Part of our team have just arrived from a dive trip in the Mergui Archipelago in Burma and had a bunch of interesting stories to tell us so I have decided to write about it on this blog. Check out their adventure including the weather conditions, challenges and the marine life encountered during this week’s dive trip at the Mergui Archipelago.
A discovery trip
We have been diving in Burma for many years but very few have explored it during low season. When we were asked to join the trip, we were very excited and really looking forward to see what it had to offer and what challenges we would face.
The cruise director had to work very closely with the vessel captain to make sure the safety of the guests and staff, checking weather forecast hourly and updating everyone on the schedule.
Sun was shining on Sunday morning and waves were only 1 metre high so they had a couple of great dives in the morning but as we know, the South West monsoon is very unpredictable so they were hit by a 20 knot wind in the afternoon, forcing them to move to a sheltered area and dive on some of the not so popular dive sites. Even though they could not dive where they wanted to, they had some great dives and found a lot of marine life, even discovered some new dive sites.
While the sea is calm, things can easily be done but once winds pick up and waves increase then it is a different story. They did experience some not so nice weather but the trip carried on and they carried on diving but once safety concerns had raised they had to move to sheltered areas and a few dives had to be canceled. Getting on and off the inflatables was one of the challenges, making it very time sensitive and the crew had to be on top of things.
While at Three Islets, a massive wave hit the dive platform and water went all the way inside the dive deck, washing all gear away and as boat captain who was standing at dive platform he had water up to his neck but luckily he held on firmly and neither the captain or any dive equipment were washed out to the ocean.
The bright side: Marine life encountered
This is a review of where they were diving and some of the marine life they encountered.
Dive areas were western rocky, fan forest pinnacle, frog rock, south and north Twin and three islets.
Although conditions were not perfect, they still managed to find some cool marine life such as moray eels, devil scorpion fish, tiger tailed sea horse, nudibranch, mantis shrimp, boxer shrimps, porcelain crabs, octopus, juvenile angel fish and sweetlips, cuttlefish and nurse shark.
Conclusion: Would we recommend a trip in Burma during this time of the year?
As experience divers, we are used to big waves and strong winds as we have been exposed to many different conditions so it may not be a problem for us. What must be remembered is that we have more than 5000 dives each and have encountered many challenging situations.
It would be a great time to do some exploration or research, especially if divers are experience and well aware of the conditions.
Such a trip would not be ideal for the holiday makers and especially for novice divers. After all, when we only have those precious days during the year we would rather enjoy calm seas and sunshine. We must bear in mind that bad weather can happen at any time of the year but you are more likely to encounter it during off season.