It’s the first trip of the new season, our boat, the Mariner, has been spruced up and there’s a sense of excitement on board. The boat staff, dive staff and guests can’t wait to set sail and see what the Similans have in store after staying untouched for the last five months of low season.
The weather is reporting rain and choppy conditions and P’Wit, our captain, decides on a later than usual start to let some of the waves calm down. It is with some trepidation both staff and guests wake on the first morning, but there was no need for worry as we were greeted with amazing flat seas and bright blue skies. What a welcome from the Similans!
The first dive was at Hideaway bay and the 30m visibility and abundance of marine life set the tone for the three days of diving ahead. Beautiful schools of fusiliers cruised past out in the blue as our dive guides searched coral bommies pointing out lion fish, ember parrotfish and tropical angel fish to name but a few.
Dives continued that day at Stonehenge and Shallow Six with sightings of long thin cornet fish, pairs of butterfly fish, giant moray eels and blue fin trevally all being recorded.
After finishing the third dive of the day and with the sun still shining it was off to the beach. Guests and staff started with a beach clean up as is the tradition on all of Wicked’s beach visits and then there was plenty of time for a game of frisbee and a couple of beers while watching the sunset. An amazing end to the day.
Day two saw the Mariner sail to the northern most point of the Similan Islands, Island 9, where we would dive for the day. The 30m vis continued as dive one saw us exploring the huge granite boulders at North Point dive site. Brightly coloured giant sea fans were seen growing in-between the rocks and a closer look saw oriental sweetlips hiding there too.
Dive two was at Three Trees and the current meant this was an exciting drift dive. We were greeted by a huge school of chevron barracuda and there was even a friendly turtle chilling out in the shallows at the end of the dive.
Day two means it’s night dive day and Turtle Rock delivered hunting moray eels and lion fish as well as a host of crustaceans for our dive guides and guests to spot. After a delicious dinner and a couple of beers everyone was ready to hit the hay, excited to find out what the next day’s diving would bring.
Moving even further North the final day of the trip was at the famous Koh Bon. Covered in so many glass fish it was a stunning setting to have the final two dives. A napoleon wrasse joined our divers as well as schools of batfish and a curious octopus changing colours and textures as we hovered captivated by the amazing animal. And although it was the final dive of the trip sightings didn’t stop. Just as P’Wit was about to head home two manta rays were spotted playing together at the surface! A magical way to end the first trip of the season.