No Name, Twins and White Rock on the 14th August’11

No Name and Twins lie quite close to each other and some groups like to drop off at No Name, explore the Pinnacle and then swim to Twins looking out for puffer fish, sea horses and members of the scorpion fish family in the swim towards Twins.  This one was spotted hiding on the bottom…

And then Phill spotted another one hanging out on the reef ….

Another great turtle sighting today…too…just a short clip…..

 

 

There are more turtle photographs in the slideshow below along with others from the afternoons diving.

This blog post has been especially extended for Robin !

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Japanese Gardens and Twins on the 7th August’11

 Phill was out to photograph today and our first site of Japanese Gardens was great for Declan, Robert and Shannon who were taking blowing their first ever bubbles on the Discover Scuba Diver experience.

Phill spotted the shy and beautiful juvenile Harlequin Sweetlips and switched the camera over to video to catch this 10 second clip.

Japanese Gardens is known for its stunning coral and even though lots of Thai reefs suffered with lasts years bleaching, this slideshow shows what there is to see.

The water is calm, warm and clear and the wind from last week is just a memory.

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Discover Technical Diving

We try to get the tec kit out as often as we can and offer all our DMTs a free Discover Technical Dive.  Subscribers to the blog might remember Rachels hilarious post about her experience.

‘Doing a bit of tec’  is great for their or any divers learning and development, even if they don’t want to progress with any technical training.  They learn about the kit, what its all for and how to use it.  They can take it for a spin and see how it is to dive with it and how some of the skills and techniques are different from the standard recreational kit.

The video below shows a little of what they did.

Yuri and Lance – two of our Dive Master in training, have already decided to continue their training and will maybe progress all the way though to Tec Deep.  Kirsi is starting her Tec 40 course very soon.  See some more pictures of them on their training below.

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Sinking of the HTMS Sattakut

Excitement had been building since our first sighting of the ship that was to be our new wreck dive. The day finally dawned but the weather was a bit dreary, however we were ready and raring to go and everything was in place at Master Divers until our Captain got pulled away on an emergency. It looked like we wouldn’t be able to watch the sinking after all but the good fellows on the MV Giomani allowed us to hop on board and watch the ceremony with them.

With weather holding out it looked like the Koh Tao dive boat fleets were all present as a large circle almost bow to stern had formed around the ship. Floating as if truly on ceremony in front of the surrounding working boats. Cleared and prepared she looked very much ready to venture to her new home.

As the ceremony continued and as the Navy team finishing the preparations sat down to lunch, the weather started to close in. The Navy boat 542 hosted the Thai Navy final call and the tug boat announced that it would not be long before the ship would sink.

But as the rains came, the time ran out for many of the other vessels surrounding the site, and soon it was quite literally the Giomani and the Sattakut sitting side by side, waiting for the inevitable. As the Sattakut started to list hard on the starboard side the buzz intensified.

Everyone on board was firing cameras and rolling film, and as the water started to splash into the port holes puffs were made from a rear hatch on the Sattakut. Not as dramatic as the Trident sinking last year, but the HTMS Sattakut made a steady, silent, submergence into the dark waters. Leaving a trail of bright blue bubbles against stormy seas as she sunk to her rest.  Below are the photos of her final moments afloat.

This wasnt the end of the story however as bad weather hampered her sinking putting her in the wrong place and on her side.  She was then moved.  She now lies upright and close to Hin Pee Wee.  We have since filmed a a tour of both the inside and outside of the wreck.

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Sai Daeng

Sai Daeng is my favorite beach on Koh Tao to escape to when I have a day off.  This beach lies on the south of the island in between Aow Leuk and Shark Bay.  The road is a bit of a roller coaster ride so I would strongly advise jumping on a taxi rather than renting a motorbike. If you dont believe me then watch this clip of the road leading down to the beach, this stretch is concrete but the bit leading to the crest of the island is far from ideal.

The beach itself is an idyllic crescent shaped beach.  There are two resorts on the beach, New Heaven Huts and Coral View. When we go we usually chill at the restaurant at New Heaven and enjoy snacking from their tasty tasty menu.  This spot makes a great lunch spot too if you have rented a longtail to visit Aow Leuk and Shark Bay.   The slide show below will give you a flavor of the beach and New Heaven too.

