Want to see Whale Sharks while diving in Thailand ?
Words and Pictures by Matias Berra
First things first, make sure you pick a good diving center!
I just came back from my best diving experience in Thailand ever. I went with Sail Rock divers, Kho Phagnan and would certainly recommend them.Choosing a good diving center is the first step towards having an amazing diving experience.
Here are the reasons I really liked diving with Sail Rock Divers:
Small groups: Maximum 4 divers; we got lucky and it was just my girlfriend and me in our group
Equipment in good condition: Very important for a good dive, their equipment was well maintained and comfortable.
Well trained instructors: Very patient and clear when communicating. My girlfriend was a bit skeptical at first but Jamie (our instructor) just eased her into the whole experience by being informative, calm and clear throughout the training. She couldn't wait to get back into the water by our second dive.
Well Organized diving trips: Everything was done on time and in an organized manner. We were there before anyone and always managed to avoid other diving groups. They always tried really hard to ensure we’d have the best diving experience and for that I thank them !
What’s so great about Sail Rock you ask?
It will of course depend on each person but for me, being able to swim next to whale sharks has always been my ‘dream’. I got to do exactly that 2 weeks ago diving at Sail Rock near Kho Phangan, right here in Thailand !
These gentle giants tend to be very elusive so I consider myself extremely lucky to have had an opportunity to dive for over 30 minutes with THEM,. That’s right, we got to see 2 whale sharks during our dives ! Though we only dived for 2 days (seeing sharks on both opportunities) they stayed around sail rock for almost 16 days, which is almost unheard of according to our instructor.
Diving at Sail Rock does not guarantee you will see these beautiful beasts but I don't think you’d have a better chance to spot them anywhere else in the kingdom.
Here are a few more reasons why Sail Rock is such a good spot to dive in Thailand.
The marine life: It was hands down my best diving experience yet!
Apart from the Whale sharks, we also got to see some of the following species: Schools of barracudas and trevally fish, a variety of sea slugs and shrimp, batfish, angel fish, parrot fish, groupers, triggerfish, pipefish (again we got lucky as they are not very common at sail rock).
Its close to Kho Phagnan: You reach sail rock after a short boat ride, just 45 minutes to an hour separate you from this amazing diving spot. This allows time for a good briefing before the dive, a relaxed breakfast and 2 dives before heading back to Kho Phagnan.The pier is only 5 minutes away from the diving center which is extremely convenient. After our dives we would get back to our resort by 2 pm.
Diverse and interesting geography: The area is extremely diverse making it a very interesting dive site. From the steep rock walls to a sandy (and deep) bottom, you can find a wide range of marine life to admire. Sail rock accommodates all levels of diving experience. For those who can’t dive deeper than 30 meters, there’s plenty to see, whilst advanced divers are able to indulge in incredible sights and deeper landscapes approaching the bottom at 30-35 meters.
For more information go to sailrockdiversresort.com