Deep six dive site information
Exploring Deep Six: Unveiling the Depths of Similan Islands
Nestled in the depths of the Andaman Sea, the Similan Islands are a haven for divers seeking extraordinary underwater landscapes. Among the myriad dive sites that adorn this aquatic paradise, Deep Six emerges as a V-shaped extension from the mainland, offering a unique and thrilling exploration. Let’s dive deep into the intricacies of Deep Six. Uncovering its geological formations, marine life, and the challenges that make it a diver’s delight.
Geographical Marvel: A V-Shaped Underwater Extension
Deep Six, resembling a submerged extension from the mainland, stretches northward and encompasses an array of small and massive rocks and boulders. Adorned with soft coral and sea fans, this dive site is situated at the north tip of Island 7. Also known as Koh Pa-Yu. Its depth ranges from 5 to 40 meters, making it one of the premier boulder sites within the Similan Islands. The intriguing history behind its nomenclature dates back to the renaming of the islands. Deep Six acquiring its name after Elephant Head Rock lost its status as an island.
Navigating the Depths: Dive Profile and Currents
Dive Entry and Descent
As divers venture into the depths of Deep Six, they encounter moderate to strong currents, especially at the northern pointed end of the reef. Strategically choosing the descent point is crucial, depending on the current direction. Divers may descend on the northeast side during a north current or opt for the northwest side during a south current. The dive begins with following the current around the tip, eventually crossing to the shallow coral area.
Mooring Line and Dive Strategy
The mooring line, strategically placed slightly west of the center, serves as a guide for a controlled descent, ensuring divers do not drift away from the captivating boulders. Advisably, starting the dive at a deeper depth allows divers to utilize the current for a gradual ascent, passing through engaging swim-throughs, caverns, and tunnels rising from 22 to 12 meters.
Staying Close to the Rocks
Given its demanding nature in terms of dive profiles and currents, divers are encouraged to stay close to the rocks. This proximity enhances the overall diving experience at Deep Six, adding an element of challenge and excitement to the exploration.
Underwater Symphony: Magnificent Marine Life
Schools of Majesty: Grouper, Trevally, and Barracuda
The underwater scenery at Deep Six unfolds as a magnificent tapestry of marine life. Schools of groupers, giant trevally, rainbow runners, and barracudas gracefully traverse the waters at varying depths. Their synchronized movements create a lively and vibrant spectacle, immersing divers in the awe-inspiring beauty of the underwater world.
Hidden Gems: Boxfish, Sweetlips, and Nudibranchs
Amidst the rocks and corals, a plethora of marine creatures dazzles the observer. Lobsters, shrimp, and nudibranchs dot the scene, captivating divers with their vibrant colors and intriguing behaviors. Yet, stealing the spotlight are the yellow boxfish, their distinctive appearance adding a burst of color to the underwater canvas.
Enigmatic Residents: Oriental Sweetlips and Harlequin Sweetlips
Within the caverns of Deep Six, oriental sweetlips and harlequin sweetlips find refuge. With their big, fleshy lips and a penchant for dwelling in pairs or small groups around nooks and crannies, these fish contribute to the diversity of marine life. The fascinating aspect lies in their color and pattern changes throughout their lives, with juvenile sweetlips exhibiting a distinct appearance from their adult counterparts.
Masters of Camouflage: Ghost Pipefish and Frogfish
A keen eye may detect the elusive ghost pipefish and the camouflage champion, the frogfish. Ghost pipefish, with their undulating swimming pattern, possibly mimic poisonous flatworms as a means of predator avoidance. Meanwhile, frogfishes showcase an incredible ability to change color, moving slowly to lie in wait for prey and striking with astonishing rapidity, often in as little as 6 milliseconds.
Ecosystem Dynamics: White Tip Sharks and Sea Fans
Moving to the east side of Deep Six, giant barrel sponges and gigantic sea fans create a habitat for red fire goby and blennies. While blennies share a superficial resemblance to goby, they are not related. The deeper realms harbor whitetip reef sharks and blue-spotted stingrays, gracefully navigating the sandy depths. At the shallow coral garden, the graceful presence of hawksbill turtles adds another layer of fascination to this underwater symphony.
Mysterious Absence: Manta Rays and Whale Sharks
Despite the plethora of marine life, Deep Six remains enigmatic in the sense that manta rays and whale sharks are seldom sighted. These majestic creatures tend to pass by other Similan Islands during the diving season, leaving Deep Six to showcase its vibrant ecosystem without their presence.
Resilience Amidst Adversity: Post-Tsunami Coral Damage and Recovery
Tsunami’s Lingering Impact
Regrettably, remnants of the 2004 tsunami’s devastation are still visible at Deep Six. Coral damage serves as a poignant reminder of the forces that shape the underwater landscape. However, the resilience of the reef life becomes evident as it continues to recover, adapting and thriving in the face of adversity.
Despite the lingering effects of the tsunami, Deep Six stands as a testament to nature’s remarkable ability to rebound. The topography, visibility, and the wonderfully diverse marine life create an impressive tableau that captivates divers and underscores the resilience of the underwater ecosystem.
Conclusion: Diving into the Depths of Deep Six
In the depths of Deep Six, divers embark on a journey that transcends the ordinary. This V-shaped extension, with its boulders, swim-throughs, and vibrant marine life, paints a vivid picture of the underwater wonders within the Similan Islands. As currents weave their tales, and marine inhabitants dance through the coral gardens, Deep Six stands as a testament to the delicate balance of nature, where beauty thrives amidst challenges, and the ocean’s mysteries unfold with each dive into its depths.