At Scuba Junction Diving we love diving and we especially love marine life! Before every one of your dives you will have a dive briefing that will cover all the important stuff related to your dive but also all the cool fish that you can spot! So what can you see?!
Colourful angelfish, butterflyfish, bannerfish and stingrays are abundant on the reefs as well as hard corals such as table coral, staghorn coral, mosaic and mushroom corals are predominant within this region of the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Tao provides the perfect opportunity for divers to observe the relationships that make up the marine ecosystem.
So you thought the Big 5 only existed on safari?! Let this big 5 introduce you to the big 5 of Koh Tao?! Its hard to choose as there is just so much to see!
Each week we will count down the big 5 of Koh Tao. Whether you are trying diving for the first time or have more experience. All of these wonderful creatures are right on Koh Tao's doorstep. But there can only be one sure way to see these beautiful creatures and that's to get your self over here and do some diving!
So lets start with our first contender!
The mighty Trigger Fish!
There are 40 species of triggerfish that are scattered throughout the world’s seas, the largest of all is the Stone triggerfish, which reaches up to 3.3 feet long, (thats over a meter!) found in the Eastern Pacific from Mexico to Chile. They are beautiful fish with various colourful markings mainly consisting of lines and spots.
Triggerfish have an oval shaped body, with a large jaw and teeth adapted for their typical diet which consists of bottom dwelling creatures that generally have either spines or shells for protection.
These bottom dwellers dig out prey, such as crabs and worms, by flapping away debris with their fins and sandblasting with water squirted from their mouths. They also use very tough teeth and jaws to take on sea urchins, flipping them over to get at their bellies, which are armed with fewer spines. Triggerfish wreak such havoc on less fortunate reef dwellers that smaller fish often follow them to feast on their leftovers.
Triggerfish tend to be solitary but meet at traditional mating grounds according to timetables governed by moons and tides. The males of many species appear to establish territories on these spawning grounds and prepare sea floor nests that will house tens of thousands of eggs. Females share care of the eggs until they hatch, blowing water on them to keep them well supplied with oxygen. In some species males are known to maintain a harem of female mates.
Triggerfish are attractive animals and some species have become too popular for their own good. They are sought for the aquarium trade, which has prompted fishermen to gather even threatened species from the wild. Researchers are working to raise triggerfish in captivity so that wild populations might more likely be left alone.
Our shallow coastal waters and Coral Reefs make an ideal home for Yellow Margin, Pink Tails and the most common species in Koh Tao - the Titan Triggerfish.
The Titian trigger fish can grow up to 75cm in length and have a reputation for being a little feisty! During mating season they have been known to swim at divers with their “trigger up” with the intention to warn you off the nest they have built in the sand! No worries if this happens, their territory works in a cone shape to the surface so just lie back kick and they will soon enough leave you to enjoy your dive! There is no reason to fear them.
Just sit back, watch and enjoy this majestic fish in its natural habitat. It really is a case of clash of the Titans!
A Trigger fish can rotate each of their eyeballs independently!
After becoming a PADI Divemaster I am fortunate enough to be able to explore the ocean almost every day. Even after hundreds of dives each one feels just as amazing as the last.
However, there is one exception to this; whalesharks. On some rare occasions whalesharks seem to make their way to Koh Tao in an almost migratory way. I was lucky enough to see four of the amazing creatures within the span of only 5 days. Usually, encounters with these beautiful creatures are much less common. When diving with these fish, time seems to stand still in awe of the way the massive shark can move so effortlessly through the water.
Like every person has unique finger prints; whalesharks are very much the same. The spots above their pectoral fins never change throughout their lives. Making it possible to track the lives and movements of these creatures over the span of their life. Which is crucial to learning more about such a gentle and elusive animal.
I hope to continue being able to swim with these giants in their natural environment for years to come. Every time I descend I experience something so amazing and unique. Here at Scuba Junction Diving we're lucky enough to have these experiences on a daily basis. So why not come have some of your own?
Nic, Padi Divemaster.
Welcome to Koh Tao, the diving mecca of the world. We are famous for our clear, calm waters, beautiful marine life and the cheapest diving in the world. So you sign up for a Discover Scuba Diving, or get the adventure started with your Open Water or even keep the fun going with your Advanced Open Water. But now your course is done and you want to spend some more days on this tropical island paradise. So what else is there to do on Koh Tao other than diving? Well, first of all, we have some phenomenal beaches too shallow to dive but perfect for those looking to do some snorkeling. Find yourself a motorbike (be sure to be very careful when driving), hop in a taxi or rent a taxi boat for the day to take you and your friends to the East coast of the island where you are sure to find the perfect beach to fit any needs. Tanote Bay is a personal favourite, offering calm waters to catch a cool dip, stunning corals right off the beach filled with colourful and particularly curious fish, or a large rock in which the more adventurous can jump off from a maximum height of 12 meters! You can even rent a kayak and paddle your way over to Laem Thian to discover another beautiful bay.
On your way back into town make a pit stop at Love Koh Tao look out to enjoy a fresh shake or cold beer and snap the perfect Instagram photo of the island from over 300 meters high. Looking to spend some time out of the water? Then pop over to Hacienda to play some mini golf, watch a movie in their cinema or play lifesize pool in which you have to kick the balls into the pockets (this is one you have to see to understand). If you time it so that you arrive on a Sunday then you can gorge yourself on Sunday roast, with all the usual trimmings as good as your mom makes. The yorkshire pudding is a must have! Why not then pamper yourself with a massage? For the cost of a beer back home you get 1 hour of pure indulgence and bliss. Try the classic thai massage or give those sore muscles a warm oil treatment. Just make sure you give yourself at least 6 hours break if you have been diving that day!Once your perfect day is complete be sure to head back to Scuba Junction, share a beer with our staff at beer-o-clock at 5pm every day, and catch one of the most stunning sunsets you will ever have the pleasure to witness. Sairee beach is full of delicious restaurants offering a variety of different cuisines sure to please any palate. Just ask any of our helpful staff member and we'd be happy to point you in the right direction!
Lucy Dive Instructor.