Friday, October 26, 2012

Wicked (Awesome) Diving Staff Trip

Wicked Diving does an annual staff trip before the tourist season starts on November 1st, and we were able to join them. We did 5 really fun dives - meaning we could take photos, explore, and not have to worry about having clients/inexperienced divers around.  The food on the boat is amazing, the cabins were comfortable, and the weather was perfection. We had calm seas, light breezes, and beautiful sunsets. What more could we want?  Here are some highlights from each dive:

1. Boonsung Wreck, ~1 hour north of Khao Lak by boat. The boat was a dredger that sank in the 1970s and was split apart in the 2004 tsunami, creating a huge wreck site with a number of segments in the general area.  This was my first wreck dive and it was AMAZING!! There were points where I couldn't see more than 5 feet in front of me because there were too many fish. Seriously... this was an incredible first fun dive in Thailand.

This is a relatively small school of fish... you can imagine how busy  it was around the wreck!


Beautiful superstructures are still intact

Honeycomb morays - only visible in the local sites around Khao Lak
2. Night dive at Boonsung wreck. No photos from this, but it was just as beautiful at night as during the day :)

3. Seachart Wreck - this was my first dive to 30+ meters (95+ feet) in depth. The boat sank in the early 2000s carrying a huge load of mature teak wood, so there are still giant logs spilling around the wreck. There weren't quite as many schools of little fish, but there were lots of bigger fish around.

Sea cucumber with beautiful oral tentacles

Sea feathers - these look like giant mopheads slowly moving around the wreck. They are amazing, but  at night they look like tarantulas. It's a little creepy, but cool.

Here's a sampling of what the boat looked like - Dani is at ~95ft, and the boat still goes further down! Great visibility and lighting even at that depth.
4. Secret Reef, ~30 minutes south of Khao Lak.

Corals :D

Nudibranchs getting really friendly

Scorpionfish (my own photo this time)
me, Ana (my instructor right now), and Ploy (who works in the shop and is amazing and helped me pick out some pretty dresses at the tourist shop)
5. Muck Dive - aka a normal dive in Monterey. These dives are usually in places with poor visibility, but usually have a lot of life. That being said, Monterey is MUCH prettier and vibrant than most muck dives in Southeast Asia, but you can see some pretty amazing things on muck dives:

Teeny nudibranch (this pic is kinda blurry, sorry...)


OMG A JELLYFISH... wait no... :(

Octopus coming out of its hole :)
Bottom line: I LOVE DIVING. These are from the 2-night, 3-day liveaboard trip with the staff. The DMTs (Divemasters in Training, me + the 3 guys) are going to help with a reef cleanup on Oct 30-31 and I am so stoked. Then we're on a 6-day liveaboard trip to work on our divemaster skills with clients.  Time is flying by...

No comments:

Post a Comment