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Published: October 20th 2010
We took the night boat to Ko Tao. At peak times it could be quite an experience as all the mattresses that are laid out on the boat deck are shoulder to shoulder for the western build. We arrived at 6 am in the morning and headed for the only open cafe on the island.
We chose Ko Tao as it is one of the worlds cheapest locations to learn to dive and it is supposed to be less touristy than a lot of the other Thai islands. After a day of walking around the multitude of dive islands on Ko Tao I settled for Crystal divers. They are the largest operator on the island and after talking with them seemed the most professional as well.
Barbora hadn't tried scuba diving before so we both opted for the trial dive. If you go on to do the open water course they would knock the price of the trial dive off the course so we had nothing to loose. They started us off with a saftety talk followed by a session in the pool teaching us how to clear our masks and how to replace the regulator back in your
moth in case it got pulled out. After a quick bit to eat we headed out to the ocean for our first Ko Tao dive experience, and Barboras first time scuba diving in the sea. When we reached the cove we were going to dive in we jumped off the boat and swam towards the shore. When it was time to go down we both had problems with our buoyancy. We needed more weight and we both had to learn to breath out more. At that point Barbora's scuba diving experience came to an end as she decided it wasn't for her. We swam back to the boat and Barbora, relieved, got back on the boat. I then followed the instructor down the boat mooring rope to 18m for a swim around looking at fish.
After the trial dive I was a little unsure of scuba diving but decided to do my Padi Open Water course any way, and I'm glad I did. After the sessions in the swimming pool which seem designed to scare you off the sport before you even start it got better and better. I even signed up for my advanced open water where we went on a wreck dive and dove down to thirty meters. At thirty meters the red colour disappears and it's the start of something called Nitrogen Narcosis. I was a little worried about going so deep to start with but as I was sitting at the bottom at thirty meters all of a sudden I didn't care any more and felt quite jolly! Apparently a lot of divers go down deep to experience the pleasures of Nitrogen Narcosis or to get Narc'ed. The instructor also took down a small bottle of water with him. At thirty meters it gets squashed as flat as a pancake and you wonder if there is any water left in the bottle at all!
There was also some very good snorkeling off the boat at some of the dive sights. We saw a sea snake, needle fish, and Barbora even saw a baby shark when she was snorkeling. After my course had finished we had one free day and then took the high speed catamaran and bus to Bangkok. It was quite a tiring ten hours journey, made slightly more enjoyable with the pirated Hollywood movies they showed on the bus.
We stayed one more day in Bangkok before catching a flight to Kathmandu, earlier than we had originally planned due to the change in Thai visa regulations.
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