Similan Island No. 9: Christmas Point
Located on the North West corner of Island No. 9 is Christmas Point, an extremely popular Similans dive site. Christmas Point consists of massive granite rocks and boulder formations. In fact this is the bottom topography The Similan Islands are famous for.
The boulders “fall away” from the Island down to a depth of around 35-40m. As such this has created numerous swim-throughs, gullies and crevices. The best known is one particular stunning “Arch like swim-through” at 24m. Here the crevices are covered by colourful Soft Corals with a mixture of Seafans and Giant Gorgonians. The Hard Coral gardens are is in the sandy shallower parts between the boulders. These are made up mostly of Staghorn and Pore Coral. Here you will find Khuls Stingrays / Blotch Fantail Rays as well as schools of Five Striped Snappers and Angel Fish.http://www.idcphuket.com/similan-islands-dive-sites/
This is a very large dive site and you cannot see everything in 1 dive. Even Rebreather Divers doing 2 hours dives find it challenging, and with visibility ranging from 20-30m, this is definitely a dive site to bring a camera. If you want to get back into Dive Mode before your Similan Islands Liveaboard, then it is often a good idea to dive Phuket first. You can do that on one of our Phuket Scuba Diving Day Trips, as you will want to be at your best for diving The Similans and Christmas Point!
Christmas Point is a favorite site among divers as the area is known for regular encounters with White Tip reef sharks and Leopard sharks sleeping on the bottom. And did we forget to mention the all famous “Manta Fly-by” ...
What is best dive route for Christmas Point in The Similan Islands?
At the time of writing there is no mooring line on Christmas Point. Consequently, you will need to make a free descent in water to approximately 20m. The current here can be very strong and usually runs South West to North East (or vice versa). Thus, if the current is running South West to North East, then jump close to the main Island on the South West corner.
A suggested Christmas Point dive site route to follow is:
First swim towards the main cluster of boulders. There is a small archway swim-through at around 18m. From there, if you then head north for maybe 10m, there is another triangular swim thru at 20m. This is hard to spot however, but there is a large Sea Fan in front of it. This swimthrough is a tunnel where you often get very large Groupers. In addition to the Sweetlips and on occasion a Napoleon Wrasse.
When you exit the tunnel at about 22m, you will find that you are in a large channel and if the current allows, you can then head West. You can normally find Lion Fish, Nudibranchs and Tiger Cowries. From here follow the channel to the end and head North.
Continuing North you will see many colourful soft corals and there is a good chance to spot a Ribbon Eel. After maybe 30m or so, you will come to a very large archway swim-through at around 25m. This normally has plenty of Sweetlips, Rabbit Fish and Groupers in it. After you exit this swim through, again if the current allows, head North-West. Here you will find some very large submerged boulders and a sandy rubble area. This area is quite deep, 30m+, so it’s best to swim in the mid water. Keep your eyes open as there are some very large Napoleon Wrasse which are often spotted here.
In mid-water you can see Barracuda, Trevally and Schooling Fusiliers. After swimming around 60m, you will reach another group of large boulders. Starting at 20m you will see that there is an old broken fish cage on one of the rocks. However, this should be at a depth of 25m with the sandy bottom sloping off to at least 40m and continues to a depth well over 60m.
Is Deep Diving safe in The Similans?
Deep diving in The Similans is not more dangerous than Deep Diving on any other dive site in Thailand. However, the further you are way from land, the deeper you dive, then the more potential there is for something to go wrong. Most diving accidents in The Similan Islands come from divers diving in areas / conditions / dive sites they did not have the necessary training, experience or equipment to be diving in.
PLEASE REMEMBER: Dive within the limits of your training and experience. You need to very aware of your No Decompression Limits / Dive time as it is very easy to be deeper than you think you are. Especially with the awesome visibility usually found here.
Remember: most Similan Dive Sites are deeper than 18m. As such Open Water Certified Divers are limited to 18m.
Consequently, if you are not yet trained in Deep Diving, then this is a perfect place to do it. The PADI Advanced Open Water Course is a must for scuba diving in The Similans. This is because one of the “Core Dives” is the Deep Adventure Dive. Moreover, if you find you like Deep Diving like we do, then why not go all the way and complete the PADI Deep Diver Specialty.
When you are near the fish cage, take the time to look in the deeper water for Whitetips, Blacktips and Leopard Sharks. On very rare occasions Guitar Sharks and Bull Sharks have been spotted here too.
Can I dive on my Rebreather in The Similans?
Rebreather Divers generally have an awesome time rebreather diving in The Similans. Additionally, Indepth Dive Centre provides CCR Rebreather support for several Similan Liveaboard Operators. Diving on a Rebreather in the Similans is often easier than diving on regular open circuit. This is because no matter how strong the current, or deep you are, you are NOT going to be using up your gas any faster than you would at 10m.
However, you still need to keep a close eye on your decompression status even while diving a recreational rebreather. This is because it is possible to get near the no decompression limits in The Similans, even diving a Rebreather.
Which dive route do I follow after the Fish Trap?
Christmas Point is a very large dive site and you cannot see everything in 1 dive. The visibility is often poor by Similan standards, sometimes down to 15m. However, don’t worry this is plankton which various fish feed on. Therefore, if there is lots of plankton then there is a good chance of Spotting both Manta Rays and Whale Sharks here.
If you are an experienced diver this site is a “must see” during your Similans Liveaboard ...