Report on the Dec 17-18 Samaesan Overnight Trip

Posted on 12/20/11 2 Comments

The trip went off really well. We started from Bali Hai Pier on time and arrived at the Bremen by 1030. As usual, after we shot the wreck, two of us went down to verify that our line was truly on the wreck. Tim and I went down the line, being careful not to use it to pull ourselves down in spite of the mild current and when we got down it was a perfect shot, right over the wreck. Unfortunately, the visibility could have been better, it was only about two or three meters. We shot up a lift bag to signal that it was OK to come down, then Tim and I went off for a dive. I must admit, because of the vis, it was a little disappointing and I was really hoping that it was not indicative of the entire week end.

After everybody was back on the boat, we motored off for Samaesan dive area, while having lunch. When we arrived to the Samaesan dive area, we went straight to Shark Fin Rock. The dive was planned as a one way but the currents were a bit strange that day and those of us who stuck to the plan had a really nice dive. This site, especially on the southern end has spectacular topography and loads of fish and corals. Some, who did not fight the strange swirling currents had a pretty decent dive staying on the northern end. After this dive we motored to the Hardeep Wreck, and did a late afternoon dive to familiarize everyone with the dive before doing a night dive on it.

Everyone came up from this first Hardeep wreck raving about the dive!!! It was almost completely slack and there were loads of stuff to see. Every one was in anticipation of the upcoming night dive on it.

sunset at the Hardeep WreckAfter an excellent dinner, and a healthy 2 1/2 hour surface interval, people started to get ready for the night dive.Most of us were in the water by 2000 hrs and though we were actually expecting a bit of current we were pleased to find even less than on the afternoon dive. We discovered that the bigger animals moved in at night, with a large meter and a half Marble Ray being spotted and numerous large Tusk Fish having found places to sleep on the wreck. The colors of all the fine corals really comes out with a good light and I shot numerous photos on an especially gratifying dive of 56 minutes, doing a free ascent directly to the boat being guided by the boat lights. Every one who did the dive was excitingly talking about their experiences.

After a cold night on the boat with only a little sleep (I’ll bring a better sleeping bag next time) and a good breakfast, we started the day’s diving at the Japanese Gardens, the southern most tip of Koh Chuang, again south western side of the bay is spectacular topography populated by loads of sting rays, schools of Yellow Tail Fusiliers, Turtles and large Bumphead Parrot Fish. After a two hour surface interval, we did the Hardeep again with near no current and after lunch, almost too much, we did the final dive of the trip on Shark Fin Rock, this time the currents participating the anticipated way and every not too exhausted to do this dive had a great dive.

From there, it was a 30 minute cruise to Samaesan, where we packed every one into taxis and back to Pattaya by 1630 hrs. On the boat ride back to Pattaya I unfortunately discovered that most of the photos I had taken were not very good. I will have to learn more about this new camera before the next trip. All in all though a very successful trip!!


Dec 17-18 Samaesan

[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_boat-brieifng_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_cowry_910.jpg]10
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_departure-point_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_divedeck_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_featherduster_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_lunch_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_moray_910.jpg]10
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_nightdive-hardeep_910.jpg]00Intova Digital Camera
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_nudi2_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_nudi3_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_nudi_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_nudibranch_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_sunset_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_tim-shark-fin_910.jpg]10Intova Digital Camera
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_turtle-jap-gardens_910.jpg]00Intova Digital Camera
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_tusker_910.jpg]00
[img src=http://www.pattayadivers.com/wp-content/flagallery/dec-17-18-samaesan/thumbs/thumbs_wrass-shark-fin_910.jpg]00Intova Digital Camera
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2 Comments

  1. Timbo says:
    Monday, December 26, 2011 at 9:19pm

    Hey Robert!

    I agree that this was a nice trip from a diving perspective; the coral dives were interesting and the Hardeep is a nice wreck dive, especially the night dive. Great fun!

    Logistically, I think there is considerable room for improvement and I hope you will take my comments in a constructive way for future special trips! Please feel free to copy and delete them if you think best.

    First of all, MV Saifon is relatively small compared to most live-a-boards, and most live-a-boards limit the guests to around 20 or so (some a bit more for the biggest ones); and this is for a large boat with assigned cabin and storage space; much larger boats with huge dive decks. So, because of the size, there could be better organization of the “camp out” on the boat, logically speaking. Here are some suggestions for future trips:

    (1) Create a map of the dive deck and assign space for divers. This is common practice on most dive boats today, day boats and live-a-boards. No one ever complains, and in fact, every one seems to like seeing their name on the layout map; and it is nice to have a place for gear to “call home” before and after each dive. Also, it is easier for all concerned during the hectic diving schedule in every way.

    (2) Assign space on the boat to passengers, including sleeping space, storage space and gear space; and stow all non-essential gear in the hold down below. Otherwise, folks put their cameras on the sitting and sleeping areas; and stake out other “territory” on the boat. This quickly turns into a “get their first and stake out as much space as you can” for some people; and all of this could be avoided with more organization, space assignment and space management. I personally observed a number of divers with territory “staked out” in three different areas (not including the dive deck)!

    (3) Insure your captain always moors on the sheltered side of an island for overnight sleeping, especially during the winter in Thailand when the North wind can really howl at night. Avoid mooring on mooring buoys with short scope (for sleeping) in relatively unsheltered waters exposed to the North wind and associated waves.

    Naturally, MV Saifon is not a live-a-board, and granted this trip was “camping out style” but, just my opinion, a little bit more organization, logistically planning and space management, logistically speaking, would make the good diving experience even better.

    Thanks for a nice trip and good luck in all future trips!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Reply

    • Adventuredive says:
      Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 10:33am

      Hey Timbo

      Thanks for the constructive criticism. You are right that we at Adventure Divers sometimes place too much importance not being militaristic by placing too many rules, thereby not anticipating the “chaos” that the lack of order caused on this trip.
      This trip indeed could have been more comfortable with a bit more “structure” and the lesson has not gone by unnoticed. The next trips will certainly benefit from the experience gained on this trip.

      Thanks for the comments

      Robert

      Reply

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