The Gili islands are made up of 3 small islands within swimming distance of each other, Gili T is the party island where we stayed and went out most nights, gili m is the couples retreat, and gili air is in between where we spent a couple of days chilling. The islands themselves are beautiful with sand around the whole island, one long continuous beach, it only takes about an hour to bike around the whole island. On gili T we did a couple of dives, on advice given by a diver master in koh Tao. The first dive was a shark point, luckily these sharks aren't so interested in what my feet taste like, they're non aggressive white tip sharks. I saw one big one in the open; and a few baby sharks hiding in a cave. Now there's a turtle conservation on the island so there are hundreds of turtles just cruising around the corals around the islands. And some of the biggest turtles I have seen so far! They're so used to humans and divers that they just
aren't bothered by us and let you get super close.
The second dive we did was on Simons reef, and was by far the prettiest coral id seen, the huge range in coral species, the colours, and the amount of macro life living on the corals was insane. We were pretty Lucky and managed to spot a couple of blue spotted sting rays as well.
After gili t we travelled to gili air, the slightly smaller island but still just as pretty! We had only planned to do 2 days chilling on the island, recovering from gili t, however one of the things I've really wanted to get into is free diving.. Because I have a freakishly long breath hold, diving done on one breath and seeing how far you can get seems pretty cool and fun to me. So I signed up to my level 1 free diving for 2 days. On the first day we went through breathing techniques to relax.. How to fill the lungs properly an all the different ways I free diving there were.. Fins, no fins, pull yourself down on a rope etc. We took a round tyre shaped buoy with us tied it to on of the boats and underneath the buoy we dropped 2 concrete filled buckets to 12.5m on a piece of rope. Before you dive you do your relaxation breathing then on one big breath you descend using the rope as a guide. I managed to reach 12.5m fairly comfortably, although I couldn't go down with fins head first very well. There was too much pressure on my sinuses that I could only reach 10m. But going feet first down a rope was fine. We even had a game of rock, paper scissors at the bottom, best of 3, I won! On the last dive we went down to 12.5m and stayed down for as long as possible. I managed 2 minutes 10.
On the second day we dropped the line to 21 meters and I managed to dive down to it on my first go. I tried going head first again.. But my sinuses still felt like they were going to explode after 10m so I had to carry on going feet first for the rest of the dives. On one of the last dives I tried to push myself and when I reached 21m I just hold on to the line and relax and just stay there as long as possible, I managed again 2minutes 10 and because the visibility was around 27m, the light lit up the water around me and was an amazing feeling. Although the science around diving down that far is a little spooky.. My lungs had 3 atmospheres of pressure on them and had actually shrunk to a 1/3 of their size. And it's a weird feeling looking up and and seeing the length of a swimming pool of water above you. The instructor reckoned I could easily reach 40m+ With my breath hold which would definitely be cool to reach. Definitely hooked! We also learnt how to do a rescue if someone blacks out on the way up.. Or is clearly having trouble then you help them up. Which would hopefully never happen, but you always have a safety diver waiting for you around 15/20m just incase and reassurance mainly for the diver that your almost there.