Becoming a Mermaid :)

Trip Start Aug 28, 2012
Trip End Aug 09, 2013

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Where I stayed
Ban's Diving Resort Ko Tao
Read my review - 5/5 stars

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

3rd-9th Nov – Koh Tao

First and foremost – I HAVE MY OPEN WATER PADI :D

The journey to Koh Tao commenced nice and early (luckily after a reasonably early night) at 9. We got a boat, a taxi, a boat, a taxi!  We were umming about 2 different dive schools, both of which had been recommended to us, but on the 2nd boat were sold to Ban's as it included 4 nights free accommodation, even though Laura wasn’t go to be doing any sort of training – yay, money saving :) And it is actually known as the best!  On the free taxi to Ban’s I got talking to people who were doing their Padi as well, and it turned out we started that evening!  All very quick but exciting.  Laura and I got settled, had a quick swim then it was off to the classroom for me!

The course was spread across 4 days: the first just being an evening in the classroom watching 3 sections to a dvd.  We were all shattered and bored but actually stayed for the whole thing, me taking the teacher role and going through the answers to each section as we went.  The 2nd day consisted of a morning session in the pool then an afternoon in the classroom; the 3rd day our first 2 sea dives and then an after in the classroom and our "exam"; our 4th day 2 dives, and telling us we passed!

The first day in the pool was all about skills; and I hated it.  I came sooooo close to quitting because I just couldn’t get my breathing right at all: I thought I was taking such small breathes in but breathing out so much and I think having to do the skills in front of people make me conscious and nervous and I just worked myself up so I wasn’t breathing properly.  Jens, the other half of the groups instructor, then took me under his wing, gave me a new regulator and just took me right to the bottom at the pool to 3m before everyone else!  He then came up and said “if you can do that and stay there, you are breathing fine”!  So that was it, it took a kick up the arse to get me breathing properly.

The rest of the dives were amazing; I have decided I want to be a mermaid :)  I love the ease of floating through water, and if I can say it myself, I was one of the first to control and not have a problem with my buoyancy: we were told to swim as close to the bottom as possible so I did – I think some people missed out on this memo!  On the dives we saw lots of fish – this place is just covered in them, a lot more compared to what I saw when snorkelling in the Gili’s.  The most exciting thing we saw (which my dad may be surprised to hear) is a massive jelly fish!  It was about half a metre ish, and was bright red, just floating past us, with fuck-off MASSIVE tentacles about 5m long!!!  We went to a depth of 18m on the last dive but it didn’t seem any different.  It’s funny; the thing I was most worried about – my ears – were no problem at all :D  Worrying over!  I love it, love it, love it and want to spend my life in the water.  I want to be greedy though and ensure that on my next dive I see something that I am just like “WOW” to!  Greedy!  But it’s a lot of money each time, haha!

Similar to us being so lucky with our group on our Komodo trip, I was sooooo lucky with our diving group:  Fiona (my buddy in the water), Helen, Shay, Reuben, Mallory, Nicki, Mark, Justin, Danillo: these guys were fantastic and so much fun and support and made the whole experience 10 times better!  Even our instructors said we were an amazing group, and our photographer who came on the last dive said we were the most fun group she had ever had to shoot.

Obviously, on graduation we had a massive night out (or half of us did as some were diving the next morning).  It started with watching our video from our last 2 dives which were all attempting to get a copy of, having only bought 1 – oops!  But the video was soooo well done, with amazing music to go with it.  There is an interview of me on it – cringe – saying how exciting we are and acting all cheesy, lol.  Something good to look back on, but not liking the bags around my eyes, haha.  We then went to an unbelievable Italian restaurant for dinner.  Laura and Lara almost had an orgasm when they saw they could get a cheese board and red wine, I was already on the cocktails, so I let them order things for us to share – easy!  Lots of pictures of the groups, lots of cheers and lots of thanks to the instructors (one of whom I saw the next day, me being still drunk :S)!

Then the night progressed, or should I say regressed from there! Lara and I shared 2 buckets, one of which had the infamous red bull, and we moved from one bar because one of the guys got into a fight with a fire dancer :S  Uh-oh-hopefully the locals won’t come and find him.  We then moved to fishbowl which was right outside our hotel.  We danced A LOT – I mainly spent the night with Lara and Matty, with Shay bumping around here and there and watching Mallory as she showed us how to do it with fire skipping rope and fire limbo!  The night finished with Lara and I having an emotional session and deciding it best to go paddle in the sea to ensure we felt better :)  The next day wasn’t amazing as you can expect; Shay, Lara and I all felt pretty awful!

The remainder of our time and the time we were not diving were spent on the beach.  The beach was STUNNING – the water so clear and you could wade out for ages and still be at your own depth.  We spent a lot of time watching the sunset, the best one being spent at we all gathered at and named the 'horizontal tree’ and got some amazing pictures, as well as ones of Shay and I attempting to do handstands and cartwheels!

And the best bit about it all – apart from Justin we then all went to Koh Phi Phi together; the guys went the day before the girls and the fun continued... :D
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Dad on

Please let me know if you see these so I am not wasting my time!
Many congrats on getting your Padi - it's great you did'nt inherit my abnormal ears! You certainly enjoyed it - little mermaid!
Luv Dad

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