Archive for ‘Other’

Koh Tao, l’Eldorado des scuba divers

By , 10 April, 2014, No Comment

IMG_3395 IMG_3378 (3)

L’île de la Tortue est connue pour être l’un des meilleurs spots de plongée du golf de la Thaïlande. Moins développée que ses grandes sœurs Koh Phangan et Koh Samui, elle a été investie par les backpackers à la recherche de cours de plongée à prix réduits.

Il ne vous faudra que quelques minutes, voire quelques heures pour vous laisser séduire. L’eau translucide et les plages de sable blanc ; l’atmosphère paisible la journée et fêtarde le soir ; les sourires distribués à tous les coins de rue. Oui, il fait bon vivre ici. La vie est peu chère (on mange un excellent plat thaï pour moins de 3€) et l’on rencontre des voyageurs de toutes nationalités. Et dire que dans les années 1930 l’île servait de prison politique…

C’est dans les années 1990 que les premières écoles de plongée se sont installées. Depuis, plus d’une quarantaine de clubs ont ouvert leurs portes. En plein Sairee, vous trouverez Davy Jones Locker, un club PADI 5*. L’équipe d’instructeurs et de divemasters sont là pour vous accompagner, peu importe le niveau de plongée que vous voulez atteindre. Du simple Discover Scuba Diving aux diplômes professionnels. Toute la gamme de cours est détaillée sur le site Internet du club (http://www.davyjoneslocker.asia/), et ça vaut franchement le coup. La cerise sur le gâteau : si vous allez jusqu’au Divemaster, vous aurez le droit de plonger gratuitement et A VIE avec Davy Jones, sur Koh Tao ou au centre de Koh Lipe, une autre île paradisiaque située au Sud de Pukhet.

Plonger à Koh Tao, c’est entrer dans un monde à part. Ne manquez pas l’occasion de partir à l’aventure à Mango Bay, dans des eaux turquoise, où vous aurez peut-être la chance de croiser une famille d’hippocampes ; ou à Hin Pee Wee observer une majestueuse tortue de mer ; laissez-vous approcher par les poissons perroquets et les poissons-anges. Attention, vous allez vite y prendre goût !
Les sites de plongée offrent tous des choses différentes à voir. L’un des plus originaux : Junk Yard, un terrain de jeux sous-marin. Vous pourrez y soulever des poids, conduire une voiture, vous asseoir à une table ou sur des toilettes… de quoi prendre une série de photos délirantes !

Vous croiserez beaucoup de plongeurs passionnés qui n’étaient censés rester sur l’île que quelques jours… et qui sont là depuis des mois, parfois des années. C’est la magie de Koh Tao.

Robert

 

 

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Springtime… When a man’s fancy turns to love.

By , 6 April, 2014, No Comment

Titan Trigger FishThe same can be said for some of the marine life we see here while diving on Koh Tao.  For example, it’s just becoming triggerfish mating season here and we now see them digging pits to lay their eggs in.

Other fish are becoming amorous as well nowadays.  And in some crazy ways:

Anenomefish are initially all males when they are young.  The largest of them becomes the dominant female and mates with the males.  Should something happen to her, the dominant male will switch genders and become the dominant female!

Nudibranch get frisky as well.  However, they move so slowly that sometimes finding a partner can be a challenge.  Fortunately for them, they are all hermaphrodites, so everybody has both male and female genitalia.  So, should any two happen to meet, it’s time to get it on.

 

Even the coral get into the action.  They can’t move of course, so instead of finding a partner, they time their spawning with the cycle of the moon, so that everybody ejects their sperm and eggs into the water at the same time.  Ah, romance.

 

As for the mating behaviors of the humans on the island, I have no comment.  I’ll leave you to discover that on your own.

 

-Pete

 

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Did you know that our lovely green turtles around koh tao are all vegetarian

By , 4 April, 2014, No Comment

Turtle are reptiles scientifically called chelonian. They are characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs and acting as a shield. Turtles are classified as so called amniotes, which means those reptiles  breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, they must surface at regular intervals to refill their lungs. Sea turtles lay their eggs on dry, sandy beaches and in many cases breed every few years rather than annually.

