Today was my first full day in Koh Tao and it was amazing.
I started off at Ocean Sound not-so-bright-eyed and not at all bushy-tailed. Between the crazy travel of the past couple of days and the jet lag, a 740am start was not awesome. Alas.
We we had a morning pool session where we learned how to prepare all of our diving kit and went through some of the basics. We then were allocated wet suits (ummmm, hello size XS suit – hollaaaaaa) which we had to wrangle our way into, which was not easy. We spent about two hours in the pool learning all kinds of crazy skills like breathing under water, taking off our mask/putting it back on and clearing the water from it without going up to the surface, managing buoyancy, fixing a buddy’s lose equipment, communicating through hand signals and swimming with fins.
It all seems like it would be pretty straightforward but it took some time to adjust to breathing under water. It goes against all of your instincts and I can totally understand how someone could panic under water. But I eventually got the hang of it. After a couple of hours at the deep end of the pool, I was definitely feeling more confident than at the start.
We decided to have lunch together as a group with our dive instructor but first we stopped by to see baby turtles who has been found and rescued. They are being cared for until they are big enough to be released back into the wild and survive on their own. Also, I learned that the gender of a turtle depends on the surrounding temperature at a certain point in their development! Amazing.
We went to a sweet beach front cafe for lunch – another amazing smoothie; smoothies are quickly becoming my go-to lunch choice here. We had a quick lunch and chat and then headed back to the office for a quick one hour classroom session to go over some addition information.
In addition to breathing under water, I spent some time working on breathing in another context – off to yoga at the Ocean Sound yoga studio for a 90 minute class that ticked all the boxes – in addition, the instructor played a mean soundtrack so that made it even more enjoyable! The class was perfect – a great end to a long day!
My diving buddy is a super sweet Kiwi who is currently teaching English in Ho Chi Minh, in Vietnam. Turns out she is also a yoga enthusiast so we went to yin yoga last night and a hatha class together tonight. After the class we headed to an open air Thai restaurant on the strip by our hotel and dive school, sharing stories over our respective noodle dishes. Then back to the hotel for a bit more homework before bed – tomorrow will be our first two ocean dives!