What we see in the blue

One of the best places to dive close to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt is the Straits of Tiran. The Straits of Tiran offers great water for rather deep drift dives but also some great water for snorkels if there isn’t to big waves.

The Straits of Tiran is known for both having manta rays, different kinds of sharks and whale sharks, but it highly depend of the season and some luck what you really end up seeing there.
On this August trip back in 2006 it wasn’t the big stuff that I saw.

Snorklers at Staits of Tiran

I still find the wreck position on the reef sort of beautiful and interesting – it looks cool, but the feeling of that big ship crashing into the reef does of course feel bad…  smashing so much of the reef… but it’s a great picture or?

Me coming up of the water after a nice drift dive at the Straits of Tiran

A small sea snake outside Koh Samet?

August 28th, 2008 | Posted by NK in Thailand - (0 Comments)

I have already been writing about my dive outside Koh Samet (Thailand) back in April 2006 – a dive where we spottet at huge bluespottet stingray – the size of the stingray was a bit more than 1, 5 meter for the body….
On my second dive outside Koh Samet the divemaster Theep suddenly reacted and turned around to me holding something looking like a small sea snake…..  I did of course take some pictures of this little snake or?
But no, a bit of Googling and the mystery isnt that much of a mystery anymore – the small fellow is a Pipefish (Syngnathinae) who is part of a subfamily of small fishes, which in fact is in family with the seahorses.
The Pipefish does in fact look a bit like a straight-bodied seahorse with its tiny mouths, right?

One of the great things about being a diver is that you always meet some fellow divers who are open and friendly – and suddenly you are full of new ideas for the next dive.
Back in March 2007 in Thailand I barely got of the ferry from the mainland to Koh Chang before I was talking with an English diving instructor called Matt. Matt told me that the next 2 days on Koh Chang was dedicated to the 3rd Underwater Cleanup – a project sponsored by the Thai Government and arranged by Project A.W.A.R.E – in brief a Underwater Cleanup is a 2 days cleaning the beaches and underwater event by the local Dive centres, their staff and some invited guests and thats where I come in – Matt suggested that I should join in, which I found a great idea! Matt told me first to contact Don the owner of the local dive centre White Sand Dive Centre, where I was planning to stay around…  Matt was going further down south Koh Chang, but I was of course also welcome to do the Underwater Cleanup with the dive centre Dive Point that he was working for…
Anyway I rushed to the White Sand Dive Centre where I meet Don for the first time – what a great guy! Don did managed to include me in the Underwater Cleanup on his boat and furthermore Don was really helpfull in finding a place to stay for the next couple of days! If you’re staying and diving at Wind Sand Beach on Koh Chang there’s only one Dive operation to dive with, if you ask me…
Participating in an Underwater Cleanup was certainly something different – no time to look at fishes and corals, but a lot of hard work cleaning after the fishermen who unfortunately dump such a lot of shit…
The Underwater Cleanup started early in the morning and ended with me getting tired home around 20.30.

After a cermony we went to the first dive site, which wasnt really a dive site, but rather a place where Thai fishermen dump all their shit…  nets, hoses, bottles, tires ect..  there we a such LOT of junk, and we quickly got our bags filled up…  I went up and down 5 times on that dive…

The next one was regular dive site and we did find some trash there, but fortunately its was in small amounts.

We found on the sites everything from whole tired to a toilet and on the first day the 16-18 particioating dive centres, their staff and guests did in fact gather (and remove) 5 ton of trash from the sea – I’m sure they got just as much home the next day, too…

The 3rd Underwater Cleanup at Koh Chang was started by a small cermony

And then time for a team photo before we went out – t’s Don with the shades in the middle, first dive since his surgery!
Can you find me?

And the it was time for the briefing before the first dive

My dive buddy on one of the dives – check out his bag…  we went up and down with sooo much shit from down there

And of course a picture of me in the nice blue water

So next time your in an area with a Underwater Cleanup I can only recommend you to join it and I wil for sure join any Underwater Cleanup I will be close to…  just say when!

Check out the nice comment I got from the new manager Jackie at Wild Orchid Villa – I do seriously consider trying them out again after the bad episode last year…..

Thomas Szlavik holding on to a coral??!!!

May 15th, 2008 | Posted by NK in Stuff - (0 Comments)

Reading a Danish website the other day I saw an article about swimming and diving in China, which seems pretty cool, but what really caught my eyes was the author Thomas Szlavik in the picture telling that he’s holding on to a dead coral??!!
Thomas Szlavik holding on to a coral
(source: http://ekstrabladet.dk/ferie/article1006513.ece)

What the f*** is he thinking? nice of him going to China to bring back a nice article, but that doesnt mean he should ruin the corals by holding on to them – even dead corals are ‘no touching’!
Buoyancy training Mr. Thomas Szlavik, buayancy training Mr. Thomas Szlavik…….

