Day 4 : 3 dives at Richelieu Rock and return Ranong or Koh Phayam
Now only one dive site and 3 dives but I promise: you would wish there were more dives at Richelieu Rock. Not only is Richelieu Rock the most famous dive site in Surin National Marine Park but also in all of Thailand. Richelieu Rock is not famous without reason.
Far away from Surin Islands but still within Surin National Marine Park, Richelieu Rock only just breaks the surface and only at low tide. Below the surface this small rock evolves into a huge horse shoe shaped dive site going down to 30+m in places before you find the still sloping sandy bottom.
Why is such a French clinging name on a dive site in Thailand ? Well we know several stories that gets more and more colorful every time we tell them – come join our Thailand safari and hear for yourself.
Depths between 0 and 40+m and usually amazing 20-45m visibility. Currents mild to strong.
A limestone rock and near Surin Islands that are mainly granite rock ?
I think Richelieu Rock despite being in Surin National Marine Park in Thailand is part of The Mergui Archipelago we visit on our Burma and Myanmar safaris. Not far north from Richelieu Rock we find the Burmese border and the first Islands of Mergui Archipelago; all in limestone…
Covered in corals almost all the way to the surface in scuba gear Richelieu Rock is so much more than the small rock breaking the surface. A very colorful dive site wherever you look. Richelieu Rock itself being limestone of course there are numerous cracks and hiding places for macrolife all around.
The main rock has a bay area to the south. starting from about 10m with rock formations scattered around in the slightly sloping sand. Richelieu Rock got walls the sides both to the east and to the west. The north side offers plateaus at different depths, as well as parts of vertical wall, and more slopes and ledges.
Lots of limestone rock formations scattered around the outer sides of Richelieu Rock, creating small amazing ecosystems of their own, and after 3 dives there are still unexplored areas around.
Unless you came only for the Giant Manta Ray, Richelieu Rock has it all. Whale Sharks however tend to favor Richelieu Rock as well as scuba divers.
Whale Sharks are the most gentle animals and so big they look unreal. The biggest fish in the sea is always an amazing encounter and Richelieu Rock offers this show. On occasions 2 or 3 have been seen here at the same time so keep an eye out in the blue for this rare gentle giant.
Richelieu Rock is a textbook example of a coral reef. Cracks in the rock for Shrimps, Crabs, Pipefishes, other critters and Moray Eels to hide. Amazing abundance of different corals and anemones to hide in and feed from for the “little people”.
Smaller reef fishes hiding in cracks as well as coral fishes like Damsel Fishes, Gobies, Glass Fishes and small juveniles of all kinds of bread.
With the inner patrol of Fusiliers and Snappers, holding them close to their hiding places, the bigger fish like Trevallies, Barracudas, Tunas, Rainbow Runners and other predators look at the menu from further out casually dashing in and out for a bite.
The Richelieu Rock Mafia is almost always around and on the hunt. A large group of mainly Emperor Fishes but also Rainbow Runners and Bluefin Jacks have joined in a mafia like pack. They hunt Richelieu Rock like a pack of Afrikan Grasshoppers on the move. Constantly feeding from mainly Glassfishes and Juveniles close to the reef. An amazing sight when they come by in the hundreds on their hunt.
Octopus live on Richelieu Rock and in season Cuttlefishes come here to mate, lay eggs and put on one of the most spectacular shows to see while scuba diving. It happens here with the Reef Octopus as well and is even more amazing but not seen too often since they are so amazing at hiding.
I could go on but we better leave a surprise or two to Richelieu Rock itself. Nice way to end our Thailand cruise and then a scenic sunset cruise back to Koh Phayam or Ranong to continue your adventures
Arrival Ranong or Koh Phayam
After last dive we still have 5 hours of cruising to Koh Phayam and 8 hours to Ranong.
We have time to sort out your private equipment and wash it. We will wash your equipment for you if you like and hang it up for dry. Around MV Thai Sea. Most of the time we can have it all dry and ready for you upon arrival but no guarantee except as always the staff of MV Thai Sea will offer their best service to please you all the way to the end of the trip.
Food and drinks are of course still plenty and dinner will be served between Koh Phayam and Ranong.
It is a long cruise home so times are a bit depending on wind and currents that affect our cruising speed.
Koh Phayam estimated time of arrival 7 PM.
Ranong estimated time of arrival 10 PM.
If you need any help with transfers or accommodation please let us know. Pre booked accommodation in Koh Phayam or Ranong is a must since we arrive rather late for these destinations to book a room.
We look forward to seeing you on MV Thai Sea for our popular 4 days cruise in Thailand.