Weekly Dive Report – July 7th – July 13th

This weeks’ installment from Rob Kelly from Ocean Secrets, with a guest shot of Rob himself by Gunther Ahamer. Enjoy!

This week, we visited Japanese Gardens, a great spot for some macro photography during a PADI Digital Underwater Photography course. We had sunshine, calm conditions and around 8-12m visibility.

Bar Tail Goat Fish Bearded Scorpion Fish Underwater Photographer

We also visited Laem Thien as this is our site for Project AWARE Adopt a Dive Site, the divers enjoyed a Dive Against Debris dive. It was calm, with no current, the sun was shinning and the vis was around 12-15m.

Christmas Tree Worms Salp

We went to Lighthouse Pinnacle, where we had a considerable swell with some current. It was overcast and visibility was 10-15m.

Harp Coral Harp Coral One Spot Snapper

We had a slight surface swell and mild surface current at Nang Yuan Pinnacle (also known as Red Rock) this week. Everyone enjoyed the swim-through! Sunshine and clouds with 10-15m visibility.

Bronze Snapper Rob Kelly Bat FIsh

We taught a PADI Rescue course at Aow Leuk, where it was clam with no current this week and we were happy to see the sun shining! Visibility was around 10-15m.

Master Divers boat Juvenile Orange Spot Grouper PADI Rescue Diver course Juvenile Grouper Bushy Table Coral

Until next week… happy bubble blowing!

Weekly Dive Report – June 30th – July 6th

This weeks’ installment from Rob Kelly from Ocean Secrets. Enjoy!

This week, we visited Japanese Gardens, a great spot for some macro photography during a PADI Digital Underwater Photography course. We had bright sunshine, calm conditions and around 8-12m visibility.

Japanese Gardens Dart Fish Goby Fish Goby Fish Japanese Gardens

We also visited Laem Thien as this is our site for Project AWARE Adopt a Dive Site, the divers enjoyed a Dive Against Debris dive.

Pipe fish Laem Thien Dive Against Debris Laem Thien

We had a great dive at Lighthouse Pinnacle, where we had calm conditions, some sunshine and clouds and a little surface current, the visibility was 20-30m.

Snail Fish in a bottle Xeno Crab

We had a slight surface swell and mild surface current at Nang Yuan Pinnacle (also known as Red Rock) this week. Everyone enjoyed the swim-through! Sunshine and 10-14m visibility.

Swim through Swim Through

Until next week… happy bubble blowing!

Weekly Dive Report – June 23rd – 29th

Here’s this weeks’ installment from Rob Kelly from Ocean Secrets. Enjoy!

This week, we visited Japanese Gardens, a regular for our newer divers and those trying it out for the very first time with a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience. We had bright sunshine, calm conditions and around 8-12m visibility.

Angelfish

Black Damsel Fish

Discover Scuba Diving

Mushroom Coral

We also visited , Mango Bay where it was calm and sunny with no current and 8-10m visibility.

Sand Mullet

Red Breasted Wrasse

We had a little surface swell and mild surface current at Chumphon Pinnacle this week. Some sunshine and clouds and 8-12m visibility.

Anemone Lion Fish Chumphon Pinnacle

Until next week… happy bubble blowing!

Weekly Dive Report – June 16th – 22nd

We are excited to have Rob Kelly from Ocean Secrets back to continue his great work for us. Here’s this weeks’ installment of more great dive conditions.

This week, we visited the wreck of the HTMS Sattakut, which you may notice pops up on our dive report very frequently. This is because it is regularly scheduled for Wreck Adventure Dives as part of PADI Advanced Open Water Diver courses, and also on the PADI Wreck Diver course.

sattakut

 

We also visited Chumphon PinnacleWhite Rock &

chumphon

lion fish

white rock

jelly fish

 

Laem Thien is our site for Project AWARE Adopt a Dive Site, the divers saw a Black Tip Reef Shark during a Dive Against Debris dive.

black tip

dive against debris

Long may these conditions and marine life sightings continue! Until next week… happy bubble blowing!

Weekly Dive Report – June 9th-15th

This week we are so pleased to have yet another amazing weekly dive site video feature by world renowned videograogher Elisabeth Lauwerys from Oceans Below. This weeks report is video only, so none of our fave pics, just the video in its full glory!

Oceans Below was set up in 2005 by Elisabeth herself, and has grown into an award winning underwater video production company. Elisabeth and her team have been recognized at a number of film festivals including the Antibes Underwater Film Festival and the World Shootout, and Oceans Below footage has been used by many international organisations, including PADI and the BBC. You can follow them on instagram @oceans_below

This week, we visited Mango Bay, White Rock, Hin Wong Bay & Chumphon Pinnacle. We’ve had some sunny spells mixed with rain showers and some windy days –  normal for this time of year  from the monsoon that is currently in full force on the West coast of Thailand. Despite this, visibility has remained good, and despite a few more waves than normal, we’ve still had happy divers of all levels aboard our boats.

