We arrive at Koh Tao, after a really bumpy sail on our catamaran, at least 50% of the people on our boat were sea sick(not very pleasant at all)
As we got off the boat we were meet by Luke Mee, our dive instuctor for the next 4 days.Sandy and I hadto fill out a few forms, declaring our selves fit and healthy and list our next of kin incase of any accidents. Then we all checked into our rooms, then Sandy and I had to start our studdies immediately by watching the 1st of two Dvd,s for our PADI.
We had a test on them, Emma had to try and help us with it, because we didn,t really understand about possitive and neggative buoyance.
Sandy and I had a 7.30am start to watch two more Dvd,s and have some tests and lectures from Luke Mee. The morning was slightly disrupted because we decided to chnage our accommodation, our room was over run with ants and we thougt it would be nice to have hot water for showers,Emma was haappy too, because it alsso meant we had t.v,s wit three english flim channels and air con,( didn,t really need the air con as the weather is so wet and rainy)
At 12.30 we went down to the dive shop and have our 1st t dive, we were really excited and I was very nervous. First we had to swim around the boat twice, then tread water for 10 mins, we both did this quite easily, but it is a lot harder to swim in the sea with the waves. We were then taught how to set up all our dive equipment, put it on, do our buddy checks (check equipment is on correctly and doule check that there is air in the tank , the pressure and that the regulators are woring propery) .Then the big moment arrives when we have to straddle jump into the sea from the boat. It is amazing the first time you go under water, being able to breath is very strange and gets some getting use too! We swim over to the shore and practice using all our new equipment.
We have more homework and tests to do that evenning, but Emma joins us for dinner before we start our studdies.
Sandy and I start the day at 8am, watching more DVD,s and listening to Luke Mee and tests. Emma is in heaven, she has her own room and can have lots of sleep.
WE head off down to the dive shop at 12.15 for our first two real dives and yes we are really excited but also very nervous.We have a trainee dive master with us, who,s name is Craig. He did his PaDI here and now loves diving so much that he is taking his Masters, so he can take out qualified divers on dives. He and our Dive instuctor are great fun, they keep us constantly ammused.
Our first dive is at Buddah rock, we only dive at 10m, and for 35 mins but the visability is really bad and we can only see about 2-3 m in any direction. I find this really scarry and keep hold of Craigs hand very tightly so I can,t get lost! Sandy is braver than me and not quite so worried.
We hop (Its amazingly hard to get out of the water with your heavy tank on) back onto the boat,set up our new air tank for our second dive, then we are allowed a rest and hot drink before our next dive.
Our next dive is at Twins, this time we dive at 12m and stay down for 45 mins. Visability is a bit better here, but we still can only see about 6m. We see a lot more fish here and the diving is more fun. We meet with Emma for dinner, who has had a nice relaxing day spent at the beach and in the internet cafe. Sadly Sandy and I drive her crazy with all our talk on diving.
Sandy and I walk down to town( about 5 mins) so she can use the internet.
The alarm goes off at 6.30am, its absolutely pooring with rain. Sandy and I have to be at the dive shop for 7.15, we get soaked on the way down there.
Our first dive is at Twins again, this dive we go down to 18m and the visability is very bad again(3-4m) as Sandy is my diving buddy we stay very close to one another( usually holding hands)We have a good dive and stay down for 44mins.
Our last dive of our course we go to Sairee Reef and dive for 45mins at about 10m, we don,t dive any deeper because the visibilty is still not good ,but we can see about 6-7m, so it a great improvement. We manage to see lots of pretty coral and fish and end up really hooked on diving. That afternoon we take our final exam and become the very proud owners of our PADI open waterdiver certificates.Poor Emma has been busy putting photo,s on to disc,s for Sandy to take home for us.
We go out to celebrate and have a few drinks...Sandy manages to get up to a lottle mischeif...LOL
Sadly Sandy has to start her journey home this morning, so we have a fairwell breakfast alltogether before she has to catch the catamaran then the coach to get back to Bangkok for her flight the next day. We will miss her lots....
I was really tierd after my course, so decided to go back to bed and catch up on some sleep.
Emma and I find a WiFi bar later that day and mess around on the net for a few hours. We go out for a nice Italian meal, then head home to watch a movie on T.V
At last the sun comes out. we spend have some time on the beach and Emma shows me where her rock on the beach is. I head off back to the WiFi bar before it starts to rain. Emma and I go to a small local restaurant, where the food is cheap but nice.
WE wake up to sunshine, yipee. I spend about 4 hours on the bech and get slightly sunburnt.and at last finish my book Shantaram, which I have been reading for about two months, but I loved it.
We go back to the same restaurant for dinner, but my green curry is slightly dissapointing, so we treat ourselves to a delicious pancake for desert.
MMMM disapointing, no sunshine today. So we spend the day loading pictures onto the blog. Its great not having anything that you have to do. We eat in our restaurant and just chill.
I had a busy morning sewing badges on my backpack. While I ate my breakfast I watched a dvd about the advanced diving course. After watching this I decide that I must do some more diving. I go to the dive shop to book 4 more night accommodation and end up booking up to do my advanced diving course.
The course starts there and then,so I end up going out on the boat to start my course. My dive instructor is called Neng and he is helped by a trainee dive master called Alex.
My first dive is to Tao-Thong Bay, we dive for 50mins at 10m deep. Visability is still not good, but we are learning peak performane buoyancy, Which is great fun. We (Suzanne) nd I, had to hover while sort of doing a headstand. This is useful for when you need to look into caves or narrow spaces to see fish. Then we had to learn to swim through a square hoop and its not s esy as it sounds, especially when you have a large air tank on your back. We also had to swim in and out of it on our backs and swim over it flip 180 degrees and swim back throuh it.
Luckily Neng couldn,t hear our curses under the water....
After our rest and hot chocolate break, we went back in the water to practice our navigation skills. We only wen 10m down because the visibility was still bad(about 5m).
Any one who knows me will guess that I wouldn,t be very good at this, I can,t navigate on land, let alone under water where I can,t see.
As predicted I was useless, Mainly because I couldnt see the compass, which is a watch compss and on my arm. Way to close for me...I now need glasses for reading,but we manged after a few trys to actual suceed. I had to hold the compass between both my hands at arms length...but hey, I passed.
Emma haad a peaceful afternoon on the beach. We went out to an Irish bar for good old fashioned Fish and Chips and a beer (for me). I hadanother early start so went home for an early night.
Up at 6.30 for my 7.30 dive. Today we head off to Tao Thong Bay for our deep water dive. Visibility is about 8m. WE dive to 28m for about 35mins, Its really strange going so deep, the colours change and you loose the red spectrum, you seam to be going down for ever an as you can gues, yes it ws scarry. When we were at our deepest we had to sit on the bottom of the ocean and do a few tests. Some arithmatic and answering questions that are written on a board, we answer them by writing on the board or with actions. This is because when you dive so deep ,you can get something called nitrogen narcosis. This is caused by the amount of nitrogen in your body. It causes you to act irrisponsable and act like you are drunk, unfortunately we didn,t suffer this. also when you dive deep you have to make a safety stop at 5m for