Solitary male when not mating...
The Andaman see is home to many cephalopods such as octopus, squid and cuttlefish... If you come dive with us it's pretty much a guaranteed sighting!
Big reef octopus, (Octopus cyanea) a diurne specie with an amazing camouflage ability.
Theses 2 pictures were taken only few seconds apart. The Octopus can change not only it's color but also it's skin texture in the blink of an eye!
During the mating season you can have a chance to see more than one at a time, otherwise it's a rather solitary specie.
Mating season for cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis) is from November to January, and it's very frequent to witness some kinky business while diving :)
Often seen in pairs, they are actually 3 or even 4 when mating...
While their best way to defend themselves is to blend in, they can also spray a cloud of ink to surprise it's predator and escape...
Solitary male when not mating...
The pygmy squid, (Idiosepius paradoxus) hard to see due to its micro size (about 5mm) lives on coral reef and are to be seen at night, hanging on corals or floating away with the current.
The pelagic kind of squid , hanging in mid water. They can team up in order to hunt cooperatively, using active communication!
Always in group from small to big schools, they are an easy catch for the local fishermen, still using the lamparo that attract them close to the surface...
Let's say, it didn't start the right way due to tough conditions on the first days which made us change the itinerary.
But finally, it ended in a fantastic one! Big, small, very big and very small!!! There was everything ;)
Lucky folks on board: Brad from USA, Eric from France, Iryna from Ukraine, Steve and Rachael from England, Magdalena from Germany, Jess from Australia and Marcello from Brazil.
Let's start with the BIG!
It has been incredible to spot a manta, where we had never seen them before!
Same for the whale shark!
Every kind of rays were here to say bye bye: Kuhl's, marbled, manta, eagle ...
Same for our beloved nudibranches, starting with the fatty spanish dancer!
And all the other colourful ones!
And from the seahorse family ...
Nice series of portraits ...
Lots of fun with a great bunch of people!
Thanks Mergui Archipelago for this unbelievable season ...
Congratulations to Jess for her Advanced Open Water and Nitrox certifications! It hasn't been easy conditions but now, you have the "surge" specialty ;)
Has been a pleasure to dive again in this beautiful place, meeting amazing persons!
It's time for us now to rest and enjoy our holidays!
And also it's time to say goodbye to our fantastic boat: the MV Thaï Sea ... It has been a pleasure sailing with you all these years, we will miss you a lot ...
Right after celebrating Songkran, the Thaï New Year, we headed to the the Surin and Similan islands for our last trip in Thailand of the season.
On board, we welcomed very soon to be "spoiled customers" ;)
Starting with Mélanie, Max, Geoffrey and Isabelle from Belgium; Christophe, Bénédicte, Mathis and Christelle from France; JP and Henriikka from Finland.
The conditions were great, amazing visibility, low current and lots of life all around.
From day one in Surin, we have been lucky enough to spot black tips, lots of Kuhl's rays, ghost pipefishes, turtles ... and so much more!
Day two, in the morning, we went to Koh Bon, where the serious stuff started ;)
Beginning with nice sceneries and big schools of fishes ...
... to a guitar and a leopard shark ... Unfortunately, we don't have any picture of the first one.
But enjoy the second one ;)
Paragraph. Cliquer ici pour modifier.
And then, it was time for Koh Tachai and its beautiful corals!
On the way, we met a group of dolphins at the surface.
Look at this splendid colors!
Back to the boat, it was barbecue night!
And a box game, we will remember!
Third day, cherry on the top: Richelieu Rock!
And last but not least ... the biggies, everyone was expecting to see!!!
Coming straight from the island of Koh Tao, we were very happy to welcome on board Sairee Cottage Diving Team for a wonderful trip in the Mergui Archipelago, starting with: Trevor, Bear, Barry, Farrell, Emma, Lionel, Gary, Martin, Natalie, Nicholas, Paddy and Sameer.
We had the chance to see mantas again, first at Black Rock; and second, we spotted some on Western Rocky from the surface. Unfortunately no picture ... so you'll have to take my word ;)
Fantastic conditions with no current and an amazing visibility
Beautiful corals and fishes everywhere! Jacks, barracudas, fusiliers, snappers, emperors ...
Lucky enough to meet big and small underwater. Beginning with sharks: bamboos and white tips ...
Huge marbled rays ...
Octopuses and cuttlefishes ...
Giant morays ...
Stone fishes ...
Millions of shrimps, all kinds ...
Seahorses and relatives ...
Pineapple fish ...
It has been a great ambiance on the boat too ... Never running dry like real pirates do ;)
Hoping to see you again next year for some new overseas adventures !!!
Pascal, Patricia and Bertrand from France, Qiao and Mingkun from China, James from Canada, Thomas and Andreas from the US, Engin from Turkey and Joachim from Germany were on board for this cruise. Everybody had a good time on board and some great dives.
We were back in the Mergui Archipelago for a 6 days trip and decided to change our itinerary and offer the chance to dive in the famous "Black Rock" !
