Report on The Aug. 6 – 7 Samaesan Trip
The morning of August the 6th had of course a late start by about 45 minutes as we were waiting for people to arrive from Bangkok. But, no matter, we finally got under way by around 0930, and many people had gotten the time to get their scuba gear set up and in position. After about 1hour 45 minutes of steaming south we arrived at the area where the Bremen Wreck is lying in about 24 meters of water. Captain Sombat and myself have found this wreck every time we have ever looked for it but there is always a moment or two of anxiety between us that this time we wouldn’t find it. But we lined up on our visual points of reference and checked the GPS to confirm our track and sure enough the Depth Sounder showed a big rise and we tossed the grapple and line over the side.
Still not 1oo% sure that we got the wreck I jumped in with a marker buoy to signal if we truly where on it. We had chosen these days as the tide forecast was meant to be slack currents, but as very often they were a bit off and the currents were moving at a fair pace. But I made down the line without pulling it off of what it was hooked to and was happy to discover that we had made a perfect hit, with the down line draped right over the wreck.
|I fastened the line securely to the wreck and sent the signal up that everything was OK. Visibility has been better on this wreck but we had about 5 to 8 meters viz which on this dive really is plenty. As always the Bremen Wreck proved to be a superb dive with tons of wild life everywhere and the mystique of an old ship wreck. After a great 48 minute dive I came up the line having rigged the line to be able to pull up when everyone got up.|
Most people found the line an had an uneventful ascent to the surface with only one group of four divers somehow missing the line and doing a free ascent. After collecting every one out of the water we turned south to continue on to Samaesan, and arrived in the area around 1 1/2 hours later around 2 o’clock. As we had had a late start in the morning we decided to skip the afternoon Coral Dive and did the Hardeep Wreck for a familiarization day dive in preparation for the night dive on her. We discovered that the Navy had put two new buoys on her but did not know that they had both been dragged about 50 meters from the wreck. Most of the divers found the wreck but I am ashamed to say that myself and the group I was diving with somehow missed it. After every one got back up the line I discovered that I should have swum due south to get to the wreck.
We then steamed over to Samaesan itself, a little fishing village with around five large docks, to try and buy some fresh sea food. Unfortunately the fishing boats were all out so we had to content ourselves with fish from the local market. We then went back out to the islands and had dinner with some sea foods, salads, spaghetti and others, waiting for our night dive on the Hardeep Wreck.
Around 2030 Hrs we pulled up to the buoys on the Hardeep and prepared to go diving. The winds were not bad and the seas were a mild half meter. Everyone got in the water and based on what we had learned on the previous dive everyone got to the wreck, where we had another spectacular night dive on her. After about 45 minute of diving we started back up the line where I noticed that the line was moving up and down a lot. It was easier to not hold on to the rope while ascending and to do a free safety stop. Upon surfacing we discovered that a squall had blown in and that the seas had risen to a good meter and a half or better, which made for an exciting reentry on the boat. The same group of four had missed the line and had to be picked up a few hundred meters from the boat. After a head count we went of to find a sheltered mooring point to spend the night. We found a nice quiet spot near an island and started setting up for the night. After about an hour, the squall blew itself out and we spent a pleasant night out on the sea.
In the morning we had an early breakfast around sunrise and went to our planned dive site, the Japanese Gardens but unfortunately that site was exposed to meter and a half waves so we went to an alternate site which was also a good dive. After a short surface interval we did another dive on the Hardeep, had lunch, and a final dive on Shark Fin Rock, which turned out to be a really spectacular dive. We got every one on board and got them to the Samaesan Pier by around 1500 Hrs and bundled into taxis to bring them back to Pattaya, arriving there by around1630 or 1700 Hrs.
All in all, I certainly enjoyed the trip and I got a lot of appreciation from the divers on board. We will certainly do this trip again.