When the sun is shining, our days are still glorious, so hopefully the rain and pesky rain clouds will be gone soon, and we’ll be back to constant clear skies and calm seas! You can read more about the weather on Koh Tao and monsoon season on Koh Tao in some of our previous blog entries.

We hope you enjoy the video, and until next week, happy viewing!

Weekly Dive Report – June 2nd-8th

This week we are lucky to have yet another amazing guest for our weekly dive site video and blog. This time we feature world renowned videograogher Elisabeth Lauwerys from Oceans Below. In a break from the norm this weeks’s report is video only, so none of our fave pics, just the video in its full glory!

Oceans Below was set up in 2005 by Elisabeth herself, and has grown into an award winning underwater video production company. Elisabeth and her team have been recognized at a number of film festivals including the Antibes Underwater Film Festival and the World Shootout, and Oceans Below footage has been used by many international organisations, including PADI and the BBC. You can follow them on instagram @oceans_below

This week, we visited Japanese Gardens, Twins, Mango Bay& the HTMS Sattakut wreck. We’ve experienced some sporadic heavy rains and increased wind – both of which are normal for this time of year when we get some kick backs from the full monsoon that is currently in force on the West coast of Thailand. Despite this, visibility has remained good, and despite a few more waves than normal, we’ve still had happy divers of all levels aboard our boats.

When the sun is shining, our days are still glorious, so hopefully the rain and pesky rain clouds will be gone soon, and we’ll be back to constant clear skies and calm seas! You can read more about the weather on Koh Tao and monsoon season on Koh Tao in some of our previous blog entries.

We hope you enjoy the video, and until next week, happy viewing!

Dive Report with a Difference – Guest Photographer Brad Beadling

 

We have something a little bit different for you in this week’s dive report. Our regular photo guru Rob is away this week, but not to worry – you wont be deprived of your weekly dose of dive photo viewing! We’re happy to introduce former PADI Divemaster Candidate (and as of this week PADI Instructor Development Course Candidate!) Brad Beadling.

 

brad-beadling-photo

 

Brad has been with us since the end of March and started with his Emergency First Response and PADI Rescue Diver before signing up for his Divemaster and IDC courses. Having been into land photography for over 5 years already, underwater photography seemed like a natural progression  – and we think you’ll agree he’s a natural talent!

 

 

Not all of Brad’s shots in this weeks compilation are from the past week, but all are recent and give you a general idea of the conditions and marine life sightings we have been enjoying. For those interested, the weather in the past week has been a little changeable, with wind and some small waves picking up towards the end of the week. We’ve had some rain storms, but mainly overnight, and any daytime downpours were quick to pass. This is usual for this time of year, when the West coast of Thailand is experiencing it’s monsoon season.

Our favourite shots from Brad’s collection include this diver silhouette and a fish munching on a sea urchin.

 

diver-silhouette-koh-tao fish-eating-urchin-koh-tao

 

Some of Brad’s favourite subjects to get his beady lens on are anemone’s. They can be challenging to shoot, as the anemone fish that dwell within can move quickly and are good at hiding. So it takes lots of patience and lots of practice to capture a perfect image.

 

anemones-white-rock-koh-tao fish-chumphon-pinnacle-anemone

 

For those looking for camera specifics, all of Brad’s shots are Canon Rebel SL1. You can see more of Brad’s pics, both land and water based, on instagram. Follow him at @brad_bead_photo

If you’d like to know more about learning to take underwater images, then the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Course could be for you!

Until next time, safe and happy bubble blowing! 🙂

 

Weekly Dive Report – May 19th – 25th

The weeks are flying by lately – can you believe its nearly June already? How did that happen?!?! We’ve been incredibly spoiled again this week with yet more brilliant dive conditions.

This week, we visited the wreck of the HTMS Sattakut, which you may notice pops up on our dive report very frequently. This is because it is regularly scheduled for Wreck Adventure Dives as part of PADI Advanced Open Water Diver courses, and also on the PADI Wreck Diver course.

wreck-dive-koh-tao-padi wreck-dive-koh-tao

We also visited Southwest Pinnacles, Green Rock & White Rock. Divers at Green Rock were lucky to spot a Hawksbill Turtle.

turlte-koh-tao-diving turtle-koh-tao

Long may these brilliant conditions and marine life sightings continue! Until next week… happy bubble blowing!

