Friday, February 14, 2014

Diving the Surins: Final Day

Koh Tachai Bay: The Night Dive


I don't have any photos or video of our night dive here, but it was pretty nice. The photo above is a shot of the bay from the surface.  Anywho, this dive redeemed my interest in night dives after I had a few not-so-great experiences.  

We saw some cool stuff:  
  • A massive moray eel in his little cave, not super happy we spotted him with our flashlights
  • A decorator crab, which is kinda like a hermit crab, but he just sticks all sorts of stuff on him back
  • Thousands and thousands of tiny shrimp, some too small to see, some skittering around... little red eyes peering out at you from every crevice! 
  • Sea urchins of all varieties, on the move and eating (like so)... normally they're kinda just tucked away on the reef, but at night they literally open up and come alive
  • a big old black-blotched porcupinefish, just hanging out

Koh Tachai Pinnacle

The next morning we dove this pinnacle, and man, the current was strong!  We had to descend and ascend on the boat's mooring line and I still have some rope burns on my hands from gripping as the current pulled me, regulator flapping.  Once down on the reef it wasn't so bad, but we still occasionally had to swim against  a current to stand still.  It was worth it, though, because of what we saw!  (Please excuse the shaky video... blame it on the current.  Also, it was pretty dark on the site because it was so early morning)

First: Octopus!!!!  I had seen one before, in the Gilis, but he was not active, just tucked into a hole.  This time, two octopi, one just chilling, barely visible at all in real life, blending perfectly into the rock, not visible in the slightest on my low-light video.  The other, though, moved around a little bit, shifting from one rock to another, wrapping his tentacles around the rock and briefly changing the color of his skin- flashing white.  You see it again when a fairly clueless diver swims into frame (and right over the static octopus), pointing at the more active octopus.  He flashes white again to express his displeasure:


The rest of the dive was pretty nice, too:
  • Skunk anemone fish
  • A big longnose butterflyfish (0:05)
  • Some snapper and a trumpetfish (I love their feather-like tails) at 0:14
  • Beautiful sea fan at 1:05
  • Some of the video at the end is a bit crazy, although you can see the nice coral. I can't tell if I knew I was filming or not, but I know I was fighting the current to get back to the mooring line

Koh Bon Ridge

This dive was really pretty.  We were hoping for manta rays, but no dice.  That's ok, because we saw some other nice stuff, including the beautiful blue, sea green and purple pastel soft corals like the ones in the photos below:


Cool texture, eh?:


Here are the video highlights:
  • Big porcupine fish
  • More schools of glass fish (0:45)
  • Crazy pastel colored soft corals (1:15)
  • Beautiful emperor angelfish (1:25)
  • Stalactite-style soft corals (1:48)
  • Tim, creepy staring (2:11)
  • Crescent-tail bigeye, also creepy staring (2:15)
  • Nudibranch! (2:35)
  • Pineapple sea cucumber (2:45)
  • Tim + pufferfish (2:50)
  • Cool coral, cool rocks
  • Tim (3:50)

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