KM Raja Manta Trip Reports

Jan 24, 2015

Andaman & Similan islands WMT15


Whilst the White Manta’s usual home in Thailand is the world famous Similan Islands, occasionally we take our guests on a slightly longer safari which encompasses the Southern Phuket, Andaman sea dive sites of Hin Deng/Hin Muang, Koh Haa and Phi Phi before heading North and exploring the Similans themselves.

 

 

For this particular adventure cruise the White Manta crew were happy to welcome onboard another group of multi-national diving enthusiasts eager to explore the best diving Thailand has to offer. Joining us from the frozen lands of Canada and hoping to thaw out in the Thai sun were Ray, Brittany, Steven, Greg, Rob, Doug, Don, Kenneth and Joan. From Uruguay, the beautiful South American sisters, Ximena and Florencia were taking on the challenge of completing both their open water and Advanced courses during the trip! Our five Singaporean guests were returning to White Manta diving after an absence of six years and it was a pleasure to welcome back, Margaret, Eugene, Jack, Loh and Eddie along with their professional UW photo equipment! A lone ambassador from Bulgaria, Peter was also a welcome returning customer, whilst our Australian contingent of Peter, Paul, Ryan and Kyle hailed from Sydney New South Wales, during the trip 14 year old Kyle was planning to complete his Advanced Open Water certification. Finally we were joined by a group hailing from the mountains of Switzerland, Marco, Sabrina, Rebekka and Roger.

 

Everyone was gathered aboard the White Manta at Chalong pier on our first evening and there was a palpable air of excitement and anticipation as we set sail for the Southern Andaman submerged pinnacles of Hin Deng and Hin Muang.

 

After an overnight sail in slightly choppy conditions we started the safari with a couple of dives at Hin Deng and Muang before heading North to Koh Haa for an afternoon dive and a night dive. Throughout the day our divers were treated to gorgeous fields of soft corals, huge sea fans and vibrant marine life that included turtles, cuttlefish, octopus, nudibranch, jacks, trevallies, filefish, remora, pufferfish..and.. well the list just goes on and on! All this before a fantastic night dive where an abundance of small critters came out to play including decorator crabs, flounder, pipefish, nudibranch and a playful, small mosaic octopus, a great start to the trip!

 

 

Day two continued around Koh Haa where the undoubted highlight was the dive site, located at Koh Haa Nua, known locally as ‘The Chimney.’ A stunning underwater topography of vertical swim thrus and caves was complemented by huge schools of big eye and twin spot snapper, a beautiful soft coral garden added to the aura of a magical, secret underwater garden!

 

After a day diving around the Similan and Surin Islands where clear blue water greeted us on every dive and harlequin shrimp, octopus, cuttlefish along with schools of rainbow runner and trevallies everyone on board was eager to experience the world famous dive site, Richelieu Rock!!!

 

 

And what a fabulous days diving we were to enjoy here, the site was alive with marine life, schooling, macro, cuttlefish and octopus, but the undoubted highlight was the Whale Shark that joined us for an entire dive on dive three… simply amazing, and a wonderful highlight to end the trip!!

 

Check out the video and photos on facebook and youtube… here’s  the link!!

http://youtu.be/M9kl2tYpvc8

 

Thanks to everyone who joined us on this special Similan safari, we look forward to welcoming you all back soon for more bubbly adventures!