Turn right out of my beach bungalow and you get to the palm tree heaven swimmimg pool. Then turn left and you walk straight into the crystal waters,heaving with aqua life just waiting to be explored by scuba sarah…you jealous yet? shall I continue?
So, am now a scuba pro! Well almost. I have completed my padi open water course and im a fully certified diver (certified looney) according to our instructor Andy. Koh Tao (Turtle Island) is the perfect place to swim under the sea. Its the cheapest place in the world and the marine life is fantastic. My group consisted of myself and Lindsay. two Australian sisters Lesley and Elissa, Lou from Cardiff, Ben lover of chang from Manchester and Neal and Iain from London. Our Instructor Andy was fantastic and made the whole experience even better!
We started with the academic stuff- thought I’d left that behind! But seeing as we studied under a palm tree it wan’t too taxing on the brain. The whole course was quite intense and on the second day we spent four hours in the swimmimg pool with all our scuba gear on practising skills such as taking our masks off and taking out breathing apparatus out. Fine in a 2 metre pool but how does that work when your 18m under!? I was soon to find out….
It was brilliant, you just sink to the bottom of the sea and sit down (making sure you’re not near any coral that may/will attack you). We had to pretend to loose our masks and regulators from our mouths and then find them again. I was a little scared to say the least but once you know how…its so easy! You can do almost anything under water..laugh, talk, dance, hiccup. put sunglasses on and dance at the same time (have video evidence of this).
After 4 dives I was qualified and decided to start work on my advanced course. So up at 7.30 the day, after I thought all the diving was done, I was preparing to do my deep sea dive 30m. Now deep sea diving can be dangerous, there’s risk of decompression sickness, oxygen poisoning and nitrogen narcosis. Decompression sickness can be stopped by doing a safety stop when you ascend and as long as you check your oxygen you should be ok (did I mention that we had put together all out own equipment? those of you who know me, know that I’m not the most technical or handy person. I had no idea if I had attached all the equipmet properly and the only way to tell is if you suddenly cant breathe).
Anyway, back to nitrogen narcosis. This is when you breathe too much nitrogen and it can cause foolish behaviour and physical/mental impairment. In other words you may feel like you’ve had one Chang too many! Were we scared about this? No of course not, we wanted to feel drunk at 30 metres down! We had to do number tests at the bottom to see if we were affected. We were all ok, fairly ‘with it’, but just as we started to ascend I got the hiccups and couldn’t stop laughing, then my regulator came out of my mouth and my mask fell off! I can only say how funny it was, I was still laughing at the surface when the current was stopping me from getting back on the boat. Now I’ve been through that, I reckon I can do anything!
I’ve now left the beautiful Island of Koh Tao (I miss it, I want to go back and become a dive instructor) and have arrived in Koh Samui for relaxing after my strenuous week. I ache all over after having 15 kilos of scuba gear on my back for 5 days. Feel I thai massage on its way!
Oh yeah, went to hospital yesterday with Lindsay because the night before, while I was tucked up in bed preparing for my dive she was walking along the beach in the dark and stood on something that stung her. She got rushed top hospital as her foot had gone black and blistered up and she couldn’t move. There was a severe lack of doctors on the island and they didn’t know what it was so when we got to Samui we went straight to the hospital. She’s ok now but probably wont be able to walk for a while!
PS sabadee kaa means hello in thai. I say it about hundred times a day as well as koph kuum kaa which means thank you!