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Scuba Diving in Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Dive Site: Turtle Island
Location: Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Depth: 2 - 10 metres (6 - 30 feet)
Visibility: 5 metres (15 feet)
Turtle Island is a very small island (approx. 50m in length) with a few palm trees clustered on its sandy surface. Located to the north of Phu Quoc Island, the waters surrounding these islands are very shallow reaching no more than 10 metres, several kilometres out from the shore. The reef surrounding Turtle Island starts in the shallows at around 2 metres and is also a spot for snorkellers (albeit with poor visibility). Dropping gently down to around 9 metres this is not your typical tropical reef. If it's pristine coral, crystal clear waters and 30m visibility you're after then Vietnam is not the place for you. The viz surrounding Turtle Island is usually about 5m (it can reach 10m in the summer months, July to September) and the water tends to be green and often quite murky. Large marine life is not common and coral cover can be sparse, however there is no need to be disappointed.
Diving Phu Quoc needs to be done with a 'muck diving' attitude, where you cover small distances and concentrate on the smaller marine life. One thing which Turtle Island certainly has to offer is hard coral. All types of acropora coral litter the reef and seabed and there are some great examples of coral from the ellisellidae family which are found in colonies; whip coral fields are vast in areas and there are some deep red comb corals. There are large orange elephant ear sponges and large barrel sponges everywhere, often covered in sea worms. Look out for stonefish and blue ringed angelfish, the latter of which are usually found in pairs. Small yellowtail damselfish cover the hard coral and the occasional coral grouper can be seen lurking amongst the rocks.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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