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antacid

Sunny Similans on a Wide-Angle

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Hi everyone,

 

Just returned from a very fun trip to the Similan Islands. Richelieu Rock was fantastic and I'm glad I finally made it there on the third try.

 

All photos were taken with a canon 350D, tokina 12-24, ikelite housing + 6 inch generic dome port, DS50 and Z240 strobes.

 

Flying on a budget airline meant only a 15kg allowance, and $11 for every kg overweight. Was quite a challenge having my dive gear, pelican case for housing and strobes, and old clunky laptop snuck onto the plane.

 

We went aboard The Witch, previously known as the Really Wicked Witch. It had space for 24 divers in twin and quad share rooms, and the crew was friendly and efficient. Using the boat for the third year running, we were still impressed with the logistics, planning, and coordination. We were picked up from the airport and given about 3 hours to shop at Patong beach before boarding the boat for a light dinner.

 

The dive crew were also accomodating and helpful, especially when we had 3 junior AOWC and 5 AOWC students, as well as another 4 divers on specialty courses. They went out of their way to ensure we had the conditions suitable, while making sure the other customers had fun as well. The only gripe would be that the foreign guides were a little fast and more interested in finishing the dive, but things got better after having a little chat with them.

 

We did a total of 14 dives at the Similan Islands, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, and Koh Bon. Visibility was great, ranging from 15m to as far as the eye can see. We had some passing showers, but otherwise the sun was out most of the time. Water temperature was a comfy 26-27 degrees, and I did all the dives in rashguard and boardshorts with a hooded vest. This was a whole lot more comfy than the 22-24 degree thermoclines we encountered last year!

 

I only have a WA lens so the type of shots were pretty limited. I was also using the wrong port, and the zoom clamp didn't fit. Used the 12-24 on 13-15mm for the first few days, then rigged up something using bottle-caps to fit the zoom gear. Just in time for the mantas!

 

I recall someone said the diving at Similans was no different from diving at Tioman or Dayang. Well, I hope this changes your mind!

 

#1 Sit back, relax, and enjoy

2129448713_15cd6c4390.jpg

 

#2 Streaming snappers

2130226544_e2735f035c.jpg

 

#3 Giant gorgonians covered in frys

2130226198_48f4529034.jpg

 

#4 Sleeping with the enemy

2130225998_2cdf6b7103_o.jpg

 

#5 Lush gardens of corals

2130226404_b1c9125471_o.jpg

 

#6 Turtle at Donald Duck Bay

2129449187_30274efaee.jpg

 

#7 Textures of an octopus

2129449549_253de62c34_o.jpg

 

#8 Hanging out (my favourite for the trip)

2130226756_d754856c92_o.jpg

 

#9 Shy guy

2130226874_260f3522c4.jpg

 

#10 Manta claus

2130225740_9d121f2fe8.jpg

 

That's all folks! You can view the rest of the photos here: www.colouredshots.com/site/Dive.htm in either a music slideshow, or browse the album at your leisure.

 

It was great shooting with a DSLR, for the colours and resolution. i wouldnt imagine getting this quality with a compact. *slurp* now all i need is a macro lens for christmas!

((=

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Nice photos! Glad you enjoyed the Similans and finally got to Richilieu Rock.

 

How crowed out there was it? How many boats at Richilieu, Koh Bon?

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Nice photos! Glad you enjoyed the Similans and finally got to Richilieu Rock.

 

How crowed out there was it? How many boats at Richilieu, Koh Bon?

 

 

it was fairly crowded at similans. we kept seeing streams of divers throughout the dives.

 

we had at least 4 or 5 LOBs and several smaller day boats at Richelieu, same story at Koh Bon. In fact, I was just telling my friend before diving at Koh Bon that I don't expect to see a manta, cos there were so many boats there. glad i was proven wrong!

 

oh, admins, if this is more suited in the trip reports section, please move it there. i initially wanted to just share photos, but ended up trying to talk more than pictures. sorry for the trouble!

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