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Racha Yai Bay 1+2



Harruby Liveaboard



a spacious wreck


Racha Yai Bay 1 and 2

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Racha Yai Bay 1+2


Situated on the northeast area of Racha Yai Bay 1 and 2 are probably the most popular in the region for both divers and snorkelers. With a sandy floor that gently slopes from only 5 to around 25 metres, a nice selection of reef fish situated in the shallows and good visibility.

There is a good range of moray eels, fimbriated morays and of course, the giant moray eels are there as well. Blue Spotted rays and Peacock Flounder are around as well at the sandy bottom as some nice schools of barracuda. Turtles are frequently seen too, so are cuttlefish and large reef octopus. In the right season, Manta rays have been known to pass by and have a look at the divers as well.

There are four wrecks situated in these two bays and enough marine life that will keep most divers happy.

The Harruby Liveaboard is situated between Bays 1 and 2. This wreck is in excellent condition and is the best wreck in the area to penetrate. The bottom of the wreck is at around 20 metres with the top at about 14 metres. This makes it an accessible wreck for all levels of certified divers. The loveable batfish has made this place their home and large schools are always found here.

Barracuda, scorpionfish and bannerfish also inhabit the wreck. My favorite creature is the snake eel that can be found sticking its head up out of the sand close to the wreck so keep your eyes peeled for those

Thank you to Phuket Dive Guide for the provision of the map.


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Racha Yai Bay 3-5

Racha Yai Bay 3 to 5

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Racha Yai Bay 3-5


Racha Yai offers some of the best local year around dive-sites but the visibility varies as to the season. On the north end of the island are two beautiful little bays Homerun Bay and Siam Bay famous for their deep clear water and colorful coral formations. Both of them have almost swimming pool features as they gradually drop to a depth of 20-25 metres onto a sandy seabed, providing many opportunities for both snorkeling and scuba diving. The best diving is off the east coast at Bay 1 to 5. The current allows a gentle drift dive along a sloping rocky face that is covered with an amazing array of hard corals and the nutrient rich water draws large schools of tropical fish. Around Racha Yai, some large rays have been seen. Leopard sharks and just recently Blacktip reef sharks have made an appearance again. The entire eastern side of Racha Yai is punctuated by a series of 5 small bays, each 3 to 25 meters deep. Currents are generally mild within the bays, but sometimes strong between them. Divers typically start in one bay, and move from that bay to the next, depending on which way the currents are going.

Racha Yai Bay 3 is another very popular dive site for all the same reasons as Bays 1 and 2. At around 20 metres, there are stacks of concrete cubes that form an artificial reef. The reef is a popular home for batfish, Moray eels, lionfish, and a great selection of common reef fish. Head south and you will enter Lucy's Reef, which consists of hard corals. The further south you dive the site change into rock formations. Occasional eagle rays have been spotted there. Bay 3 is a nice dive site that will throw up enough good stuff to keep all avid underwater photographers happy.

Racha Yai Bay 4 & 5 are situated at the most southeast end of Racha Yai. Both bays have shallow water to begin the dive however both have rock formations that drop away to about 30 metres and beyond. There are not commonly dived although visibility is often better here as well due to the rocks, depth, and lack of general activity on the sites. Manta rays and Eagle rays have been spotted in these waters.

Thank you to Phuket Dive Guide for the provision of the map.

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Anemone Reef

Anemone Reef

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Anemone Reef


is located about 600 metres north of Shark Point Marine Sanctuary. The Thai name this beautiful site ‘Hin Jom’ that means 'submerged rock'. This huge limestone pinnacle rises 30 metres up from the seafloor with the tip around 5 metres beneath the surface. It is now 3 metres deeper than it was before the King Cruiser ferry struck it and sheared off the very top of the rock. In shallower areas, this submerged reef is fully covered in extensive fields of gorgeous blue and green sea anemones, hence its name. The soft coral clings to every conceivable surface and gently sway in the current creating the illusion that the giant rock is alive. As expected there are plenty of colourful anemone fish and clownfish living and hiding among the anemones that make great photo opportunities. The site is an absolute treasure trove of macro life.

Anemone Reef is also a well-known site for common and spotfin lionfish, sometimes encountered in-groups of up to 10. You can see them gliding about in the open or resting in the barrel sponges away from the current. The barrel sponges dot the lower slopes, and you can sometimes find large bearded scorpionfish resting inside them too. Away from the barrel rims, these fish are often difficult to spot, as they are able to change their skin color and markings to blend perfectly in with the granite rocks that they rest upon.

In the shallower parts of the dive, look in and around the anemones for their residents skunk, pink, Clark's and tomato anemonefish, among others. However, they are not the only creatures to inhabit the anemones; porcelain crabs can be seen hiding here along with shrimps. Damselfish such as the threespot dascyllus are also seen everywhere.

Thank you to Phuket Dive Guide for the provision of the map.

