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Scuba Diving at Sail Rock Koh Tao

Head south from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan and a monumental granite mountain rises dramatically from the sea bed to create the dive site called Sail Rock.

This help guide contains information about Sail Rock dive site, including the maximum depth levels, recommended diver training, and the local marine life.

What Months are Best for Diving in Koh Tao

In fact, the Chumphon Archipelago contains dozens of sun-kissed bays on the islands. But, the premier spots for divers and snorkelers are:

Koh Tao is a compact kidney-shaped island that has about twenty one (21) square kilometres of total land mass.

Nevertheless, the pristine white sand beaches and azure blue water have transformed Koh Tao Island into one of the top places for scuba diving holidays in southern Thailand.

Here's the thing:

Most scuba divers want to explore destinations that are sunny and have calm conditions underwater. Well, Koh Tao has over three hundred days of year-round sunshine and the temperature of the water is a constant 29° Celsius (84° Fahrenheit).

As a consequence of that, it's fair to say diving in Koh Tao is an annual activity. But, divers need to be mindful that the southwest monsoons usually arrive towards the end of October and may continue until the end of January.

At certain times of the year, the south western gulf can have thirty (30) metres of underwater visibility. Hence, the best months for divers to enjoy clear water dives are July, August, and September.

Pro Tip: Check out our sea life section for interesting facts about whale sharks that tend to make an appearance around the islands near Koh Tao during the months of April and May.

Tips for Diving at Sail Rock (Hin Bai)

The craggy pinnacle dive is famous and popular with Sail Rock divers for its vertical, hollow chimney. You can enter the chimney around five (5) metres below the surface and exit around eighteen (18) metres further down.

Following that, experienced divers will go down to the ocean floor at thirty (30) metres and slowly circumnavigate the contours of the granite pinnacle. You can also make a spiral ascent as you head back to the surface.

Inexperienced divers may find it too challenging to swim against the prevailing currents. Hence, it's best to stay on the leeward side of the rock to get maximum shelter.

But wait -there's more:

Strong sunlight filters down and collides with this huge granite boulder. As it does so, fishes shimmer in the crystal blue haze. You should also see trevallies darting into the dive zone to feed, constantly harassing schools of nervous fish fry.

The seemingly ever-present (and "diver-friendly") orbiculate batfish cue up for photo opportunities, and swarms of glassfish cloud the view.

You should also see hinge-beak shrimp and boxer shrimp hiding in the coral wall. They will venture out of the safe zones to clean inside the mouths of patiently-waiting moray eels.

Pro Tip: Sheltered bays with areas of open sand and little water movement are ideal locations for local dive shops to conduct the Discover Scuba Diving program. But, Sail Rock diving spot is deeper and less protected from strong currents. Thus, the recommended scuba training for this location includes PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, PADI Deep Diver, and PADI Fish Identification.

Marine Life at Sail Rock Dive Site

Koh Tao dive sites are good places to see big fishes (e.g. pelagics). Plus, divers should expect to catch sightings of common marine life native to the lower Gulf of Thailand, especially during the plankton blooms in March and April, such as:

Pro Tip: The sites offer good opportunities to explore sea life that lives around hard and soft corals. For example, hard varieties include brain, table, staghorn corals, and lobe coral (Porites lobata). Soft coral species at Sail Rock include mushroom coral and toadstool leather corals (Genus Sarcophyton).

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