
With no current there were not so many big boys about so we concentrated on the macro life we spotted loads of Durban dancing shrimp, Boxer shrimp, White Albino Pipefish (30cm long).

A huge school of Yellow tail Snapper seemed to follow us on the dive, maybe looking to hide amongst us, who knows, but they are so beautifully coloured. Inside the rock crevices was a white eyed moray swimming around looking for a safe place to wait.

Dive: 11Richelieu Rock Viz 15 metres current starting to pick up, not so many divers from other boats this dive, which is good. Visibility is usually better here than today. We cruised around the south side of the reef, finding some unique Nudibranchs indigenous to this site only. Large cuttlefish, Coral banded Sea Snake, Peacock Mantis Shrimp, and  Anemone Crab.

Then the big boys came out to play, we moved around the reef further bumping into a small school of Yellow Tail Barracudas (1.2 metres each), closely followed by another school of Barracuda; this team, were of the Pick-handle variety, a little smaller than their yellow Tailed cousins, but no less menacing to the smaller fish.
Closer into the rocks looking for the smaller stuff, I noticed several different gobies and an Eastern Rainbow wrasse, Check-board Wrasse and Speckled Wrasse. A couple of tiny juvenile Puffer fish (very rare) a Bicolor Wrasse, Powder blue Surgeon fish, and a Picasso Trigger fish, I could go on and on.

Dive: 12   Richelieu Rock sunset dive Viz 15 metres… maximum depth 18 metres, current moderate… many fish again at this time of the day, we always see more on a sunset dive at Richelieu. On the outskirts of the reef, Yellow -Tail Barracudas were out patrolling along with the Trevallies and Mackerel…Supper Time!

We also found an old friend that we thought had gone missing, a pair of Harlequin Shrimps. There has been a pair of these critters here for years and it’s the first sighting for us this season. Harlequin Shrimps are unmistakable; they are usually in pairs, the female being the bigger of the two, with very small body’s, decorated in a harlequin colour scheme and possessing large claws.

Normally in these claws are large pieces of Starfish, which they have rudely slice off from the nearest unsuspecting starfish, welcome back Shrimps.

Diving Day 4 – 26 December 2013

We slept the night close to Khao Lak as our last two dives of the trip are wreck dives and are both close to the mainland resort.

Dive: 13 The Teak wreck sits down at 40 metres, the Viz was at 20 metres which is very good here, giving us a great view of the wreck itself. We descended down to 24 metres, and hit the wreck square on; as it lies on its port side.

From there we can see its full cargo of Teak Timbers, huge timbers in fact, so huge and heavy they do not even float. The marine life is growing daily, there are lots of Common Lionfish, and watching them heard the small fish into their lair is a special treat.

There of course is a huge school of Yellow Snapper. White Eyed Moray Eel was skirting around looking for a bite to eat too. The dive is relatively short, our bottom time did not exceed 40 minutes that is with the safety stops included, it’s a wonderful dive, an eerie dive, like some ghost ship from a bygone era.

Dive :14 Thai Muang Wreck (old Thai Tin Mining Dredger) Viz 20 metres… an amazing array of life on this little wreck. Over the years it has become a nursery for Juveniles; here is a list of some of the young fish we have just seen:-
Yellow Tailed Barracuda (20 cm), Titan Trigger Fish (20cm), Lizardfish (5 cm),White Spot Snapper (15cm), Bearded Scorpion fish (15cm)… We also saw a Honeycomb Moray Eel, White Eyed Moray and some huge Common Lion Fish and small Emperor Fish. The whole wreck is covered bow to stern in fish, great dive for the end of the trip, now, back to Chalong Bay, Phuket Island.

MV Giamani Log Book

20 – 22 December 2013 – Hin Daeng / Hin Muang & Koh Haa

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.

MV Giamani Log Book

13 – 15 December 2013 – Hin Daeng, Hin Muang Safari

MV Giamani Liveaboard Trip Log: 1800 hours: 13 – 15 December 2013.

Port of departure:  Chalong Bay, Phuket Island.