Thank you for our captain who did a lot of navigation and let us have an amazing day of diving there ! Manta, Eagle Rays, Stone Fish, huge school of trevally, beautiful nudibranch and so many different species of shrimps and crabs during the night dive !
It's always a pleasure to see those amazing creatures swimming in the blue like they are flying, so graceful and beautiful Manta's.
Thanks everybody for reading this post and stay connected for the next trip, three more and it's the end of the season.
Fantastic team on this trip 4 from the 13th to the 20th of march! We were so happy to welcome on board: Sanne and Lieske from Netherlands; the crazy Israeli connection with Mandy, Pablo and Lior; Max, Ashley and Rick from USA; Delphine and Bertrand from France; Jim from Australia; and our beginner divemaster Kostas from Greece!
Same issues as on the previous trip but still your devoted blogger found a nice video that you can find by clicking on this link:
So enjoy and everything will be back to normal on the next one ;)
Sorry for the delay, but following photographic incidents, I couldn't update the blog earlier ;)
Still, I wanted to introduce the lucky fellow travellers we had on the trip 3 from the 6th to the 11th of march: Caroline, Framboise, Léandre, Lionel, Corentin and Lise from France; Dom from England; Guillaume from Switzerland; Marley from USA; Nicolai from Denmark and Sefi from Germany!
They were the lucky ones who could spend some time with this biggy underwater ... while at the surface, the others were enjoying a whale 10 meters from the boat!
I don't have other pictures to fill up the article, but no worries cause I found a nice video to sum up this incredible cruise! Enjoy ;)
It went fast but it was a good one!
We were very happy to welcome on board: Bjorn, Ole, Johan and David from Norway; Patrick, Thierry, Sylvie and Jean-Pierre from France; Simona and Anka from Slovenia; Eric from Germany, Fergus and Alexandra from England; and Kimberley from Australia.
Outside the water, the landscapes were breathtaking ...
And there we were in the middle of the beautiful Mergui Archipelago, having fun with a bunch of happy people!
Underwater, the sceneries were also magical!
Amazing corals everywhere ..
We paid a visit to our friends in the secret cave ...
And enjoyed going through other special ones!
Thousands of fishes everywhere made the ambiance extraordinary ...
As always, we met some amazing creatures ...
And among them, these cute little ones!
The ghost pipefish saga was still on ;)
The seahorses were winking at us!
During all the trip we were lucky to share some moments with the locals ...
And let's have a look to these unbelievable sunsets and sunrises!
Special message to Alexandra and Eric, our newly weds, who had a blast for their honey moon!
We wish them many years of love and happiness to come ;)
For a while now, we had been expecting these little one!
What a great discovery on our last trip!
Even if is the winner, we cannot forget these gorgeous mantas we met one more time in Black Rock, have a look ...
Lucky enough to witness a moon eclipse, we also enjoyed an amazing visibility as you can see with these last shots.
So how could this french charter not be delighted? ;)
We were very happy to welcome on board: Danièle, Sandrine, Jean, Alexandra, Thierry, Emmanuelle, Elodie, Olivier, Claudia, Christopher, Patrice and Laurence from the south of France.
The waters were densely populated with thousands of fishes: fusiliers, jacks, tunas, surgeon fishes, barracudas ...
Incredible colors everywhere ...
From the first day until the last, we've been diving with these beauties ...
In our secret cave, there were not one, not two, not three ... but four nurse sharks resting!!!
Moray eels all around, in all kind of shapes, colors and sizes!
Shrimps were also part of the party!
Awesome nudis ...
It has also been a festival of ghost pipefishes!
Still our favorite ones!
And a sample of the other amazing creatures that you can see in the Mergui waters ...
And the special prize for the best haircut goes to ...
For this first trip 4 of the season, we were happy to welcome on board a whole Finnish team:
Marjaana, Uljas, Päivi, Tuija, Sauli, Iiro, Julius, Pertti, Jari, Juha, Juhani, Raili and Seija!
A group of funny people enjoying diving, long tanning sessions on the front deck, good food and gin tonic ;)
It was so good to see these beautiful wild islands again, improbable sceneries in the middle of magic waters...
The staff was on the alert, excited!
Checking the weather conditions:
That everything was perfect on the boat:
Finding the best spots to relax between the dives:
Spotting at the surface:
And under water, to find the coolest things ever:
Preparing the best meals:
They gave all they had :)
And it worthed it!
Amazing dive sites ...
And fishes everywhere, just magical!
Sometimes looking as they were playing hide and seek !
Allowing the divers to wonder at all the life and colors around them...
Having fun with them ;)
Or just observing them ...
Sometimes needing to focus a little bit more on these cuty little ones!
Can you find this one hiding?
And of course, our favourite ones ...
The atmosphere couldn't be more relax during the day!
And getting funky at night!
With our famous box game!
We can say for sure that these Finnish ladies were flexible!
When not diving we were just chilling in these amazing places you can find only in the Mergui Archipelago!
Lämmin Kiitos Kaikille ;)
So enjoy, and see you soon for the next review!
Camille and Franck are the owners of The Smiling Seahorse, a dive company operating MV Thai Sea on the Adaman Sea.
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