Simple Life runs two resorts on Koh Tao, both situated along Sairee Beach.
Offers a wide range, from dorm rooms to beachfront villas at the south end of Sairee Beach.
Posted Feb 28th, 2012 by Chris
“Sail Rock trip this Sunday” was the buzz around the Simple Life dive shop in the final week of January 2012. As many who have dived with us before know, a trip to the famous Sail Rock is a pretty big deal.
Regarded by many as the best dive-site in the Gulf of Thailand (coming second only to Chumpon Pinnacle in the Simple Life 2011 ‘Best Dive Site’ poll – http://www.simplelifedivers.com/blog/poll-best-dive-site-koh-tao/ ), Sail Rock has a reputation for playing host to spectacular schools of Barracuda, Tuna, Fusilier, Batfish and Trevally as well as being one of the best places in the Gulf to spot a Whale Shark. It also features a huge 12 meter long swim-through with 3 entry points known as “The Chimney“.
Located 90 minutes from Koh Tao and situated almost halfway between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, the long distance to the site means that Sail Rock trips are a rare and special occurrence – usually when we have an abundance of ‘fun divers’, Divemaster trainees or when enough interest is generated around the island.
Departing the dive shop at just past 8:30am, we set sail into extremely calm seas. The excitement mounted as we cruised past thousands of Crown Jellyfish in the water for what seemed like more than an hour. We arrived at Sail Rock at just after 10:00am, with strangely not a Jellyfish in sight.
Descending the dive-site straight down “The Chimney”, we hit a thermocline at 18 meters – with visibility below this depth very limited we decided to do a shallower dive.
Usually at a dive-site like this I would be prone to looking out into the blue for large schools, pelagic fish and sharks but due to the limited visibility we decided to stick close to the wall and see what kind of ‘macro’ opportunities the dive-site had to offer.
We were not disappointed!
Within 5 minutes we spotted a couple of Polka Dot Nudibranch’s on the south wall of the pinnacle. It’s always a pleasure to see one of these around Koh Tao, but to see two together was absolutely awesome:
It seemed as if everything was coming in pairs as we swam further West and came face to face with two Undulated Moray Eels emerging from the coral. While we encounter many White-Eyed Morays while diving the local sites of Koh Tao, the Undulated variety is much rarer:
After a surface interval and some delicious fried rice, we began our second dive of the day.
Once again we were on the search for smaller critters in the shallower parts of the dive site. Just on top of “The Chimney” we spotted a Hermit Crab who was happy to pose for this shot:
Simple Life’s Divemaster and Videographer Oli De Broucker also got some great photos of a Giant Moray Eel as well as a photo of fellow Divemaster Kerrie Hume descending “The Chimney”:
Even with the limited visibility and themocline, Sail Rock is still very impressive and was enjoyed by all. We are all definitely looking forward to diving this site again in even better conditions and who knows what else it has to offer!
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