Saturday, December 24, 2011

Richelieu Rock, live aboard trip December 2011 part 3

Richelieu Rock, live aboard trip December 2011 part 3

The last day of our trip had arrived and we were about to dive Richelieu Rock, a dive site very high on my wish list! I had heard so many good stories about this site and I was very happy to be able to dive it twice this day! The site has been named after
First have a look at the reports of day 1 and day 2 of this live aboard.


Richelieu Rock has been discovered by diving pioneer Jacques-Yves Cousteau with the help of local fishermen. The origin of the name is disputed. Some say it has been named by Cousteau after the red colour of Cardinal Richelieu's dress because of the red to purple colour of the soft corals on the reef, which is everywhere. Others claim it was named after General Richelieu, the only Western commander ever in the Royal Thai Navy.

Cuttlefish, the smaller one

There was no training on the schedule anymore, all Specialty Instructor training was sorted out already and the two dives here were pure fun dives, and that they were!
During the first dive we played a while with two cuttlefish. They even got cuddly, a very nice experience.

Cuttlefish, the bigger one

My camera still had hick ups, so out of the well over 100 pictures I took only a handful worked out well enough to publish. Once more a slight frustration factor. Only shallow depth pictures worked out.

Camel shrimp or rhynchocinetes durbanensis

Richelieu Rock is a fantastic dive site though, I could dive here again and again. It's horseshoe shape makes it fairly easy to navigate and offers places to hide from the current. The site reminds me of my favorite site in the Gulf of Thailand; Sail Rock but Richelieu is a couple of dozen times better.

Tomato clownfish

You can easily cover just a few meters of the rock and see tons of different underwater animals, from small shrimps and pipefish to various eels, and bigger groupers. The amount of life here is astonishing. This is easily one of the best dive sites I have ever been at!
Occasionally real big fish like whale sharks and manta rays visit the rock.

Squid

During both dives we also saw squid, usually a very shy species. This was the best way to complete two days of excellent diving. Thanks to Rewi, Johan, Eduardo, Kelli, Nico and Jeff for taking the trip, 'forcing' me to go as well. It was great fun and we had some excellent diving!

Camille

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