Superb Similan Island Drift Diving
Three trees is one of the longest dive sites in the Similan Islands National Parks and one of the few that allows a decent drift dive. This gently sloping reef is perfect for all levels of divers, beginners can stick to the reef in the shallows and the more experienced divers can explore the colourful bommies at depth.
The dive site comprises of three main sections; Breakfast Bend in the south, Three Trees in the middle and the if the current is strong you may well finish the dive on North Point, which yep you’ve guessed it is in the north. Three Trees is what it’s generally referred as because of the three prominent, white trunked trees that quite surprisingly stand out in an island full of lush foliage.
On the shallower reef section there’s lots of the usual reef fish but for some reason many species of angelfish make it home. It’s not uncommon to see emperor, regal, blue-ringed, koran and pygmy angelfish on just one dive, their electric colours really stand out in the clear shallow water and make an excellent photo opportunity. Napoleon wrasse, banded sea kraits and hawksbill turtles are also common sightings.
The deeper sections of the dive site comprises of large sand patches interspersed by small coral covered bommies. Be careful of the trigger fish nests as you cross the sand to reach the bommies, the yellow-margin triggerfish that reside here are not as aggressive as the cantankerous titans that you find elsewhere but they protect the nest if you get too close. Inbetween the bommies you maybe fortunate enough to come across sleeping leopard and whitetip reef sharks as well as the occasional giant guitarfish.
The bommies are worth the time to explore, some unusual nudibranchs, comets, morays can be found in the holes and overhangs. Some of the bommies are cleaning stations and are full of colourful cleaner shrimp and wrasse, another good photo oppurtunity. Occasionaly all of these little coral outcrops are carpeted in glassfish that attract lionfish, bluefin trevally and bright silver queenfish.
If you end the dive at the north end close to North Point, there’s a chance of running into a school of chevron barracuda, longfin batfish and dogtooth tuna during your safety stop making a very pleasant end to your dive.