Koh Tao!! Looking forward to doing some diving! Alittle nervous but I'm sure it will be wicked!
I got the ferry from Koh Phangan and soon enough I was on Koh Tao wondering where and what to do haha! I found a man (or he found me!) and he spoke about the biggest diving school on the island. Thought it sounded good so I went along to check it out. It was called Big Blue Diving and sure enough it did look very popular. The price seemed reasonable campared to everywhere else and accommodation was included too. Can't really complain with that! Booking myself on for the Open water course I went along in the evening for an introduction to diving..Great to learn more about the sea but scary to think about what can actually go wrong..All I could think about was decompression illness and a story my dad told me about a guy who died..great!
In the morning we got all our gear and went to the shallow water, it was just some little drills to see if we dealt with the situations alright.. first was regulator removal and retrieval..easy enough..next; weight and gear removal..again was alright..and then finally mask flooding (the one I was most nervous about)..even at such a shallow depth it was uncomfortable to purposely fill your mask with water but it too wasn't to bad..Everyone did great and passed with flying colours! In my group were some seriously hot Swedish girls; Julia, Julia and Maria and an Irish guy called Byron. Our instructer was a cool Swedish guy called Ludo and I was really chuffed with the people I was with..can often be hit and miss with such a small group of people.
The next morning after handing in some homework haha!! it was our first taste to deep diving! Again it wasn't too deep at only 12 metres but it was deep enough for our very first dive. Descending down to the bottom of Mango Bay I had alittle trouble with my ear..wouldn't pop no matter how hard I tried. I had to go up alittle to relieve the pressure and then continue down once it popped.. The first dive was just to get us used to it and we did some more drills including the mask removal again..easy!
The second dive was awesome! No problems with ears we saw clown fish, sting ray, eels, and some pretty cool parrot fish.. my favourite dive of the day! Afterwards it was games of pool and watching the sunset on this small but beautiful part of the world.
After a little exam the following morning (100%) it was dive number 3 and 4; Chumphon Pinnacles and white rock respectively, both at our Open water limit of 18 metres. Both dives were awesome and all day we had our own camera man filming us on the boat and underwater. We played games (chicken fights, matrix and building pyramids) plus we officially graduated underwater..awesome! In the evening we watched the movie that the camera man had made and it was so funny to watch! Bought a dvd and am going to send it home..keep an eye out mum :)..
I had such a great time diving I decided to give the Advanced diving a go! Me and Byron bought our own masks and booked on to the advanced course. At a discount price we were excited to do a buoyancy dive, a navigation dive, a deep dive, a nitrox dive and a night dive!! So looking forward!
Our first dive was the deep dive of 30 metres! Turned out to be a wreck dive too (HTMS SATTAKUT) which was especially good! Very eary swimming around a sunken ship but was a great experience to be in a place so deep, dark, and so far from human disruption..
Down at the sea bed we also did a Narcosis test. The deeper you go the more Nitrogen has its effect on you; kind of makes you feel drunk and happy and so we did a couple of skills to test the theory. It was really funny watching Byron struggle with the task, he literally had no idea what was going on! I thought I did ok but again I did struggle to function and think clearly. As you ascended the drunk feeling immediately went away, such a strange feeling! Definitely got NARKED lol!
Our second dive was the buoyancy at White Rock..hovering, fin pivots, vertical hovering, back finning, helicopter turns, frog kicks it was good fun to just have a play around..the weightless feeling was awesome as I got more and more confident swimming between the reef looking into every nook and cranny with the ability to do so safely and confidently..
Before we did all these drills the most craziest thing happened! Apparently we intruded on a massive fishes terretory..he must have been about 1.5m big and he was an angry w***! Swimming up to him he attacked Ludo who reacted quickly to defend himself with his fins..we had to swim back to the boat.. A second attempt giving him a wider birth he still wasn't happy and had another go..I was like what the hell are we even going to get past him! Finally we went far enough that he didn't see us pass..but little did I know he was behind me attacking my fins! I thought I was kicking Byron but looking behind all I saw was this beast of a fish having go at my feet hahaha! Mental but a great experience! Byron was hilarious when we got out of the water..the first thing he said in his Irish accent was "what the bloody hell was that?! That bloody big fish! I nearly had a heart attack I did!" haha...Brilliant!
The next morning was a 6.30am start to head to Chumphon Pinnacles for our nitrox dive. Nitrox allows you to dive at deeper depths for longer compared with normal oxygen tanks. It was pretty much the same as a deep dive except we could really explore the reef we were at..not much different from normal air really but was another deep 30metre dive under my belt!
Next was our navigation dive.. Me and Byron were given compasses and just told to go and have fun! Well alright then haha! Was great to do what we wanted and awesome to explore on our own. Didn't do too bad with the resurface either coming up pretty much next to the boat!
Back to shore we had a wander around town before our NIGHT DIVE! Awesome! Going down at sunset we had enough light to see our depth but soon all we could see was a beam of light from our torches. I saw octopus, Great Barracuda and some more big fish difficult to identify in the dark! Also guess who we bumped into?? Our best friend the Trigger fish who we saw on our previous dives! Great..attacked by him in the dark haha..atleast he was focused on Ludo and not me :)..
Back to the hotel it was a quick dash to the pier to catch the night boat to the mainland! Goodbyes to our fearless Trigger fish fighter Ludo it was a fond but brief goodbye! What a great experience of Scuba Diving! Koh Tao really is the best place to learn to Dive! Recommend it to absolutely everybody!!!
I am now an Advanced Diver around the world! Australia here I come haha!
Until Koh Phi Phi,