Koh Tao, Thailand, January 2011

What I did…

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The trip to Koh Tao from Railay was long and tiring. We took a boat to Ao Nang, a minibus to Surat Thani, a bus to the ferry port and then the ferry to Kho Tao via Koh Samui and then Koh Phangan. We almost missed our connecting ferry in Koh Samui due to us being sat in the VIP lounge no taking any notice of what was going on around us!

We got to Koh Tao and headed straight to Phoenix Dive School to get accommodation that was thrown in with the diving course we were both doing. I was going to do my Open Water course, and Brogan, having already done her Open Water, decided to do the advanced course. After a quick dinner we headed back to our hut to rest after a full days traveling! Watched Shutter Island then fell to sleep pretty quickly.

Next day after toasties from the 7/11 we headed down to the dive school to fill out our papers (I also confirmed our 1st date that night that I had planned for a few days). Turns out that due to me having a perforated ear drum I needed to be signed off by a doctor for me to be able to go down to 15 meters or so. Passed fit and ready to go. 1st diving lesson was watching parts 1-3 of the dive video to get a feel for what we were going to do.

We went out for a meal at a beach side restaurant and then headed to Cave bar to play some pool (which I won of course, she will try and tell you different, but don’t believe her, there all lies!). We headed onto the beach to watch the fire show and got treated to an entirely different show also. Two random guys decided to streak into the sea and well, they thought they were in the dark, the spotlight from the beach showed otherwise. Rare! We headed back to our hut after seeing far too much! 

Brogan up at 6am the following morning for the 1st of her dives. I got up at a more respectable 9am to watch some more dive videos. I got a briefing on the pool dive that was happening in the afternoon and I had the time in between to do my homework! 

Back to the dive school and learnt how to set up and put on all of the dive equipment. We walked over the road to the pool and dove in one by one. In the pool we had to show that we were capable of taking off and putting back on all our equipment under water, clearing our masks and making a controlled accent to the surface. All very new and nerve-wracking to begin with! 

Back to the hut and Brogan was about to go and do her night dive. I stayed around the hut until she got back to go out for dinner. Brogan decided she was going to have a Margarita, that then turned into 6… she was drunk and managed to fall down a set of steps (that consisted of 2, that’s right 2 steps!). I stayed sober as I had my 1st sea dive the next morning! 

Made our way to a dive site called Japanese Gardens and got down to a depth of 12M. Equalizing my ears was tough to begin with and caused some pain but it got better with time. Butterfly fish, Angel Fish and Blue Spotted Stingray were the pick of the bunch but there were so many different fish down there. I was in heaven! Forget the pain, that was minor, this view was breathtaking! 

The second dive was an hour later at the Twin Peaks dive site, this was just as good as the 1st dive. Apart from just swimming around we had to show our instructor we could perform essential moves if anything went wrong. Clearing our masks, finding our secondary regulator. On our way up from 12M we also had to take a 3 minute break at 5M to avoid decompression sickness (The Benz). 

Back to the hut and Brogan was back from her dive, out for dinner and then to watch the football. Met her friend Dan and had a few beers next to the beach. 

Both out on the same boat the next morning as we had a dive in the same spot. We dove off the coast of Shark Island, which sadly did not live up to its name! On the 1st dive of the day everyone in my team saw a Trigger fish bar me! Gutted, thought id missed my chance but for one last dive at White Rock. I did however see one of the most spectacular things in my life! I was swimming along looking down at all the coral and fish when our instructor turned round and pointed up, as I looked up I saw a school of Barracuda… not 3 or 4, but a school of around 10,000! Unbelievable (I got goosebumps writing this down!)!

On the dive at white rock I saw 3 or 4 Trigger fish, they were a lot bigger than I had seen before in tanks ready to be sold, about 10 times the size! Incredible!

We got back to the hut shattered from our early start and had an afternoon nap. I went back to the dive school to take my final exam, I passed! Back to the hut and Brogan was in 2 minds weather to get her tattoo done now. We walked down to the place and got it drawn up, still unsure I pushed her along a little and she went for it! Looks great.

We were however late for dinner with Marcus and Lisa but they were OK. Had food, played pool, got attacked by a cat! Standard really! 

Next morning we were up at 11am to check out and make our way to Koh Pangan for the Full Moon Party warm up and to meet back up with Ad, Cliff, Daz and Skitt! 

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