It was seeing people return alive from their dives (our paranoia might have been a bit extreme) during our day snorkeling trip that convinced us to give scuba diving a go. The following day we started our open water PADI certificate, we weren’t brave enough to admit that so we started with a ‘discover scuba dive’ and soon agreed to do the full course. We went with New Way diving, they were organised and went out super early to beat the crowds. They were also right next door to our first hotel on Koh Tao which was handy for the early starts.
Some photos from our snorkeling trip:
Breathing underwater is weird. It is completely unnatural and it took me a fair bit of time to become convinced that I could do it. It didn’t help that we had to do some skills in shallow water where I could stand up whenever I wanted (if I could get my fins to behave). Once we were in slightly deeper water I was loving it. Tom our instructor was awesome, he was patient and calming especially on some of the subsequent dives when I couldn’t equalize my ears so well.
Pinion making new friends:
On the second day we completed two dives. One was a skills test where we had to complete fun tasks such as taking out our regulators (where the air comes out) and removing our masks completely and swim around for a bit. My mask got caught in my hair, leaving me flapping around. Luckily Leanne our dive master in training was on hand to gently pull it out and help me along. After that traumatic moment I was once again doubting what the hell we were doing and then a turtle casually swims by! You can’t take your camera on training dives so I didn’t get any photos of it, I was far too excited so would have probably just taken one of my foot anyway.
We completed our open water certificate a day later, emerging from our last dive into a pretty bad storm. Diving completely changed our plans, instead of going off and exploring the other coast in Thailand we stuck to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. We went on ‘fun dives’ to Sail Rock with Reefers diving from Koh Phangan and then after missing out on the full moon party we headed back to Koh Tao and went on a fantastic dive to South West Pinnacles, with the lovely Jenni from Koh Tao Divers, where we saw 3 whale sharks. I think this might have just got us addicted.