Diving Richelieu Rock Khao Lak Thailand

  • Updated: December 19, 2019
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

December 19th, 2019
Richelieu Rock

During my two month stint in Khao Lak Thailand working on my divemaster certification I was mostly diving in the Similan Islands and Koh Bon. Having access to a number of local dive professionals during downtime on the boat I of course asked around as to what other dives I absolutely had to do before leaving and the answer was always Richelieu Rock.

So as my DMT was winding down I came back from the boat and asked the shop to arrange a day trip out to see it for myself. And bloody hell if it didn't live up to everything people said!

The shop booked me on Big Blue which runs a speedboat called the Blue Dolphin out to the rock for two dives. Oddly enough due to the strength of the bhat I basically paid as much for this as I do for a three tank dive day off the coast of California!

This shows where the site is relative to the Similan Islands and Koh Bon where I've been spending so much time.

The day started of with a pickup at my hotel followed by several stops to pick up other divers.

We had a briefling while we were waiting for the other divers to arrive and then it was time to load up and get going.

The boat was full which meant 17 guests plus dive staff and crew so we didn't have a whole lot of room to move around. Getting geared up when we arrived was also a bit of a challenge.

Arriving at Richelieu there wasn't much to see on the surface. We were there are low tide and could just see a small rock sticking up above the water.

With some difficulty in the small confines of the speedboat we managed to gear up and did a giant stride off the back of the boat.

We did two dives but honestly I was so distracted by what I was seeing I didn't do a good job of keeping track of where we were. Basically we dropped down around the base and then worked our way up in and around.

And right from the start there were thousands of fish everywhere I looked.

And unlike recent conditions in the Similans the water was warm enough we weren't freezing our butts off. After a few 21 degree celsius dives recently it was a relief to see one of the guides gearing up with nothing more than board shorts.

I saw the first octopus, went to take a picture of him, and then realized there was a second one right behind him.

There were also other divers all over the place but other than a few incidents where groups crossed paths it didn't distract me too much from the sights.

Eventually we returned to the surface and swam back to the boat for our surface interval.

Due to the limited space on the boat several of us were pushed out to the seating on the bow where the sun was intense! Lunch was served out of small bins inside and was the usual variety of curry, eggs, and veggies.

The second dive they managed to time so we went down when a lot of the other boats were still on their surface interval so it was a bit less crowded. Both dives were equally amazing.

After the second dive was done it was time to pack up and then we had a quick trip back to the mainland. We were on shore by 3 pm and soon after we were returned to our hotels of origin.

And with that I was headed back out to the Similan Quest liveaboard for one last three day tour before I was to set to fly back stateside. And while I had some nice dives during that period the experience of diving Richelieu blew everything else away. So if you are ever in the area make sure you do this dive!

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