Shark Fin Reef
Shark Fin Reef A.K.A. Hin Phae – Island 3
At a glance
• Max depth: Seventy metres at points
• Level of difficulty: Open water
• Visibility: Ten/forty metres
• Current: Moderate to strong
• Season: October through May
Shark Fin Reef has the coolest of all dive sites names and not only that it is a fantastic dive site too.
This dive site is not an easy dive site particularly for beginners, but it is well worth diving as it is very dramatic the underwater scenery is spectacular. Shark Fin Reef holds a special place in my heart as it was the first dive site I ever saw a Manta Ray in the Similans.
Barely breaking the surface, like so many of the best dive sites, the long thin ridge that does protrude the water surface appears to look like a large shark fin, I will let you decide that for yourself when you come.
Beneath the surface, this slim strip of granite actually bursts into an enormous boulder reaching down to forty metres and then some. Many of the local dive operations use this site as their first or some as the final dive of their Similan Liveaboard trip -it is also possible to dive here on a Day Trip from Khao Lak.
Situated just a mile away from island number three, which incidentally is one of the islands that is closed to divers, and at low tide, there are three small pinnacles. Running from east to west it has a couple of buoy lines which can be used for ascent and descent.
Course you could do here
The currents here can get wicked and usually most dives are drifts which is great because the site is so long, the current is unpredictable here so please be careful, even if you follow the local tide tables the currents usually does the opposite, this is due to the dive site being east to west, therefore, there is little protection from the running tides.
There is no specific starting point on Shark Fin, however, I would recommend starting at the southern side which is the deepest and as you are whizzing down the site it is possible to cross several times over the main rock.
Scattered throughout the site are many other smaller boulders most of which top out twenty-five metres or so from the surface and the visibility here varies up to forty metres.
Other sites in the area
West of Eden
The site is a hive of fish activity you can see schooling Unicornfish and large schools of Surgeon Fish too, also hunting in the currents you will see many Trevallies both Giant and Bluefin some of the giant Trevallies are huge, the tuna here are also in abundance and barracudas love it here too.
Out on the sand, you can find the usual suspects such as Small stingrays and Garden Eels, Leopard Sharks can be spotted here too and in the rocks themselves, you can see lots of different Gobies and Blennies poking their little heads out to see what is occurring.
Further out into the depths, White Tips patrol particularly in the early morning or as the sun is setting. Guitar sharks have also been spotted here but then your luck must really be in for them to make an appearance. Also, The big boys are seen here regular especially later in the season February and March time.
Keep your eyes peeled for the very large Napoleon Wrasse and there is a Bumphead Parrotfish. I think he got lost some years ago and found his way to Shark Fin and just stayed.
on the safety stop it is best to swim away from the rocks this makes it far easier to get picked up by your boat so just let the current Take you out. Shark Fin Reef is a wonderful rugged dive site with so much life and can be dived throughout the day, however, I would not recommend diving it at night time as it would be difficult for the boats to see the rocks as they break the surface
Not so long ago while diving here I spotted two shark like shapes out in the distance, exactly what they were will always remain a mystery, that said I would put a silver dollar on them being Grey Reef Sharks as the water was a little chilly and murky which Grey Reefs love to hunt in.