Dive Christmas Point
Situated on the very northwestern point of the Similan islands, you will find one of the most scenic sites in all the Similans. With massive boulder formation breaching the surface, shelfs dropping to 30, then to 40, and onwards beyond 70 meters with massive gorgonian fans the area can be breathtaking. On these deeper shelves, look for white-tip reef sharks as well as napoleon wrasse. Look closely for ribbon eels in the sandy areas. Heading back towards the shallows brings you over massive fields of multicolored bush corals to the South or several amazing swim-throughs towards the East.
In the shallower areas, you can often encounter more napoleon wrasse, trevallies and huge jacks between the boulders. While scanning through all the beautiful
nudibranchs and flabellinas, don’t forgot to watch the open ocean as we often get “swim-bys” of manta’s here! Safety stop is best done among the boulders, for safety and to avoid currents.
Diving depths range from 10-40 meters with most of the really amazing scenery from 20-30 meters. This is definitely a dive site to bring a camera. Visibility ranges from 20-30 meters, but on good days it seems to be infinite… Currents can be strong as this location is where the tidal currents wrap around the top of the Islands. Definitely check out the currents before jumping in. There can be both downward and westerly currents here. With both strong currents and depth, this is a site suitable only for more experienced divers. This dive site is not suitable for beginners.
March and April 2010 the Similan Islands suffered from a naturally occurring event called the Reverse Indian Ocean Dipole. This is very similar the “La Nina” that changes water temperatures and currents in the Pacific ocean. In this case, the water temperatures in the entire Andaman Sea were raised between 2 or 3 degrees above median. This was enough to damage the living corals in shallower sites and those with limited tidal interchange. On the Western facing side of the Similan National Park, the affect on the sites was minimal. On the shallow sloping reefs of the Eastern side , there was a more noticeable impact on the corals. His has caused some bleaching, and on two of this sites a – a noticeable impact. The National Park system shut down several sites throughout the Andaman region to protect the reefs from potential human impact (diving, snorkeling and fishing). These sites are already showing regrowth and at least two of the sites have re-opened at this time.
Plus understand that the bleaching is not the result of direct human impact, or over use. It is the results of vast climactic changes that are happening on our globe. The reefs are accustomed to these temperature changes and can easily adapt and regrow. They can not regrow from the damage done to them physically or chemically by inconsiderate divers and snorkelers.
As with all dive sites in the Similan Isiands, it is strongly recommended that you go with only registered and reputable dive operations, carry suitable travel insurance that covers diving accidents and evacuations as well as trip cancellations insurance due to the potentially erratic weather conditions.