Trip Start Dec 04, 2006
63Trip End Aug 05, 2007
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Tara here. It was just not exactly what we were promised, but in writing the company had themselves covered (big surprise...). Oh well, the diving was still great for the most part and we had a good time nonetheless. The highlight was two deep dives on Richelieu Rock, a beautiful dive site discovered by Jacques Cousteau. It is generally considered the best dive site in Thailand, and we would have to concur.
Nathan again. Although we're not finished diving on this trip, we believe we have a winner for "Idiot Diver of the Year." The recipient is a middle-aged American man in our dive group who, among many other things:
-Refused to do pre-dive buddy checks (essential among recreational scuba diving so you don't, say, go in the water without turning on your air);
-Was constantly the last one to enter the water;
-Never swam with his buddy (another BIG no-no in diving cause losing someone in your group requires that everyone end the dive and come to the surface);
-Constantly swam ahead of the guide and at times out of sight;
-Actively chased schools of fish away before others could enjoy them;
-Tried touching large and possibly dangerous fish (what the !*&?!);
-Ascended and descended radically throughout each dive (not good for the body); and,
-Sunned himself silly to the point of peeling between dives (a recipe for a little something called Decompression Sickness - which is just all around bad for everyone involved). Need we say more. Upon reflection, he probably broke every fundamental principle of recreational scuba diving. So, he is the big winner - or loser so to speak.
On the weekend we completed three more dives to finish off our PADI Rescue Diver course. We both successfully "rescued" our friend Johan from France who recently became a Divemaster. It was good for our confidence and after 43 dives in Thailand, we've both really improved our skills. A bonus was getting close to a sea turtle while it was eating some hard coral and we also spotted a rare juvenile bamboo shark (so cute). Both were incredible sights for sure. Sadly and to Tara's chagrin, I did not bring the dive camera because I knew we would be completing some rescue skills and I honestly didn't think we'd have time for sightseeing under the water.
Tara here. A little note on one of Nathan's in-water rescue scenarios. The test required him to respond to a panicked diver on the surface of the water. Rather than just donning his fins and jumping in, he "geared up" tank, weight belt and all - and got in the water without turning his air on. Needless to say, Johann, the divemaster we were tasked with rescuing lived, but only after going to the bottom and receiving rescue breathing once Nathan brought him to the surface. When my turn came, granted I got to learn from Nathan's experience, I donned only my fins and a flotation device and got Johann out easy as pie, no rescue breathing required :)
Nathan here: for the record and all kidding aside, I thought my air was on. It was chaos on the boat. Whatever. And Tara succeeded after I whispered to her what to do. So essentially she cheated. Cheater!!
Switching gears, I am pleased to report that the underwater photos for this entry were taken with our simple sony cybershot camera. Turns out it can take a decent pic underwater provided that the subject is still, you're even more still and you use the flash.
Tara here. By the way, we're on the road again. Currently writing from Bangkok waiting for our "delayed" flight to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Yes, it's time to get moving again - plus the government says we have to get out before March 23rd :) And seeing as we don't want to end up at the Bangkok Hilton (jail) we are happily obliging them.
We realize we have been a little slack on entries lately and will try to write more as we change scenery in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for upcoming entries including "What Not to Wear at the Beach" (read: lots of embarassing pics of strangers) and "Cecilia's Amazing Race"..... See ya. N&T.