Happy New Year to everyone! Hope you all had a peaceful and relaxing Xmas, we certainly didnt!
Koh Phangan certainly was everything we expected, and more! Late nights, thai boxing, pool parties, beach parties... you name it and we probably did it! 2009 brought about the first (albeit temporary) split in the group. Neil and Nick are venturing West to Krabi for a week or two while Simon, Gavin, Adam, Jonny and myself (Gary) headed to Koh Tao (Turtle Island), the dive capital of South East Asia.
After what can only be described as the boat journey from hell, we arrived on the island and almost immediately got to work on attaining our Open Water Diving Certificates. The five of us (Simon, Jonny, Sarah, Adam and myself) spent the first day and a half in the classroom bored but eventually we were allowed to get our gear on and get in the pool to learn the basics.
Day three was when the real excitement began... our first genuine open water scuba dive! After a few inital difficulties, we all managed to descend to 12 metres for our first underwater experience, something we will never forget! Day four brought even greater depths however we lost Simon to an ear infection early in the day. The remaining four ventured to depths of 18 metres and saw some incredible marine life like blue spotted stingrays, yellow boxfish and even wee nemo! (Nemo says hello by the way)
All five of us passed our exams with flying colours and became certified Open Water Divers, something that will no doubt come in handy for Oz and the Great Barrier Reef in particular. Other than the diving, we have been relaxing (6am starts dont do much for nightlife) and other than a few games of crazy golf, we have done relatively little.
Tomorrow we venture onward again, back to Bangkok (my fourth stint in the Thai capital thanks to Gav) before we head to Singapore again and onwards to Australia on the 15th.
Everyone is in great health and taking a well earned rest after our hectic Xmas and looking forward to opening a new chapter when we head to Oz. We will keep you updated with new news as it happens but until then, incase I dont see ya, good morning, good afternoon and good night!