Elephant Head Pinnacle – Dive Sites of the Similan Islands

Elephant Rock Pinnacle

 

A fantastic site that is very rarely visited but offers some of the best scenery of any Similan Islands Dive Site. This massive pinnacle is not marked by a buoy so you must join in a knowledgable dive center of this journey. Due the depth, this site is only visited by liveaboards. A collection of submerged rocks which begins at 14 meters and extends beyond 35+ meters to a vast sandy area.

 

The site is located in the open about 300-400 meters South of Elephant Head Rock meaning it can be exposed to currents and conditions that render the site dive able only by experienced divers. Ability to do dive and surface in the blue is a necessary skill for this site.

 

Using a current check to decided on the direction of dive is mandatory. Use the current to navigate around the site, staying close to the rocks and the sea bed. If necessary swim across the current rather than directly into it. Beware of downward currents.

 

The dive site  of elephant Head Rock Pinnalce is exposed to currents and lack some for he corals and soft corals that mark the sites on the Eastern side of the Similan Islands. It is very similar to Elephant Head rock, but features far more nooks and crannies for fish, many more nudibranchs and provides a refuge for all the fish that are hunted off the larger site.

 

Manta sightings are occasional – in the past three years, this site has had more sightings than any other in the Similan Islands. Frogfish, Ghost Pipefish and Juvenile Angelfish, Trumpetfish and Cube Boxfish can also be found by those with a keen eye.

 

If trusting in ones navigation and swimming skills, one can swim North towards Elephant Head Rock and surface there. If currents or skills prevent this – surface with a marker buoy and surface alerts  – as the waves and distance from the other sites mean the support boats may be out of line of site!

 

Depth is from 15 meters down to beyond 35 meters.

 

Experience level is intermediate to advanced due to the often ripping currents.

 

Very rewarding for the divers that dare…

 

In 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.