Turtle Island

Today was the earliest start yet – 615am for the final two open water training dives.

The first dive was at Hin Pee Wee just off the western coast of the island. It was our deepest dive yet – we made it all the way to 18m! During our 30 minutes underwater we saw amazing angel fish, groupers, a long faced empire fish, golden trevelly, a triggerfish and parrot fish! It was breathtaking (but not really cause you have to keep breathing, especially under water).

We got back in the boat for a bit of breakfast and a break before our second dive a bit further south at White Rock. Koh Tao is known as turtle island and when we started our open water diving course we were all curious as to our chances of seeing turtles while diving. We were told that it can happen but not often – today, we beat the odds and saw the coolest turtle ever! He was swimming along the bottom, rubbing his face all up in some foliage and getting his brekkie on. It was so amazing to see up close, he was only inches away. We also saw soldier fish and file fish. We saw a sea cucumber, which was super weird. They are huge and immobile but they crawl along using only their mouth. We also saw a pretty big white moray eel! Eek!imageWhen we came out of the water, we were so happy to have had such amazing dives but we were even more excited to be certified PADI open water divers!

imageTomorrow, my diving buddy and I will continue on to the Advanced Open Water training by completing an additional 5 dives: shipwreck, deep dive (to 30m), underwater photography/fish identification, night diving and navigation. We will be doing the deep dive, fish ID/photography and night dives tomorrow. We have managed to get Sunday off for a lie in and some fun island exploration before completing the shipwreck dive and navigation on Monday morning before I get the ferry to Koh Samui. Perfection!

Since we dove so early this morning, we finished before noon, which gave us a bit more free time than usual! We spent an hour at the beach swimming, reading and getting just a bit of sun.imageimage IMG_9245

We then decided to hike up to the island viewpoint on the southern tip of Koh Tao. We took this tiny trail through the jungle, climbing over boulders and removing our flip flops to scale the rocks better. When we finally made it to the top, the view was spectacular. I could barely believe my eyes.

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After a quick shower from the sweaty uphill trek, we opted to skip yoga and head to happy hour – it is a vacation after all.

On our way, we met a monkey! He was just chillaxing under a tree.

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Head to my instagram to see the video of the monkey insisting on a foot massage – he wanted one from everyone! Cheeky little monkey.

But happy hour was still calling our name. This fabulous beach front bar had 99baht happy hour – all cocktails at 99baht ($3 or £1.90). So we settled into comfy cushions and had a front row view of the sunset with banana coladas, listening to the chilled out jams of a guy whose pile of dreadlocks was higher than a beehive. We decided to order dinner as well and I tried something new – stir fried seafood with basil leaves, hot peppers and chili oil. It was divine.

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After the sunset, they put on a relatively short-lived but entertaining fire show on the beach – apparently the fire shows on Sairee Beach are a bit better, which is where we are going out tomorrow!

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