Afloat in South Asia

Afloat in South Asia
Reclining Buddha; Rangoon

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Similan Islands - Mon., Jan. 25th

Now for our little stop in Thailand… We stopped at Similan Island #4, along with, unfortunately, several other boatloads of tourists. That fact, plus the a strong chop making the water sandy, plus the man-made detritus in the water made a pretty sad impression at first. The corals are dead, dead, dead. The only colored corals I saw were a few pink and blue mushroom caps. It was actually a relief to hear that the tsunami six years ago had done most of the damage to the corals...there is hope for recovery. Having said all this, we had fun with the fish in the reef near the shore; lots of blue surgeons, rabbitfish, butterflies of many kinds and Moors. I saw a couple of porcupine fish that were very interesting – they were dark blue! (turned out to be the Back Spotted Pufferfish).

Later, we went to the deep water snorkeling platform set up by our fish gurus. I usually do not like deep water snorkeling, but figured it was worth a try. Wow! The water was exceptionally clear and our fish guides, Jack and Thomas, pointed out all sorts of great critters. I was able to get some photos.

Here is a beautiful powder blue tang (i.e. surgeonfish) cavorting with a Moorish Idol. We first saw blue surgeonfish in the Malidives and had hoped to come across them on this trip.

Check out the fangs on this Red-Toothed Triggerfish – triggerfish scare me!

We surfaced to examine the really wonderful sea cucumber that Thomas brought up from the bottom. It was about 30 inches long and seemed grateful to be placed gently back below. The locals feast on these guys.

And how about this parrotfish going the wrong way in heavy traffic!

Here she is, turned around…

My “Fish Face” file did well on this trip. Here is a very fetching Sergeant Major.

And look - a school of rabbit fish (probably on the way to a Chinese New Year celebration in their honor...)

Finally, this sweet rabbit face -

I will post these and some other fish pix on my Facebook page in the next day or so.
We will be at sea for a day and a half now, on our way up to the Irrawaddy River and into Burma.

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