I've been working and living on Koh Tao as an PADI dive instructor with DJL for the last 3 years. I've decided to move on to Australia but before I head there, I decided to pay Koh Lipe a visit. After diving from much larger, slower dive boats to diving from a small high speed rhib is a divers paradise.
We decided to go to 8 Mile Rock which is 9.2 nautical miles South of Koh Lipe. This trip usually take 1.5 - 2 hours but only took us 20 minutes on DJL's high-speed rhib (rigid hull inflatable boat).
Unlike Koh Tao, Koh Lipe diving is all based around the tides and so most dive sites are more comfortable at slack tide. You have to be particular at what time you dive during the day.
We arrived at 2:30 in the afternoon with our equipment prepared, checked and ready to go. We rolled out backwards and followed a buoy line, descending onto the dive site.
From my experience of diving in the past I'll have to say there is a reason why they say 8 Mile rock is the dive you have to do while you're staying on Koh Lipe! This dive site has a large diversity of life from small macro life such as nudibranchs and flatworms to 300 kilogram giant groupers. We swam alongside large schools of fusiliers, inquisitive batfish and then to finish off a great day of diving we had a visit from a couple of great barracuda (around 2m +). We completed 2 dives at 8 mile rock, popped back into the rhib and headed back to Koh Lipe.
So if you're ever in Thailand make your way down south and visit this paradise island. Drop into Davy Jones Locker and ask the lovely staff about diving 8 Mile Rock. I can assure you that you'll have an amazing diving experience.