Eat-sleep-dive at Similan (Jan 9-16, 2011)
It was a second live board dive trip for me, two in 12 months (3rd one is coming soon). I like the way of life of live board- you simply put on your wetsuit and jump into the water, nothing more (but sleep and eat). It looks to me more fun than living at resort, as divers have more time to get together chit-chatting, sharing different sort of UW encounters and beer drinking.
This time, we traveled with MV Colona VI on 7D6N live board package. Our group of 14 divers chartered a boat. Quite a nice vessel with delicious Thai meals served on board.
We traveled from the south to north, and have been to most of the renowned dive sites in Similan Islands (e.g. Sharkfin Reef, Boulder City, Deep Six, East of Eden, Elephant Head Rock, Anita Reef, Snapper Alley, North Point…etc and ended up to Richelieu Rock).
Among all dive sites, Richelieu Rock on Day 6 impressed me most. We made 4 dives there, and it has the most variety of all sites, species like pipefish, seahorse, clownfish, shrimps…etc. The amount of fish circled was spectacular; we encountered thousands and thousands of yellow snapper, small schools of barracuda (<50) and trevally were met there. Richelieu Rock also has the most beautiful soft coral gardens, which was now rare at Similan Islands (was told due to global warming).
We were a bit disappointed with the marine life at Similan, which is one of the top ten in the world. The place looked pretty much spoiled. If you are expecting ‘big’ stuffs , I am afraid that you will be definitely returned home with ‘regrets’ (like me). We haven’t met more than one reef shark there, manta rays and whale sharks were all disappeared. For small stuffs, there were quite a few of them (of very limited variety only). The corals there were bleached or almost dead. There were several dive sites severely damaged by tsunamis, many hard corals were found uprooted/ upturned, and the continuous stress from sustained high water temperatures has caused the damage irreversible.
From this trip, we saw the warning signs of global warming. We don’t want to see the condition to becoming worse and worse. There is something we can do, at least to make the impact lessened.
I have two videos to share here: one with message of global warming, another one named “Marine Life at Similan”.
Similan Islands Dive Trip
Marine Life of Similan Islands