Friday, June 19, 2009

Koh Tao Diving

Koh Tao, Thailand - Betsy and I completed our first dive today, actually it was really just our "shallow water" or "confined water" training but it was a real dive nonetheless.

We were supposed to start the course a few days ago but Betsy picked up a cold so we had to delay and as such haven't been doing much the last couple of days but relaxing and letting her recover.

Yesterday we did the "academic" part of the course...yawn. Today we went out on the boat to a dive site called Japanese Garden. Once we were geared up in we went. We swam from the boat to the beach (about 50m) where the water was only about 2m deep. We then "dropped" to the bottom and practiced some basic skills like taking your regulator out of your mouth and putting it back into your mouth remembering to purge it before breathing in! Also filling your mask with water and clearing it underwater.

We also got to scuba around the site for about 20minutes after we had practiced our skills. Even while we were practicing our skills there were many fish swimming right up to us, schools of small brightly colored fish, larger colored fish even a barracuda was seen.

Betsy was a little nervous that she wouldn't be able to equalize her ears due to her cold but she did pretty good. We only went as deep as 7m (22 ft) but still were able to see a lot. All in all we were underwater for about 50minutes.

Tomorrow we have a bit more academics and then we have two dives in the afternoon to 12m (40ft).

On Sunday we do our final two dives at a place called Chumphon Pinnacle which is famous for its Whale Sharks (large plankton eating sharks that grow up to 12m (40ft) long).

The dive operator we are doing our course with is called Simple Life. So far they have been excellent. I actually got my dive certification 10 years ago in Seattle and didn't really enjoy the course or the instructors. I only went for a real dive once after that and then soon moved to Denver and never dived again.

Simple Life has made this a much better diving experience. They were very flexible with Betsy's cold and our instructor "Woz" has been great. We've also got a small group of just 4 so it makes the instruction that much more personal.

We are looking forward to doing some serious diving in the last couple of months of our trip as we journey down through Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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