Merry Christmas diving… 😉
One of the corals I like the most is the Table Coral – especially when you hover above it or when you can see it from below as on my picture…
And another Table Coral outside Koh Tao
When you see all the fishes around the corals you really understand how important the coral are for the sea life.
I just hope more people would take care of the these beautiful and usefull corals and not walk on them as some people do just outside the beaches at Sharm el Sheik (Egypt). In Thailand I didnt experience any kind of problems like that, but the behavior of non-divers at Sharm el Sheik is unfortunately very bad and not taken care of by the autorities… a sign is not enough…
O yes, we found Nemo…
Koh Tao also has its own couple of Clownfishes at the house reef Twins – or in fact just beside the house reef Twins. On every dive at the Twins the Divemasters has the habit of straying a little away from the pinnacles to a circle of stones around some anemones where the local pair of Clownfishes (also called Anemonefishes) are living. The circle of stones has been place there to protect the anemones and give the Clownfishes just a bit of privacy, so every diver is being told not to come closer to the anemones than the circle, but that doesn’t keep the Clownfished coming closer to us… its really amazing as the clownfishes are coming around to greet us… 😉
Isnt this Clownfish cute?
As its very clear from my blogging about Koh Tao and diving in general in Thailand I do really love being there among the very nice Thais and the great sea life. But sometimes things can get rather out of hand also in Thailand, which my friend Thomas and I did experience back in April 2007 – the manager at Wild Orchid Villa in Bangkok really showed us how things can get out of hand and Thomas and I was pretty much only saved by a Police officer… for details check out my posting about the bad experience at Wild Orchid Villa on my blog klintoe.org.
On our last dive at Koh Tao was at the divesite Twins where Benjamin discovered that not all Titan Triggerfishes are aggressive…. Benjamin had the camera and suddenly both Benjamin our Divemaster and I spottet a Titan Triggerfish deeply engaged in eating from a coral – the only difference between our observation was that Benjamin didn’t recognise the ‘fish’ as a Titan Triggerfish, so the next thing we saw was Benjamin hanging 2-3 meters vertical on top of the Triggerfish! Usually not the most clever move in the book… 😉 But luckily this Triggerfish was not aggressive at all.. or just to busy eating, so Benjamin did in fact manage to get some shots pretty close from above.
Btw Benjamin does recognise Titan Triggerfishes now… 😉
From above – by Benjamin
Titan Triggerfish leaving….
I have already been blogging on my personal blog klintoe.org about this huge bluespotted stingray I saw in April outside Koh Samet, Thailand, but I do think that it deserves to be on diveblogging.com, too.
Back in April 2007 I was some days at Koh Samet and why not test the dive situation there?
So I went out diving one day and it was pretty good. The visibility was from pretty good to bad (3 meters) because of the tide and it gave a lot of particles in the water, but the rather shallow dive sites were really nice. Koh Samet is certainly also a place to take a couple of dives when your there, but I wouldnt make it my only dive spot on a Thailand trip…
I went diving with Ploy Scuba Diving and Dive Master Theep…. and his guys were great! Thanx!
Theep was very honest and did in fact warn me about the visibility in April and I had the dives alone with him – great service. We went out in their speedboat at 13 and were back around 16, a nice way to do it!
On one of the 2 dive the great thing happened – we suddenly we found ourselves on top of a resting bluespotted stingray – a huge bluespotted stingray!! its pretty difficult to see from the picture, but this big guy had a body a little more than 1,5 meter in diameter and then comes the tail… Theep went close to it an touched it just a bit… to make it move a little…
So try out Koh Samet – it’s certainly nice and might bring in a huge bluespotted stingray
Some people has asked me where we stayed at Koh Tao this time and the simple answer is Sairee Hut Dive Resort on the nice Sairee Beach.
I also stayed at Sairee Beach when I was at Koh Tao in the summer 2005, but at that time it was at Big Blue Diving.
