We 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.
The 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.
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.