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Shark Point

Shark Point

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Shark Point


The official Thai name ‘Hin Musang’ translates ‘Shark Rock’, named after the local leopard sharks that sometimes visit the location and can be seen resting on the sandy seafloor. The sharks are not the only attraction here though; Shark Point is one of the richest and most vivid dive spot around, with its stunning soft corals, fan corals, and anemones.

The site lies 29 km from Chalong Bay, Phuket. It became part of a Marine Sanctuary in 1992; the sheer profusion of marine life is justification enough for protection. The exclusion area extends as a radius of 2.5km around the western limits of shark point and all commercial fishing, collection or marine organism or any other harmful activity is prohibited by law.

Shark Point consists of 3 remote pinnacles running north to south. Pinnacle 1, as the main site, is identified by a small rock on the surface with a cross to warn off local boat traffic. Considering the small extent of the rock above water, the actual size of the reef underwater is a big surprise to most divers. Depths range between of 18-20 metres with a good visibility from 5-25 metres. Currents can be brisk at this site but they tend run parallel to the reef sections and allow for an excellent drift dive back to the dive boat.
The main attraction here, in addition to sharks and vast schools of tropical fish are the colorful soft corals and sea fans that decorate the huge limestone pinnacles. The currents sweeping over the pinnacles provide enough food for the hundreds of different species of hard corals and limitless tropical fish species. Most divers could spend several dives exploring the many interesting facets of the site, which is arguably the most popular of all the local day-diving sites. Diving with Nitrox for longer bottom time is advisable.

The leopard shark is a docile creature that can be found lying in the sandy bottom surrounding the pinnacles. These completely reachable, trusting sharks grow to a length of a little over 2 meters, and most divers think that they are one of the "cutest" sharks in the ocean. Divers who are not accustomed to seeing sharks are genuinely surprised at how big and approachable they are. Because they are nocturnal feeders, they are very approachable during the day.


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Koh Dok Mai

Koh Dok Mai

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Koh Dok Mai


This small, jungle topped island is located on the way to Shark Point from Phuket and is considered one of the best wall dives in the area. Doc Mai is a huge limestone rock that. Koh Doc Mai literally means, "Flower Island". There are different stories of how the place got its name - some say it is because the island was once full of blossoming flowers, and others claim its name comes from the underwater beauty around its shores.

This little limestone island rises steeply out of the sea and stretches vertically down to 30 meters creating beneath the surface a wall all around. The west side is a gently sloping hard coral reef from 12 to 20 metres with an abundance of colorful sea life decorating its underwater cliffs. The east wall is more popular with scuba divers and goes as deep as 25 metres. This site is a virtual garden of yellow tube corals, harps, sea fans, anemones, and sponges. You can explore a few caves along the base of the wall here. With a torch, you would be able to see the spectacular limestone architecture. Most visited is the big cave at the southeast. The small cave however is narrow and long, so less experienced divers are not encouraged to penetrate the cave. Another small cavern has a ‘fresh air’ spot at the top of it, which is not recommended to breathe the air.

You dive will usually begin on the far left or right of the southern face, depending on the direction of the tide. Descending immediately to around 25 meters the divers will usually start a very slow descent. While checking crevices and cracks in the wall or the sea fans, you may spot many small creatures when they move. The walls are home to colourful nudibranchs, flatworms, tiny white eyes morays, and group of 10 or more dancing shrimp are guaranteed to make an appearance. Soft and hard corals can also be found clinging onto the wall, the yellow tube corals making the best of bunch. The bright yellow tiger-tale seahorse seems to flourish here as well as the ornate ghost pipefish. In addition, anglerfish are among the species frequently found. No wonder this dive site is famous by macro photographers.

Along the walls, usually schools of yellow line snapper, trevallies and fusilier hunt around. Hidden amidst the corals are the white-eye moray, giant moray and Honeycomb moray eels, very used to divers floating by and they are not shy at all. For those interested in bigger fish, look at the blue for great barracuda and if you are lucky leopard shark may catch a few winks at the bottom of the wall.

Thank you to Phuket Dive Guide for the provision of the map.

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Koh Bida Nai

Koh Bida Nai

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Koh Bida Nai


Bida Nok and Bida Nai are located only 2 kilometres South of Phi Phi Leh. Both limestone islands, with their outstanding steep walls from 8-28m, are known to be some of the best dive sites of Koh Phi Phi due to the abundance and variety of fish. The shallow reefs are covered with colourful soft corals mixed with hard coral where moray eels, ghost pipefish and scorpion fish hide. Banded sea snakes, turtles and leopard sharks and on occasion whale sharks have been known to visit. In addition, Bida Nai has overhangs, caves and a beautiful archway filled with tiny baitfish, which leads to a shallow hard coral garden. Bida Nok has several swim-throughs of the west side where you find a complex jumble of giant boulders. The limestone-sisters at Phi Phi Islands are not to be missed. Hin Bida lies 8 kilometres further east and is known as Phi Phi Shark Point.

