We are back from the underwater world… it was amazing, especially the Similans. D & I saw a different view of God’s creation and I sure hope that we didn’t mess things up for the fishes, corals etc while we were there. They must be thinking, “Great, these dark-suited neoprene humans with aluminium tanks and exhaling bubbles are gone now.”
We saw the King Cruiser wreck in terrible currents and choppy seas (I lost my appetite there & was seasick), moray eels of all sizes, countless fishes (wrasse, parrotfish, puffers, triggerfish, my fav clownfish, thousands of glassfish, barracudas, blue-spotted stingrays etc), a huge (possibly 6m) manta ray and a leopard shark which I am pleased to say that I spotted it before anyone else did.
On our first 7 dives, we were taken to various sites around Phi Phi (Koh Doc Mai, Koh Bida Nai, Koh Bida Nok, King Cruiser Wreck, Shark Point, Maya Bay). I thought visibility was quite good at those sites. We did 4 dives on the 1st day, rested the night in the hotel on Phi Phi Island, and did another 3 more dives the next day before returning to Patong. All of us had an “obstacle course” experience when we were at Phi Phi. As our dive boat was berthed some distance away with a few boats between us and the pier, we had to climb on and off these boats (one of which was utterly smelly as it is used to transport trash) just to get to the pier. After that, we had to trudge for another 20 minutes along Phi Phi beachfront just to get to our hotel.
Clownfish Family – My fav foto Glassfish In a Swim Thru’ Cavern (taken by Brandon)
After resting in Patong for another night, we left early the next morning to begin our Liveaboard experience onboard SSD3, quite a floating hotel, luxury living on 4-storey boat. This would take us around the Similan Islands and our dive sites included Koh Bon (where one of my dreams came true with the huge Manta Ray gliding across the waters), Boulder City (lots of huge boulders and saw my first Leopard Shark there), Shark Fin Reef (sharks used to be quite common there but no longer), the beautiful East Of Eden (akin to that of an underwater Japanese garden).
The magnificent Manta Ray Scorpion Fish
I had used my sony videocam in its Ikelite housing to film most of the things we saw, while fine-tuning my buoyancy, enjoying the clear visibility and diving my first deepest depth of 34m. D was busy taking loads of photos, but had to be really careful with his battery usage as he realised to his horror, that he had left his battery charger back in S’pore.
This has been an amazing holiday. Each dive was different and made special by the fact that I was given the opportunity to be there, a guest in the underwater world.
Apparently none of us felt a tinge of guilt tucking into bbq squid, butter prawns & crayfish after diving.