Posts Tagged ‘Turtle’

Similans just gets better !

Posted on March 29th, 2014 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Similans just gets better !

Kath joined the boat mid afternoon to meet  Tim and Donna, repeat customers since 1999, and Amit who had just completed the South trip. The remaining nine customers were brought to Scuba Adventure by John Stanley who was the Dive Master for the trip. It was great to have an international group with people from Germany, Switzerland, India, America, UK, Australia and China.

With the briefings completed, cabins allocated and equipment prepared it was time to chill out and enjoy the overnight cruise to the Similans.

The first morning brought a surprise! Jack, our engineer called Kath to the dive deck where we had an unexpected guest, a banded sea snake!! Customers grabbed their cameras and then it was gently persuaded to leave the boat.

Banded Sea Snake - Louise Murray

Banded Sea Snake – Louise Murray

The first dive of the morning, the check dive, was on Anita’s Reef. Lovely easy dive going with the current toward the boulders. With everyone comfortable we then headed to Koh Bon. John and his group of Advanced Open Water students were dropped in the bay together with Tim and Donna while the others were dropped on the ridge. The wall area approaching the ridge was covered in glass fish, so much so that it was difficult to see the reef. Two Giant Moray Eels were out in the open fighting. As they tried to bite each other their bodies became intertwined.

Moray Eel - Phil Lineker

Moray Eel – Phil Lineker

This dual lasted for several minutes before on retreated in defeat. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any mantas, but around the reef had so much activity. John’s group was lucky enough to see two Napolean Wrasses. Third dive and Koh Tachai Pinnacle. Thankfully there was very little current. The Pinnacle was prolific with marine life as always. One thing that was unusual was a tight group of Silver Jack spiralling towards the surface. It was a tornedo of fish!!!! The advanced students were to get an extra navigation dive on the reef as part of their course. The forth dive was to be a night dive on Koh Tachai Reef. Some were apprehensive as they had never been on a night dive before, but this was short lived once they started diving. The highlight of the night dive was an octopus that we were able to watch for a while. These are incredible creatures that have the capability to change not only colour but texture.

Octopus - Cedric Saveuse

Octopus – Cedric Saveuse

Day 2 and an early start with the engines firing up at 4.30am. Our destination Richelieu Rock. The visibility here was awesome. During the two dives we saw a host of things including a Seahorse, various shrimps, tomato clownfish, bent stick pipefish, cleaner pipefish, cuttlefish, the list is endless. Our eyes were constantly scanning as the previous day there had been 3 whale sharks spotted on the Rock, but unfortunately we were not blessed. As we wanted to maximise the chance of seeing Manta Rays and Whale Sharks we headed back to Koh Tachai where we had two action packed dives with hunting predators, Napoleon Wrass’, Red Tooth Trigger fish dancing like confetti.



Day 3 brought an early start on Koh Bon. The ridge still covered in glassfish was action packed as they were being hunted relentlessly by the larger fish on the reef. It is an impressive to sight to see the bait ball swirling in all directions to avoid being caught. Towards the end of the dive on the ridge the first Manta Ray made its appearance. It slowly past the ridge and headed out into deeper water. Kath saw it as she was on her safety stop so a decision to stay for one more dive was made as not everyone had had the opportunity to see it. We were dropped on the north part of the reef and we headed towards the ridge. As you can imagine the second dive was filled with excitement with the possibility of seeing this majestic creature. We unfortunately didn’t see it, but we still had a great dive. As we came on the boat the crew were quick to tell us that they had seen the manta from the boat shortly after we had jumped. At this time there were more boats on the dive site, so a group decision was made to move to the Similans.

