Ever since we started this trip, Matt has wanted to get his PADI certificate for scubadiving and seeing as one of the cheapest places in the world to get certified is in Thailand, we headed to Koh Tao after Koh Pha Ngan; THE place to scuba.
After much conversation I decided that I might as well try it too (seemingly forgetting that I’m not keen on the sea, or water for that matter, and hate submerging my head). So we opted for a discovery dive day first to test the waters (haha). We picked a dive resort that was recommended by friends, sat and signed away our legal right to sue if we happened to die because of negligence (holy crap) and got an early night ready for our 9am start the next day.
It all started out fine. We had a briefing from our instructor, put the equipment on (no one mentioned the fact that the tank weighs an absolute ton, leaving me barely able to walk) and got into the training pool. Here we went through some of the basic skills. Once. In 45 minutes. Before being told that we could take a lunch break ready for the sea dive later. URM WHAT?! 45 minutes in a pool not even two metres deep and you want me to go out into the middle of the sea and dive to 12 metres?! I didn’t even know how to swim with flippers, let alone successfully equalise my ears. You’ll be fine they said, we’ll take it slow they said.
And to be fair to them they did take it slow, it just turned out that slow was still too fast for my panicky persona. We anchored the boat, put our equipment on and I had started crying before I had even left the swaying vessel. I screamed when jumping into the sea, started hyperventilating and shouting that I hated it and wanted to get out; all casually in front of 50 other divers who just stared as I flapped about like a beached whale on the surface. Things only got worse when we went down to a measly 1 metre. I couldn’t equalise my ears, panicked (the one thing you shouldn’t do underwater) and nearly drowned myself trying to reach the surface. Here the instructor wrote me off as a bad job and towed me back to the boat, where I sat for the next two hours with my tail between my legs profusely apologising to anyone who would listen. Turns out the under water life is not for me.
Matt it turns out loves it, dove to 8 metres and is now undertaking his PADI qualification. To say that I’m jealous is an understatement; while I hated the experience I would love to be able to see all the amazing fish! I’m hoping to persuade him to do a guest post about the course when he’s done so fingers crossed this will be coming soon!