18.07.2011 - 19.07.2011 31 °C
Kirby and I couldn’t stop thinking about diving and all we would talk about each day was the stuff we have seen and the places we want to go diving, so we knew for sure that the advanced open water dive course was for us! Plus it was a piece of cake; all we had to do was some reading each night and a few examinations in and out of the water.
First of all I have to say, the diving was absolutely amazing!!! Our first dive was at Bida Nok where we reached 25.7m deep with around 20m visibility. Before we hopped in Darren told us that if we were lucky we might be able to see a black tip reef shark, however he warned us that they were very shy so we had to keep alert so as not to miss it.
Well we should have bought a lottery ticket that day because during the dive we saw around 5-6 different black tips with at least 13-15 sightings, plus we got really close as well. Unequivocally the best dive we have done so far! Also saw a cheeky little moon wrasse steal a fish from inside a jellyfish!
^^ Black Tip!!
^^ Bida Nok
^^ Our Chariot
The second dive was at Palong Wall where we got down to 18.9m with visibility around 7m. The vis wasn’t so great but we still saw things we hadn’t encountered before – like a giant red cuttlefish, really cool just hovering in the water chilling out. Also saw plenty of Banded Sea Kraits’.
^^ Phi Phi Ley
^^ I see you
^^ Juvenile Harlequin Sweetlip
The last dive on our first day was back at Shark Point. The currents weren’t as strong as last week so we were able to explore a bit more of the reef that we couldn’t access before. It’s a very beautiful dive with a great mix of sand and reef, and this time we were very fortunate to see a leopard shark !!
^^ Leopard Shark!
^^ Me and the Leopard hanging out
^^ Beautiful sunset on the way home
The second day couldn’t come fast enough and I was aching to get back in the water. The first dive of the day was in Banana Bay just off Racha Noi. It’s a deep dive and we got right down to 30m. The visibility was the best we have experienced so far, over 30m! It’s a trippy experience when you roll over onto your back and watch your bubbles float into the bright sky above!
Not long into the dive we ran into a huge school of Forsters Barracuda – and when you stay really still they begin to swirl around you like a huge silver tornado – breathtaking! (Literally – I used 150 bar in this 50min dive). There was also heaps of Lion fish hiding in the crevices and lots of amazing big boulders to explore.
^^ Kirby directing us
^^ Kirby with the school
^^ Coooool Barracuda
^^ Kirby exploring
For the second dive we stayed at Racha Noi but went around to North Point. A wonderful boulder dive with heaps of open sandy areas where we spotted Lionfish, a Jenkins Whipray, heaps of big Travelly and an incredible Octopus that changed from white to brown as he scooted across the sand onto a nearby rock! This dive was made all the better by the visibility which was around 25m.
^^ Racha Noi
^^ Nice boulders!
^^ Initiate Take-off Sequence!
^^ Exploring the crevaces
Our 12th and final dive in Thailand was at a wreck off Racha Yai. There were two wrecks in this area – a local wooden fisher boat and an old dive boat. Surrounding the wrecks is a large, open sandy area where we encountered heaps of batfish, lionfish, flounder, and byno gobies with their shrimp friends.
^^ Racha Yai
^^ Going to the toilet at 21m is heaps funner…and warmer
^^ Thanks Darren!!
We had so much fun doing our open water and advanced open water courses. This is definitely a new hobby both Kirby and I will be enjoying for the rest of our lives. Big thanks to Darren and All4Diving who made this adventure possible ! We can’t wait for our next diving adventure, although it might be a while since we are planning on heading inland.