Today was our first day proper scuba diving… In the ocean! This morning we woke up early (after a lovely nights sleep in our own room) and met our instructor for some last minute revision before our exam. Needing 80% to pass meant there was little room for mistakes but thanks to thorough revision with Chloe the instructor, Juliet and I passed top!
The whole group passing meant this afternoon we could head out for our first two dives. Obviously lunch was necessary first (diving is so strenuous) and so Julie and I found a little English cafe called “through the looking glass” which we were so happy about! After eating quiche and Cornish pasty’s, we felt very British again and headed out on our boat to sea.
Once we got off our long boat and into the diving boat we kitted up, completed our buddy check and took a big step into the ocean! On our first dive it took us a long time for our ears to adjust and equalise with the pressure of going down but once we were sorted, we started diving! Unfortunately (thanks mummy and daddy) I am extremely buoyant, apparently with very light bones and chloe’s not seen many people like me. This means that I am always positively buoyant and float up to the surface, quite good for staying alive,’however when diving I actually want to be able to stay underwater and so it’s necessary for me to wear 6 or 7 big weights on my weight belt, compared to the average 3! These are the stats for our first dive…
Destination: Laem Tian Bay
Start time: 14.10
Temp under water: 29degrees
Bottom time: 34mins
Wetsuit: 3mm short
Notes: on this dive we saw a huuuuge fish swim and gobble up a smaller one then swim away with it’s tail hanging out it’s mouth. We saw a school of Weibel’s butterflies fish, blue ringed angel fish, neon fish, loads of parrot fish and an orange spined unicorn fish which is very very rare!
After a biscuit, water and fresh fruit on the boat (enough time for the nitrogen to leave our blood) we had arrived at our next destination and completed our second dive! This time equalising was a lot easier and so our descent was more professional and quick!
Destination: Mao Bay
Start time: 16.07
Temp under water: 28degrees
Bottom time: 42mins
Wetsuit: 3mm short
Notes: As this dive was longer and in a better destination it gave us time and space to practise drills while resting on our knees at the bottom of the ocean. We completely the regulator recovery, partial flooded mask clear, full flooded mask clear, oral inflation fin pivot, and hovering. We saw a school of yellow tail barracuda (a Thai delicacy), angel fish and again lots of parrot fish. We also saw a titon triggerfish, a huge aggressive creature so we didn’t go to close and swiftly swam away. And we saw lots of Christmas tree worms that live in the coral and open and close – and when they’re open they look like Christmas trees!!
After getting back to shore and logging our two dives of the day, we had a very needed (as usual we’re starving) BBQ on the beach.
Cheers to another great day on Koh Tao!