Monday, December 22, 2008

Advanced Open water Diver

In 48 hours on Koh Tao Island I am now and advanced open water diver. My specialties are deep diving, underwater navigation, buoyancy control, night diving and using dive a computer.

Yesterday we set out on the longtail at 7am and were in the water at Chumphon Pinnacle by 8:30. At 26 meters my dive instructor, Emily, and I saw the back end of a Reef shark as she shyly swam away from us. We had only been in the water 5 minutes! We then went to 32 meters and did our nitrogen narcosis tests - I didn't feel any silly side-effects, unfortunately. It just seemed like normal diving to me. The colours were very different and that was neat.

For our second dive I was paired up with a dive master trainee (DMT) and I had to plan every aspect of the dive and then lead her through my plan. I had to decide the maximum depth, maximum dive time and route around the site. This included using maps, a dive computer and an underwater compass. I was so eager and anxious to know where I was, that once we submerged, I took off like a shot. I suspect that the teacher-in-me exploded at this opportunity to 'lead the way'. I was SO excited that we circled the entire dive site within about 15 minutes. Ooppps! So we went back, slowly, and I toured my DMT around, finding all the cool sites and making it back to the buoy line at exactly 45 minutes. She was impressed and I am now and Advanced Open Water Diver. The visibility is not greats right now (~5meters) so this was actually as huge accomplishment. Others in the course had a truly difficult time with the navigation. I relied on my compass and computer a lot , and felt comfortable using them properly.I spent the afternoon checking out Koh Tao on foot and booked a 5-day yoga retreat starting next Monday and ruining until Friday afternoon when I must fly back to Bangkok and catch my flight home to Hong Kong. The yoga retreat is on Koh Phangan Island (the one between here and Koh Samui) and it includes accommodation and breakfast, as well as 4 hours of Yoga per day and a little pilates if I'm interested. It should be amazing.

One week of diving + One week of yoga. Life couldn't be better :)

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