Dive sites explained – King Cruiser

King Cruiser  Dive Map Kon-Tiki Diving Thailand
King Cruiser sank on the 4th of May 1997 after a collision with Anemone Reef, a well chartered pinnacle. All passengers escaped on life rafts and picked up by nearby diving and fishing vessels.

The ship is a rebuilt, 85 meter long catamaran type, car ferry that was carrying passengers between Phuket and Phi Phi Islands and now stands completely upright at 32 meters of depth. During the years, she has rusted away and collapsed into a fantastic artificial reef, filled with gorgonians, soft coral and large schools of fish.

Access to the wreck is from a mooring line secured at the stern at around 18 meters. Due to the current, sometimes low visibility and the deep average depth, to really enjoy this dive you should be a comfortable advanced diver.

Highlights

  • Right below the mooring at the stern you can find several toilets, still intact. This calls for some very interesting underwater photo shoots.
  • Following the stern towards the starboards side you will find a huge propeller, half buried in the sand. This is also one entrance to swim the whole length of the ship under the hull.
  • In the bow of the ship you can still find paint on the inside of one of the hulls.
  • Due to the depth, Nitrox is a great way to extend the bottom times. For double cylinder tec40 or sidemount divers, there are great rewards for having a deeper profile as you can stay away from the crowd and have time investigating these parts.
  • The wreck has such an abundance of schooling fish, which in turn are hunted by larger predators. Here you have a great chance spotting huge trevallies as well as leopard sharks on the bottom and other passing pelagics.

To think about

  • Currents can be very strong so the mooring line should be used during both descents and ascents. As King Cruiser has many visitors, the line gets crowded at times so here we make sure to be considerate.
  • There are still many swim troughs along the wreck that calls for some caution, as the rusty edges of the wreck are extremely sharp.
  • Keep a close eye on the computer and gas supply as the average depth is usually deeper than 18 meters.

depth:               18 – 32 meters
current:             moderate – strong
visibility:            10 – 25 meters

You can dive King Cruiser from our dive centers in Phuket, Koh Lanta & Krabi

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Weird creature of the month – September

The name “Bobbit worm” was puplished in the 1996 book “Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific”, in reference to Lorena Bobbit, who was charged for cutting of her husbands private parts. The name is inspired only by the scissor like jaws of the worm.

The Bobbit worm is an aquatic predator with a lot of bristles. It lies at the floor of the warm tropical oceans of the Indo – Pacific and warmer regions of the Atlantic. This organism buries its long body into an ocean bed composed of gravel, mud or corals in shallow water. Here it waits patiently for a response to one of its five antennae, attacking when it senses a prey. Armed with sharp teeth, it is known to attack with such speeds that there is no escape and the prey is sometimes sliced in half. The worm hunts for food at night and eats everything from small fish, corals or seaweed up to larger aquatic predators.

The Bobbit Worm injects a narcotizing or killing toxin in their prey animal, so it can be safely ingested — especially if they are larger than the worm, like a Pacific lionfish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H4J5QDQeA4.

The worm can even harm humans, since the toxin can cause permanent numbness.

Unlike a different family of worms, the fire worms, which have harpoon-shaped bristles that release a toxin that can cause severe skin irritation, the Bobbit Worms specimens bristles are not used for defensive purposes. They simply use their bristles for improving traction for crawling over the sediment or inside their galleries or tubes.

Little is known about the sexual habits and lifespan of this worm, but researchers hypothesize that sexual reproduction occurs at an early stage, maybe even when the worm is about 100 mm.

100 mm is very small, considering these worms can grow to sizes of nearly 3 meters, although the average length is 1 m and 25 mm in diameter.

Bobbit worms may accidentally be introduced into artificial environments. In March 2009, the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, England, discovered a Bobbit worm in one of their tanks. The workers had seen the devastation caused by the worm, such as fish being injured or disappearing and coral being sliced in half, but did not find it until they started taking the display apart in the tank. The worm was nicknamed “Barry”.

Dive sites explained – Bida Nok

Bida Nok Thailand Kon-Tiki Diving & Snorkeling Center
This dive site is one of the most popular and visited site on the west coast of Thailand. Boats travel from Phuket, Phi Phi, Ao Nang and Koh Lanta to dive here, but it is easy to escape the crowd.

Bida Nok is the outer island of the two limestone cliffs just south of Phi Phi. The south eastern bay is the usual entry for students and beginner divers, but the north western deeper part is a nice alternative for the more experienced.

Depth ranges from just a few meters in the bay to around 30 meters on the wall, which continues out even deeper. However, below 20 meters there is usually a thermocline with poor visibility and fewer amounts of corals with marine life.

