Liveaboard Advisor

Turtle Rock

Sea chartBlue spotted stingrayNudi brancheblue ring angelfishparrot fish hiding in crevice
Turtle Rock is situated west of Donald Duck Bay, on the north-western side of Similan Island 8 out towards the Andaman Sea.  It is named after the turtle shaped rock at the surface that marks the dive site. Coincidently sea turtles are present and seen most days. Just south of this popular liveaboard site lies Waterfall Bay.
Turtle Rock consists of a series of shallow boulders and staghorn coral stretching along the edge of the island.  The average depth of the rocky area is 15-20 meters with sand bottoms at 25 meters. All along the dive site, especially on the north side, there are lots of canyons and a few fun swim-throughs. These are mostly between a depth of 8-10 meters and the surface. 
Add mild currents, a wide range of healthy and diverse marine life to clear visibility, to make Turtle Rock a very enjoyable dive site for all levels. 
Turtle Rock
 
All about the dive at Turtle Rock - Similan islands
 
There is no mooring line on Turtle Rock, so descend with necessary caution. While making your way through the huge granite boulders, typical reef fish swim around Staghorn, Gorgonian Sea Fans, and anemones.  
Keep an eye out for both ghostpipe fish and nudibranchs. 
The channels and swimthrougs are ideal spots to look in nooks and alcoves. Safely concealed inside holes Moray eels stick their heads out sucking water past their gills, at night they swim across the reef, hunting for food. Numerous divers have lost fingers while attempting hand feedings. Morays have poor vision and rely mostly on their acute sense of smell, making distinguishing between fingers and held food difficult. Be aware of it.
There is an abundance of medium and smaller fish at Turtle Rock. Nestled within the crevices of the rocks you are likely to find oriental sweetlips, lionfish, triggerfish, groupers, Parrotfish, angelfish and boxfish. 
In little holes on the sandy bottom spotted garden eels live in abundant colonies of up to a few thousand, close to the corals and reefs. They point their mouths towards the underwater current in order to catch drifting zooplankton but hide back in their holes when they feel your presence. Just hoover patiently next the holes and you will see them show up again.
Another common sight on the sandy seabed is the bluespotted stingray who feed themselves on shrimp, small bony fish, crabs and other worms. Due to the fact that this ray is a shallow bottom feeder, it has a small variety of marine life to prey on. The bluespotted stingray overpowers its prey by pinning them to the bottom of the seafloor with its fins. This ray does not have teeth; instead it has food-crushing plates on the sides of its mouth.  These species are quite visible on the sand and will only swim away a few meters when you approach but disappear completely in the sand when they feel threatened by predators or divers.  
Like on most western dive sites of the Similan Islands during the dive season, there is a chance to spot whale sharks and manta rays.  So if you hear any dive tanks banging, look on the open blue waters to the west. On Nnight dives larger crabs and lobsters leave their homes to roam the reef for food.
Best to swim out and away from the rock when surfacing.
 

 




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