Chumpon Pinnacle and White Rock on the 21st April’12
With loads of whaleshark sightings over the last few days, we were all exited to get out to Chumpon Pinnacle, one of the more common places to see them on Koh Tao. We loaded up the boat and with everyone ready, we set off to make the journey to the first dive site of the day. For this dive I would be following Nikola on the last day of her Open Water Diver course with her instructor. The journey out was lovely with the sun shining and everyone enjoying the refreshments and fruit on the boat. About half way out to the dive site we had a shout from the front of the boat that a whale had just been seen a few hundred meters away, we all huddled at the front waiting to see how long it could hold its breath for. Sure enough, after about 5 minutes, it breached again and again until it was quite close to the port side of the boat, before taking one last breath and disappearing from view.
We arrived at the dive site and were the only boat there, with only a few boats following us in the distance. We put on our equipment as fast as we could, eager to enjoy as much time with the dive site completely to ourselves before the other boats turned up. Jumping off the side and into the water I couldn’t believe how nice the visibility was with most of the dive site in view from the top of the buoy line, so I knew we were in for a good dive!
We descended down and completed a few skills needed for the course before going off to explore. There were fish everywhere; you didn’t know where to look half the time as we were surrounded by hundreds of different species. Along the way we saw Batfish, scribbled filefish, trevally, rainbow runners, fusiliers, barracuda, moray eels, and plenty of other macro life. After a nice long dive and the air in our tanks running low, we ascended up the mooring line and climbed on board to swap over our tanks and make our way back to the second dive site of the day, White Rock. Unfortunately no whaleshark today, so the hunt continues for yet another day.
Arriving at White Rock, we donned our gear and jumped in, this time I would be following Thomas and Brinsley on the naturalist dive of their Advanced Open Water course with their instructor. We dropped down onto the dive site where the visibility was not quite as nice but still good, where the aim of the dive was to find as many species of fish, invertebrates and plants as we could. Armed with slates in hand, we set off to explore the dive site and see what we could find. We did a few slow laps of the north section of the site and came across a huge amount of shrimps, grouper, moray eels, blue spotted ribbontail rays and other colorful reef fish. Towards the end of the dive, we came across a tiny little nudibranch, maybe just a centimeter long under a piece of coral, but it was soon time to ascend and climb back on board to get back to the shop and look through all of the pictures from the day.
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