We were back at Koh Tachai pinnacle for our first dive of the day. There was only a slight current so the dive was much more enjoyable than the day before. We had time to enjoy the colorful corals and all the fish. We even briefly saw a turtle (another diver with a camera chase it off trying to get a picture of it). There was a big school of barracuda swimming in the area, you could tell when they got close because all the smaller fish would speed off. If you looked in the opposite direction of the smaller fish then you could see the barracuda coming. The Frenchwoman pointed out a big grouper with its mouth open, and inside you could see the cleaner fish cleaning. I saw a strange looking fish, it looked almost like a hummingbird; back on the boat I looked it up and it was a bird wrasse. We saw two trigger fish fighting over territory. Fighting fish are kind of comical since most of them don’t have teeth, they just sort of bump into each other and chase each other around. After breakfast we moved to Richelieu rock for the rest of our dives today. It is supposed to be one of the best dive sites in Thailand and one of the top ten in the world. The visibility there for our second dive wasn’t the greatest, our guide said he has seen better. There were thousands upon thousands of fish. The corals were beautiful; on the top of the rocks there were fields of anemones, and all kinds of soft corals along the rock walls (plenty of purple ones) (I have decided that feather corals are pretty cool, it looks like a bunch of blue and brown feathers underwater). Our guide went down past the thermocline and it was absolutely freezing down there, I made him come back up because there was no way I was swimming in that cold of water with only the short wetsuit. Hypothermia is no joke. Our guide showed us ghost pipefish, and frog fish. I would not have been able to see those on my own. There were several schools of barracuda swimming around the rocks. The Frenchwoman pointed out a crown of thorns starfish, she has good eyes for these things. I saw a turtle, everyone was looking at some fish and there was a turtle cruising our way. It’s difficult to get people’s attention underwater. The turtle cruised right into the middle of our group and started snacking on some coral.
The third dive was at Richelieu Rock again. Our dive guide told me to bring my camera since it is an underwater camera, he said we would stay shallow enough for it. My camera is waterproof and I have taken it in the water before but it is not a camera meant for diving, it needs lots of light for good pictures and it doesn’t quite capture all the colors. I need to invest in a proper camera for diving. However, it was a lot of fun to take the camera diving. It really annoys me when people take a camera underwater and they completely forget about buoyancy; they flounder all over the place, kicking corals, kicking people, disturbing everything, etc. I tried really hard not to be that person and I think I succeeded snd even got some decent photos. We saw some clownfish, barracuda, some tomato clownfish (reddish orange with a black spot, found only in this area), another crown of thorns starfish, a grouper with the cleaner fish, and some batfish. I will post photos later. The batfish are so much fun. I don’t know if they are curious or territorial but they will get really close to you. One of them during this dive kept biting my fin then swimming off when I would look at it.
Dive number four for the day was our third dive at Richelieu Rock. I wore two wet suits for more insulation and I was still cold underwater. The thermocline was creeping up as the sun was setting. The visibility was also awful. I know this is supposed to be some of the best diving in Thailand but bleh. It’s really my fault for going at the end of the season, I bet it would be amazing at the middle of the high season. Though really it’s the luck of the draw, some days are fantastic and some are horrible. We didn’t see anything new this time around except for some purple sea slugs. There were some other divers in the water from another boat. One of the girls had all purple gear and I was a little jealous.