Learning to Dive: Koh Tao

While my group tour was great, by the end of it I was ready and eager to go off on my own. But first I needed to heal. After 40 days of too little sleep and too much alcohol my body hated me and I had the cough of a 86 year old smoker dying of lung cancer. I was also sick of being social. 40 days of never. being. alone. Ever. It gets to you…

I spent about 3 days in a hotel in Bangkok, talking to no one, rarely leaving the hotel room and sleeping most of the day. It was perfect. I then relocated to Koh Tao to the quietest beach I could find and spent another 2 days lying on the beach alone. It was also perfect.

Around Day 6 my cough had healed, my (what I thought was permanent) hangover had subsided and I felt normal again. It was time to rejoin society.

I switched to Sairee beach (the one that actually has people on it) and booked an Open Water Diving course with Big Blue Diving. SO. MUCH. FUN.

I love the ocean and I love snorkelling but at the same time I only like “pretty” fish as the “ugly” fish scare me. Sting rays, sharks, eels…I didn’t want to see any of those things. Basically, I’m a wimp…so I wasn’t sure how I’d like diving.

Buuuutttt I loved it. There were 5 of us in a group with a grumpy, bitter, yet somehow he made it all endearing, dive instructor named Neil. Neil was great. TEAM NEIL!

4 of us in the group ended up staying to do our Advanced Course, as well, thanks to the great leadership that was Neil. He was a no bullshit, won’t let you be wimpish, yet makes you feel totally comfortable kind of guy, and I give him full credit for my new found love of diving.

With the advanced course we did a navigation dive, buoyancy dive, night dive (terrifying…yet I’d do it again), deep dive and a wreck dive. It was 5x better than the basic certification course, which was already great on it’s own. It’s official. I’m addicted.

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