It seems surreal that only a week ago I was finishing up on my last fun dives in the warm waters of Koh Tao, well thirty degrees to be exact and now I’m sat here trying to keep warm. Just a month ago I was boarding the plane and crossing the world to hopefully finish the scuba diving stunt category and of course visit a new country. Koh Tao is very much island life, you won’t find chain shops or a Starbucks here, people usually visit for a few days and although it is wonderful, for me that was plenty of time without scuba diving. Being there for a month meant I could scuba dive everyday and oh boy did I scuba dive everyday! The island is relaxed and the beaches have white sand, clear water with coconut trees that set the landscape. The food was delicious and I have a new love for Pad Thai and fresh lemon slushies which was exactly what I needed to cool down.
Jumping in I expected to be hit with 8 degrees of water like England but no this water was very warm and crystal clear. Descending down I felt like I was in the worlds biggest fish tank, literally the cast of Finding Dory was everywhere and the colours are something you can’t forget. My new favourite fish is the Blue Ringed Angelfish and they are a lot bigger than expected. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything to take photographs with but I guess for my first tropical diving trip it is good to just have those memories without worrying about taking a photograph. In the first week I completed my Advanced Open Water, which means I can go down to 30 metres, visit wreck sites and go on night dives. It was no different going down to thirty metres but swimming through a cave is a whole new skill set in which I was allowed to go. I loved the advanced course because it took me out of my comfort zone with diving. It makes you more aware of your breathing and it teaches you to stay calm, after all you don’t want to panic 30 metres below in water, it also allows you to explore more. Which is always a tick in my book.
The next course was the Rescue Diver course and to add more difficulty the weather started to change. The sea went from flat and calm to waves and a current. Trust me it was about to get worse. For the next week I was going to be diving in heavy rain, bigger waves, thunder and lightning and down below the current was so strong and visibility was between 2-5 metres. If there was a good time to test my rescue diver skills, now was the time. You learn how to deal with situations like helping a tired diver or a panicked diver, even getting an unconscious diver out of the water. Being a rescue diver is actually a course that I recommend any scuba diver taking because it makes you more alert and it makes you more aware that anything can happen underwater.
After this course I realised I didn’t have time to complete my Dive Master but I guess that means another holiday next year. Oh well! I managed to get my fun dives ready to start my Divemaster and I saw two whale sharks. They were in the area for the last two weeks and previously I saw a pup from the surface but nothing prepared me to see one underwater. After seeing the same fish everyday for three weeks, I so badly wanted to see a whale shark properly and then on the second to last day I saw a huge whale shark. The shark was 6-10 metres long but quicker than we saw it, it was gone on its way through the sea. An unforgettable end to my trip.
If you enjoy exploring then I recommend scuba diving! People think it’s scary but actually its relaxing and aquatic life is much calmer than we think; you leave everything alone then nothing will bother you.