Clownfish and Anemone
Photo Thanks to Jerome Taylor
By UNCLLSUK payday loans
Diving Christmas Point at The Similans Islands is something most PADI scuba divers aspire to. Located to the west of the most northerly island of the chain, it is exposed to the Andaman Sea and its large and interesting marine life. Sea conditions are always clear, but rarely too extreme to be difficult to dive.
Christmas Point in The Similan Islands of Thailand is a world-class dive site. It is located at the north-west tip of the chain of nine islands, often referred to as the Similans. Island 9 is the northernmost Similan Island and Christmas Point is located just to the west of that. It is a single dive site, but there are four other wonderful dive sites very nearby. These are Donald Duck Bay, North Point, Breakfast Bend, and Snapper Alley. In addition, Christmas Point is large enough and deep enough to be dived twice in one visit. Many people regard this particular dive site, or the Similan Islands in general, to offer the best scuba diving in the world.
Several things make Christmas Point such a wonderful dive site, one of them being the swimthrough which sits at about 24 metres below the surface.
There are a few other smaller swimthroughs, as well. Other attractions are the consistently-great visibility, which is probably helped by its location, pointing out towards the Indian Ocean. Another benefit of this is that there is more chance of seeing some large pelagic visitors, such as Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and Manta rays (Manta alfredi), which, to be honest are the main reasons that so many people come to dive in The Similan Islands.
Like most of the dive sites at the Similan islands, Christmas Point is made up of huge granite boulders which sit on a sandy seabed. On these boulders are hard and soft corals of all varieties, which attract reef fish, invertebrates and marine reptiles. Sea conditions out here can vary through the scuba diving season (October – May) but are generally quite easy. Although surface waves can be caused by some rough seas (a disadvantage of being exposed to the Indian Ocean), currents once divers have descending on the mooring lines are rarely strong enough to cause concern. Like all diving at The Similan Islands, licenced and experienced divers should be the only ones in the water. Christmas Point has a maximum depth of about 40 metres, and with the light and clarity down there it's quite easy to get carried away and find yourself having to end a dive before you've seen very much. To summarize Christmas Point before talking about the wonderful and diverse marine that is down there, it can be described as quite deep, calm under the surface but occasionally choppy on top, crystal clear water right down to depths where the sun starts to lose its penetration, and made up of huge granite boulders on sand, one of which reaches the surface and several of which create swimthroughs and alleys.
Leopard shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) above - photo by Peter Thurgood
With regards to the marine life here at Christmas Point, it is difficult to know where to start. Everyone wants to know about how many sharks can be seen and which species, but let's start with invertebrates. Other than the huge variety of hard and soft corals and sea fans at Christmas Point in the Similan Islands (west of Similan Island no. 9), there are a lot of invertebrates which can move around. Starfish, nudibranchs, shrimp, octopuses and crabs can all be seen here. Some need a keener eye than others, but they all reside somewhere at Christmas Point.
Banded Sea Krait (above)
Marine reptiles such as sea snakes - Banded Sea Krait (Laticauda colubrine), and turtles can sometimes be seen here. The most common turtles in Thailand's seas are Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Green turtles (Chelonia mydas). It should go without saying that it is absolutely wrong to touch anything under the water's surface of the Similan Islands. Sea snakes are highly venomous, but will never come to bite a diver or snorkeler. It's quite safe to follow them and enjoy the way the swim and hunt. Turtles need to breath air and will dive deeper if they feel threatened by divers or snorkelers. Hassling these gentle reptiles can stress them and spoil the best scuba diving in Thailand for the next visitors to The Similan Islands.
Porcelain Crab (above) by Peter Thurgood
Both bony fish and cartilaginous fish can be seen here at Christmas Point a full description of what to expect to find here will follow very soon, but in the meantime, whet your appetite with names such as Blacktip Reef Sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus), Whitetip Reef Sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus), Leopard Sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum), Barracuda (Sphyraena) and Ribbon Eels (Rhinomuraena quaesita).
Giant Puffer (above) by Peter Thurgood
We aim to be as accurate as possible when writing our Similan Islands diving reviews, but we admit that it's impossible to be right all of the time. we love feedback and comments, be they in the box below, by email, or on our forum. Please feel welcome to rate or comment on the dive sites we review and the articles themselves. Thank you.
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