I wish it could be christmas every day

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Sep 01, 2006

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Happy New Year Everyone!!
Hope you are good and still munching on the Christmas and New Year leftovers with cheesy carols still stuck in your head!
We are fine and are loving Ko Lanta. So after a few more days of relaxing in the sun, swimming and playing frizbi we decided to chill out and take it easy for Christmas! On Xmas eve we had Korean style BBQ at the place we are staying. Lots of people sitting around the table with coal heated hotplates on it and then each armed with a plate of fish and meat, chopsticks and the secret special sauce you cook your own meal. As I'am veggy I was just planning to have soup but when we arrived back they had prepared a plate of tofu for me so I could cook too which was lovely (I'm not sure if we are ever going to leave this place!)
We started Xmas day off by running in the sea, Danny wearing his Santa hat and us both singing carols (Danny's flashing santa hat flashed no more!) After breakfast we thought we would have a celebratory glass of the Champagne we bought, so as Danny opens the bottle he says 'this is a funny cork', which once pulled easily off with no pop reveales no lovely bubbly but rank (and expensive) Champagne Congaic! We later tried to drink it mixed with coke (I'm sure some will think that's blasfemous) but still bad we donated it to the bar. We also managed to have a proper three course Xmas dinner too with all the trimmings in one fo the bars, sitting on the beach with new found friends in the sun - very nice!
On Boxing day we took part in a candle lit memorial service on the beach which was moving and good to take part in and hear the stories people wanted to share.

Danny and I are both now officially Advanced divers now after completing the course which was loads of fun, even the studying before hand, both of us reading and filling in the question sheets it felt like Uni again! To pass we had to navigate using a compass underwater, practice buoyancy by spinning and pretending to fly kick each other Matrix style and do a deep dive to 30m. On the deep dive once at 30m we wrote our middle names backwards on a slate to see if we got 'narked' which is feeling the effects of Nitrogen Narcosis. Our instructor said sometimes you feel disorientated or euphoric at depths greater than 30m. We both felt fine and didn't start trying to give our regulator's to the fish!
On the deep dive after about 10 minutes Danny signals that soemthing is wrong, he's not ok and wants to go up. Out instructor has meanwhile swam off ahead and it is just us two alone 30m down in the dark! I get a bit nervous as it's hard to find out what's wrong and reasure someone when you cant talk and we are too deep to come up fast! Trying to get the instructors attention under water was also difficult, finally grabbing her fin Danny says he want to go up so slowly we all ascend. Once at 5m Danny signals that he is ok again so we go back down to continue the dive. Towards the end of the dive I'm engrosed at looking at coral and fish when Danny taps me to look at something. They are both pointing excitedly at something. I look and look and there is nothing there when suddenly a massive Green turtle swims into view! It was amazing and we hovered (practicing our new buoyancy skills) for about 10 minutes foraging on the coral in front of us until we reluctantly had to go up as our air was running out. Amazing!
When we got to the surface Danny takes off his mask and says he wanted to go up as his eyes were really painfull. I looked and him and he has two massive puffy black eyes! He didn't equalize his mask and so got whats called a mask squeeze - very painful. Once back on the boat everyone wanted to have a look especially the instructors as they had only seen it in books. By the end of the day I think if anyone else said "Oh you need to blow through your nose to equalize it" I think Danny was gonna give them black eyes!

After completing the course we went to Hin Deang dive site for a days diving which is a submerged reef in the middle of the sea. It was amazingly beautiful with lots of fantastic coral and bigger fish (including massive scarey eyed Barracuda) due to the size of the drop off. At one point Danny starts making lots of noise and tapping me to get my attention and frantically points into the blue. There I saw some white moving and as it comes closer I can see it's a gigantic 4m wide manta ray - fantastic!!

New Years Eve was really fun, drinks and music on the beach, lots of fireworks and lanterns floating in the sky. At one point there was 7 of us squashed in a motor bike rikshaw going to a different bar at 10 miles an hour. We toasted the New Year in Australia and Thailand but could not quite make it for the UK at 7am!

Hope you all had a great New Years and wishing good things for 2006 xx
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