Weather Conditions: Scattered clouds, warm evening, very little breeze.

Sea Conditions: Calm with minor swells.

On-board we have customers from: Russia, Singapore and Thailand.

After the fire crackers which is an old Thai tradition, in order to bless the boat for a safe trip, we were under way; a wonderful balmy evening, sailing toward Phi Phi Island with the sunset as a backdrop

Dive Day One – 14 December 2013

We awoke at 6.30 am next to Hin Daeng, a very deep dive site, which reaches depths of 60 meters and beyond. It breaks the surface by only a meter or less. The sea was calm with only a slight breeze on the surface causing small ripples.

Dive 1 Hin Daeng – Viz 20 meters very slight current drifting from east to west. The Giant & Blue Fin Trevallies and Dogtooth Tunas with small several Mackerel tagging along were all out in the early morning looking for breakfast. The small bait fish never really stood a chance; it was a free for all feed-fest down there. A couple of very lazy Moray Eels looked like they were still sleeping, plus loads of Nudibranchs and a beautiful cowrie.

Dive 2 – Hin Muang – Viz 20+ meters there was quite a few divers on this site, maybe they know something we don’t. A few Rainbow Runners greet us with a fly by as we descend. There was a huge Grouper, groupers are usually quite timid fish, keeping distance from divers, but not this one, it was on cleaning station, and as we approached it, it did not even flinch, must have been 40 kilos in size.

A little bit further down the reef and it seemed to go all quite, all the fish seem to have disappeared. Then out of nowhere, rising from the depths, a 4 meter Manta Ray flew right over our heads. Incredible!

Dive 3 – Hin Muang – Viz 20 + meters we decided to stay and try our look again, see if we can get an even better look at this Massive Manta. Even before all the divers were in the water, it appeared again, just 3 meters below the boat, circling the reef like a huge space ship.

When all the divers finally splashed in, excited at the prospect of another sighting, we headed down but only to around 6 meters. The manta came around for another showing, hang on, another manta, two mantas together, we were blessed. One Manta had a perfect formed long tail, the second one however, had only half a tail. We stayed with them for ten minutes.

Further down the reef there was another Manta, this one had no tail whatsoever, who knows how they lose their tails, maybe fighting with sharks, and another mystery of the deep goes unsolved. Three Mantas, one dive, fantastic! Does it get any better?

Dive 4 – Koh Haa, The Cathedral viz 15 meters quite poor for Koh Haa as we normally expect about 25 meter viz. A sunset dive at Koh Haa, we dropped down to 18 meters and drifted round the corner towards the 3 huge caverns. As we entered the first cavern and made our way about 6 meters inside we turned to look at the wonderful silhouette of the other diver’s images, as they swam toward us. Loads of Nudibranchs, Featherstars, Shrimp, Spiny Tail Lobster, and we even found Nemo.

Dive Day 2 – 15 December 2013

Another beautiful sunny day with very little breeze and no surface current evident We awoke in the Phi Phi islands next to Bida Nai. We were the only boat in the area, so we decided to get a move on before the hordes of divers arrived from Phi Phi.

Dive 5 – Bida Nok – Viz in places was only 5 meters, but after a few minutes it cleared up, revealing Bida Nok’s wonders.  There was a slight surge, and as we rounded the corner to the deeper part of the dive site we immediately met up with the thousand (at least) strong school of Yellow Tail Snappers.

The poor snapper’s in turn were being tormented by half a dozen Giant Trevally. Also we saw a Hawksbill Turtle, loads of Morays of different species, Giant Fimbriated and Yellow Edged plus loads of Long Toms on the surface.

Dive 6 – The King Cruiser Wreck- Viz 15 + meters we descended down the mooring line to 17 meters, there was 6/7 divers on their way up, so we had to avoid them. On top of the wreck we were greeted by two huge schools of juvenile fishes. One of Yellow Snappers and the other Barracudas, each school 500 strong, we dived headlong into the Barracudas and watched them scatter, would not do that with their parents though, they get to over a meter in length each and don’t take to kindly to silly divers annoying them..

