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Day 148 – Introduction to Liveaboard 3

July 29, 2010

Dateline: Bangkok, Thailand – Thursday, July 29, 2010

This is the introduction to Day 3 of the four-day liveaboard trip to the Similan and Surin Islands off the coast of Thailand and Burma.

On this day, our boat headed out to Richeleu Rock. The dive site is a crescent-shaped reef formation off the coast of Burma and Thailand. The pinnacle of the site can only be seen above water during low tide. It’s in the middle of open ocean with no island in sight. It was discovered by Jacque Cousteau with the help of some local fishermen.

It’s renowned as the best dive site in Thailand. I can’t disagree. It is a rich environment, especially if you’re into the small stuff like nudibranchs and seahorses. There are supposedly whale sharks, but, apparently, sightings have dipped over the last few years. Theories for the drop off include dynamite fishing by Burmese fishermen, global warming, pollution, and increased boat and diver traffic.

Erick, a retired German guy, has been diving here since the 60s well before there were organized tourist trips. He said the wildlife used to be much more plentiful. Mantas and whale sharks were a dime a dozen. Alas, no more.

Today was also the only day of the trip that I had an underwater camera. I rented one from Rubi and took more pictures in that day than he did the entire trip. Let’s just say I was intent on getting my money’s worth.

Taking pictures underwater is like trying to take a picture of a sprinting cheetah while skateboarding on the back of a walking elephant in a hurricane. Everything is moving. Your subject is moving. You are moving. The ocean is moving. Most of the time, you have nothing to hold on to. It’s loads of fun.

I hope you enjoy. If I had to pick my favorite picture set from the Asia leg I’d have to pick this one. Be sure to check out all the bonus pics in the linked gallery at the bottom of the entry’s page.

You can read about Day 3 of the dive trip here. Gallery is linked at the bottom of that page.

GALLERY: None for this day. Just wrote and ate in Bangkok. Be sure to check out the mega-gallery though on the Day 3 liveaboard page.

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