Thursday, March 27, 2008

an introduction to eat, sleep, dive

Day 3 - The Andaman Sea (Similan Islands)

Our boat had continued the journey to the Similan Islands as we slept. In the morning when we woke, we found that the previous night's blank landscape of endless black sea had changed into one of a green tropical island surrounded by calm waters lapping at the rocky edges of where land met the sea.

After washing up and then having a few slices of toast with some Milo ('pre-breakfast' sustenance), we had our first dive briefing.

East of Eden...our first dive of the trip!

Team KL + Aussie Kyle...almost all suited up and ready to jump in!

Logging our first dive after breakfast. Very enthusiastic bunch we were as you can see!

Miko playing the good responsible teacher.

Our daily schedule was pretty much wake up, dive #1, breakfast, break, dive #2, lunch, break, dive #3, afternoon tea, break, dive #4, dinner, break for the rest of the day. Pretty much 'eat, sleep, dive' as you can see. Haha =)

While most of our time was spent at sea, there were occasions whereby we made short excursions to shore on our rubber dinghy.

This was our first island excursion...Similan Island #4 if I recall correctly. No resorts. Uninhabited by man. Absolute beauty.

Here we see three homo sapiens subjects displaying their natural instincts when returned to their original habitat.

As a child, Tarzan had always fascinated me.

Our dive liveaboard, the Manta Queen II. If you look carefully, you can actually spot two of our fellow divers (Lawrence and Jacob from Austria) jumping from the top deck of our boat into the water.

Day 4 - The Andaman Sea (Similan Islands, Koh Tachai)

Sunrise at approximately 6.30 am.

[Picture from Kyle] At the Boulder City dive site, we had our first encounter with medium-sized pelagics during the trip. A solitary leopard shark resting (sleeping?) on the sea bed.

[Picture from Kyle] Surface shot of one half of Team KL and Aussie Kyle after diving Boulder City.

Inspired by the guile of the Austrians, we decided to take 'the leap' this morning as well. This was when we discovered that jumping off the top deck is definitely not for the faint-hearted! Here, Yao is poised for a painful (ouch!) landing.

[Picture from Kyle] Second dive of the day was at Elephant Head Rock. Lots of massive underwater boulder formations which made for interesting 'swim-throughs'. A tiger cowrie is pictured here.

[Picture from Kyle] Easily the strangest-looking thing we encountered throughout the whole trip. A frogfish! Also sighted at Elephant Head Rock. Quite cute me thinks.

[Picture from Kyle] Lionfish @ Elephant Head Rock.

[Picture from Kyle] Yao and I.

Island stopover at another one of the Similan Islands.

Yao and I explored the massive rock formations by the beach while Angie and HT chilled down at the water's edge. We caught some pretty amazing views from the top.

This thumbnail of a picture doesn't do enough justice to its beauty. I'll probably post a larger one somewhere, sometime.

Another spectacular sunset while journeying north to Koh Tachai for our 2nd night dive.

We were due to travel to Richelieu Rock the following day, which is easily the most famous dive site this part of the Andaman because of the high frequency of spotting whale sharks there this time of the year. After dinner that night however, our divemasters got wind that quite a large number of liveaboards were heading towards Richelieu Rock as well and so we changed our plans a little to travel immediately from Koh Tachai to Richelieu Rock after dinner, have an early night and then be up and ready for a sunrise dive by 6.30 am the next morning.

And so we obediently went to bed early that night. With anticipation running high, I actually dreamt we saw whale sharks =p

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