Archive for February, 2012

Hin Dueng Hin Mueng Liveaboard – MV Scuba Adventure

Posted on February 3rd, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Hin Dueng Hin Mueng Liveaboard – MV Scuba Adventure

8th to 11th DECEMBER 2011

Lucrezia, Rene, Guido and Gianna who had completed the previous trip to the Similans on board MV Scuba Adventure were joined by Thomas from Switzerland and Richard from Holland for the Southern trip. With supplies loaded we headed to Maya Bay, Phi-Phi where we spent the night. With the briefings completed we had our first dive on Koh Bida Nai. Captain Pu dropped us on the wall area. Amongst the group were many photo enthusiasts, so we took our time looking for macro critters on the wall area. Visability was good, so the schools of fish slightly into the blue were seen.

After breakfast we dropped in 2 groups on Koh Bida Nok as we used the dinghy. Again, the wall area was the highlight of the dive again looking for the nudibranchs, shrimps, lobsters, morays and anything that was photogenic! The sloping reef area with the carpet of anemones was home for mantis shrimps, giant morays and a school of yellow stripped snappers. The dinghy picked up the divers and unfortunately Jack, a crew member, went for an unexpected swim when he tried to get Kath out of the water.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Phi Phi

We then headed to Koh Haa for our third dive of the day at the Cathedral on Koh Ha Yai. We dropped in directly in front of the caves. We entered cave 2 and then swam through the connecting hole into cave 3. Looking through the hole is quite a sight as the remaining divers swam through.  The light was incredible. Once in cave 3 the fun started with the photographers trying to get the silhouette shot in the cave entrance. Lucrezia was using her new camera and had some successful shots. In the swim through there was a beautiful nudibranch , which was the first of many on that dive. Going across the plateau through the whip coral garden and on to the boulder area with the beautiful soft corals was a pleasure.  The night dive was on Koh Ha Yai with Robert and Kath. The other customers decided to relax with a beer. The night dive was very tranquil and many different types of crab were seen, but the highlight was an anemone crab that was sat on top of a coral formation. Lion fish were out hunting and a giant free swimming moray gave a performance for us.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Koh Ha

Day 2 was the highlight of the trip. The first dive was on Hin Muang otherwise known as Purple Rock due to the abundance of purple soft coral. Here we were not looking primarily for macro as the bigger picture is magical. The atmosphere on this dive site is an experience. With hardly any current it was easy to navigate without too much effort. The hunters were out and you could feel the tension as they circled the smaller fish.

The second dive was on Hin Deang, otherwise known as “Red Rock” as there are many red soft corals. Thank you to Richard, who drew the dive site map. With the sloping reef area and the vertical walls this dive site has a variety of topography. Again, a great dive with trevellies, emperors, rainbow runners, tuna and barracuda. At the end of the dive a thermocline came in as Kath, Richard, Gianna and Guido were heading to the safety stop. Then through a wall of damsel fish and fusiliers came the big boy….A whale shark about 5m in length. Richard was off like a rocket and managed to get the magnificent creature on video. Needless to say that the third dive of the day was on Hin Deang. During the briefing “X” marked the spot on the map where the whale shark had been spotted. When we descended we swam over to the area and there it appeared. Whale sharks are directional and unlike manta’s do not swim in circles, so we only had a few moments with it, but when seeing something of this magnitude every second counts!!

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Whale Shark

The 4th dive of the day was a sunset dive on Koh Ha Neau. The current was very strong, so we were only able to swim around the rocks as it would have been endurance to get to the reef. Again we were on a mission to find macro. The boulders are covered in soft corals of different colours. This area also has many anemones that start to close at this time of day revealing their different colours including white, green, shades of blue and purple. At the end of the dive we swam up the chimney, which starts at 16m and finishes at 5m, an ideal place to do a safety stop. While we were waiting on the surface to be picked up by Captain Pu and the crew we saw a gorgeous sunset that was worthy of a photograph.  Back on the boat we headed to Phi Phi and Tonsai Bay where we went ashore for a couple of hours to have a few drinks on the beach and watch a fire show.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Phi Phi

Day 3 and we decided that we would dive the wall not far from Maya Bay. A relaxed, chilled dive with plenty of fish and corals. We had the pleasure of a turtle towards the end of the dive. He was quite happy having his photograph taken and even posed for us!!! The last dive of the trip was on Shark Point. Good visability and little current made this one to remember. There was a promise of a Sea Horse and thankfully, Kath found it. Again, the photographers were in their element as we were the only divers on the site. The whole dive was on pinnacle one as there was so much to see. This beautiful dive site has varied marine life, huge barrel sponges, gorgonion sea fans and lots of soft coral. The scenery it’s self is stunning.

Once again, we had a fantastic trip.

