In Koh Samui, scuba diving tours to Sail Rock are immensely popular. Sail Rock is a world class dive site frequently visited by the gentle giant of the ocean, the whale shark.
A diving tour to Sail Rock is like no other – if you’re a qualified diver then a days diving at this site isn’t to be missed on your holiday in Koh Samui.
Located approximately half way between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, its presence in the middle of the sea and the depth of the water that surrounds it makes it a perfect feeding ground for larger pelagics such as trevally, tuna, sailfish and barracuda. It’s location away from the mainland and larger island means it also gets the best visibility available in the Gulf of Thailand. Up to 40m visibility from surface to bottom can be experienced on a good day but it typically lies between 5 to 35m depending on the weather.
As a rock that protrudes out of the water, with several levels down to the bottom, the site is suitable for all levels of diver and can be compared to wall diving. There’s a fantastic vertical swim-through known as The Chimney, leading up from 18m to 3m and a not-so-secret pinnacle to the south that’s worth exploring.
At Sail Rock you can find all sorts of hard coral, sprawling gardens of anemones and sea urchins, with Goliath groupers patrolling the depths, schools of chevron and yellow tail barracuda and a massive ball of fusiliers that can block out the sun as you pass through them. A flock of batfish circle the perimeter and a giant moray also has a home at Sail Rock as well as a few smaller white-eyed morays. All your smaller tropics can be found here as well including different species of angelfish, butterfly fish, parrot fish and wrasse. The odd blue-spotted stingray lurks as well as Jenkins rays at the bottom.
Of course everybody goes to Sail Rock in the hope of seeing the awesome whale shark. These massive toothless creatures are mesmerising if you’re lucky enough to see one – be sure to rent an underwater camera, you definitely don’t want to miss capturing the moment.
Both speed boat and slow boat operators go to Sail Rock form Koh Samui. Speed boats take just 50 minutes to get there, where as the slow boat is a lot longer. The upside to the slow boat is the diver atmosphere, facilities and space on the boat, up to 3 dives are usually conducted and a full breakfast is usually supplied. The down side is the tour leaves at 8am and returns and 8pm, the speed boat returns at 2pm.
Whatever the service you decide on, they’re professionally operated often with PADI professionals that have several years experience in the area and 1000’s of dives under their belt, so you can rest assured you’ll see everything there is to see at Sail Rock.
* speed boat tours only
The PADI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver course includes 5 dives conducted over 2 days. Each day follows the same itinerary. Dive 5 is usually accommodated in the morning with a shorter lunch break, or a is a night dive in the evening on Koh Samui.
|06:45-08:00||Transfer from your hotel to the pier. Enjoy the complimentary breakfast & be introduced to your PADI guide while waiting for departure.|
|08:00-09:00||Transfer to Sail Rock.|
|11:00-12:00||Enjoy the tasty Thai style buffet at the beautiful ocean front restaurant.|
|14:00-15:00||Transfer back to Koh Samui and back to your hotel.|
Info: You can rent an underwater digital camera for you or your instructor to take photos of your underwater experience and put them on a DVD for you.
Warning: Flying after diving - if you do a single dive, you must wait 12hrs after diving before flying. If you do 2 dives, you must wait 18hrs before flying. Our schedule is such that you can fly after 8:30am the following day after 2 dives.
Warning: Please do not consume alcohol within the 24hr period before scuba diving.