Sea Horse - Cedric Saveuse

Sea Horse – Cedric Saveuse

Dive 3 was on Three Trees on Island 9. Kath drew her map with the marine life they were likely to see on the reef and then the customers played the guessing game trying to identify them. (Maybe she should take some drawing lessons!!!) We crossed the sand to the outer boulders, which is a very scenic part. Here Paul spotted 3 Seahorses sat in a fan. A lovely bonus!! There was a nice gentle drift on the sloping reef, so with no effort we watched the countless fish as we passed by. Our final dive of the day was West of Eden on Island 7. This site has some very beautiful hard and soft corals and it is like diving in an aquarium. However, there were two major highlights to this dive. In the shallow area we could not believe our eyes when we saw what could only be described as a swarm of parrot and surgeon fish. There were hundreds all tightly packed. We hovered and watched them for quite a while and then they peeled off in a line and swam further along the reef.

Kath and the Turtle

Kath and the Turtle

Then came the ultimate turtle experience. On seeing the divers he stopped eating and came to investigate. This curious turtle was so relentless in it’s approach to the divers, especially Susan, that it had to be gently pushed away several times. Customers managed to get some great photos.

Susan and the Turtle

Susan and the Turtle

Day 4 and a decision had been made the previous night by the customers that the early morning dive should be on West of Eden again as there was so much to see. So, at 6.45 we went for our dive. The reef was just waking up and we were witness to some great hunting action around the stunning coral blocks. There was a current, so instead of turning around at the corner we continued around the Island where there were some schools of Rainbow Runners in the deep together with some large Tuna cruising by. Our final dive of the trip was Shark Fin Reef. This is the furthest south we can dive in the Similan Islands. This reef is known for the stunning topography of the huge granite boulders that stretch for about a kilometre. It is constantly adorned by neon blue fusiliers that run like a train along the reef. Our main highlight of this dive was seeing a shark…not just a shark….one that Kath had never seen in the Similans Islands. It swam straight through the group. Amit had video footage of it, so we were able to identify the shark as a Silver Tip.

The Similans

The Similans

This trip was a very social trip with customers even conducting dive briefings. Although, only a few of us saw the Manta everyone was more than happy with the diving. We had such diverse marine life and behaviour that this trip will be remembered by all. Michael, Cindie and Ron decided to book for the next trip south to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. Under the guidance and Instruction of John, Cindie, Ron and Xin completed their Advanced Open Water. Xin also completed her Digital Underwater Photography and Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialities. Congratulations to them all!

Turtle release by Mai Khao Turtle foundation

Posted on April 6th, 2013 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Turtle release by Mai Khao Turtle foundation

The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation based in the north of Phuket had it’s 4th annual release of 100 turtles on the 29th of March this year. Scuba Cat decided to support this by sponsoring a release of a turtle back into the Andaman Sea. The important annual event is organized to raise funds for and awareness of the plight of Phuket’s critically endangered sea turtles and is supported by the Phuket Marine Biological Center and the Royal Thai Navy, the event sees the release of rehabilitated green turtles back into the Andaman Sea.





Sarah Kench, the GM and Course Director, Kath Ridley the tour leader of Scuba Adventure and Debbie Woods The Customer Service manager all went along to support the event held on the beach at Mai Khao, along with Jade, Debbie’s 1 year old daughter.

There were activities such as batik painting and turtle awareness going on throughout the afternoon along with light refreshments and a monks blessing for the new to be released green turtles.

After waiting to queuing in a busy registration Scuba Cat were allocated number 73 for release, this was a 10 month old green turtle, Sarah was the one elected to release it.


After some training we were called to beach in groups of 5, this allowed the turtles enough space to comfortably be released without big crowds around them which could cause stress. They were taken from holding tanks to the water edge and set free, the waves then helped them out to sea.



Phuket’s sea turtles face multiple threats and their numbers have severely depleted in recent years. Commercial fishing kills thousands of them every year. Many more die from eating or becoming trapped in plastic debris littering the ocean, not to mention entanglement in fishing nets and being hit by speedboats.

Every 2,500 baht raised pays for the rehabilitation of one turtle and its release back into the Andaman Sea. The work done by the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation (founded by JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa), the Injured Turtle Rehabilitation Program (under the Phuket Marine Biological Center) and the Turtle Hatchery Program (under the Royal Thai Navy) is possible thanks to ongoing financial support from the Phuket community.

