We leave Ranong in the afternoon of the 18th of November and after a little ceremony to Budda, we are off to the National park of the Surin islands. We have a great dinner onboard with massaman curry, my favorite and some crunchy pork, yummy! Its with a full tommy that we go for a good night sleep, a big day awaits us tomorrow.
We wake up in the early morning to discover a dream-like landscape, the virgin forest covering the islands looks impenetrable, there must be so many birds and animals hiding in this green! We only see a sea eagle and some white sea birds but here a jungle melody and I’m sure there is more to Jungle cicadas make a very loud and strident noise.
We jump in the water at 7h30, late start for a first day, but we have all day. We finish to wake up underwater even though diving feels like a dream. I love this feeling of floating half awake in the middle of fish morning frenzy. Its time for them to find their breakfast and they are busy at it.
We spend 2 days on Surin island and have the time to go around the island to many different dive sites. One is covered by yellow soft coral and I enjoy spotting the small sea snails hiding and laying their eggs of the same color in it. On another dive, we spend more time on sandy parts at the bottom of a sloppy wall, garden eels look at us from the far and I wouldn-t have seen them if the visibility wasn’t so good as they are getting back to their hole as soon as we get closer. I must say we are very lucky about the clarity of the water, which we could see even before rolling out of the dingy. We see some blue spotted sting ray hiding in the sand only to get away when we get too close.
The variety of fish is remarkable: a school of bat fishes are looking at us curiously, a turtle take of before our eyes and circle around before flying away. We also see some sweetlips parked behind a rock as to be sheltered from the current.
Looking in the cracks, we can also see many shrimps, mostly Durban dancing shrimps, but also cleaner shrimps and transparent ones, those are a wonder to me, they can swim like if they were walking on the water and still you can see through them!
There are many moray eels around the national park and we don’t look at them much anymore but from time to time, I like looking at them for a little longer and feel privileged to assist to their toilet when cleaner shrimps climb on to them, they open their large mouth and the shrimp get busy cleaning the inside, then the shrimps gets to the top of its head and enjoy her price.
In the afternoon of the 2nd day, we set sails towards Richelieu Rock, still Thailand’s best rated dive site to do our night dive there. We are lucky to be alone on the site for our first dive there, it’s a real aquarium.
We dive 3 more times around the rock on the following day and can see several pairs of mating cuttlefishes , we spot a pipe fish, barely visible on its rocky background.
For more fishy story, keep tuned!