Koh Bida Nai, which means "Inner Father Island" in Thai, is a limestone island that rises dramatically from the sea 2 kilometres to the south of Phi Phi Leh. Along with its bigger sister Koh Bida Nok just a hundred metres south, this is regarded as Phi Phi's best dive site with an abundance of life.

Above the surface, the limestone rock is stunning with shades of oranges and whites formed by minerals in the rock. Swallows and sea eagles circle its peak.

On the east side, a drop off with sandy bottom and small coral bommies slopes between 7 and 25 meters. This wall is covered with colourful anemones and their resident clownfish. You can admire the richness of Andaman Sea: titan triggerfish, angelfish, emperor fish, parrotfish, lionfish, moray eels, leopard sharks (). Look out for porcelain crabs on the edges of the anemones. In the shallower area at the base of the rock, look for the bamboo sharks where they have dug sand holes to make their home. Juvenile Oriental sweetlips can be seen performing their unusual dance. Closer in towards the main island is another long narrow swim-through.

Thank you to Phuket Dive Guide for the provision of the map.

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Koh Bida Nok

Koh Bida Nok

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Koh Bida Nok


Translates as "Outer Father" and is one of Phi Phi’s top diving locations. Its cliffs, dropping straight down into the blue are covered in a vast array of soft corals and purple, aquamarine, pink, and blue anemones. This makes it a colourful and interesting wall dive. In the south, this tiny limestone island has a nicely sheltered underwater bay, which is great to start the dive. From there it is a shallow gradually descending dive along a ridge named Finger Reef.

On the shallower lagoon side, several types of morays, juvenile boxfish, and scorpion fish are often spotted. Once you reach the edge of the reef on its south point, you will find a steep wall that is decorated in vibrant anemones, table corals, bubble corals, and giant brain corals along with beautiful gorgonian sea fans, sea whips, and barrel sponges. A Tiger tail Sea Horse is sometimes found hiding in sea fans at 14-16 metres. The coral is covered in shoals of small fish among groups of hunting trevally. Turtles are occasionally seen on this reef. A vertical swim-through at the southwest side of the island, beautifully illuminated by surface light, is not to be missed.

Following the wall to the west there are lots of overhangs and caverns to discover that make perfect hideouts for lionfish, bearded scorpion fish, bird wrasse and moon wrasse, Moorish idols, parrotfish and honeycomb groupers. Octopuses are often seen here and white-eyed morays, which can be seen in the cracks and crevices, are numerous. Look out also for shrimps, crabs, rock lobsters and many species of nudibranch. Across the sandy area outside of the lagoon, you can find Kuhl’s stingrays. The seabed is littered with sea urchins, sea cucumbers, blue starfish, and sometimes cuttlefish too. The east is an easy sloping reef with many reef fish around its patches of coral. Leopard Sharks may be spotted sleeping on the sandy bottom and Black Tip Reef Sharks are often spotted in the shallow areas during the safety stop!

On the northern side of the island, you can check a narrow cave. The cave's entrance is at 20 m and the wall is covered with colorful soft corals and gorgonians.

Coming up after your dive, enjoy the magnificent rock formation above the water where sea eagles and kites circling circle above in the sky.

Thank you to Phuket Dive Guide for the provision of the map.

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King Cruiser Wreck



Archive


King Cruiser Wreck

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King Cruiser Wreck


MS King Cruiser was a car ferry of that sank off the West Coast of Southern Thailand on 4 May 1997.

The ferry was operating between Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands in southern Thailand when she hit a submerged collection of rocky pinnacles at Anemone Reef, 10 miles off Phi Phi Island. The impact tore a large hole in the hull, and the vessel sank within two and a half hours.

All 561 passengers – including both Thai locals and foreign tourists – were rescued. They were picked up by the two police patrol boats and four or five fishing boats which had raced to the rescue in response to an emergency call.

The vessel is now a popular recreational dive site and acts as an artificial reef to complement the Anemone Reef. The vessel sits upright on a sandy bottom in around 30m of water. Originally the shallowest part of the wreck rose to ~10m, but today most of the superstructure is collapsed making the shallowest part of the wreck currently deeper than 16m.

The wreck remains largely in one piece, although the upper deck has collapsed. The simplest and safest point of entry is through the vessel's stern, where divers can explore the once active car decks. Machinery still sits on the deck. Inside the car deck are a couple of vehicle tyres and an engine trolley. Rows of passenger seats and low coffee tables fill the inner recesses. The collapsed foredeck is at 18 metres, where there is a stack of plastic picnic tables and chairs often surrounded by a cloud of snappers. The upper deck is split from front to back.

Within and around the wreck there is lots of coral growth and an abundance of fish. Soft corals can be found growing along the sides and top of the wreck. Schools of bigeye trevally are often spotted circling above the captain's cabin. Large schools of yellow snapper hang around the entrances to the car deck and along the remains of the upper deck, and lionfish can be seen dotted around the wreck. There are also occasional encounters with zebra sharks and bamboo sharks, barracuda and turtles.