Black Rock Dive Site
Black Rock sits all alone far from the Myanmar coastline. It is one of the most westerly islands in the entire Mergui Archipelago. To the north west, faint on the horizon you can see the Sular Islands and to the east Eliza Island, equally far away. Other than these small hints of land there is nothing but open ocean as far as the eye can see. It is also a deep part of the Andaman Sea. Heading West the bottom quickly reaches 300m in depth.
The remote location probably explains why Black Rock is such a lively place underwater, there is simply nothing else for many, many miles around so the rock acts as a magnet for fish life and a stopping off point for large megafauna. Even topside it is possible to witness the sea simmering with life. During surface intervals you could well see whales and dolphins and the occasional manta ray breaching the surface
Black Rock is Myanmar’s giant manta ray hotspot. Of all the 50 or so individual identified manta rays in the Manta Matcher database from Myanmar 48 were encountered at Black Rock. Dr Andrea Marshall of the Marine Megafauna Foundation and subject of the BBC documentary ‘Andrea, Queen of Manta’ first visited Black Rock in 2011 and after only two days diving there labelled Black Rock as one of her top ten dive sites in the world. Over these two days she identified 11 individual manta rays.
There are soft corals which are more densely populated in the deeper southern area of the dive site, and this beautiful coloured area includes orange cup corals, bizarre feather stars, and huge gorgonia sea fans.
For the fans of macro life they should look out for the rare Spotted Hawkish which can be found hiding out in the sea fans. You can find Black Spotted Puffer fish, they are usually just chilling out on the ledges and not straying too far at all.
Moray eels including Zebra, Honeycombed and White Mouthed Morays can be seen, you may even bump into a Giant Moray or Two. Also Blue Ringed Angelfish swim down near the edges of the outlaying rocks. This is a good spot for seeing different kinds of reef sharks and maybe if you are really lucky even Bull sharks.
Another great place to explore is the wall, if the desire takes you, for hunting big-eye Trevally, Pompano and Coral Banded Sea Snakes. Rainbow Runners out hunting pass by in fast moving aggressive schools looking for any unfortunate lonesome fish.