Day 1: First day of our open water scuba diving course and we were stuck in a classroom for 4 hours watching videos. Now in the English weather that would be fine, however in 30 degrees heat it was an absolute killer. I did make friends with the company's cat during the process which made time fly by a little quicker. Homework set for tonight, feels like I am back at school. So plans for tonight; start reading the 200 page book and answer the quiz (obviously with a beer in hand).
Day 2: More videos and studying in the morning, but finally hitting the water in the afternoon. We had to practise lots of different skills, like; removing your mask and putting it back on again under water, switching and sharing air supplies with your buddy, removing your BCD and replacing it again and generally getting used to breathing through the regulator. Now I have never worn or used scuba gear before, so at first it did feel weird but you quickly got used to it. By the end I was shattered; who knew scuba diving was so tiring (and how heavy the gear is when out of the water), but I still had homework to complete in the evening. We did find time to go out with the guys from the hostel for dinner. The place we went to was a cook your own BBQ style restaurant. The food was delicious and so was the company, defiantly helped us relax in the evening.
Day 3: More theory and quizzes in the morning, but during the afternoon we actually got to participate in 2 open water sea dives. We began by practising more skills and I did struggle in floodig my mask and replacing it 10m under water as I stupidly breathed in through my nose (obviously there was no chance in reaching the surface so had to control my breathing deep down), but eventually I got there. The first dive we did was to The Twins in Koh Tao. We swam down to 10m and saw lots of small fish. This dive was mainly to get used to the depth and keeping ourselves neutrally buoyant. For the second dive we headed towards the Japanese gardens (12m deep) and saw a wide selection of fish. We would have seen a blue spotted stingray but Leigh decided to kick his fins on the sand and reduced any visibility we had. So that opportunity was missed (yes I did give him the evil look under water).
Day 4: It was time for our final exam, we needed to get 75% to pass (which luckily I did). Then it was time for the best 2 dives of the course. We headed towards the Japanese Gardens in Koh Tao where we saw a blue spotted stingray (thank goodness), trigger fish, groupers, a school of barracudas and many many more.
Yet again I have ticked another thing off my bucket list, but have also added a variety of creatures I wish to see now that I am able to dive down and see them in their natural habitat. Next stop Phuket, definitely going to miss Koh Tao (my favourite place in Thailand). Will have to find some new places to dive.