Ao Nang Travel Blog

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Today was to be my first and only superday while diving in Thailand.  Most dive days consist of 2 separate dives with a surface interval between the dives.  But a superday meant we got to do 3 dives instead of the standard 2.  The standard superday site from Ao Nang consists of 3 dive  sites - King Cruiser Wreck, Anemone Reef, and Shark Point.

The first dive is down to the King Cruiser a ferry that ran between Phuket and Phi Phi and ran aground on Anemone Reef and then sank a short time later (back in 1997 or 1998 I think I recall from what I've read).  No lives were lost as all 600 or so people were rescued by fishing and dive boats.  The other interesting fact is that the wreck lies in about 30+ meters of water and ranges between 14 and 32 meters in depth.  We arrived at the dive site and were informed that there was a good deal of current going down and that we would need to make sure that we ascended and descended on the mooring line down to the wreck before it would offer us some protection.  One other note is that we would only be diving around the wreck, none of us were qualified for penetration diving and according to our divemasters the boat was not really in much shape for a penetration dive anyway.

So we prepped and were in the water.  We had divided into small groups and Sheran and I, Mia and Allison were diving with Robbin from Kon-Tiki as our divemaster.  We quickly grabbed the mooring line to begin our descent.  Descending wasn't too bad, and fairly quickly we were down around 18m and at the top deck of the ferry.  We left the mooring line and descened a further 10 m along the side of the ferry and then worked our way around the side viewing stairwells, gates, toilets and other familiar items, coated in barnacles and with many fish swimming amidst the wreckage.  This deep our air was consumed quickly and after about 25 minutes we were led back to the mooring line.  As we ascended a bit Sheran and I were grabbed by current and nearly thrown into the side of the boat before managing to grab hold of the line.  Several groups were preparing to ascend and a few others were descending so it was pretty chaotic.  And the current had picked up since the descent.  All the divers were splayed out like flags and if you let go of the line, you had better grab something pretty quick or you would find yourself too far to return to the line.  We performed out repressurization stops at 15m and 5m on ascent and came back to the surface and the boat where thankfully the current was a bit less strong than beneath the surface (but still strong).  Talking to Robbin afterwards he said that it was the strongest current he had experienced in the times he had dived at the wreck.  So wow... what a first dive.  Also got to call this the deepest dive that I have perfomed to date down to 29m.

Back on the boat we exchanged cylinders and prepped for dive 2.  Due to the current we were not going to dive at Anemone Reef but at Koh Doc Mea a small island about 30 minutes away from our current location.  We headed back in to the water intending to do a reef watch but the visibility was poor enough to prevent that so we swam around the island viewing the reef and swimming into a cave that went about 10m back from the reef wall.  It was neat to slowly swim into darkness on the way in, but then to turn around and see the sunlight streaming through the water outside the cave entrance on the way back out.  The reef here was pretty incredible with a wide variety of soft and hard corals and lots of sea fans and anemones for fishlife to hide in.  All to soon dive 2 was over as well.

We traversed back to Shark Point where we saw some dolphins swimming not far from the boat prior to going in for our last dive.  unfortunately did not see them on the dive itself.  Did see one leopard shark at the appropriately named Shark Point and a wide variety of groupers, snappers, and even some large rabbitfish swimming amidst these submerged reefs here.  All in all a good diving day but a long day on the boat as we returned around 5:30 PM to Ao Nang after leaving around 7:30 AM.

A great day was tempered when we returned somewhat by the knowledge that we would be moving from our house on the morning.  But more about that in the next entry.

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Ao Nang
photo by: findmeabeach