Lucky enough to be spending 3 weeks in Thailand over the summer it was the perfect place to complete my learning to scuba dive challenge. The island of Koh Tao is a renowned diving place and revolves around divers and diving. The place itself is beautiful and not unlike the set of lost:
To get the PADI Open Water Diver qualification individuals are required to do confined water dives followed by 4 open water dives. Confined water usually means a swimming pool but we (my better half and I- the only two people doing the course ) got lucky and did the confined bit in the sea near to the shore.
My general fear of being in the water soon became apparent and never having been in water so deep or kitted out with fins and mask I was a little freaked out to say the least. Swimming around the boat and treading water (the test before starting the course) didn’t present any problems but I was definitely unnerved when I had to don the fins and mask. The snorkel wasn’t for going in and I drank more than my fair share of sea water! Once I’d got over this bit and into the scuba gear I started to relax a bit. The instructor I had, Zac from Simple Life Divers, was outstanding and he took the two of us calmly through the basics. By the end of the first morning (I got up at 6am on holiday to do this!) I was feeling much more confident in the water and actually starting to enjoy it.
The next day we did our first open water dives. This was in the afternoon so plenty of time in the morning to worry unnecessarily about what was coming up. In the end all of the things we had practised in shallow water the day before made sense and we got through the afternoon without any issues. By the third day I was actually looking forward to dives 3 and 4. By the last dive I felt I’d got a handle on what I was doing and could control my level in the water with much more ease. I’m still fascinated by how much difference it can make taking a big breath in or giving a big breath out!
After the 4th dive we had completed the course and were issued with our temporary (until the official ones arrive through the post complete with mug shots) Open Water Diver Cards:
By the end of the 3rd day of diving I was ready for a rest but I think I might have contracted the diving bug. I’m well up for doing the Advanced Open Water course at some point in the future. Don’t think I’ll be lucky enough to do it in Thailand again though…
This video isn’t of me diving but it does give a good insight to the other world that exists under the water at Koh Tao: