May 172012
 

 After we got over our wariness in renting a motorbike (some girl ran over Mike with one!), we finally got one for the day to explore the eastern side of Ko Tao.  We went on a dirt road to Tanote Bay—the road was pretty rough, now we know why they rent ATVs in town!  Tanote Bay is a beautiful secluded bay and we heard it had great snorkeling.

Beautiful Tanote Bay

The water was so bright turquoise that day, it was incredible.  The snorkeling turned out to be one of the best we’ve ever done—St. Lucia (where we went on our honeymoon) probably wins for #1 so far.  The coolest thing we saw were a swarm of reef sharks patrolling the area!  There were about 5-6 and they were around 3-4 feet long.  Mike saw them going at a fish head, ick.

Reef Sharks!

There are a bunch of rock formations in the middle of the bay so we swam in a big circle around them following the reef.  Tanote Bay was much deeper than Jansom Bay on the West side, so it was neat to see different scenery and sea life.

Giant Pod of Tiny Fish

Brightly Colored Christmas Tree Worms

One of my favorite things to spot were these sea-slug like animals called nudibranch.  They are in between sea snails and sea slugs and are usually brightly colored, although we did see some cool black and white polka-dotted ones.

Nudibranch!

Mike is king of spotting camouflaged flounders in the sand.  This was his second on our trip.  You can usually find them in the sandy areas and waving your hand to disturb the sand and expose them.

Camouflaged Flounder

Love the Pink Skunk Anemone Fish

Old-Looking Grumpy Fish

Ko Tao Crab Trio

Trio of Crabs

We ended up spending over an hour in the water, just marveling at all the sea life!  Mike liked tormenting the flounder; he kept disturbing the sand around it to make it swim.  It was pretty complacent though, didn’t even flinch when Mike poked him!  Reminds me of when Mike was ninja-striking the fish in Jansom Bay—shooting out his hand and poking fish.  Tsk, tsk.

Mike Ninja Poking the Fish

Beautiful Tanote Bay!  I think if we were to ever come back again to Ko Tao, this is where we would stay instead.  Very quiet and secluded with amazing snorkeling.

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