Under water weasels!

Trip Start Oct 25, 2006
Trip End May 06, 2007

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, December 3, 2006

Today Laura Beavis completed her Open Water PADI course! It was quite a tough and tiring 4 days; in the classrooms, watching videos, reading books, quizes, exams, learning core underwater skills and of course the diving. Matt was hoping to get 4 days worth of extra sun over me, but unfortunately for him, i couldn't have picked 4 better days to do the course as the weather was pretty moody!

To be honest, at first I hated it, on my first dive I was really scared and nervous - the conditions weren't great and instead of being dropped off in shallow waters we seemed to be dropped off in the middle of the ocean. As I started to descend I felt totally out of control, and looking around, some of the other divers seemed to be strugggling too - one had to many weights attached to him, so plummeted past me... another one was panicking and having to use the instructors extra air regulator and I was having major problems equalising and it felt like my ear drums were about to rupture, so with all this, I panicked too and decided to head back up to the surface and back on the boat. Thirty minutes later everyone else emerges from the water saying how wicked it was etc, so I decided to give it another go. So my first proper dive was done just me and the instructor which gave me my confidence back and from there I loved it. On the 2nd dive of the day we saw a sea turtle munching away on the corals, sting rays, lion fish - it was truely amazing down there.

Matt hadn't dived for over a year, so thought it best to do a refresher course - this basically involves going through all the equipment, setting it up etc followed by a short shallow dive where you go over underwater signals and various safety drills etc.

The following morning he came along with me to the Dive centre as we were both going to the same dive sites. After checking through all the equipment and setting it up, we were taken by long boats out to the Dive boat and from there a short 30 minute ride to the sites - Bida Nok and Bida Nai. Both sites are just off Koh Phi Phi Lee (where the movie "The Beach" was set and filmed). The current was pretty strong, so we had to get to the bottom pretty quick in order to stay on the site. Both dives lasted about 55mins to a depth of about 16 meters, even at that depth the temperature was unbelievably warm -in some places 31'c. We saw large coral gardens, numerous varieties of fish from leopard sharks to eels - it was wicked.

Met a cool couple from London on our dive, so went out with them that night to celebrate our PADI. There was an opening night of a bar on Long Beach with a live band from Thailand, fire throwers and everything... so we went along to that, which was rather amusing and interesting to say the least! We then ventured over to Tonsai to carry on boozing and when trying to get a long tail boat home at 3.30am, found that this was infact impossible as the tide had completely gone out. Luckily Helen and Graeme had walked the journey from Tonsai to Long Beach on a previous day so knew the way, otherwise think we would have been sleeping on the beach!
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