This time Benjamin and I agree to try another place. We did in fact book the trip, the place to stay and the dive center from Khao San Road in Bangkok – you can save some money by booking a package at Khao San Road or at least book at package of room and dives at the same place and because Koh Tao is known for being ‘diver-factory’ most centers will give the best discount if you take some kind of education and not only fun-dives… anyway Benjamin and I used a couple of hours talking with some of the dive center shops in the Khao San Road area and decided to try out Grand Coral Divers.
The trip went pretty smooth even though you ALWAYS are told to meet up far too early, getting pooled with travellers from other hotels and shops and then spend a lot of time waiting for the bus ect… and this was no exception – a lot of waiting, a rather cold bus, a stop for dinner at around 23.00?, but in the end arrival at Koh Tao at planned time… business as usual… 😉
At Koh Tao the room wasnt what we had expected and situated a 10-15 minutes extra walk by a road away from the dive center and the nice beach, so for us it wasnt an option…. the staff at Grand Coral Divers understood our decision and we took our backpacks for a walk down the beach – a great thing about a backpack is that its so easy to talk a walk and find what you’re looking for…. so in the nice sun we walked down Sairee Breach and looked at some of the places making Sairee Hut Dive Resort our choice – really a nice room/hut with a sea view, restaurant by the sea and also also a dive center… we loved staying there, but we did in fact dive with Grand CoralDivers, which was also a good choice!
But to call it a resort might not live up the American definition of a resort… 😉
A really nice view from our balcony at Sairee Hut Dive Resort
Benjamin relaxing at our balcony
(yes, Benjamin has an amazing smile….)
The Sairee Hut Dive Resort restaurant seen from the beach
And you can spot our hut – the first one on the right just after the dive center…..
Benjamin enjoying life at the restaurant…
Even on a cloudy day the beach is so nice a Koh Tao
The Titan Triggerfishes around Koh Tao are would famous for being very agressive and being up to 75 cm’s its quite a big fish attacking with an incredible speed.
My divemaster from Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao, back in the summer 2005 had her own defence position sort of sitting in the water with her finns towards the Titan Triggerfishes whenever see saw one… yes, it seemed like she was rather worried about them… maybe because the Finnish divemaster also from Big Blue Diving got bitten in her nose some weeks ago and now has a nice little scar… but most people get away with no problems or a bit in their finns…
But on my last trip to Koh Tao in August 2007 the Divemaster from Grand Coral Divers showed me how to handle Titan Triggerfishes with success by blasting them with the air from the octopus… that was sooo coool! He just faced the Titan Triggerfish and waited for it to attack and then blasted it when it was near… it was really funny to watch how the Titan Triggerfish turned away and flead.. but just to attack again – and get blasted.. He really played with it for several minuts which were good entertainment for us and I took a couple of pictures…
Titan Triggerfish gets blasted with air from the octopus
And it returns for some more… its incredible so aggressive they can be..
Diving with the guys at Coral Grand Divers has both its upside and downsides – the downside is definately that the leave too early for the morning dives (before 07.00), but the upside is the great service, then nice people and the fact that we are usually the first people at the divesite, which is GREAT at Chumphon Pinnacles, because the sharks hasnt been ’scared’ away. Diving at Chumphon Pinnacles on 18th August was no exception – the sharks was sort of waiting for us and our divemaster took us directly out to them – what a great sight seeing sharks at Chumphon Pinnacles – they were around 2 meters in size…
It seems like the trick is to go there early and you’ll see 8-10 sharks there… of course not too close up.. sharks isnt that nosy… 😉
Last time I was at Chumphon Pinnacles it seems like we came to late, but luckily Chumphon Pinnacles has more that just sharks to ‘offer’…
Yes, they didnt come too close, but it was great and its not the last time I’m going to visit Koh Tao and Chumphon Pinnacles – Koh Tao is really a nice place to stay, which I’ll tell more about later.