 

Ocean News in Review – Part 2: New Discoveries

 

Welcome back to my review of last years oceanic changes and trends – part 2: New Discoveries! In part one, we considered tropical storms, the single-use plastic epidemic, and the impact of global warming on the world’s coral reefs. While all of these topics are important, they can be a bit depressing, which fortunately isn’t the case for the entirety of this entry! Read on to learn about some fascinating new inventions and discoveries that scientists  made in 2017, including a few new species and even whole new animal civilizations that were formed right beneath our noses!

 

One such type of civilization that we didn’t know existed until so recently is the concept of octopus cities! For the longest time, scientists believed octopus were solitary creatures, only meeting up with others to mate. This was proven wrong in 2017, when not one but two different civilizations of Octopus were discovered. Dubbed “Octlantis” (mapped below) and “Octopolis”, these octopus-made cities consisted of a collection of dens nestled together among shells and other junk the animals had scavenged in the area. While this behavior seems to be derived from a social cue, scientists think that the area was initially a naturally productive area for scallops, a favorite food for the octopus that leads to multiple octopuses building dens in a small area, which scientists believed lead to a social circle being formed over a period of time. With so many octopuses living in such a close area, the potential for high predation was there, however it wasn’t observed while the scientists were studying these unique cities. This finding goes to show how just how little we know about the oceans, where entire civilizations could be hiding right under our noses. Who knows what else we’ve been missing?!?!

 

FRAMED-Octlantis

 

With one amazing discovery of the happiest proportions, comes one that is a bit more humbling. Both the North Atlantic Right Whales and Vaquita porpoises experienced a continuing decline in populations during 2017. With only an estimated 100 breeding females left of the Right Whale species and only 30 individual Vaquita porpoises remaining on the planet in total, it is surely only a matter of time until these two species join the list of extinct species. But….while the odds look tough, especially for the Vaquita, they aren’t gone yet! Scientists are working tirelessly to provide as much protection for these animals and are working on ways to try and increase their populations. Both species have been negatively impacted due to human causes, with numbers declining mostly due to ship strikes and fishing gear entanglement. Therefore, if we can lower such impacts on these species, then they still stand a chance of surviving, along with some special help from our keen-minded scientists!

 

2017 was also a big growth year in terms of human inventions based on the physical characteristics of animal. However, acknowledging the magnificence of the animal kingdom and trying to mimic its many ingenious designs isn’t a new revelation. In past years, inventors have manufactured more efficient fan blades for collecting wind energy based on whale flippers, while others have designed new car panels that are stronger yet lighter than ever before, based on the design of a bill of the Toucan! Furthermore, underwater adhesives were created, with researchers hoping to mimic the method in which a remora is able to attach itself to its bigger counterparts. Not only that, but Tuna’s ability to quickly turn due to its ability to raise and lower small fins on the top and bottom of its body has lead scientists to investigate a way to allow future robots to swim! These continuing studies just go to show that humans as a species have so much to learn from all the other animal species on this magnificent planet; all we need to do is open our eyes and listen!

 

Octopolis-octopus-city

 

While the previous points are very interesting in their own regard, the fact that researchers are continually discovering new species every year is also remarkable, with 2017 being no different. Last year saw the revelation that instead of the previously believed three species of sunfish residing in our oceans, it was determined that there is in fact 4 species, with Mola tecta being officially confirmed as the additional genus. The word tectus in Latin translates to hidden, which just goes to show you that scientists can have a sense of humour too! Additionally, a new species of surgeonfish was discovered in the Philippines. This particular species of fish (Acanthurus albimento) has a bright orange face, with iridescent blue streaks located on its body. This was a surprise to the scientific community as the Philippines has been a site of surgeonfish research for many years, yet this new discovery was made at the heart of the existing study area!

 

Acanthurus albimento- a new species of surgeonfish discovered in 2017
The new species of surgeonfish discovered in 2017: Acanthurus albimento

 

Apparently, humans have much left to learn, which is what makes this upcoming year so exciting. Who knows what could be swimming along (or in hiding!) waiting to be discovered at this very moment?!

 

Weekly Dive Report – May 12th – 18th

It’s that time of the week again! It’s been another scorching week with hot conditions on land and excellent visibility underwater. This weeks hit list of dive sites included Chumphon Pinnacle,  HTMS Sattakut, Laem Thien & White Rock. 

dive-chumphon-koh-tao coral-reef-koh-tao

We had mainly calm conditions and beautiful sunny skies, with excellent visibility, although there was a thermocline at some of the deeper sites at around 20metres.

pinnacle-koh-tao lion-fish-chumphon-pinnacle

Our favourite shots included our very own Hayley posing on the wreck, as well as this beautiful turtle.

htms-sattakut-koh-tao hawksbill-turtle-koh-tao

Until next time, safe and happy bubble making! 🙂