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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Why combine Sidemount with Nitrox?

Nitrox giant stride sidemount diving thailandFor a regular diver making an average dive on a single (12 litre) cylinder will usually be able to make an hour time underwater. This will decrease substantially when diving deeper or in a current, where you quickly will become restricted by your gas supply.

A way to accommodate for this build-up of air consumption is to increase your cylinder size. This by using a 15 litre cylinder or choosing to dive with doubles. However, finding this option on your dive travel or holiday is not always easy.

When we dive with sidemount configuration we usually dive with two cylinders. Not only will this double up your gas supply, but “normal” size cylinders are used everywhere, making it great way to make longer dives on your holiday.

However, diving longer and deeper dives on air is not always a healthy option. If you are making several dives during the day or spend great time at depth on a wreck dive, your nitrogen load might become an issue.

By switching gas in your cylinders to Nitrox or Enriched air we can almost double up the bottom time, due to the lesser nitrogen. Combine this with two cylinder sidemount, you have the perfect recipe for longer, deeper dives on your favourite spot.Nitrox surface sidemount diving thailand

Book your technical diver training now…

It is time to sign up for this season technical diving courses.  Book your course before the end of August and we will give you last year’s prices.

PADI Tec 40             18,800 baht      (you save 2,200 baht)
PADI Tec 45             18,800 baht      (you save 2,200 baht)
PADI Tec 50             18,800 baht      (you save 4,200 baht)
PADI Sidemount          9,900 baht      (you save 1,000 baht)

Join us in October for our month dedicated for technical diving and receive an extra special price on this package.

Tec 40, 45 & 50        45,000 baht     (you save 7,000 baht)

tectober 2013 technical diving thailand special prices

Kon-Tiki launches a new Tec Program

PADI Tec Basics Fundamentals Technical Diving Thailand Koh Lanta

Are you an advanced qualified diver seeking a new challenge on your holiday?

Kon-Tiki is proud to add an additional PADI Specialty to their list of available dive courses. This course is ideal for divers seeking to prepare themselves for Advanced diver training and those who may want to extend their abilities using technical equipment. Along with buoyancy, trim and control in the water we teach you the essential skills for problem solving, gas switching and valve handling using technical diver equipment.

This course doesn’t qualify divers for deeper dives, but it is strongly recommended for all divers wishing to increase skill competency before heading into decompression, cave and wreck diving. The great thing is that you only need to be an advanced qualified diver with 9 dives to start this course.

The course is conducted over 2 days. The first day includes an introduction to the theory behind decompression diving. The second half is a skill workshop explaining the basic philosophy with the technical diving rig and skill practice. Our second day is spent on the boat conducting gas switching, valve drills and problem solving in a real open water environment.

Skills you will learn during the course includes

  • Technical Equipment Set Up
  • Neutral Buoyancy Control & Swimming Techniques
  • Setting Up & Handling Decompression Cylinders
  • Gas Shut Down Drills
  • Free Flowing Regulators
  • Out of Air Situations
  • Bubble Check
  • Saftey Drills
  • NOTOX Gas Switching
  • Calculating Air Consumption
  • Simulation Decompression Stops
  • Lift Bag Deployment
  • Decompression Planning Using Software

Read more here

or e-mail Niclas Andersson our technical diving instructor on Koh Lanta.

Kon-Tiki Thailand and PADI at the Similan Islands

diving thailand management team technical diving

Kon-Tiki Thailand’s Management team caught a chance for follow up on a PADI Business seminar right at the start off the high season. Members of the Krabi, Koh Lanta & Phuket Branch joined forces to meet with the rest of Thailand’s elite to share business ideas and experiences.

The journey started in different parts of Thailand on Friday afternoon, so when the last email was send, a taxi ride to Khao Lak and we could finally meet up with our other friends from PADI. There was a great turn up from both east and west coast, so soon after greeting everyone, the volume of talking reached 100%.

After a short transfer to Khao Lak Scuba Adventures very own liveaboard Manta Queen we enjoyed a delicious dinner and got our program presented with all the members ready to learn even more.

In the night the boat started its long journey to the Similans and it was announced that we would not only be diving at the Similans, but actually going all the way to Richelieu Rock, which made the whole group extremely happy – Yeah Scuba diving at Richelieu Rock!!!! Thank you Stefan and Mr. Oh for being so generous.

Onboard there was opportunity to try twin set diving, side mount diving and Poseidon’s new Rebreather and with a lot of PADI Diving Instructors onboard wanting to try all the new toys, it is just to get in the line.

