Monday, March 12, 2007

Similan Liveaboard 2007: Elephant Head Rock

No prize for whomever manages to figure out why the dive site is thus named. Apparently lots of people have tried to push that anomaly of physics perched precariously at the top of the rocky mountain but it has not budged an inch.

Our dive coordinator kinda spoilt it a little for us when upon arrival at Phuket, she blurted out that the dive company before us had sighted whale sharks (one of the big five of scuba safari) no less than five times throughout the trip. With our expectations heightened, we jumped in to the blue hoping to see these beautiful and graceful creatures.

But what we saw was far from graceful: lots and lots of divers, from many other dive boats and liveaboards. They must have heard of the sightings too, for it seemed that everyone and his cousin was down there looking for the elusive giant.

Some of us decided to let the others do the shark-hunting and concentrated on the smaller things in life, namely nudibranches - like this one, the aptly named Phyllidia elegans.

Deep on the seabed, Simon, one of the guys on our dive team, spotted this shy octopus guarding its treasure. It wouldn't budge from that position and we, on our part did our best not to frighten or startle him.

And next to the eight limbed fella was this really huge Lionfish just sitting there watching the sea flow by. It was kind enough to pose for me and even kinder not to shower me with the poison from its fins.

Then, all of a sudden, we came face to face with this fierce bugger, a lone Chevron barracuda. His menacing eyes was pointed straight at our dive master, Gan, who was beckoning me like crazy to take this picture with his would-be attacker just in case a Steve Irwin moment occurs. The barracuda decided not to bother with this little anchovie and Gan lived to tell the tall tale.

The current was very strong towards the end of this dive and as we were kicking our fins like mad just to stay still, I spotted this motionless unicorn fish floating effortlessly, as if mocking us landlubbers for being like fish out of water... in the water.

Towards the end of the dive, we spotted this pair of Pterolidia sp. nudibranch at it like rabbits. Ok, for you who can't find the second one: The blue one's on top while its smaller yellow/orange partner in crime makes up the shorter limb (of the inverted 'c') in the lower half of the pic.

All too soon, the dive was over and we all slowly made our way to the surface. And just in case you were wondering, NO WHALE SHARK! Well, not yet. I hope.

No comments: