Ko Bida Dive: Dive site at Ko Bida.
Today was my day to go diving at Ko Lanta. I went diving with Lanta Diver and they picked me up at my hotel and brought me to the dive shop where I met my dive master. From there we headed over to the pier in the back of a pickup truck and loaded onto the boat. Lanta Diver is one of the bigger operations in town and they had a lot of people going diving today so we were in their bigger boat. As is Thai custom our boat was stacked up with another boat so we walked across the other boat to get to our boat which was a big two deck boat with the dive gear on the bottom level and a galley and sitting area up above. There were about 25 divers on board and everyone was divided into groups with their divemaster.
Ko Bida dive: A yellow cornetfish.
Everyone was aboard so we left the pier and then it was breakfast time. They gave us a buffet style breakfast of a breakfast sandwhich which we made ourselves in a buffet line (egg, cheese, tomato on a piece of bread). It was actually pretty good. We were headed out to Ko Bida which is just south of Ko Phi Phi and about an hour boat ride away. That gave me time to get to know my dive buddy (Wolfgang) and our Divemaster (Nora) gave us a pre dive briefing. Wolfgang was from Germany and he spoke just a little bit of English. Nora was from Switzerland so she was able to talk to Wolfgang and me in both our languages.
We arived at ko Bida Which is just a steep sided rock sticking out of the water.
Ko Bida dive: A Rabbitfish.
There were several other dive boats milling around the area picking up or dropping off their divers. Our big dive boat got into production mode and got all of us out pretty quickly. ONce in the water it was nice to be back under water again. I usually have some trouble gettng my ears to adjust to the pressure of deedp water but this time I had no trouble at all. I attribute that to all the snorkeling I did last week geting my ears lubed up. I had been doing a lot of diving deep while snorkeling so I had gotten my ears used to the pressure. Today the weathere was mostly cloudy so we didn't have all that much sunlight in the water so visibility and underwater colors were a little flat. We did have good visibility though and for our maximum depth of about 45 feet we could still see the surface clearly.
Ko Lanta: The dive site near Ko Bida.
The dive was OK. Nothing too spectacular. There were a few rock formations to add to the interest but nothing special. The best part of it was the fish were not scrambling away from you like they do for snorkelers so I could take pictures in a more relaxed way without having to chase after them. There were some cool wildly patterned boxfish, some triggerfish and the divemaster found us a lobster tucked deep into a crack. You could just see the feelers sticking out of the crack. After about 50 minutes under water we came up and loaded back on board and headed over to the next dive spot.
The next dive spot was Hin Bida which is a small rock that just barely pokes out of the water. We tied off our big dive boat to the rock and had lunch.
Ko Bida dive: A spotted Pufferfish.
It was another buffet style lunch that was a selection of three Thai Stir fries with rice. It was all very good.
After the briefing for our seconds dive we geared up and jumped in the water again. Visibility was pretty much the same as the previous dive. The terrain was ridges that radiate out from the central point of the island. You could explore each side canyon. We saw similar fish as the last time but this time we saw some Leopard Sharks that were hanging out on the bottom. Leopard sharks are not really sharks they are fish that are big that are shaped like a shark. These were about 5 or 6 feet long. We saw two of them hanging out on the bottom in two diferent places. Nora found us a tiny slug that was moving along the bottom.
Ko Bida Dive: My Dive Buddy Wolfgang.
It was so small it was surprising that she found it. It was black and white striped and the stripes were highly contrasted. This was another mediocre dive. Nothing too spectacular just fun being underwater. The second dive had the possibility of seeing Whale Sharks. That would have been awesome. Some of the other groups of divers saw cuttlefish. That would have been pretty cool too.
Once we were all back on the boat we started back towards Ko Lanta. I talked to a guy from Brazil up on the bow of the boat. It was interesting sharing travel tales and watching the sea pass by.
Back on dry land they brought us back to our hotels. I took a little break and then headed towards town by way of the beach.
Ko Bida dive: A big triggerfish during mating procedures.
I took the road along the channel between the islands to get to the main part of town. There is not much up here along this part of the road, It is not bad real estate so I could see that some day in the future this could get developed. I wandered around town exploring all there was to see. I checked out the side street that T's into the main road and parallels the channel between the islands. This street has pierside restaurants and a few dive shops. I browsed some of the restaurant menus. They all look pretty good. I headed back toward my hotel on the main street and grabbed a piece of fried chicken, as a snack, from a street vendor. Yesterday they had told me it was 10 baht but today they sold it to me for 20 baht. It was good and it was a lot cheaper than in the United States so it was not a big deal. I grabbed a few more snacks along the way at a 7-11. Once I was back at my room it started to rain really hard so I had a few of my snacks and decided not to venture out tonight for dinner. I had had a late snack anyway. No need to gain weight on a vacation.