Koh Chang on 8th March

March 6th, 2008 | Posted by NK in Thailand - (0 Comments)

So soon – Cant wait to arrive and start diving. And enjoy the beach, sun and seafood, just love it!

Whale Sharks around Koh Chang

February 18th, 2008 | Posted by NK in Thailand | Wishlist - (0 Comments)

One of the interesting things about Koh Chang is the fact that there is sometimes Whale Sharks around…. and I would really really like to be diving with a Whale Shark, this huge but harmless shark… not a ‘man-eater’, but a filter feeder…
The dive centre BB Divers reports that the Whale Shark has been spotted at the dive site called Hin Raab South (the locals call it Hin Laab) 5 km south of Koh Chang, which is a unterwater rock – I will definately have a dive or 2 at Hin Raab South!
And if you’re not sure what a Whale Shark looks like then check this YouTube clip of a Whale Shark in the waters around Koh Chang – its incredible.

Hin Rang Yai
And it seems like Hin Rang Yai should also be included – I found this text about it:
A great place for pelagic spotting is Hin Rang Yai, a set of pinnacles starting just below the surface and descending to 27m on the west side features mainly rocks with overhangs and boulders. For instance leopard and whale sharks along with black blotched stingrays provide fairly regular encounters. At 14m on the south side of this spot is a soft coral garden with resident triggerfish, sweetlips and potato grouper. There are numerous examples of both hard and soft corals in the area, and the marine life is both plentiful and diverse. Blue-spotted stingrays as well as hungry reef sharks and turtles are all also seen along the reefs.

Koh Chang again!

February 17th, 2008 | Posted by NK in Thailand - (0 Comments)

Its now for sure – my vacation in March will not be Sharm el Sheikh or Playa del Carmen, but the beautiful island Koh Chang in Thailand close to the Cambodian border. Koh Chang is not that known for its diving, but its certainly not a bad choice either – I was taking a couple of dives there April last year. In fact I was participation in the 3rd Under Water Cleanup which was great to join!
This time I’m not planning to join any Under Water Cleanup (but I wasnt planning for that last year either..), but more to get some fun dives around Koh Chang and see what it has to offer….  and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna do the diving with Don from White Sand Dive Centre – he’s a great guy with a cool crew!

And checking out the Elefants and maybe the dolhins outside Trat on the mainland.

Anybody got some good suggestions for diving around Koh Chang?

March 2008 could be time for Mexico again!

January 13th, 2008 | Posted by NK in Wishlist - (0 Comments)

Just got a new idea for my March 2o08 vacation – why not go back to Mexico where I was shortly together with Benjamin back in the summer 2000 on our trip to Belize and a bit Tical in Guatemala…
Anyway I now considering Playa del Carmen and Cozumel instead of Sharm el Sheikh.
Around Playa del Carmen diving Cenote’s should be really big (diving underground lakes) and the island Cozumel should have access to some of the best reef diving it the world.
And then I could of course combine it with a trip to the beautiful Maya city Chichén Itzá with the big Mayan pyramids.

Considering Sharm el Sheikh in March 2008

December 28th, 2007 | Posted by NK in Egypt - (0 Comments)

I have already been to Sharm el Sheikh 5 times, but I just cant stop coming back to such a great place for diving… The weather is always nice, I once heard the rumour that it rains not more than 5 days a year and I do really believe thats true… I’ve once experienced rain for around 5 minutes.. not more… it also mean that diving always is great around Sharm el Sheikh… nice sea, LOTS of fishes and sealife, one of best coral reefs in the world and great visibility…
And did I forget to tell that the Red Sea also has one of the best wreck dives? The SS Thistlegorm, a British merchant ship used by the British Navy in World War II, was hit by 2 bombs from 2 German bombers around mid June 1941 and these 2 bombs hit so perfect that SS Thistlegorm went down immediately… nice for us divers, because the SS Thistlegorm is a very well preserved wreck just waiting for divers at around 23-33 meters. I was diving it once and I do plan to dive it again in March…

I’m planning to stay at a hotel (Hilton Sharks Bay) with its own house reef in Sharks Bay, a place I once was diving with a dolphin – such an amazing experience… so I will certainly be snorkling around the reef every day and then some diving… will go at least once to the underwater nationalpark Ras Muhammed and once out to the dive sites at the Straits of Tiran close to Saudi Arabia.
Really looking forward to March!