Diva Andaman

Join Dr. Andrea Marshall, Andrea Ross, Ric Parker and Clive White on the beautiful Sail Yacht DIVA ANDAMAN for an amazing Ray of Hope manta research expedition to one of the most diverse places on the planet!

The trip begins on 2nd of March 2012 in Ranong and goes straight to the Mergui Archipelago, renowned for its unexplored reefs and secluded diving spots. The first dive is at High Rock, a phenomenal dive site teeming with fish life. Huge schools of blue line snapper, glassfish, gold-striped fuseliers and yellow tail barracuda obscure the reef wall from view. Barrel sponges dominate the seabed and the reef walls feature stunning orange and green cup corals. The crags of the reef are often home to Indian Ocean nurse sharks, residents of the Mergui, snoozing the day away. Parts of the wall are draped in old nets of the Mergui fishermen, which are now encrusted in corals, and have become the home of yellow tigertail seahorses, thorny seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, frogfish and stonefish. When the currents are strong, which they can be at High Rock there’s also a chance of passing whale sharks.

The rest of the dives will be at Three Islets, a favourite site in the archipelago as there is so much to see and photograph. Of the three limestone pinnacles it is the main central rock that holds the greatest interest for divers, known as ‘In Through the Outdoor’. The islet is split in two from west to east by a canyon, where there is a chance to encounter sharks and marbled rays. The highlight here is really the amazing macro life. The rocks are drenched in colour and every nook and cranny is teeming with life from shrimps and eels to frogfish, seahorses and basket stars. Photographers could spend days here without getting tired.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

High Rock Burma
Ma Kyone Galet Mergui

04 Mar 2012 Meeting the Moken and Giving Back
A rare visit to the Moken village at Bo Cho Island is sure to be one of the highlights of the trip. Tucked away in a secluded bay we will find the tattered camp of the Moken people, whose simple and impoverished lifestyle belies their cheerful spirit and tender nature. Fishermen by trade we will spend the morning wandering the beaches examining their boats, fishing styles, and bounty.
A cultural delight and an unforgettable opportunity. During the visit to Bo Cho Island guests are welcome to participate in Thailand Dive & Sail’sSEE&SEA project currently underway there, which includes the collection of unwanted or used reading glasses for those with impaired vision and beach clean-ups. The afternoon is your choice of a mangrove river adventure, beach time, or trekking with guide on Lampi Island. Lampi Island is a large national park and its mangrove and rain forests boast a wide variety of nature including sea otters, monkeys, snakes, deer and elephants. To round off this day of adventure guests can choose surfing or paddling at north of Lampi Island. Set against a dramatic background, activities will continue until sunset.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

05 Mar 2012 Diving Black Rock
We find ourselves back in the water on the 5th at Black Rock. Rated as one of Andrea Marshall’s top 10 dive sites in the world, this unassuming rock in the middle of the ocean is not one to miss. Manta rays are the stars of the show but there are often sightings of reef sharks and other types of rays as well. Early in 2011 the Queen of the Mantas made history satellite tagging the first giant mantas in Asian history! These pelagic rays can reach a 7m wing span, with bold markings on their backs and incredible patterns on their undersides they have an elegance and grace that is mind blowing. While Black Rock is known for its sheer walls, drop offs and large fish life, including schools of barracuda and trevally, the other half of the rock is shallow, covered in a vast carpet of purple anemones, vibrant soft coral and macro life ranging from nudibranchs and shrimps to crabs and cuttlefish. For those wanting to stay above the surface, the dingy can take you to some great fishing spots where guests can try their hand at catching dinner or those who fancy something more active, try to circumnavigate the island on a paddleboard. This sport is challenging at the best of times but guests will be rewarded with unforgettable views and a great workout! In the evening enjoy a seafood barbecue of the day’s catch as the boat departs on the long cruise to the Burma Banks.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
While Black rock is

Giant Manta in Myanmar

06 Mar 2012 The Burma Banks
After an overnight sail, we find ourselves miles out to sea at the famed Burma Banks. These are true oceanic reefs rising from the depths of the Andaman Sea to between 30m to 12m of the surface. Throughout the day we will be diving three dive sites: Rainbow Reef, Big Bank and Silvertip Bank. These reefs consist of massive coral colonies and steep sided sandbanks that sheer off into the blue abyss. Tawny nurse sharks abound. These harmless sharks are often found lazing under overhangs or patrolling the reef top. This will surely be the most ‘sharky’ of our dives but you will also often see large schools of barracuda, snapper and jacks. Amongst some of the most pristine corals in the Andaman Sea there is a vast variety of colourful reef fish, impressive honeycomb moray eels and huge gorgonian seafans. The currents can be strong and unpredictable at the Burma Banks and divers are suggested to bring reef hooks and surface marker buoys as part of their equipment.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