Next morning we woke up to clear blue skies and an absolutely calm Andaman Sea, what more can one ask for?! With a couple of twin tanks on our backs we started our descent into the blue blue water with excitement to what this dive would bring. All teams made their way around the site several times shooting away with go pro, video and digital cameras. This dive site is literally covered in beautiful soft corals in all the rainbows colors. You will find groups of fusiliers all over the place and many different species of parrotfish, triggerfish and clownfish hiding. With two dives at Richelieu Rock and the boat just parked above us, made it a perfect day. We finished early afternoon, having time to work on the tan between the dives and fill our stomach with the great food served onboard by the helpful Thai crew. Last dive was a Koh Tachai Pinnacle and we made it back for another snack and a sunset presentation from our favorite PADI Regional Managers Mr. Tony Andrews and Tim Hunt.

diving thailand green turtle similan islands

Next morning at Hin Leuang, right by Koh Bon it was back in the water again and all the divers were waiting with excitement to see the Manta Rays, which this dive site is so famous for. It is quite a deep site and covered in yellow tube corals. We could see as far deep down to the bottom and just saw a leopard shark disappearing even deeper. During the dive a couple of curious green turtles passed us closely, so we could get our cover photo.

diving thailand rebreather similan islands

Next dive was to try out the Poseidon Rebreather. After a presentation, which PADI instructor Kevin Black from Kiwi Divers in Phuket gave, we were ready to get under water and try out the new toys! What a feeling! In the beginning there was a strange approach to the buoyancy, but after a few minutes we got the hang of it. The fish came a lot closer and just dancing in front of our cameras. After a half an hour try out, we had to let others give it a go, but definitely something worth doing again. Curious after what else was to find at this dive site, we strapped on the twins again and made our way down to the mooring line to check it out. Furthermore we got to investigate the dive sites of the north Similan Island and night diving in Donald Duck Bay.

diving thailand padi sidemount similan islands

We also got a chance to try sidemount diving. This way of configuring your cylinders keeping them on your side, gives a whole new experience of freedom. Even as this has been a standard for some cave divers for long, it has a lot of benefits for us recreational divers as well, like passing through small swim throughs!

As diving is the best part of Similans, let us not forget the powder-white beaches and the amazing boulders, which they are famous for. As the 3rd evening approached we got the experience one amazing sunset, where the skies were in all different nuances of pink!!!

With 9 dives in the log book, this concluded the PADI Business Seminar follow up 2012 for Kon-Tiki Thailand’s Management team. We would like thank PADI Asia Pacific Tony Andrews and Tim Hunt for arranging the great event, Khao Lak Scuba Adventure for making it happen, Coral Grand, Sairee Cottage, Buddha View, Bans Diving Resort, Planet Scuba, Sail Rock Divers, Sunrise Divers, Triton, Ocean Geo, Kiwi Divers and all others for making it such a successful weekend.

diving thailand sunset similan islands

Malene Jensen

General Manager, Kon-Tiki Krabi

Hin Muang at 50 meters – Quest for the purple fire goby

Purple fire goby technical diving thailand kon-tiki koh lanta

Kon-Tiki has finished “Tectober”, now November has come and with this a couple of new technical divers are certified. Besides Jonatan and Christoffer, Mikael Oddershede completed his PADI Tec40 and Tec45 course, where the qualifying dive was made in Song Hong. Apart from making the decompression dive according to plan, we have now managed to map up the various lines leading in to the darkness of the cave done by previous expeditions.

Kai was the last student in October where he over 15 dives qualified as a PADI Tec Deep diver taking the 40, 45 and 50 courses. For the final dives we had the chance to explore the deepest parts of two well-known dive sites.

Hin Daeng & Hin Muang is possibly the deepest reefs in Thailand where you still can find untouched coral down at 50 meters. These underwater mounds are way out from the coast and are usually prone to quite strong currents, this day was no exception. As we enter the water with full gear, we swiftly need to make it to the descent line and continue down. The top layer of plankton and algae is moving swiftly but past 30 meters the world becomes crystal clear and the current ceases.

Down here nitrogen narcosis is very noticeable and needs to be accounted for. Except for clear, warm conditions and “easy” diving like here, we rarely dive deeper than 45 meters on air due to this fact. But with proper training and experience we can let ourselves indulge this new world at the bottom of the sea.

The simple mission of this dive was to get another eye witness to the existence of the purple fire goby. This small but beautiful fish can be found in several places in the world. However here in Thai waters, we have only seen it here, at 50 meters on Hin Muang.

This is only one of the reasons why we go through the challenging courses of technical diving. Would you like to go places and discover parts of reefs few has ever been and seen?

Contact our local techie, Nick

Tectober

Winter season is about to hit the west coast of Thailand and all preparations are done. Kon-Tiki is in full swing of educating their staff to become even better divers. First off to reach a new qualification is Christoffer and Jonatan that together with Nick completed their PADI Tec 40 course. The qualifying dive was conducted in the small deep lake of Song Hong, to get a taste of what technical diving is all about.

Technical diving thailand koh lanta october

The PADI Tec 40 course is a well-balanced technical introduction course which incorporates pool or limited open water for skill practice, simulated training dives and a final decompression dive. During the course the candidates will learn how to plan technical dives with mixed gas switches, practice on simulated emergencies and get understandings of team diving.

This course was just the start of the month that goes by the name of Tectober, as several technical courses are lined up from Monday and onwards. Come join us and extend your diving skills and knowledge.