Posts Tagged ‘Sea Horse’

MV Scuba Adventure 7th to 11th February 2014

Posted on February 23rd, 2014 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on MV Scuba Adventure 7th to 11th February 2014


Thank you Kath and Nicolas for a great trip on boat MV Scuba Adventure to the Similans this week

What a fantastic trip.

On board for the 4 days 4 nights were Steve and Jo, repeat customers of Scuba Cat Diving, last time they were on board MV Scuba Cat where Steve proposed to Jo underwater. That was 5 years ago as well as Wendy, Andreas, Mikkel and John.

MV Scuba Adventure

MV Scuba Adventure – photo Steve Willett

After a very successful check dive on Anita’s Reef, Island 4 in the Similans they headed straight to Koh Bon as Captain Pu had heard reports of a giant manta sighting.

Similan Islands

Similan Islands – photo Steve Willett


Needless to say, a couple of hours later they were there enjoying the moment with the manta and 30m visibility. Very lucky indeed, they had the manta to themselves.  During the second Dive on Koh Bon the manta made came back and joined them all to say goodbye!

Manta Ray

Manta Ray

The next day Richelieu Rock had fantastic visibility with so much action. Many glassfish being hunted by their predators, school of barracuda’s, bent stick pipefish, cleaner pipefish and SO much more including the tiniest sea horse sitting on a sea fan. They did 3 dives there with minimal current.

Ghost Pipefish

Ghost Pipefish – photo Steve Willett

Back to Koh Tachai, for the sunset dive. “Just like being in another world” quoted Jo Willett. The huge school of barracudas were there for the duration. Kath’s favourite dive site delivered with the trevally feeding frenzy, snappers, napoleon wrasse & marble groupers. This site was repeated the next morning and the highlight saw 2 large schools of barracuda merging together. Thankfully Koh Tachai was also kind with almost no current.

Sunset Dive

Sunset Dive – photo Steve Willett

Koh Bon, for the third dive of the day and yet again…. Mantas!!!!

The gangsters of the ocean, the Trevallies were feeding on glassfish and for good measure a Napoleon wrasse graced them with its presence.  When they surfaced there were many other liveaboard boats, the decision was made to leave the manta experience on a high and head back to the Similans, Christmas Point on Island 9 to enjoy the unique swim through’s. Amongst other things Kath spotted a white tip reef shark as it swam straight across her.

Feeding time

Feeding time

Next West of Eden, Island 7…. they didn’t need to go diving! A teeny-tiny whale shark came alongside MV Scuba Adventure, 2m maximum! (Doesn’t sound tiny does it!) The lucky customers were kitting up on the back deck when it came to say hi.

Whale Shark

Whale Shark

Day 4, Deep Six for the morning dive. Hoping to see the whale shark as it was in the area the day before. Great swim throughs and a white tip spotted again by Kath at 27.5m. Unfortunately, no one else saw it. Many fusiliers and banner fish.

The last dive of the Northern trip was on Shark Fin Reef, declared as “incredible” with 40m visibility. It was like diving in an aquarium. The neon fusiliers were like a train that never stopped!!! They were very fortunate to see a bump head parrot and an eagle ray. What a treat!

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Responsible Divers

Huge Congratulations to John who completed his Advanced Open Water on board Scuba Adventure.

Some lucky customers were staying onboard to continue their Andaman Sea adventure with us to Hin Dueng, Hin Mueng, Koh Haa, and Phi Phi

South Andaman Sun Set

South Andaman Sun Set – photo Steve Willett


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.

Marine Life of Phuket – Sea Horse

Posted on August 22nd, 2011 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Marine Life of Phuket – Sea Horse

The Seahorse is one of the “must see” critters amongst divers in Phuket.

They are found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide often in sheltered areas, for example, sea grass beds, coral reefs and mangroves.  Seahorses belong to the fish genus Hippocampus, a name derived from ancient Greek, Hippos meaning horse and Kampos meaning sea monster. The Seahorse has been named for its’ equine profile. Although the seahorse is classified as a bony fish it does not have scales, but has a thin layer of skin that is stretched over a series of bony plates.  There are fifty species of Seahorses worldwide ranging in size from 1.5cm to 35cm each having its’ own distinct number of plates.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Sea Horse


Seahorses are poor swimmers and are found often resting with their prehensile tail wound round a stationary object. They are territorial with the male staying in a 1m square of their habitat, whereas the female may travel up to 100times that area. All species of Seahorses swim in an upright position with the dorsal fin moving rapidly up to 35 times a second!!!  The pectoral fin is positioned behind the eyes and this is used to steer. There is no caudal fin. Each individual has a coronet on the head that is unique to the individual. They also have eyes that move independently.

It is believed that Seahorses mate for life, but there is no data to prove monogamy. However, it is known that a breeding pair will be together for the breeding season.  The courtship between the male and female cements the bond between them and is a very important part of the relationship and may take several days. The courtship behavior synchronizes the movements, so when the female is ready she can deposit her eggs into the male brood pouch. One of the unique things about Seahorses is that the male incubates the eggs. The Courtship dance is also known as the “pre-dawn dance” They may change colour, swim side-by-side holding tails and spiral in unison. Once the pair have bonded and the female is ready to transfer her eggs a courtship dance lasting up to 8 hours will take place. During this time the male will pump water into his brood pouch, which is on the ventral or front facing side, expanding it.  As the pair drift upwards the female inserts her ovipositor into the male’s pouch depositing her eggs.  Once the eggs are transferred the pair sink and the female swims away.  The amount of eggs laid depends on the species ranging from 5 to 1500, but the average is 100 to 200.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Sea Horse

Once the male has the eggs they are fertilized and are surrounded by a spongy tissue. The pouch acts an incubator and provides oxygen and a controlled environment where the salinity is regulated to prepare the young for life in the sea. By the end of the incubation period the male consumes a third more oxygen than before mating. The female energy expenditure while generating the eggs is twice that of the male during incubation. The gestation period is 2 to 4 weeks during which time the female will visit the male on a daily basis interacting for about 6 minutes.  When the fry are formed the male contracts the pouch releasing the young into the water column. The birth normally happens at night allowing the male to receive more eggs from his partner the following morning. Once the young are ejected into the water they are independent as there is no parental care.

It is estimated that less than 0.5% of the fry survive to adulthood. The survival rate is higher compared to other fish due to the protected gestation of the male. It is believed that the male takes the role of incubator because the female takes a long time to produce eggs. This reduces the time between clutches, thus increasing the amount of young.  When the eggs are ready they must be transferred to the male’s pouch within a few hours. If this is not possible the eggs are ejected into the water. Once the eggs are laid the female reduces in size. The eggs are equivalent to one third of her body weight!!!

The Seahorse has an unbelievable appetite and eats constantly. It is possible for an individual to eat 3000+ brine shrimp in a day. They will also consume minute fish, crustaceans and plankton.

Unfortunately, there is very little data on Seahorses, so it is impossible to assess the population and whether or not it is endangered. The use of Seahorses in traditional Asian medicine has put pressure on the population as this type of medicine will only use fish from the natural habitat and will not consider individuals from captive breeding. This combined with the deteriorating habitats and souvenir collecting does point to the extinction of some species.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Continue the Adventure

"Take that purrfect shot"

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