Dive #262 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:

230h
03m


Dive Info:

Dive Start:
11:00AM

Bottom Time:
62 minutes

Maximum Depth:
96 feet

Safety Stop:
5 minutes

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
400 psi

Weather Conditions:
Sunny 86F

Surface Conditions:
Calm

Surface Water Temperature:
83F

Bottom Water Temperature:
81F with more pronounced thermoclines

Visibility:
40-60 feet

Gas:
Nitrox 32%O2
262
TITLE
* * *
March 12,
2010
KOH BON
KOH BON, SURIN ISLANDS, THAILAND
BOAT DIVE
 
Linda, Janel (buddies), Kim (guide)
Coral Grand Divers
Queen Scuba
www.similandivers.com
Similan
Red fire gobies
Photo by Kim in Similan Islands 2010 
Similan
Let's go diving!
Photo by Kim in Similan Islands 2010 
Dive Journal: Details of this dive day, March 12, 2010, were captured by Rich at torksinthailand.blogspot.com/2010/03/queen-scuba-day-2.html.

Between dives, Kim compliments us that our threesome is a cool group - I think that means we are easy to manage, pretty self sufficient, interested in relaxed exploration while diving. It's nice to hear it.

I'm a bit wrung out after last dive, so I take a short nap while Linda and Janel chat with the crew in the salon. They relate some stories about OW students. One of the required underwater skills is to breathe on the regulator, then exhale with the regulator out, then put the reg back in and continue breathing. For some reason, this student thought you HAD to have the regulator out to exhale, and started doing all his breathing that way.

Another required underwater skill is to flood your mask, then clear it using air from your exhalation. Instead, one student flooded his mask, then apparently sucked all the water from it using his nose! (He passed.)

At 11:00am it's time for our second dive. We've motored up to an island called Koh Bon. There are lots of boats here, so we delay our dive a bit so there won't be as many divers in the water.

We start on the wall side of a big limestone ridge jutting off the island at around 50 feet depth. The thermoclines and patches of cold water are more pronounced here, but nothing too shivery for our 3mm wetsuits.

There's a possiblity we'll see manta rays, and our plan is to swim out to the end of the ridge at about 90 feet, then explore the other reefy side for the remainder of the dive. On the way, Kim finds a ghost shrimp and shows me. I see it, but just barely, as my 52 year-old eyesight is failing me all the small stuff.

At one point, Kim points out another red fire goby, but a stunning oriental sweetlips strolls through and steals the show. We also spy another peacock mantis shrimp and a bar-tailed moray eel. The reef side of the ridge contains huge areas of coral rubble, a result of indiscriminate dynamite fishing that occurred here before the island was added to the national park. The rubble area looks sorta bad, but it is starting to grow back, and all sorts of tiny critters can be found there.

No mantas, oh well. I've got a pretty good headache on exit, which seems to start at the safety stop and progress. Not sure why - maybe my cold, maybe my new mask smashing my nose a bit, maybe I'm not breathing enough?

We've learned something on this dive trip. Never go on a liveaboard with rental gear. For one or two dives, it's fine, but not for repetitive weeklong diving. Our rental BCDs are all too big - mine digs a channel in my neck from riding up and Janel's tank is constantly banging her in the head. All our 2nd stages are uncomfortably too big for our mouths.

I'm missing my videocamera too!

Sealife Observed on this dive:
cling fish
oriental sweetlips
silver sweetlips
more peacock mantis shrimp
bar-tailed moray
ghost shrimp

More
Dive
Info:
Fins:
Tusa Xpert Zoom Splitfin
Computer:
Oceanic Veo 200
Tank:
80 ft3 Aluminum
BCD:
Rented from Gecko Divers in Phuket
Dive Type:
BOAT, Queen Scuba
Body of Water:
Andaman Sea
Mask:
Tusa Visio Tri-Ex
Protection:
Borrowed 3mm full suit
Regulator:Rented from Gecko Divers in Phuket
Weight:
5 kg
Water Type:
Salt
Video Equipment:
None