Phuket’s sea turtles are facing multiple threats and their numbers have severely depleted in recent years. Commercial fishing kills thousands of them every year. Many more die from eating or becoming trapped in plastic debris littering the ocean.

Mai Khao beach and the northern end of the adjacent Nai Yang beach are the only beaches where turtles lay their eggs in Phuket . These two locations have a long natural deserted beach stretching more than 17km. They form part of the Sirinath National Park, which is a protected marine and coastal area.

This is a nesting area of the giant Leatherback Turtle, one of the world’s most ancient species. These turtles on average weigh 450 kg. However, the Leatherback population is fast diminishing and its status is very critical. It is the only turtle without a true protective shell, though its outer protection is leathery scale-less skin – hence its name.

The breeding season of the turtles is November to March. The females come ashore just after dusk and return to the ocean as dawn breaks. The nesting site is selected and they dig a small pit using the rear flippers where they lay between 40 and 180 eggs, they try to conceal the nest once they finished by covering it with sand. The whole process takes about 1 hour. If left to nature the hatchlings will emerge after about 60 days digging their way out of the pit , usually at night so it is cooler and run towards the sea. House lights and hotel developments along the beach can disoriented the young turtles causing them to actually crawl the wrong way going away from the sea. Some large Phuket resorts have focused their attention on ensuring that turtles stand a chance of survival in the Phuket region by making the beach area environmentally friendly to the nesting turtles.

At nesting time environment groups and the local villagers of Mai Khao work very hard to protect the eggs. They take the eggs to their hatchery, where the baby turtles are protected from the vagaries of nature as well as human exploitation. During the breeding season, the local villagers patrol the beaches at night and keep records of the eggs that have been laid.

The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation was launched in 2002 and raises funds and awareness for the plight of the critically endangered giant leatherback turtles that nest in the area. It also co-ordinates with the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC).

You Rock!!!

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on You Rock!!!

Hi Sarah,

Didn’t have the chance to meet you when we were in Phuket last 2 weeks.. you must have been busy and so did us…

It was a great diving course we’ve had… I “love” your team, everyone was so cool, supportive and welcoming.

During the open water course, i thought i will never dive again.. Trust me, I hate the mask clearance so much that I almost quit. Thanks that Kiwi ( Instructor) made me hang on there.. He and (the other) Sarah (Divemaster)were very helpful and supportive especially to me – as I guess i needed it more than my friends

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

Now when it’s all over I missed it so much. I give the blame to the turtle whom we met in one of our dives. hehe…

I look forward to join you guys again when I return to Malaysia for my vacation. I might drop by in Patong for short diving excursion again.

Thanks again to ScubaCat team for making my dream comes true, especially to Sarah and Kelvin the Kiwi. You ROCK!!


Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Customer Testimonials

Suhanida Abd Gani

If you have had a good course or dive experience with us let the world know, Scuba Cat Diving have reviews on both Trip Adviser and Google

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.

Hin Deang/Hin Muang Dive Trip Summer 2011 on MV Scuba Adventure- Vincent Moy Tour Leader

Posted on January 21st, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Hin Deang/Hin Muang Dive Trip Summer 2011 on MV Scuba Adventure- Vincent Moy Tour Leader

I was very excited to take this trip out during the “summer season” as tour leader on MV Scuba Adventure. All season the local sites from Phuket had been performing so well, with lots of great visibility dives and an abundance of marine life both (very) big and small. I also knew that during the high season the dive sites of Hin Deang and Hin Maung are awesome, but I didn’t know what to expect from a trip this time of year?

Scuba Cat Diving, Phuket, Thailand MV Scuba Adventure

Scuba Adventure

… It was not a disappointment!

So here we go:

Day 1:

Shark Point – Great visibility to enjoy all the lovely soft corals, fans, sponges and tons of marine life including the odd leopard shark. Hi-light of the dive: a large marble patterned tiger tail seahorse.

