Under the Sea: Koh Tao

The alarm clock blared to life at 5:00am on our second consecutive day of diving, and we reluctantly dragged ourselves out of bed in order to catch our taxi. Sleepy eyes and tired muscles aside, the early wake-up call that morning was well worth it as we were headed to Chumphon Pinnacle; which is prized as one of Koh Tao’s best locations to scuba dive.

It also happens to be one of the best sites to see the elusive whale shark.

It was about a 45 minute ride out to the Pinnacle and as we got close our group of four geared up so we would be the first ones off the dive boat. We began our descent into the dark blue waters and I kept my eyes on the horizon in hopes of seeing a large shadow emerge from the distance. I knew that as some of the first divers in the water the best chance to see a whale shark would be at the beginning, before it was scared off by the large crowd of divers.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 5.14.16 PM

After dropping down to 18 meters (or about 60 feet), I looked around in awe at all of the soft coral, sea anemones, and clown fish that swayed side-to-side in the currents. In all of my dives I’ve never witnessed coral with such bright beautiful colors–blues, purples, pinks, and yellows lit up the pinnacle, as giant schools of fish rolled by above our heads. Throughout our dive we saw eels, trigger fish, barracuda, clams, and incredible coral formations, and I soon forgot all about the elusive whale shark.

Koh Tao Diving Chumphon

Koh Tao Diving Chumphon

Peek-A-Boo!

Koh Tao Diving Chumphon

Koh Tao Diving-Chumphon1

Before I knew it we were heading up to the boat and I realized that seeing a whale shark was not in the cards on this dive, however, once at the surface Cody and I both agreed that this was our favorite dive location — and our favorite day of the entire trip — even without the whale sharks.

While diving with Manta Rays on the Big Island was a pretty sure bet, this Bucket List item isn’t so easily checked off as it’s all about timing — and perhaps, a little bit of luck — we’ll continue our search and keep our fingers crossed for our first whale shark encounter.

whale shark

Next time Koh Tao, next time…

Are you a diver? Where is your favorite place that you’ve snorkeled or scuba dived?

18 Comments

  1. August 4, 2015 / 2:48 PM

    Love the photos! What are you using? We just booked a trip to Belize and I would love to have such great underwater shots.

    • August 5, 2015 / 9:40 AM

      Eileen,
      Thank you for the compliment. Underwater photography is an entirely new beast but I’m trying to get better with each dive. These photos were taken with a GoPro Hero3+, I also purchased the red filter attachment in order to help offset the blue hues while diving. Hope that helps.
      When are you headed to Belize? I’m hoping to get there in the next couple of years….

      • August 6, 2015 / 1:32 PM

        We are off to Belize in October. I have an older GoPro which has a lens that doesn’t really work underwater. I’ll be trying out an iPhone 6 with a waterproof case (since I had to replace my other phone that went for an accidental swim…)

        • August 8, 2015 / 3:26 PM

          Have so much fun on your trip. I’m curious to hear how the iPhone 6 shoots underwater. 🙂 Belize is on my list too!

  2. August 4, 2015 / 3:45 PM

    Have you ever tried swimming with them in Mexico? Off Isla Mujeres? I saw that everyone was doing that there, but couldn’t bring myself to do it!

    • August 5, 2015 / 9:37 AM

      Hey Miss Shauna!
      I have heard about Mexico and then also in Belize. Sounds like we have some more exploring to do. Thanks for your recommendation! 🙂 How come you couldn’t bring yourself to do it?

      • August 5, 2015 / 5:29 PM

        I think I might have a panic attack, because they’re so large! I think the size alone would freak me out, so I don’t want to pay the money to try! Haha, maybe someday!

        • August 8, 2015 / 3:23 PM

          Haha! That is totally understandable!!

    • August 5, 2015 / 9:36 AM

      Thank you SO much Ruth! 🙂 I really appreciate that.

  3. August 5, 2015 / 8:25 PM

    recently I snorkeled at Hanauma Bay in Oahu, years ago on the great barrier off Lady Elliot Island. Love your underwater pictures.

    • August 8, 2015 / 3:25 PM

      Wanda,
      Thank you! I have yet to visit Hanauma Bay but hopefully one day soon. 🙂 now that my husband is scuba certified we are looking at Australia as one of our next big adventures. The Great Barrier Reef is definitely a bucket list item for me!!

  4. August 8, 2015 / 6:28 AM

    The underwater world is so beautiful! Even though I love water, I don’t know if I’d be comfortable diving in such deep waters 🙂

    • August 8, 2015 / 3:28 PM

      Hey Kristina!
      The deepest I’ve been is 100 feet in the Molokini crater. When you are underwater it feels like you aren’t as deep as you actually are. It’s kinda crazy.
      I love the underwater world too. It’s so beautiful!!

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