The wreck is still an eerie place, the way the light hits it in different directions, like a ghost ship from another era. KC still attracts more divers than most other sites because it is still a fantastic dive site.

Dive 7 – Koh Doc Mai – Viz 10 meters, the last dive of this trip before we head to Phuket and pick up and drop off guests. Before heading out to the Similans for a four day trip, Koh Doc Mai is a great wall dive and ideal for macro hunters. We saw loads of Box Shrimp, Cleaner Shrimp and Cleaner Pipefish, White Eyed Moray Eels. Fusiliers, Blue-Ringed Angle fish, Coral banded Sea Snake. Great drift dive to end the trip.

MV Giamani Log Book

7 – 13 Dec 2013 – Similan Islands Trips

MV Giamani Trip Log: 09-13 December 2012.

Port of departure: Phuket Island.

Weather Conditions: Bright sunshine, flat seas and a mild breeze

“The season has really started now!

The trip got off to a fantastic start with a minke whale mother and cub spotted of the coast of Phuket on the way up to the Similan islands, they stayed with the boat for about 30 minutes.

Once up in the Similan Islands we were treated to perfect high season weather, bright sunshine, flat seas and a mild breeze in the early evening to help cool down.

Also underwater all was good 40 metres visibility allowing us to see all of the massive schools of snapper and fussilier, at West of Eden a Great Barracuda was posing for photos, but drift diving was the order of the day with fairly strong currents.

At Koh Bon Pinnacle we got to see 4 leopard sharks sitting on the bottom (at about 45 metres) and were surrounded by large groups of Giant Trevally and Tuna. Moving on to Koh Bon West Ridge we got a colour changing show from a pair of Octopus as well as being followed by the resident pair of Napoleon Wrasse.

At Koh Tachai we dropped into fish soup, so much life here at the moment massive Blue Fin Trevally, a large school of Pickhandle Barracuda and masses of Jacks and Mackerel feeding on the smaller reef fish, this was topped of with the appearance of two Manta Rays which spent a bit of time with us.

Onto Richelieu Rock, we’ve found the Seahorses again as well as some ornate ghost pipefish for the first time this season. We also had the continuation of the Cuttlefish XXX show, a group of three on the outer side of the rock including a massive male almost a metre long and on the inside of the rock were another pair. On the line we had a large group of Juvenile Batfish and a hovering Great barracuda.”

Guest Comments:

“Very good and professional guide, very helpful and friendly crew, got taken good care of during the whole trip. I would like to come back and dive with Giamani again.” – Grace K.

“Great crew and service, personal dive boat feeling” – Chuck M.

“Similans = Giamani” – Daniel P.

MV Giamani Log Book

29 Nov – 01 December 2013 – Hin Daeng, Hin Muang Safari

MV Giamani Liveaboard Trip Log: 29 Nov to 1st December 2013

Port of departure:  Chalong, Phuket.

Weather Conditions: Blustery winds.

Sea Conditions: Over a meter swells coming in from the east.

On-board we have customers from: Singapore, Spain, Italy and Germany.

Chalong is very windy this evening, although there is no rain. Over a meter swells. We left at around 8pm. Dinner was served; we then set up the equipment for the next day’s diving. Although we were not sure whether we could go to Hin Daeng the next day, we would sure try. We slept the night in the safety of Phi Phi Islands, Maya Bay.

Diving Day 1 – 30th November 2013

The next morning we were greeted with more traditional high season weather of calm seas, blues skies and a gentle breeze. What a relief, we can go to Hin Daeng / Hin Muang after all, and what a treat that would turn out to be.

Dive 1- Bid Nok – Viz only 10 meters which is due to the weather and strong winds. The water temp is still the same a warm 29 degrees. We managed 55 minutes dive time. Giant Moray, was the first thing we saw, Black Tip reef Shark are busy early this morning too. A huge Group of Yellow Snapper, Fusilier’s and loads of different Nudibranch’s.

Also we had Bearded Scorpion fish and a school of Hunting Jacks buzzed us at the end of the dive. But the highlight had to go to the Reef Stonefish we saw walking along the bottom, looking for a new place to sit and catch breakfast no doubt, a fantastic and rare sight indeed.