Sea turtles typically feed on jellyfishsponge and other soft-bodied organisms. Some species of sea turtle with stronger jaws have been observed to eat shellfish while some species, such as the green sea turtle do not eat any meat at all and, instead, have a diet largely made up of algae.[21]

The earliest known turtles date from 220 million years ago,[5] making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups and a more ancient group than lizardssnakes or crocodiles.  Unfortunately some of them are endangered. Seven different species of sea (or marine) turtles grace our ocean waters. The green and the hawksbill turtle are two  types you can find in and around koh tao. The green turtle is one of the largest sea turtles Green turtles named for the greenish color of their cartilage and fat, not their shells. Like other sea turtles, they migrate long distances between feeding grounds and the beaches from where they hatched. Hawksbills are named for their narrow, pointed beak. They also have a distinctive pattern of overlapping scales on their shells that form a serrated-look on the edges.

vlcsnap-2011-11-22-00h42m52s0

They are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of coral reefs and sea grass beds. Unfortunately we take them their hatching areas away by taking over a beach. And the last beaches were they are able to hatch, are full of human and non human egg thiefs. Make sure to be aware when you see one of those little big fellows under the sea

Natalie

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Ang Thong National Park Expedition

By , 31 March, 2014, No Comment

tham thale nai topo

We just returned from a great cave diving expedition to Ang Thong National Park in the Gulf ofThailand. The aim was to locate the cave that feed the saltwater lagoon on Koh Thali Nai, this saltwater lagoon is in the center of the island and surrounded by sheer cliffs. The lagoon is a saltwater cenote and fed by an underground cave to the sea.

 We found this map by some French cave explorers locating the entrance on the eastern side of the island. The main problem would

10150849_10153989013135182_1186312854_n

be locating the cave and predicting the flow in the cave, as at sometimes the cave would turn into a syphon, pushing you into the cave making it difficult or impossible to exit if the cave is impassable. Syphonic conditions are also dangerous as you need more gas to exit and sediment stirred up will washed into the cave with you.

We quickly located the seaward side entrance not far from the beach, with a high flow running out of the cave just one hour before low tide, as the lake was emptying into the sea. The cave was wide nearly 5 metres across but only 70 cm high making sidemount diving the only choice. After a primary tie off on the surface we descended to the entrance. With 3-4 knots current flowing out of the cave, it was impossible to swim against. Tim Lawrence and Myself had to push and pull ourselves along through the restriction. Each metre of penetration was hard work wriggling through the restrictions and pulling against the current. Fish and rocks came hurtling past, and any sand we disturbed was quickly swept away.
After 20 minutes of struggling against the current we decided to exit, and return the next day at a different state of tide.

10149178_10153988998640182_1880345050_o

On the following day we dived three hours after high tide, hoping that this would be the slackest time to dive. Flow out of the cave

however was not reduced; we managed to lay around 50 metres of new cave line into the cave and must have been close to the exit but again were turned around by the current. We walked over to the lakeward side and quickly located the entrance by following the flow out of the lake.

In the picture below the yellow line shows the cave running through the Island10168741_10153988998665182_402425546_o

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Fraggle Rock

By , 31 March, 2014, No Comment

Koh Tao has some picture perfect view points, but my favourite has to be Sun Set Rock (fraggle rock).

The walk up is great, gets your heart pumping and the view is great!! There is a small climb so make sure you wear good footwear. When you get to the top it really does take your breath away, feel like your on top of the world.

You can see out accross Sariee beach and out to sea, Koh Nangyuan is visable too.

The best time to go is around 5pm so you can get up there for sun set (don’t forget your camera), the walk normally takes around 45minuites. If you want to go the easy way by bike, becareful as the road is steep and sandy in areas.

Lizzy

sunset view

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook