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How to learn scuba diving from a beginner

My choice to visit Koh Tao was to learn to scuba dive. Granted, the place looked (and is) beautiful and I like being around water, but Koh Tao has the reputation as being one of the best places in the world to learn. It certifies more divers than anywhere in the world apart from Cairns Australia.

My start began by picking a diving school. There are some 70 or so schools on the island, I think most of them are on Sairee Beach where I was staying and they all charge the same since they decided on prices a couple of years ago. There was a school some 50m from my room, which would have been nice, but it was SSI (you can do PADI or SSI, they're mostly the same) and they wanted an extra £25 for online books so I ended up going with Sairee Cottage Diving, mostly by reputation and centrality.

I arrived the next day to find that there were 4 of us in our group, myself and 3 young women from Essex, Belgium and Australia. The first day was a morning of watching some pretty dull videos followed by some tests, then into the pool for 10 mins of treading water and a 200 meter swim. Tiring!

We then got to the good stuff!

As you can imagine, scuba is a pretty equipment intensive pastime, The last thing you want 50 feet below the surface is to suddenly lose air, so we went over every piece of equipment, every hose, gauge, attachment, tool many times, getting used to it all, learning how it all operates and what to do if any of it fails. There are a lot of solutions to any eventuality and a lot of skills tests from taking off masks, which seems pretty easy, but not so much at the bottom of the sea, to what to do if you lose your air, sharing supplies, using back ups etc. Our instructor James gave us more skills tests than were required and it was a long first day, but as a result I felt completely safe hitting the ocean the next day.

Day 2 starts with another morning of theory (yay!) before you can get in the sea for your first two dives. We were going to be diving sites called Twins and White Rock. Two of the girls on our course had boyfriends who were already divers and came with us for fun dives, which was great as they took some photos and videos. Until we failed on one of the big tests after only half an hour or so!

Scuba relies on a buddy system. You never dive without your buddy and if you lose them you're supposed to search for them for one minute, then make your way to the surface to regroup. We were at 12 meters and something had happened to one of our group. She went to the surface with James and we waited at the bottom, for at least 5 mins. I think most of us were thinking that we were with our buddies, as well as the 2 advanced divers, so we were ok. I was happy as a clam (pun intended) just pottering around the bottom looking at a Gobi fish and shrimp that lived together, the Gobi on lookout while the mostly blind shrimp built their hole. It was cool.

As we surfaced we were told off for basically being idiots, and we got back on the boat to get ready for dive number 2.

Unfortunately, pretty soon in, one of the group decided that she couldn't continue. It's a very mental thing, very unnatural to breathe underwater and while we're down there we take of our masks, remove our breathers, completely remove our equipment before putting it back on. I've known people in the past who's brains won't even let them snorkel. Good swimmers too, they just couldn't do it.

It was horrible for that to happen, and she was heartbroken. She finished her exams and has passed that half of the course. Fingers crossed she can finish completely one day xx

Day 3 was exciting for everyone. We were going to Sail Rock, the best dive site in Thailand and the visibility had been pretty terrible there for a good while, but was now great.

Oo! There's a lizard! You would think I would be less excited to see them now, they're all over the place. You would be wrong. They walk funny.

So off to Sail rock we go. It was amazing! So much life! But this blog is going on ages, so I'll just tell you how I was a dumbass who got too close to the cliff, freaked out a bit, tried to push away and shoved my hand straight into a sea urchin. It hurt like hell for about 2 days! It's still sore here and there, as the tips are still in my hand! Dumbass.

Still we had two spectacular dives to 18 meters and we had passed our Open Water PADI! Congats to us!

But I wasn't done yet. We'll get to the advanced course next time as this is long enough....

Finally though, to anyone who get's all the way to the end. Please give me your thoughts on these blogs. Is there anything you'd like to hear about? Anything I'm missing? Doing wrong? Let me know in the comments below, Thanks!

When this is your classroom, everything is great

Posted by cblanc102 03:17 Archived in Thailand Tagged islands diving beach scuba underwater solo_travel

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Your doing great! Living and loving it all through you, I look forward to your daily blogs, There not to long, not long enough ???? I have a small obsession with food, so a complete ingredient breakdown of all ur meals would be fab ( but that’s probably just me ) and there’s no need to indulge me. People, adventures, culture and food. Keep the blogs coming ????

by Rbootcamp

Ok so emojis don’t work hence all the question marks .

by Rbootcamp

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