An Old Reef Rediscovered

New corals at Jack Bay Reef

An Old Reef Rediscovered

Several years ago I snorkelled at Jack Bay Reef at the Surin Islands. It was so sad to see how the El Niño of 2010 had effected the reef. The El Niño had caused coral bleaching on a massive scale here and most of the reef was destroyed.

The once healthy corals had turned to limestone skeletons or lay as rubble on the ocean floor. A few fish remained but not enough to gain any positives from this desolate scene.

The Reef Bounces Back

The new reef at Jack Bay Surin Islands

Excellent signs of recovery

In May 2016 it will be 6 years since the coral bleaching hit both the Surin and Similan Islands. On a recent trip on our snorkel liveaboard the MV Reggae Queen I took the opportunity to return to Jack Bay Reef to see if anything had changed there.

And I am really happy to report what I have witnessed there. Jack Bay Reef has bounced back and appears to be in very good health. Young coral colonies are flourishing once more, bringing colours of every hue back to the reef. Plenty of fish are also returning to the area.

Nemo at Jack Bay Reef

Nemo returns to Jack Bay Reef

The visibility is great too, at the reef edge the water is clear and it’s possible to see down to a depth of around 15 metres.

How to Snorkel Jack bay Reef

To date the Surin National Park has not installed any mooring buoys near Jack Bay Reef so no snorkel operators are visiting the area, there’s simply no one else there. That’s great news for us. With our dingy we can visit any snorkel site we choose whilst on our 3 day snorkel liveaboard trips. So if you want to see nature in action as a once dead reef returns to life what not book a trip with us now.

Sea fan snorkelling at the Surin Islands

A healthy sea fan

We always strive to find the best, most interesting spots away from the crowds. With Jack Bay Reef back in action we have added another gem to our itinerary.

Ralph Scheider