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Thailand Part 2



Three large squid entertained us.  One shot up at my face because it reacted to my bright light.  Yes, it was the attack of the giant squid.  The black sea urchin with spots from the daytime actually has a starfish shape in the middle and it glows beautifully at night.  

We saw dancing shrimp scurrying around on rocks with their glow-in-the-dark-eyes. 

The next day in Burma, we dived North Twin Reef in a very strong current.  There wasn't much to see, just a sweet lips.  We aborted the dive early.  We were told the currents were stronger than normal because of the full moon.  By this day, I woke up with a good dose of Harry's ( or it could have been Hugh, or the man who coughed on me in the airport) sore throat and clogged ears.  Sudafed just worked.  I did not need a dive gauge because whenever I descended two feet I could go no further.

Nudibranch City or North Rock in Burma had a nice frog fish, a crown of thorns with bluish/purple long black thorns standing up, spotted eagle ray, white flat worm, sea anomie with hanging tentacles drifting in the water column.  After this dive, the group decided they had had enough of the strong currents and bad visibility in Burma and that we would move the boat a day earlier than planned, leave Burma and head into Thailand.  We cut the diving short for the day and headed off.

We cleared Burmese customs in the morning at the port town of Kaw Thaung.  The staff took the zodiac to shore and came back 1 1/2 hours later with our stamped passports.  We could not see much of the town because we stayed on the boat in the harbor.    We watched a ferry boated loaded with morning commuters heading off to work at 8 am.  Long tail boats delivered barrels of cargo. 
There was the country's flag and a military statue and the Honey Bear Hotel.  Then we moved the boat to Thailand where the immigration officer boarded the boat and repeated the process.  
It was a six hour journey to Richelieu Rock in Thailand and now our opportunity was coming to possibly see a whale shark.  The water was blue but the visibility was only slightly better than in Burma.  I saw 2 seahorses, a shark and schools of fish.  Surin Reef in the Surin Islands was inhabited by lobster, large crabs, puffer fish and grouper.  A sunrise dive at Richelieu rock yielded a school of barracuda, pipefish and a large octopus.
A third dive at Richelieu Rock and I finally saw my first whale shark!!!
I was swimming along, not seeing anything too exciting, an ornate ghost pipefish, when suddenly divers started swimming and someone rang a bell.
The mad chase was on and everyone on the site, maybe 50-75 people started frantically chasing the whale shark.
The divemaster said it was medium size, I'd guess 15-20 feet.  I only saw its tail and side with white spots, not the face.  I swam after it for a while and it went out of sight but turned back and saw the whale shark again.  One of our group had a scooter and shot pictures close up.





Go to Thailand Part 3


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