07 Mar 2012 Diving Western Rocky and Crossing the Border

In the morning we reach Western Rocky which consists of a sloping reef, great wall diving and several surrounding pinnacles. We will start the day at Crayfish Cave, to wet your appetite, an expansive limestone cave system with a long swim-through that cuts through the middle on the entire rock and an impressive archway. The topography of this site makes it a real spectacle. The highlights of the dive are the entrance, exploration and exit of this extensive cave. Photographers will love this spot so keep your eyes peeled for camouflaged pipefish, frogfish and dazzling harlequin shrimp. Our second dive will be atEagles Nest which consists of four steep pinnacles that break the surface, huge sea fans, expansive canyons and large overhangs. The site is known for a variety of sharks and rays that visit these vast pinna- cles including every photographers dream, the leopard shark. Rainbow runners, neon fusiliers, cuttlefish and shrimps create a myriad of colours. This is really a beautiful bright and vibrant reef with spectacular opportunities for photographers. On the surface look out for the pair of sea eagles nest on one of the larger pinnacles. Boat heads back to Kaw Thuang (border post).

Diving at Western Rocky

In the afternoon guests are given shore leave to explore the bustling, border town while the boat clears immigration. Take the winding walk up to the temple for more culture and fantastic views, shop in the noisy market for sou- venirs or snacks, or relax at the bar while enjoying a cold local beer. Boat departs for Richelieu Rock

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

08 Mar 2012 Richelieu Rock
What can one say about Richelieu Rock? It is rated one of the world’s great dives – a vast coral mountain located south east of the Surin National Park. Our first two dives of the day will be spent at Richelieu Rock. Exposed only at low tide, the rock falls away in a series of ridges and canyons to the seafloor below. Dived and named by Jacques Cousteau himself, this is not a dive site to be missed. It is never the same site twice and guests will be spellbound by the life and the colours of this famous reef. This site has it all including regular sightings of manta rays and whale sharks as well as schools of barracuda, rainbow runner, jacks and tuna. The south-western portion of the rock has a slightly shallower aspect covered with lovely green anemones, porcelain crabs and shrimps, jewel-coloured nudibranchs, flatworms, stonefish, striped hingebeak shrimps, pipefish, seahorses and harlequin shrimp.

Our third dive will at Koh Tachai Pinnacle. This is one of the finer dive sites Thailand has to offer with an underwater plateau teeming with marine life and coral, including amazing gorgonian sea fans and crinoids. The pinnacles are always home to large schools of fish due to the currents which can be strong at this spot. Often spotted are sea snakes, crabs, queen and clown triggerfish. As well as the plentiful regular reef inhabitants there is always the chance of spotting something larger in the waters here such as manta rays, leopard sharks and turtles. When the currents are slack marvel at the myriad of colours that surround. When the currents are strong expect some action and keep your eyes peeled as whale sharks have been known to make occasional visits too!

Our day will end with a night dive at one of Thailand’s best night dive locations. Koh Bon’s Wall comes to life after the sun has set. Colourful red and purple algae provide the backdrop on the jagged limestone rock, where you will find numerous species of shrimp, lobsters and crabs. There are plenty of nudibranchs too including beautiful Spanish dancers and strange sponge snails.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

whale shark myanmar

09 Mar 2012 Diving Thailand’s Best!
Thailand’s premier manta ray spot– Koh Bon! The reef here takes the form of small wall-like sections which drop sharply to 40m reaching gently sloping sand. While the reef has taken its toll in recent years from over fishing, coral bleaching and human traffic, this still is an amazing spot. The wall sections are covered with a mixture of sea anemones encrusting sponges and sea whips. Concealed within the narrow rocky gorges and crevices are octopus, cuttlefish, and coral groupers. This is the most heavily frequented reef for giant manta rays, these large majestic creatures making pit stops to be cleaned in the shallow waters.

The final dive of the trip will be to Boonsung Wreck. This 60 meter marine tin ore processing vessel came to rest 20 meters below the surface in 1984 and has since attracted a wealth of marine life and soft coral. This inshore wreck is packed with schools of fish, including yellow snapper, trevally, barracuda and batfish so dense you’ll have trouble spotting it on descent. On the wreck itself are lionfish, scorpionfish, moray eels, stingrays and numerous types of nudibranchs. Penetration is not possible due to the age of the wreck and the amount of coral growth on it. The wreck no longer retains its original form after the 2004 Tsunami which scattered the wreck over a large area thus making for a larger area to dive.

Boat returns to Tap Lamu, transfers to Phuket Airport for onward flights.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Details

Tour Rate: $ 3.980,- per person for 12 travelers sharing double or twin rooms. Single supplement on request.

Price includes:
• Liveaboard tickets as specified above
• Accommodation as specified above
• Air-conditioned car/van with driver
• Licensed English speaking guides
• Tours and admission fees as mentioned above
• Meals as specified in itinerary, including water

Price excludes:
• Personal expenses
• Visa fees
• Airport tax
• Drinks (except water) and meals not mentioned in itinerary Tips

FOR BOOKINGS PLEASE CONTACT US.

30% deposit required to hold your space.