We were on the training pool that Big Blue Diving Koh Tao school has in their premises in order to practice in shallow waters all the security procedures and diving techniques we were going to need for our first immersions in the sea.
And anxiety had taken over me. Inhaling and exhaling, both overseen in our daily lives, needed to be carefully dictated by oneself at the right pace and I was doing it all wrong.
Therefore, the air consumption, much higher than it should be, would end my tank in less than an hour. Even when I barely was doing anything else than keeping myself underwater, quiet, trying to follow our instructor leads.
I just needed to keep in mind that almost everybody could do it. And so little by little, I started to soothe and breathe slower. But I didn’t get it right that same afternoon, not at all. It took me all the five dives the beginner’s Open Water course included (1 confined, 4 open water) to feel I could do it semi-properly. And that I wasn’t risking my life so much. Because, spoiler alarm, staying calm in a hotel pool has nothing to do with actually diving up to 18 meters under the sea level. After having learned about compression, Nitrogen and the dangers of just heading to the surface straight without, for instance, the safety stop at 5 meters under the sea level for three minutes, that was not a possibility if I ran out of gas.
Now that I know all that and many other things, still I could say I have no clue of scuba diving after 6 dives if you ask me. And that is why I am already looking forward to continue practicing it and getting more certifications. Because man, scuba diving is freaking awesome!
And so we got to spend 5 days while getting Open Water certified in Koh Tao, a little Thailand blissful island that managed to keep itself away from the big resorts that populate its neighbor islands.
That probably is part of its charm. That and being such a heavenly paradise where prices are very affordable, you can find huts and modest accommodations managed by the locals and enjoy its excellent beaches and dive sites, off the beaten path hikes, prime sunsets by the seaside while poi fire dancers showcase their magic in front of you, fine dining restaurants and, overall, be part of the good vibe of this archipelago.
If you want my advice, go get lost, skip the full moon craziness as we did – taking part monthly in Koh Phangan, a two-hour ferry ride away – and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere that Koh Tao offers to its visitors all year round. And, while you are there, break into the scuba diving scene if you are not an addict so far. So worth it!
We might cross paths with you very soon as we are already planning to go back to this happy place!
Disclaimer: Our two 4 day SSI Open Water Certification courses were partially funded by Epic Gap Year, a company that specializes in offering the coolest experiences and certification courses in world-class locations that you should definitely check out if adventure travel is your thing.
On the other hand, this video was possible thanks to Big Blue Diving Koh Tao, which offered us two fun dives after getting our licenses to get some video content. Because there’s no way you are going to take your goPro with you underwater during the course if you were wondering. Safety goes first always! And believe me, unless you are a rare specimen, you won’t be ready to pay attention to anything else than yourself for those first 4 epic dives.
If you enjoy it just a 10% of what we did, you’ll have a blast. Say hi from us!
Are you planning to get your Open Water certification in Thailand? Which are your favorite destinations to practice scuba diving? Let us know in the comments below!
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