Dive 2 – Koh Haa Neua (The Chimney) – Viz 15 meters which is not great for Koh Haa as it usually produces at least 25 meters visibility, again all down to the weather; another 55 minute dive. We started at the entrance which is at 5 meters, a huge funnel like cavern which stretches down to 17 meters and is literally full of fish.

After exiting the Chimney there are several other exciting swim throughs to enjoy. Which are full of small Glass Fish all darting around trying to avoid the hungry Groupers in search of a mid-morning snack.

Dive  3- Hin Muang  Again the vis 15 meters and is not what it should be here, with the water taking on a green tinge, meaning a large Plankton bloom, hustled in by the recent strong winds. As we descend to around twenty meters the water starts to clear and it is possible to see the murky water layers on top of the more crystal clear blue, usually associated with this area.

The current was quite strong and building, however as this site lies east to west it is easy to shelter from the strong currents.

We had Giant Trevally hunting and also we saw a huge Jelly Fish being eaten alive by four File Fish, after around 15 minute we ascended to a shallower part of the site, and there coming up like a huge cloud from the deepest depths was a 4 meter wide manta Ray. It swam over our heads by no more than a meter and disappeared as quickly as it appeared – awe inspiring.

After about 20 minutes of the dive we ascended further to around 12 meters, it appeared again, but this time it stayed, there feeding in the current, really disinterested in us, just happy to be feeding on the masses of plankton. We hung out with it till our air ran almost dry.

It is easy to lose oneself in a situation like that and not concentrate on gauges.  We got a much better a look at the huge fish, it had been obviously bitten by a Shark, on its left side fin at some point on its travels and its right front lobe had been damaged too. The huge female was still in excellent shape. And she gave us a dive experience of a life time.

Dive 4- Hin Daeng Viz 15 meters this was an excellent choice as a sunset dive, there was very strong current ripping in now, but there are many place to hide on this devastatingly deep dive site. The action at this time of the day is mesmerizing to say the least. The action here is fantastic, Blue Fin Trevally greeted us on our entry to scope us out, they then disappeared and a huge Giant Trevally came in for inspection. The bait fish that were being stalked by these predators never stood a chance. Also looking for supper were some great Barracuda and Dogtooth Tuna.

Diving Day 2 – 1st December 2013

Another beautiful start to the day as we woke again in Maya Bay, and after a light breakfast we headed out to the Bida Island for our first dive

Dive 5 – Bida Nai  Viz only 10 meters here, and the current was strong, as we turned south towards fantasy reef, it was a drifting experience as we cruised along the bottom looking for the elusive Leopard Sharks. There was not much life to see here as we needed to head back to the main part of the site the current was growing stronger, so we had to be careful, we managed to get over to the swim throughs and admired the huge Gorgonian sea fans.

Dive 6 – Phuket Shark Point  Viz 10 meters No current as we entered on high tide. We stayed around the main pinnacle, looking for Nudibranch’s and Seahorses we also got some great pictures of an Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish, a very beautiful and quite rare member of the Seahorse family.  Also Huge Porcupine Box Puffer, Sea Snake, and a fine selection of Morays too, alas no Sharks.

Dive 7 – Koh Doc Mai Viz just 10 meters, this is a great wall dive, especially looking for macro life, so the diver needs to be close to the wall searching every nook and cranny along the way. The current gave us a decent drift so little effort was needed from our group finning wise. Many different species of Nudibranchs, Durban Dancing Cleaner Shrimp, Jens Pipefish, Common Pipefish (not so common) were also spotted.

Not 1, not 2 but 3 Tiger Tail Seahorses all in different areas of the reef, a testament to the dive guides eye sight which is surely not fading with age. One of the Sea Horses was a juvenile and half the size of the other two. We also took a look inside the 2 huge caverns, very dark and eerie, wonderful dive to cap a quite fantastic trip.

We headed back to Chalong for 3.30 pm to pick up a couple more customers and head out to the Similan Islands in the evening.