Let’s Learn: Cleaner Wrasse

It’s all in the name; the cleaner wrasse has one job and one job only, to clean. All species of fish need to be cleaned, or, to be more precise, for someone to remove its dead skin cells and parasites that attach themselves to the fish as they sleep at night, hidden amongst the rocks and coral.

This is where the cleaner wrasse comes in. Its job is to remove all this grime by eating it off. Basically, it works for food and gains diplomatic immunity from all species, even the predators.

Fish of all sizes will arrive at a cleaning station which is actually advertied by the wrasse doing an inviting dance. Once the fish has chosen its station, the team of wrasse get to work. Usually led by a male with a team of female workers, he manages his employees, even admonishing them if they get a bit greedy and bite their customers followed by apologising to his client by giving them a fin massage. Fish can watch the cleaners in action and, if they don’t like the look of it, they move on to another station just down the coral.

 

However, if you are a diver they are very annoying if you have some open wounds or scabs as they will see that as something that need a good cleaning and, before you know it, MUNCH! They have gobbled up your scab.

 

 

 

Hin Wong Bay Clean up Dive

Sunshine DMT’s Chloe and Abby organised a clean up dive at Hin Wong Bay today where them and ten other participants helped to collect between 30 and 40kg’s of rubbish, which included; 109 plastic bottles, 83 plastic bags, 36 plastic lids, 19 flip flops and other general waste. We will be going back there in the next couple of weeks to conduct further clean up dives as there is still more trash to be collected.

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DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

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Let’s learn: Harlequin Sweetlips

The sweetlips is a fast grower. In its juvenile stages, it is about 2.5cm in length but then will quickly grow to about 60cm. Along with this vast change in size, it also changes its entire colour scheme. It starts as a reddish/brown base with black-ringed white spots which then change to brown spots, which increase in number depending on age, over a white base

 

The juvenile in its party clothes

The juvenile in its party clothes

 

However, its most distinguishing feature is its swimming style while still a juvenile. Best described as a drunk partygoer wearing clothes that are much too big, it ‘flaps’ about using its dorsal fins with an undulated body. This style is meant to mimic flatworms which are noxious and unpalatable to predators. Another unique talent of some members of this species is its ability to ‘grunt’ by grinding its teeth, the sound is them amplified by its swimbladder.

http://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=ey3Kt9gs3Kw

An adult

An adult

 

Arguably the cutest fish in the ocean in its juvenile form, other fish watch and wish they could party as hard!

Look! Its a bunch of juvenile sweet lips! Oh...hang on....

Look! Its a bunch of juvenile sweet lips! Oh…hang on….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congrats to the new Open Water Divers!!

Massive congratulations to the new Open Water Divers Shobhit and Mary!!

Great dives at some great Dive Sites where we saw Great Barracuda, a Banded Sea Snake and Titan Triggerfish to name a few.

The best part about this course though was the amazing transformation I witnessed in both of the guys from day one in the swimming pool confined session all the way to the final dive down to 18m. This is where they became Certified Open Water Divers!! Hope to see you guys again soon to continue your underwater journey.

 

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Let’s learn: Yellow boxfish

 

The yellow boxfish is quite a hard one to spot despite its unique shape and bright colour. This is because of their size being about the same as a pea at its smallest. Certain types can, however, grow as big as a football.

Like most other brightly coloured animals, its colour scheme is meant to warn off other animals as this little critter is highly poisonous and can release toxic proteins from its skin if threatened. This protein is so poisonous that it has the potential to kill all animals around it and wipe out an entire aquarium should it find itself unlucky enough to be in one. So don’t buy them!

Its habitat is always amongst rocks and coral and its diet mainly consists of algae, worms and small fish. They also enjoy shrimp and crab too!

Kiss me quick!

Kiss me quick!

Odd fact; Mercedes-Benz designed a concept car based on the boxfish due to its aerodynamic design and skeletal strength.

