Breathing Underwater

Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
Trip End May 31, 2008

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Where I stayed
Charm Beach Resort

Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, February 24, 2008

Turtle Island - it really is paradise. Water so clear you wonder if there's any difference between up and down and aren't completely sure until you lower your hand and find it wet. Towering palm trees full of unripened coconuts and sand so white it blinds you in the mid-day sun.

No wonder half the island is populated with foreigners who received their instructor certificates for scuba diving and never left. Germans that have been there for twelve years, Swedes for five, French who came for a vacation seven years earlier and ended up buying a restaurant. Looking at this place, I can totally understand why. But watching the scuba divers sitting around doing absolutely nothing day in and day out, I came to realize that as nice as this is for a holiday, I couldn't be an ex-pat doing nothing for a living.

Well - not yet anyway. Give me another thirty years and I'll probably be on the first plane out here.

My first day diving was incredible. I had a hard time keeping the regulator (the thing that you put in your mouth and breathe oxygen through it) in my mouth as I kept screeching to my buddy that OMG there's a fish! And another one!! AND ANOTHER ONE!!!!!!

I did four dives in three days and saw a million fish, amazing coral and two stingrays! Being underwater was like being on an alien planet. I felt like I was upside down floating around in an inverted world. There really are no words for how awe-inspiring the experience was. A huge trigger fish swam right next to me, nearly brushing against me. I had to bite down on the regulator to keep from spitting it out in surprise. I felt like a child going to Disneyland for the first time... OMG WEE I'M UNDERWATER!!!

I aced my dive test, was told by my Thai dive instructor - Vie - that I was a great diver and am considering going back for an Advanced Diver course next month. I met some great people and enjoyed laying on the beach with a cushion and banana shake while looking up at the stars.

Now I'm on another island - Koh Phangan - having found a restaurant with free internet (nearly impossible, being online is expensive on the islands!) and am getting ready for the all night Full Moon Party. Luckily I have a huge group of people to go with and I anticipate good times, Good Times, all around. ;) I have been paranoid about wrecking my camera by dropping it in the water or the sand so I don't have any scuba diving pictures, unfortunately, but the island pictures I do have I'll upload once I'm back in BKK. It's so gorgeous on these islands, pictures hardly do it justice.

Miss you all!
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