Thursday, January 10, 2008

Under the Sea

I spent the end of '07 on a raucous beach on the island of Koh Pha Ngan in Thailand, and after growing tired of that washed up island went to the decidedly more pleasant Koh Tao to the north to soak in sun and salt water. The main attraction of the island is scuba diving, and always being one to run with the crowds, I jumped on the bandwagon. The first couple days were spent watching corn-hole PADI videos and doing quizzes designed for the thickest of the thick. My classmates were a Canadian couple who both would have gone down in flames on the final exam if they hadn't cheated on me - takes me back to junior high and letting the stoner kids cheat off me in science class. Equally easy test, and equally daft classmates. Anyway...

The depths of the sea are remarkable, and I got see and swim amongst dozens of species of bright, beautiful, florescent fishies, a massive school barracuda swimming in a spiral, some fish related to "Nemo", stingrays, and lots of other scuba divers doing their PADI open water diving courses. Apparently, Koh Tao is the #2 place in the world for issuing PADI open water certification (the certification which permits dives of up to 18 meters, although we were down to 22 meters at some points, shhhhh.)

Unfortunately the visibility was a bit crap because of a storm that had blown through and shaken up the ocean floor a few days earlier. Still, it was a remarkable experience and I look forward to doing more of it.


PJ said...

Hey Seth,
What does that hand signal mean? I'm heading upside for a Starbuckies??

Joseph M. Pavey said...

That's great! I spent some time in Ko Tao a couple of years ago, but didn't get certified at the time. I finally got around to getting my PADI certification this last year in Utila, Honduras.

My girlfriend and I will be in Ko Tao in a little over a month. Which diving school did you go with in Ko Tao? Would you recommend them? A friend of mine a couple of years ago went through Big Bubble and had a good experience.

Seth said...

It would be "I'm going up" but with the pinkie I think it's closer to "hang loose, dude".

Joe, I did my certification with a place called DJL, but from my research, Scuba Junction is of higher quality. Alas, their schedule for open water courses didn't fit my time there, but they should be good for fun dives.

Looking forward to wreck diving in the Philippines, but I might need my advanced for that.