Dive #263 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:

230h
57m


Dive Info:

Dive Start:
5:30PM

Bottom Time:
54 minutes

Maximum Depth:
81 feet

Safety Stop:
5 minutes

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
500 psi

Weather Conditions:
Sunny 86F

Surface Conditions:
Calm

Surface Water Temperature:
83F

Bottom Water Temperature:
81F with pronounced thermoclines to 74F

Visibility:
40-60 feet, less in cold patches

Gas:
Nitrox 32%O2
263
TITLE
* * * *
March 12,
2010
KOH TACHAI
KOH TACHAI, SURIN ISLANDS, THAILAND
BOAT DIVE @ DUSK
 
Linda, Janel (buddies), Kim (guide)
Coral Grand Divers
Queen Scuba
www.similandivers.com
Similan
Longfin batfish a.k.a. spadefish
Photo by Kim on this dive in Similan Islands 2010 
Similan
Linda, Rich, and Janel emerging from this dive
Photo by Kim on this dive 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.

We talk to Arizona Mike at lunch. He tells us that his mom, at age 59, was restless and wanted to do something else with her life. With Mike's support, she decided to move to Africa and volunteer in at an HIV clinic in Lesotho, and has now been there 4 years. Wow - talk about a life changing event!

I'm a little dizzy with my headache during lunch and I don't eat much, so I decide to sit out the third dive. At least I get an opportunity to take a few pictures of my girls getting into the water. The dive is again at Koh Bon.

I napped the whole time, but Linda returns with a story. If you haven't seen them, titan triggerfish are nasty buggers. They're about 3 feet long and have big chomper teeth. They build shallow conical nests in the sand bottom, and they also claim a conical territory above their nests as a keep-out zone. This includes divers.

Linda was observing them but accidentally swam about 10 feet directly over one of the nests. The offended titan came zooming straight for her, teeth bared. Kim's eyes got wide and Linda started frantically finning at the fish. Fortunately no harm was done, except for Linda's panic attack.

Kim found flatworms having a live sex show, giant morays, two devil scorpionfish (Mr. and Mrs. Ugly), and copper sweepers.

Linda also tells me that the post-dive snack was hamburgers, which sounds pretty good to me. When the 4th dive briefing is called at 5:00pm, I head up and find a few burgers still waiting. We've motored further north and are now at Koh Tachai.

At 5:30pm, the four of us enter the water and find a very nice divesite, with both reef and big rocks. A moderate current is flowing, in some places strong. Thermoclines are more pronounced than ever, and about half our dive time is in colder water. Topside water temp was around 84F, while I record 74F inside some of the cold zones.

There are lots and lots of reef fish here, zillions of butterflyfish, surgeonfish, etc., plus quite a few lionfish, boxfish, longnosed emperorfish, and brown marbled groupers. Kim's expert eye finds a tiny sharp-nosed pygmy pouched pipe horse (relative of a seahorse), an oscillated wart slug, and some cool feather sea stars.

Predator fish are zooming about, too, including big eye trevalleys, black trevalleys, mackerel (striped bonito), and tuna. Near the end of the dive, a stunning school of maybe 10 spadefish (a.k.a. longfin batfish) posed unafraid for Kim's camera, each fish bigger than a dinner plate.

We do our 5 minute safety stop mid-water, and I'm again presented with a headache. I've taken note to breathe deeply on this dive, so I guess it is just sinus pressure from my cold, coupled with something about ascending from the dive. As we emerge from the water, the sun is just setting and it's really gorgeous out.

Back on the boat, the staff immediately serves us a cold coconut smoothie, followed by a hot towel. Sweet!

Unfortunately, my headache really starts to rage, taking on the character of a migraine. No way I can eat - I head to the room and spend the rest of the night trying to get to sleep, which of course is difficult with the migraine. Even when I do get to sleep, I wake up and the headache is still there, which is unusual. Linda brings a dinner plate in to me, but the bread is only thing I can eat. My stomach is fine, but the brain pain makes me nauseous of food. Fade to black...

Sealife Observed on this dive:
sharp-nosed pygmy pouched pipe horse
more feather sea starfish
oscillated wart slug
brown marbled groupers
juvenile oriental sweetlips
juvenile boxfish
rainbow runners
longnosed emperorfish
large school of big-eye trevalleys
large schools of black trevalleys
large schools of mackerel (striped bonito)
large schools of tuna
spadefish (a.k.a. longnosed batfish)

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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