I could hear someone enthusiastically banging his tank and I instantly knew there was something major up ahead. I examined my surroundings and there it was, gracefully gliding through the great expanse of the sea, coming toward our direction. Yes, this was what we came here for. And suddenly the exhaustion vanished. A sense of calm never fails to envelop me whenever I encounter this gentle giant gliding through, perhaps enjoying the attention too.
Strong currents hit us when we reached Ko Bon Pinnacle from the blue. It pays to be fit because just reaching the Pinnacle is a work-out all its own. This near vertical slope is where manta rays are frequently spotted playing. There are a couple of cleaning stations on the reef and manta sightings are almost guaranteed.
This occurrence will continue until the next day, in different dive sites, mostly in the northern part of Similan. It was awesome and is always a privilege being with them in their domain.
The Similan Islands was declared a national park in 1982 and is rated top ten among the world’s dive destinations. The impressive boulder formation also continues below the surface with diverse landscapes of canyons, boulders, coral gardens, caves and walls. It is also home to an amazing variety of marine life.
The southern coast consists of those smaller islands (described on previous posts) that are numbered from one through nine and is balanced by the larger northern islands of Ko Bon for its beautiful piece of landscape, Ko Tachai with her attractive sandy beach above and plateaus beneath with probably the most colorful coral gardens in the park. Richelieu, the 3rd island of the south was also a highlight of our dive trip.
A relatively small dive site and a bit too crowded with divers all vying to see the huge extent of marine life in the area. Whale Sharks are usually sighted during the months of April and May but for some reason, they elude me once more. And so my pursuit of that elusive butandings continues.
Here’s some underwater snapshots to take pleasure in:
* All photos courtesy of R. Formoso of Subaquatic Scuba.