Welcome to Elephant Head Rock
Elephant head rock may well be your best dive in the Similan Islands, but may also be the most difficult. The dive site is much more prone to stronger currents because it is an exposed pinnacle away from the islands. A successful and fun dive at Elephant Head Rock will always require a good dive plan.
The entry is often the most important part of the dive at any dive site in the Similans. Here is no exception. There are several boulders visible from the surface. The largest one is to the North West. This is the one that also provides the most protection. On the South side of this large rock is an indentation that (almost) forms a small bay. This is often the perfect place to jump.
After you enter the water, quickly group up with your buddy and the rest of your dive team and start to descend. If you jumped near this small ‘bay’ then you will hopefully have a nice and easy descent next to this large rock. If you start to drift away from the rock then remember to swim back towards it as you are descending. Once you get down to around 10m-15m, keep closely hugging the rocks and start swimming South East.
The first interesting structure you will reach is a large channel with a depth of around 18m. This is particularly fun when the current is behind you and pushes you all the way through. At the end of the channel on the right hand side is a hole in the rock about the size and shape of a watermelon. This makes for a fun photo opportunity. It is the perfect size to act as a frame for your face. If your buddy stays inside the channel with a camera and you swim around the outside you can get your new Similan islands Facebook profile photo.
Stay to the left hand side as you exit the channel. Follow the rocks around the corner. Just outside the channel is a good place to look for ribbon eels. Keep heading South East and you will reach the best part of the dive site. Drop down to about 22m. Elephant head rocks biggest and best swim throughs are no more than 40m past the exit of the channel. This L-shaped swim through is a good 50m long, but there is plenty of light and always a clear exit to the surface.
This swim through takes you right into the middle of Elephant head rock. Turn to the right and you will be lead back out into the open water. Depending on your decompression time and air consumption, you can either start to shallow up or head out deeper to the North. Out Deep is where you can look for sharks and rays. Kuhl’s stingrays, Jenkins rays, White tip reef sharks and even shovel nose rays live around these rocks, but you will need to go quite deep. At 30m you will have quite a good chance, but this is a good dive site for a deep specialty diver. If you go to the far North side and drop to 40m then sharks and rays are all but guaranteed.
There are dozens of caverns and swim throughs to be discovered as you shallow up. There are far too many to mention here so if you cover the main areas mentioned above then you can enjoy freedom on the rest of the dive. Take your time exploring the best dive site in the Similan islands.