Plenty of room in the boot

Plenty of room in the boot

Let’s learn: Phytoplankton

These teeny-tiny little critters are, in a nutshell, the foundation of the food chain for the ocean world. Without them, there would not be much to see in the ocean even though you can’t see them yourself.

They are more than just food though, they also are huge carbon dioxide absorbers accounting for about a third of all produced by us dirty humans. Pretty impressive. They live in the upper layers of the ocean where they produce organic compounds via photosynthesis. They actually account for half of all photosynthesis done on the planet. Even more impressive!

Their name comes from the Greek words meaning python (plant) and planktos (drifter/wanderer). Depending on which particular strand of phytoplankton is present, it changes the colour of the water. Here in Koh tao we get a green tint. If there is enough of them, you can even see them from space! Super impresive!!

 

These guys were captured off the coast of ireland by NASA's Terra satellite

These guys were captured off the coast of ireland by NASA’s Terra satellite

 

 

 

 

Go Team GB!! Open water – Adavanced.

Go Team GB!!! What an amazing week I had instructing these guys, Brothers Ronan and Mike along with DMT Chloe’s friend Sam.

Congratulations to all three of you on completion of your Padi Open Water and Advanced Open Water Courses! The week was enjoyable and full of laughs.

Koh Tao offers a fantastic range of dive sites to suit all abilities and courses. From shallow sandy dive sites for beginners (Padi Open Water Divers) all the way to deep Pinnacle sites for those with a little more experience.

Cant wait to have you back at sunshine to continue your underwater journey…here’s some of the highlights of the week.

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Breathtaking view at Chalok Baan Kao

Sunshine Divers is located at the Southern part of Koh Tao, the more relaxed, chilled and beautiful area which is called Chalok Baan Kao. The direct access to the beach, the chilled atmosphere, the beautiful rock formation “Buddha rock” and off course the relaxed atmosphere at Sunshine Divers is what most people attract to this location.

chalok baan kao

Chalok Baan Kao is far away from the busy and touristic Sairee Beach, but close enough to go there in about a 5 minute drive by either taxi or motorbike. Even better, you don’t actually have to leave because in the last few years nice little restaurants found their way to this side of the island like healthy food boutique restaurants, luxury dining, lounge bar etc.. The famous Buddha Rock at the left end side of the bay is close to one of the more ‘private’ beaches of Chalok Baan called Freedom Beach and is one of the most picture taken shots.

buddha rock

If you scuba dive at Sunshine Divers we have a beach classroom directly on the beach which allows you to enjoy the view but also enjoy the cool stories about diving from your Instructor!

Hope to see you soon!

 

Open water buoyancy practice

Doing your PADI Open water course at Sunshine Divers isn’t all about exams, DVDs and studying in classroom sessions. No, you actually get to practice the skills you learn and apply them underwater. Sometimes, in unusual ways!

Take open water student Mido here for example. Here you can see him practising an unusual form of neutral buoyancy by sitting on his instructor’s shoulders as he poses for a photo with out resident photographer. Nice work buddy!

The boys do buoyancy. Boy oh boy..

The boys do buoyancy. Boy oh boy..

 

More buoyancy skills? Go on then..

Kim throws her student underwater

Kim throws her student underwater

 

Looks like fun? Come and try our PADI courses with our own unique Sunshine twist!

 

Final test of your Divemaster course

At the end of your Divemaster course when you did all your exams, homework, practical assessments, waterskills exercises and workshops etc. there is one final test…: the SNORKELTEST!

snorkeltest DM

The instructors love this final test! ;-) Why?! Well, just come over and see why we all love it so much. To give you a little inside, it concerns games, quizzes and … To give you an overview over the last couple of years a few pictures to give you an idea of what your Snorkeltest could be about! ;-)

snorkeltest dmssnorkeltest game OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA snorkeltest So are you up for it?! Come and sign up for your Divemaster course at Sunshine Divers!