During old years day, december 31th of 2015 we had a hec of a diving day in the ” Northern part of the Similans”. During the day we had likely the strongest “current” dive out of my 450 + dive history. We jumped at the Koh Tachai pinnacle without being at the mooring line. And while we jumped close to the mooring line a mooring line has never been further away. We were swimmng against the current to finally reach the line. It was like running a 100 meter sprint that turned into a 400 m steeple chase. 60 Bar later we had protection down there behind the rocks. When we came up the wind blow stronger and Nelson , the Marco Polo tourleader, decided to go straight to Surin so that we could try on new years day to get to the famous Richelieu Rock.
Jan 1th 2016…..04.00 am (did we sleep already…?) the captain is leaving the protected bay in Surin to make way to Richelieu. An hour later we are back on the bay. The waves are simply too big and while we could get there diving would be not safe. So we celebrate our first dive of the year in Surin. Guess whom we meet under the water…our good friend Ricardo from the Giamani is wishing us with a perfect side mount trim “happy new-year” under the water…..
Later that day the wind is calming down and we make our way to Richelieu Rock. Our dive there turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. 20 min in the dive this nudibranch Cuthona Sibogae is welcoming us in his house together with his/her partner.
They are moderately large aeolid nudibranch in which the cerata are arranged in about eight fan-like clusters on each side of the body. The cerata are cylindrical, tapering at the tip to a rounded point. The general body colouration is pale lilac purple. The oral tentacles and the upper half of the slender smooth rhinophores are a reddish purple. The cerata are similar in colour to the body except for a bright golden yellow tip and a band just below the yellow tip which ranges from deep reddish purple to deep purple. Many of the smaller outer cerata in each row are golden yellow with nno purplish basal region. It grows to 35mm in length. It is usually found associated with its food, an orange hydroid, Sertularella quadridens.
© All for a smile,