Sawaty kah! Hello!
I have been MIA for far too long, sorry about that. As I mentioned, I'm posting a bunch of posts now that I finally have solid internet connection.
We have been in Koh Tao for about 4 days, and I have absolutely loved it! The vibe on the island is super laid-back, and pretty much everyone that lives or stays here is diving. That's my jam ;)
I decided to do my advanced open water course with Buddha View Diving, and highly recommend them. They are not the largest diving school on the island, but they sure can deal with a high volume of students - there are packs of people doing their open water, advanced, dive masters, instructor course and straight up fun dives.
I was able to do some pretty awesome dives during my time here. I went on a wreck dive, to see the sunken Suttaka ship which was a US patrol ship during WWII that was given to the king of Thailand as a gift and he decided to sink it near Koh Tao to help develop the diving tourism in the area. Smart guy ;)
I also went on the regular deep dive to 30m and a buoyancy control skill dive (we did some awesome 'swim throughs' which essentially means swimming through an enclosed place in the coral. Turns out I love swimming through things...wrecks, corals, caves, it's an awesome feeling to look around and be totally surrounded by new and exciting things).
My favourite dive was the night dive. I did one while in Dahab, Egypt but I didn't really enjoy it since my mask was fogged up and I was super disoriented and worried that I was going to hit the sea urchins on the bottom - they come out at night, and man are there spikes ever big and scary!
Anywho, I am SO glad that I went for another night dive here. It went super smoothly and I felt kind of like I was floating in space. Some people had the blue flashlights, which light up certain coral and fish in neon colours. So cool!
The best thing though? Luminescent plankton. We covered our torches at one point and waved our hands around. It was like fairy dust, for reals. I was in pure bliss mode. My instructor made fun of me because I kept doing it throughout the dive, but I couldn't help it!
We surfaced a bit far from the boat, so we swam back on our backs while gazing at the stars. Epic.
One dive site that you MUST check out if ever you go diving here is Chumphon. It had the best visibility of all the daytime sites and had amazing coral with huge schools of tessler fish and barracudas. It was so much fun to swim through them.
I realize now how spoiled I was diving in Egypt: every site was gorgeous with an overload of beautiful coral to look at and great visibility. The 'vis' here isn't so awesome, with dust particles all over the place, and you learn to appreciate it when you see each and every fish or crab or whatnot.
Overall, I'm so happy that I decided to go for my advanced, and I'm excited to do more wreck dives in the future.
The diving scene here is awesome, everyone is so friendly and it's easy to strike up a conversation with anyone since everyone has something in common: the love of the depths of the ocean.
Divers also know how to party. A couple of instructors graduated while we were here so there was a huge party at the Buddha Bar where they did their 'snorkel test'. Aka wore a blacked out mask and got a bucket full of alcohol donated by people in the crowd down their snorkel. Fun times were had by all ;)
Everyone was still up at the crack of dawn to get their equipment together and head out on the boat for a full day of diving. All in a days work, I suppose.
I understand how people get sucked into this sport. And spend all their life savings on it haha. Will I do my dive masters? Maybe instructor course? Not 100% yet, but it sure is appealing ;)