Saturday, February 17, 2024
On Tuesday we went on a whole day snorkelling trip with Hidden depths divers again, this time we were going to Bida islands near Phi Phi islands. Many many years ago we were already diving at Bidas, while we were vacationing on Phi Phi Don and doing our Padi Open Water and Advanced Open Water diving courses there. But I would be lying if I told you I could remember much from then, besides that it was exciting to learn to dive and that all the dive sites we visited were very pretty and that we had a great time.
We were again picked up at our hotel and after a breakfast at dive shop we sailed away. This was our Captain on speedboat, always in good mood and joking.
We started in the shallow bay and it was very pretty in the water, one just had to be careful not to swim into other people. But the Sea Krait didn't mind any of us.
Then suddenly Moo pushed me forward and pointed to the shallow - and the shark parade begun. There were several Blacktip sharks circling in and out of the lagoon.
Here the shark is a bit in the background because the Needle fish wanted to be in the front. We were very happy to see that the sharks were still there.
After watching sharks for a while we moved along the island to the East. This to me is just as big a trophy as sharks - these are two nudibranchs, the bigger one is Phyllidia Varicosa and the smaller could be Plyllidiela nigra (both names are from seaslugforum.net ).
After a break on the boat and some delicious snacks and drinks we moved to the next spot, to Hin Bida. It is a bit further East and it's not and island but just a submerged rocky outcrop with its highest point just sticking out of the water at low tide.
This pretty coral is probably one of the Pocilloporas, surrounded by Diadema urchins and guarded by black Three-spot Damselfish.
Snorkelling was really great, lots of healthy reefs and lots and lots of fish. Which really surprises me every time, since one sees soooo many fishing ships out at sea every evening. We again didn't see any Whale sharks, I guess I will have to make another plan how to finally meet them.After snorkelling we sailed back to dive shop and had a delicious lunch there. And our evening was spent at the hotel pool and then with a delicious curry and a few drinks.
Sunday, February 11, 2024
Before traveling to Koh Lanta I did a bit of research whether it is possible to snorkel from the shore there. There wasn't much information, some bloggers suggested the NW rocky part of Koh Lanta Yai was somewhat suitable for it, and this is why we chose our hotel here. A bit to the South from our hotel, only a couple of minutes walking, was a big bay with sandy beach and we went there for a swim one day, but also to check if it was possible to snorkel there. It was rather shallow with sand in the water, but we did see two snorkelers at the rocky edge. While swimming was nice, and we always prefer the sea to the pool, we were missing a fresh water shower and a possibility to change from our wet swimsuits.
I also checked the possibilities of going to snorkelling trips with the boat already at home before departure. Once I read that the whale sharks are often seen at Koh Haa, I knew I wanted to go there.
So we decided to make a snorkelling trip to Koh Haa with the Hidden Depths Divers on Saturday. We were picked up at the hotel and once in dive shop we even got breakfast. Next we sailed to Koh Haa with the speedboat, some 40 minutes to SW. Koh Haa is a group of six islands (name actually means five islands) in the middle of Andaman sea.
This little beauty didn't need pointing out, there were more than plenty of them everywhere and they were stinging, especially in contact with more sensitive skin on the face and neck. But it wasn't too bad, except for one that smacked me under my nose and on upper lip which was quite annoying.
After the first dive and snorkelling we got some delicious snacks and drinks on the boat. And then we moved to a smaller island in hope to escape the jellyfish. There still were some jellyfish in some areas, but we were able to avoid them and it wasn't too bad. And the scenery was again stunning.This Giant Moray was dancing among the corals and rocks.
Back in the hotel we took a shower and washed all our equipment, and then spent the rest of the day by the pool with drinks and eating a delicious curry.