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.
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.
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.
Next time Koh Tao, next time…
Are you a diver? Where is your favorite place that you’ve snorkeled or scuba dived?