Ducking & Diving. Ko Tao.

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March 30th 2007
Published: August 8th 2007
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Koh Nang Yuang. These three connected islands at the north end of Tao was near to the first ocean dive.
& so to the next morning. 3 very sore heads. Over breakfast (chocolate & banana pancakes) they tried to catch up on the first two chapters of the course book. It was at this point they learned one of the fundamentals. AVOID ALCOHOL. Whoops - too late!!

Day one is a pool/classroom session, getting to grips with the equipment, basic principles of breathing underwater, buoyancy control, taking off & putting on various bits of kit at the bottom of the pool, blah blah blah. The Keepers were fortunate enough to be in a group of four. They were joined by two 19 year old Swedish girls so, along with the Instructor Lucy from Stamford, Dad was like a pig in shit.

Lucy had a helper, Speedy. Lovely lad. Originally from Brazil but grew up in Switzerland. In between doing a degree in something to do with computers & business management, National Service with the Swiss Army (Testing knives & watches I guess?) & running a 3hour 2 minute New York marathon, Speedy was at Bans for five weeks doing a Divemaster course, which is kind of an assistant instructor.

The pool session lasted
Bounty Anyone??Bounty Anyone??Bounty Anyone??

Koh Tao Bars - The taste of paradise. . . .
about three hours. I sat at the side, sipping on water, watching the strange goings on at the deep end of the pool. I've no idea what they were up to down there, but they all looked pretty pooped by the time they broke for lunch.

Water, paracetamol, water ,soup, water & more water for lunch down the lane at Sairee Cottage. Then back to class for part one of the written exam & a briefing of what to expect for the ocean dives tomorrow. The rest of the day was our own. Schools out, day one. We had to go for a lie down after all that. Surprising how much it knocks it out of you once you reach a "certain age"

After a three hour nap, we emerged to a bit of a do at The Fishbowl. Fire jugglers were swinging their stuff, music pumping & drinkies flowing. I remember thinking "Where have all the ugly people gone?" There must be some kind of unwritten law on Tao that chucks the Nesbits back.

3 beers down, time for bed said Zebedee.

Bedtime 10.45pm.

Into The Deep

Up with the lark in the morning at 7 am. Fresh as the proverbial daisy. Breakfast (muesli, fruit salad & yoghurt), several coffees, Benson & Hedges on toast, grab the kit bags, shove Munkey in a bag with the shoes, stuff him in a cupboard for the day & BINGO. My day's over.

So - off they went, on the little boat that took them out to the big dive boat. Any snippets of their day that I picked up on later is purely heresay as I spent the morning nestled in a dark sack with two pairs of cheesey sandals, a pair of sunglasses & a leaky bottle of water.

By the time they came back, I was as wet as they were. They had two dives. 1st to Twins, a pair of underwater pinnacles at the north end of the Island, just off the picture postcard setting of Koh Nang Yuang. Then, after an hour surface interval, to White Rock, a living coral reef, half a mile off the bay at Sairee.

Now. I grew up believing
At The End Of The Day. . . .At The End Of The Day. . . .At The End Of The Day. . . .

& the going down of the sun. . . . We shall remember Bans.
there were only six types of fish. Cod, plaice, haddock, tuna, salmon & fingers. Not the case at all. They were bubbling on about all sorts of stuff they'd seen. Nothing you'd recognise from a menu though. There were a few tasks to perform. You wear a sort of bullet proof vest affair that's connected to your air tank which can make you go up & down. The trick is to have exactly the right amount of air in the jacket to make you weightless in the water. That way you can zip up or down just by filling or emptying the lungs. Once you get it spot on , it's quite a buzz - allegedly.

Pooped again. Early night.

Bedtime 9pm.

Tomorrow - Final dives & exam. 07.45

Mr.M :-)


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