Highlights

  • The bay area itself usually has good visibility with lots of small schools of barracudas and snappers. Here the bottom is filled with sea urchins and pistol shrimps with their partner gobies. Out in the sand there are possibilities to find Kuhl´s stingrays. Keeping the reef on the right you head straight towards finger reef, a pristine ridge filled with critters.
  • Following the bay heading north, we pass several pinnacles where you can find scorpion fish, clown fish, morays and hunting trevallies. After 20-30 minute swim the rocks turns to an alley filled with large gorgonian fan corals bursting with life.
  • Between the bay and the area with the gorgonians the shallow area is filled with colourful corals. Here there are a few blacktip reef sharks circling the rocks in only a couple of meters depth.
  • Following the north western wall heading south is quite spectacular. Before midday this side of the island is in the shade, which combined with good visibility, a great feeling of depth. Above the rocks and pinnacles there are schools of trevallies and jacks as well as an abundance of reef life.
  • As the western side meets the finger reef, the wall here is covered by shrimps, glassfish and other schools of fish. The Occasional octopus is not uncommon and there is a chance to spot leopard sharks out in the sand.

To think about

  • Currents are not unusual for this island and will control the direction that you can dive this site, sometimes even as strong, having to turn the dives around.
  • Scorpion, lionfish and sea urchins are common so keeping buoyancy control here as with every reef is very important.
  • As this is a popular site there are many boats and divers around. Make sure to respect other groups and surface close to the reef even if you are under a surface marker.

depth:                  5 – 30 meters
current:                mild – moderate
visibility:               10 – 25 meters

You can dive Bida Nok from our dive centers in Phuket, Koh Lanta & Krabi

 

Weird creature of the month – August

pistol shrimp diving thailand koh lanta phi phi islands,

Gobies is by far the largest family of fish with approximately 1,500 known species over the whole world. Just like its near relative the blenny, the goby usually lives in burrows and holes and are territorial, were most species are around 10cm in size.

The goby is a relatively social animal that lives with its partner for a longer period. The male goby attracts the female by making noises, and it is proven that these sounds are crucial for the choice of partner. The sound is made by the male gathering an amount of water in the mouth and quickly spurting it out with a massive force.

Another very interesting feature many of the gobies have around our dive sites is their partnership with shrimps. They live in a symbiotic relationship and depend on each other for survival. The shrimp is very skilful in digging, finding food and making a burrow. However, since it is blind, it makes the shrimp a very easy snack for predators.

The goby on the other hand, has very good eyesight but lacks the skill of digging, hence also making it an easy target. To survive they work together with the shrimp where the fish sit outside the excavation site as a lookout.

If you look carefully at the shrimp you can see the tentacles in close contact with the goby. If a predator would close in the shrimp can wiggle the tail, alarming the shrimp. The shrimp will then move to the side so the fish can swim in and hide.

If you avoid exaggerated movement and breathe carefully, you can see the shrimp and the goby on the sea floor all over Phi Phi Islands and Koh Haa.

The birthdays of all birthdays!

pea 50Today Pea, one of the founders of Kon-Tiki, is turning 50 years. Throughout the years you have come to affect a lot of people’s lives, changing lifestyles & created relationships. We hope that you can sit down, look back and appreciate what you have accomplished.

Without you 5,653 people would not have tried diving with us, 6,788 people would not learned diving with us, over 100,000 people would not have enjoyed the Andaman Sea with us and 254 people would not worked for the most inspiring diving company in Thailand.

This is only the last couple of years, and we are looking ahead to the next exciting seasons. We hope you have a great day celebrating with your family!

 

Being a Snorkeling Guide at Kon-Tiki

kon-tiki thailand snorkel guide

Imagine you are on the boat, the sea is flat, the sun is shining and soon the happy holiday makers is arriving. It is your job to make sure these people will be having a day they never forget. It is your job to guide the guests on an underwater adventure over the reefs and show them all the fish and corals.

Would you like to be able to make a perfect snorkel day for someones holiday in Thailand to the best ever? Then you should become a snorkel guide for Kon-Tiki.

It is simple, you need to know how to swim and be familiar with and comfortable in the water. To give our guests the most safe and best way of snorkeling, we want our guides to complete the Open Water Diver- and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course and even the PADI Rescue Diver course to be able to handle any problems if they occur. Once a confident PADI Rescue Diver we offer an intense 2-day-course to become a Snorkeling guide and your new adventure can begin. The snorkeling guide course prepares you for all the tasks you will do during the days at sea. You will learn to do a proper snorkel briefing for your guests, how to assist guest with equipment. Gain knowledge about the marine life and learn the technique to guide the guests on the guided snorkel tour over the coral reefs.

As a snorkel guide you will show your guest the coral reefs at Phi Phi Islands, Ao Nang Islands or Koh Haa yai. You will have the opportunity to take a group of people on a snorkel tour on the surface to amaze them with coral reefs with the colorful fish and they might never seen before. It is not an easy job, you have different variation of people from all over the world, all from beginners to advanced snorkelers and you need to make sure everyone get the most out of the day.

For sure this is one of best jobs in the world. The smile on the first time snorkelers face when you open a whole new world for them and they for the first time look down over the coral reefs with all the fish surrounding them. The smiles of the advance snorkeler when you teach him/her the technique to skin dive down to the fish to take a closer look.  It is an amazing feeling!

If you want to be the person who makes this smile on other people faces, become a snorkel guide with Kon-Tiki.

Ready to take the job? Apply here