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Dive Review of WICKED DIVING in
Thailand/Surin Islands

WICKED DIVING: "Not As Good As My Previous Trips But Still Loving It", Jan, 2017,

by Gianni Zanini, MD, US ( 2 reports). Report 9465.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments After two past great week-long trips with WICKED DIVING in the past four years, I went back for a third short 3 days/nights trip to Richelieu Rock and the Surin Islands this January. Unfortunately, the weather gods kept sending rain and wind during most of our trip. The captain had to stay near protected coves, and had to cancel the scheduled day of diving at Richelieu Rock (a wonderful pinnacle teeming with all sorts of fish and creatures and corals, likely the best dive location in the area).

The Surin islands are mostly of granite, thus not the best for supporting healthly, lush coral growth. We did 9 dives, including a night one. Many of these dives were OK, one of them on a site with a cleaning station where I had seen three years ago my first manta ray, but not this time unfortunately. Anyway, we still managed to dive twice at a really great, beautiful spot, the Tachai Pinnacle, with a varied landscape, lots of hard and soft corals and gorgonias, barracuda schools, tunas, giant trevallis, snappers, lionfish, lobsters, bearded scorpionfish, many nudis, including a flabelina. This pinnacle (and Richelieu Rock) remain for me among the top diving spots in the world.

Wicked Diving does not claim to provide a luxury experience, and cost much less than those who do. But its 20-person boat (Mariner II) and facilities are clean and adequate, the food provided is plentiful and good (no fish due to concerns for its origins and fishing methods), and its staff is superb: highly professional but also fun-loving and very friendly. They were very helpful on any major or minor issue that arose. And very safety conscious. Our guides on this trip were all foreign diving instructors, all very familiar with the topography and underwater life of all the locations we visited. In fact, most of them were the same my son and I had met a year before, still working for Wicked Diving-Thailand. Also, none of our groups had more than four divers per guide/instructor, with some actually having two or three. Office staff were equally friendly and helpful.

While I had brought all my gear, Wicked Diving offers good rental gear, and free dive computers to all. Nitrox is available upon request (one advanced diver actually took the Enriched Air course on board).

The trip is suitable in general for both beginner and advanced divers, and also snorkelers. But while advanced divers can enjoy the trip regardless, beginner divers (and snorkelers) should only go when the weather forecast call for sunny skies and calm seas.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving California, Caribbean, Mexico, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Kenya, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines
Closest Airport Phuket Getting There taxi from Phuket Airport or from Patong is less than THB2,000 (US$57)

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 28-28°C / 82-82°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 10-20 M / 33-66 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Advanced divers were limited to max 30 meters; length limited to max 1 hour; reaching below 10 min NDL caused guides to start ascending to lower depths.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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