I really enjoy the snorkeling here, its calm, shallow and clear with lots to see and I have always spotted sharks here too.  Not as many maybe as you would expect in neighboring Shark Bay, but there are less snorkelers here and no restrictions on beach access which you will experience at Shark Bay. Below is a shot movie showing you some of the underwater life and following that is a slideshow too.

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Mae Haad Wreck, Koh Tao

Many visitors to Koh Tao seem to overlook this small wreck as a snorkeling destination.

The wreck is that of a night boat which was grounded in Typhoon Gaye in 1989.  While its not a long lost treasure ship, it does offer a different snorkeling experience to the reefs around Koh Tao.  Its too shallow to dive but perfect for snorkeling and there’s always lots of fusiliers swirling around. Its easy to swim out to from the beach and its fab if you have a few hours to spare.

To find it you can either pop into Master Divers and we will point you in the right direction, or walk down the beach from Master Divers with the ocean on the right towards Sensi Paradise. and then follow the coast out – you should easily see the top bits of the wreck sticking out !

The beach itself it a quiet spot too with some tasty lunch and sunset options to quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger after you exploration.  You can see some photographs below and after a short video.

Excuse the quite wobbly footage – its harder to stay still when snorkeling – but I tried my best !

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Night Diving at Twins on Koh Tao, 1st May 2011

Some people love night diving and some not so much, I’m in the love category.

At Master Divers we do like to avoid the crowds and more typically dive Pottery Pinnacle at night which is a great critter and puffer spotting location. The most popular site for night diving on Koh Tao is White Rock. Barracuda typically hunt here at night but it can get crowded and resemble a night club !

Just a few mins further along is Twins which usually no one else dives at night. Its a lovely spot too, check out the video below.

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Sail Rock – 26th April’11

Sail Rock is always an exciting trip.  Its an hour and a half to two hour cruise to get there so its a special full day trip we offer.  Last time we went we saw a whaleshark on South West Pinnacle on the way back – so excitement was certainly high !

Most of the divers today were out for fun but Paul completed his Adventure Deep Dive, heading down to 30m to check out what changes !

The cruise out was flat calm and it looked like it was going to be great diving.  One side of the pinnacle had beautiful vis and the other was cloudy.  There was a slight split current but nothing too hectic.  We enjoyed our second dive there too.  As usual there was heaps to see, fish after fish after fish and big schools too.  We enjoyed chocolate brownies on the way back and everyone caught a few rays.

Check out the video to see the conditions for yourself.

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The Plastic Problem

Theres a 10m deep soup poisoning our oceans, it stretches from 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the norther Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan.

At Master Divers we take the plastic waste problem very seriously and try to minimize our contribution, particularly single use plastic. We explain our philosophy to all guests to our dive centre and have contributed information to South East Asia Backpacker Magazine to help educate travelers too.  We have identified 10 ways that travelers and locals alike can help minimize their impact and actively share these points and encourage others to join the cause too.

Our dislike of single use plastic inspired a short movie.  Anyone who has cried with laughter after seeing our recent interpretation of Queens Bohemian Rhapsody might be expecting another funny, but this one is a little more serious and has the reef singing its own version of Gloria Gaynors, I Will Survive!  We hope it inspires others to share this message and take some responsibility for their immediate environment too.

If you agree with our point of view, then the first way you can help is by spreading the word, please click the LIKE BUTTON below.  If you want to see how you can help, then check out these top 10 tips for minimizing plastic waste.

Chumphon and White Rock 20th April’11

Chumphon was a bit murky with a very strong surface current but its lovely to see the bat fish back, maybe we’ll see sharks again soon.   A a little file fish was spotted tying to hide on the buoy line too.  Full moon was a couple of days ago now so we expect the conditions to clear in the next few days.

White Rock had better visibility and a blue spotted ray was out foraging for food.

Charlotte was out for a dive with her hubby and hubby took this great short film.

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