Scuba Cat Diving, Phuket, Thailand  5 * CDC

Shark Point

Koh Bida Nok – Again tons of marine life, especially the trevally and schools of fusiliers, and a nice big hawksbill turtle at the start. Hi-light of the dive: absolutely the 10-20 black-tip sharks seen during the dive, especially getting up real close to 5-10 of them in the bay, before they finally torpedoed passed us.

Scuba Cat Diving, Phuket, Thailand  5 * CDC

Koh Bida Nok

Koh Ha Yai – A beautiful late afternoon dive to enjoy the caverns (known as the Cathedral) and swim-through’s. Hi-light of the dive: the view looking out at the silhouetted divers the from the back of the Cathedral.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  5 * CDC

"The Cathedral"

Koh Ha Lagoon – A comfortable night dive in the protected lagoon between islands 2 and 4. Our group explored the east side wall of island 2 and the sloping reef between. Hi-light: For me the macro life amongst the vivid soft corals on the wall, for others the giant barracuda following us!

Day 2:

Hin Muang – Oh my God! The visibility! We could see the bottom… and which ever side you are on, it goes down a very long way! Lot’s of life; and the soft corals looking bigger and more colourful than ever. Hi-light of the dive: All of it, in stunning visability. It was like a scene from the movie The Abyss but with the lights on! Diving – the best reason in the world to get up with the sun.

Scuba Cat Diving, Phuket, Thailand Hin Mueng

"Stunning Visibility"

Hin Deang – Awesome vis continued, we could even see the outer pinnacle from the main rock! Whichever way you looked there was marine activity and mild currents meant an easy swim to appreciate it all. Hi-light of the dive: Did I mention the large manta ray that made it’s way around the rock to the outer pinnacle!

Scuba Cat Diving, Phuket, Thailand  5 * CDC

"Manta Ray"

Koh Ha Neua – An early afternoon dive made the best of the huge purple soft corals on the southern side of this site. The shallow hard coral reef at the end of the dive was full of fish, whilst weaving in and out of the soft-coral coated rock channels rewarded us with nice nudi’s and a brilliant yellow tigertail seahorse. Hi-Light of the dive: A spotted eagle ray hovering over the purple soft coral field.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  5 * CDC

"Sea Horse"

Koh Bida Nok – With the currents reversed and an exciting dive the day before, we chose to go again from the other side of the island. This dusk dive showed us some more big fish (black-tip sharks), kuhl’s rays, mantis shrimps, morays, nudibranchs. Hi-light of the dive: I guess taking the time to see all the things we hadn’t noticed on the other dives – Bida Nok is one of the richest and most varied dive sites. Oh, and it being a dusk dive so some of us could visit Phi Phi Don and enjoy an evening on land.

Day 3:

Koh Bida Nai – Yet another sunny day, this early morning dive provided more sharks and a small school of big pick-handled barracuda. Hi-light of the dive: Swimming through the hundreds of fusiliers and trevally that hang out in the sunshine over the beds of stag horn coral, then back up the reef to the glittering chevron barracudas.

Scuba Cat Diving, Phuket, Thailand  5 * CDC

Koh Bida Nai

Anemone Reef – Of course anemones but also lots of colorful soft corals make this a beautiful pinnacle in good visibility… and it was! A turtle, lot’s of fish, little current, nudi’s and a few bamboo shark made it even better. Hi-light: A pale-yellow seahorse out in the sand (I like seahorses!)

Scuba Cat Diving, Phuket, Thailand  5 * CDC

Anemone Reef

Koh Doc Mai – A nice surprise… an extra dive thrown on to the end of the trip! This wall dive is awesome for macro – wonderful nudibranchs, ornate ghost pipefish, more bamboo sharks, all sorts of morays, this site can have it all. Hi-light: We got to dive again, ha!

Scuba Cat Diving, Phuket, Thailand  5 * CDC

Koh Doc Mai

Apart from the great visibility and relaxed diving (with it’s heart racing moments – sharks, manta, eagle ray), for me it was the wonderful variety of dive sites and marine life that made the trip one of the best. Also helping to make the diving awesome was that, during most of the trip, we were the only boat diving the sites… well, we were on the Scuba Adventure!