Adventure dive at Red and Purple Rock

Today we have what we can call a guest writer. Since it’s basically rubbish writing about Fredde’s day by the pool we will concentrate on Margreet’s adventure dives at Red and Purple Rock. Or should we put up a vote for it? No? I guess not, so here we go…

I had to go up extremely early, well considering that we are on vacation it was extremely early (6 am). Today I was going to do an adventure dive down to 30m at Hin Mouang (Purple Rock) and an enriched nitrogen dive at Hin Daeng (Red Rock). I was very excited and a bit nervous as I had only been diving down to 18 meters before.
At the diving centre I found out that Carl was once again going to be my instructor :-). It was a four hour (!) boat ride to the reefs but that left me plenty of time to study the diving book and also relax.
Finally at Hin Mouang everybody was ready to go down and talked excitedly about hoping to see a manta ray… I don’t really get all the fuss about those big fishes like whale sharks, manta rays and ordinary sharks. Fredde on the other hand is sitting back at the resort wishing for me to at least get a picture of one, and see them second hand 🙂
I was a little nervous as Carl and I slowly descended to 30 m. Carl was very calm and everything went very well. Once at 30 m Carl showed me the little red bag that he had showed me before on the boat. The color had completely gone out of it and it just looked dark blue/purple. He also asked if I felt dizzy or had any other signs of being effected by the nitrogen. I didn’t and to be honest it didn’t feel much different compared to 18 m, just a bit darker. We gradually went up and were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of fishes. It was amazing! I tried to take some photos on a rented compact underwater camera but it was difficult without proper flashes. The corals (soft) were very nice and beautiful but I couldn’t really tell if it was purple or not. This reef is a “cleaning station”, the big fishes come here to get cleaned by the small cleaner wrasses.

Our next stop was just 500m away and called Hin Daeng – Red Rock. This time it actually looked like big rocks sticking up a few meters above the water as well. After lunch it was time to do the enriched nitrogen dive. Enriched nitrogen means that there is more oxygen in the tank which in turn means that you can stay for a longer period of time at your deepest level. I didn’t feel any different in the beginning but after awhile I started to get a little nauseous but it passed rather quickly. Hin Daeng was also amazingly beautiful but there was a little bit less fishes. I saw both a reef octopus and a turtle on this dive. I know Fredde would have loved it all! I tried to get some pictures but once again I’m afraid that the pictures didn’t turn out very good because of the lack of a proper flash and my inexperience in handling a camera under water.
At the end of the dive we hanged around trying to get a glimpse of the manta ray that the others had seen before but we were out of luck.
It was sadly time to go home but it had been two amazing dives and I understand why they are rated as one of Thailand’s best diving spots. During the four hour long trip home there was plenty of time to fill out the dive log, read a little bit and work on my tan 🙂
Back at the resort Fredde had had a rather uneventful day with some blog writing by the pool so we talked a lot about my dives. Both hungry we headed for our favorite restaurant, Easy Bar, and Fredde tried a Korean style BBQ. It was simply amazing! They came out with a big pot of burning coal on which they placed an aluminum “hat” with holes at the top. They poured water in the edge of the aluminum hat and put in an egg, some noodles and veggies. The top of the aluminum hat was buttered and different strips of meat were placed there to barbecue. You now had to control everything your self but that was easy enough :-). A few minutes on each side for the meat and the water with the noddles, veggies and the egg made an excellent soup.
While we sat by the beach and sipped on a Singha the sky all of sudden opened up and it started raining cats and dogs. We ran back into the bar as fast as we could which was a good chose because soon it started to rain even more (more like cattle than cats and dogs 😉 )