Koh Tao and its surrounding waters were the location for my PADI open water dive course. Meeting at Davy Jones Dive Centre, the first afternoon consisted of theory and a rather cheesy video by PADI. Day two and we were in the swimming pool, kitted up and learning how the dive equipment worked. Putting my head under and breathing for the first time was a strange feeling, being completely comfortable in the water helped alot, but it was an unnatural sensation. I quickly got used to it and was excited about the underwater world this was about to open up for me. To the surprise of my instructor I completed the theory work we were assigned for the evening, wanting to have as much knowledge as I could to make my dives more enjoyable.
My first open water dive was at Lighthouse bay, the most northerly point of the island, we dove 12 meters under water for 53 minutes and I was instantly hooked! The second dive was at Twin rocks, here the coral was more colourful and there were so many fish, clown fish, barracuda fish, angle fish, parrot fish, trigger fish, butterfly fish, long fin banner fish, a puffa fish, sting rays and a big pink jelly fish to name a few! The third and forth dives were at Chumpon Pinnacle and White Rock, skills needed to be completely here in order to pass the course, mainly safely procedures including running out of air, your buddy running out of air and buoyancy control, the skills were quite straight forward and didn’t take long to complete, leaving plenty of time left to enjoy the dive and search for turtles, no luck there though!
Koh Tao is a great place to learn to dive, the visibility is good and there is so much to see at the different dive sites. I would recommend Davy Jones Locker for the dive centre, my instructor mike was excellent. He made every day fun, he was clear and very good at passing on his knowledge to us. Once qualified I added on a fun dive as I was itching to get back under. Visiting Chumphon again I swam around spotting fish and coral I hadn’t noticed before, and out of the blue (quite literally) came a whale shark! Gracefully gliding through the water he came close enough to touch (I didn’t), it was amazing to be able to share his world with him.
The afternoon dive was at Sattakut wreck, an American war ship, sold to the Thai navy and deliberately sunk to dive around. Diving in and around the wreck was great fun, especially walking up the stairs and sitting on the gun! This island was a fantastic place to discover diving and has me well and truly hooked on the underwater world.