MV Scuba Adventure Liveaboard – 4th to 8th December 2011

Posted on February 1st, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on MV Scuba Adventure Liveaboard – 4th to 8th December 2011

North Andaman Liveaboard –  Similans, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai  and Richilieu Rock MV Scuba Adventure departed from Patong on the evening of the 4th en-route to the Similans. Kath, the Tour Leader and Steve, the Dive Master welcomed on board Lucrezia and Rene from Switzerland, Mats from Sweden, Guido and Gianna from  Italy and Peter and Karen from England. With the boat briefing completed, cabins allocated, equipment set up we had a relaxing dinner where everyone became acquainted.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Similan Liveaboard MV Scuba Adventure

We woke to the beautiful scenery of Island 5 and 6, which is the home of Anita’s Reef. With the dive safety and dive sight briefing done we kitted up for our first dive of the trip. Anita’s reef did not disappoint. The stunning coral bommie was covered in glass fish, which was a sight to be seen. Nudibranch, Fusiliers, Snappers were all out in their glory. The pristine white sand was home to the dancing Garden Eels and Khuls rays.  A banded pipe fish was found on one of the large boulders on the corner of Island 5.  After breakfast we headed to Island 9 and North Point. This site is a combination of huge rock formations and reef. It is briefed as “but one get one free!!”  The rocky formation has several swim throughs together with coral gardens nestled between the rocks.   Turtles were in abundance as they poised for the photographers in the group. The turtles here are not at all shy and continued munching away as if to say”Oh they’re only divers!”   We also saw a banded sea snake head to the surface for air. In the shallows a rock formation was covered in Purple Dragon Nudibranch. A treat for the macro lovers on the boat.

After lunch we arrived at Koh Bon for our 3rd dive of the day. We were fortunate as we were the only divers in the water at this popular sight. We dropped in on the corner and made our way to the West Ridge. A large school of yellow snapper were below us as we reached the ridge. On the ridge there were hunting Long Nosed Emporers, Trevelly and Rainbow Runners.  A Devil Scorpion was camouflaged amongst the broken coral on the reef.  A meter away was an octopus hiding in a rock. There was so much to see!!! The glass fish again, were food for the larger hunters…a feeding frenzy. A Mantis Shrimp quickly ran across the reef, which was a first for some of the divers.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Mantis Shrimp

A highlight of the dive was to see 2 Napolean Wrasse swimming around us for a while.  The divers who chose to do the night dive on Koh Tachai Reef saw many different types of crabs, shrimps and spent about 10 minutes with a free swimming moray, which hunted successfully catching an unsuspecting fish for dinner!!

Day 2 and the Captain started the engines at 3.40am. We were on our way to Richelieu Rock. Here we did 3 dives. The Rock is worthy of multiple dives as the marine life here is so prolific. A school of giant barracuda were waiting our arrival! Fortunately, we were able to locate a sea horse and 2 ornate ghost pipe fish.  Cuttle fish were in abundance as they displayed their courtship ritual. The whole area was like being in fish soup with large schools of fish swimming around us. Cleaner pipe fish were found in the crevices, mantis shrimps along the bottom hiding and a devil scorpion camouflaging itself as a piece of coral. Needless to say there were many more creatures too numerous to mention. One highlight was seeing a zebra moray free swimming in the shallows.

The 4th dive of the day was a sunset dive at Jetski Rock on Koh Tachai. A chilled out relaxing dive. The trevellies were in menacing hunting mode as they circled the glassfish on the reef. They are truly the “Gangsters” of the reef. A moray was enjoying being cleaned by a cleaner shrimp as the surrounding marine life prepared for bed. The sunset when we surfaced was spectacular and gave the perfect ending to a great day. Day 3 started with the morning dive on Koh Tachai Pinnacle. With a slight current it was easy navigate around the site.  The corals on the pinnacle are beautiful. Soft corals, gorgonion sea fans, whip coral are abundant.  A few barracuda were hanging above the site and the resident bat fish were between two huge boulders. Rene and Lucrezia were lucky and saw a leopard shark. They did have photographic evidence, so we had to believe them!!

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Leopard Shark

The second and third dives were on Koh Bon. Hunters were menacing as they circled amongst the glass fish and then without warning a feeding frenzy. The third devil scorpion fish of the trip was also seen. However, the icing on the cake at Koh Bon was the manta on dive 2. We were in the shallows coming towards the end of the dive when the manta appeared. This amazing creature brought smiles to all our faces as it approached us several times. Dive 4 was a sunset dive in the Similans and on West of Eden on Island 7. This dive was relaxing as we slowly worked our way along the reef swimming between the coral blocks. Glass fish in abundance, feather stars in every colour and an array of fish. Day 4 and an early start on Elephant Head Rock and boy oh boy did it pay off…..As soon as we dropped in we had a white tip reef shark laying on the bottom at 20m. As we approached it swam away. However, several minutes later we saw two side by side. Elephant Head has some lovely swim throughs and one of the white tips swam into it. Kath was the only diver to see this. The huge granite boulders with the coral gardens between are very impressive. The second dive on Shark Fin Reef was an easy dive for the end of the trip. Shark Fin reef has dramatic scenery of huge granite boulders. In one of the long cracks in a rock there resting was a Jenkins Ray. Further along the reef we saw a large school of giant barracudas. This was the first trip of the season to the Similans and Richelieu Rock and if this trip was anything to go by then we should have a wonderful season.