After another lazy beach day yesterday, we went diving today with the dive operator at our hotel, Dive and Relax. We actually combined groups with 3 other dive shops to go on one big boat to Ko Haa, a neighboring island cluster of 5 islands (Haa means five in Thai). We had to take a big boat out since the waters were a bit choppy and taking our dive shops smaller speedboat would have been less comfortable.
Mike and I decided to take seasick tablets before we set off, and it’s a good thing we did, because the waters were pretty choppy! Even with the tablets, it was easy to feel a little queasy. It took about 2 hours to get to the dive site and we split into smaller groups with our guides. Mike and I were really lucky and got a guide to ourselves. It’s so much nicer to have small groups.
We did two one hour dives and went in a circle around Ko Haa 2 and Ko Haa 4. Because of the weather, we had to stay mostly in the lagoon. The diving was still great though! We saw a couple of lionfish, a clown triggerfish (which our guide has only seen 4 times out of 4,500 dives), moray eel, garden eels—the list goes on. The coolest part was swimming with a huge school of bigeye barracuda. We were surrounded by them, I almost didn’t want to move since I felt like I was going to run into them! These barracuda are smaller than what you normally think of, the bigeye barracuda only grow up to 2 feet whereas the other kind can get up to 6 feet. We saw some fish picking a jellyfish, and cute little goby fish sharing holes in the sand with shrimp. Blue seastars everywhere, sea anemones with blue stems, and giant blue clams. There were bubble coral everywhere, huge growths that were translucent little grapes. If only I had an underwater camera to show you!
It was really nice probably to go during low season as we didn’t run into any other divers once we were under the water. Our guide says during high season, sometimes there can be hundreds of people in the waters. We’ll have to see what Ko Tao is like (where we’re headed next), since that’s known as the dive mecca in Thailand.