Open Water Dive Number Four

August 7, 2008

It’s my second dive of the day, and then I’m officially an Open Water diver. No more tests. No more videos to watch. No more special exercises to perform while diving… at least until I decide to go for an advanced certificate.

The boat has moved from Hin Wong around to Mango Bay, on the north side of Koh Tao. I’ve heard good things about this site, so I’m looking forward to it. Once we’re under the water, I can see why so many people like this site. It’s very large, for one thing, and the landscape of the sea floor is exceptionally varied. There seems to be an infinite variety of corals, from big boulders to barrels to staghorns. There’s lots of fish as well. At one point, I spotted a lone angelfish (I think) whose scales shimmered golden in the light. It seemed almost ghostly in appearance.

As this is a certification dive, I have to do one last exercise: taking the mask completely off, putting it back on and clearing it. There’s one other beginning diver with us, so he goes through his exercises first. As I kneel on the sandy bottom waiting for my turn, I feel a sort of pin-prick on my ear. I shake my head, but soon feel another one. After three or four more, I’m really wondering what’s going on. That’s when I spot a small stripped cleaning fish making its way from me to my dive buddy. It seems that is what is responsible for the pin-pricks: I was getting my ears cleaned. It seems Adam has set us down in the middle of a cleaning station.

Our maximum depth on this dive was 12 meters. Visibility was good, if not great, at 6 to 7 meters.

Filed under: Learning to Dive — Michael @ 2:56 pm

Open Water Dive Number Three

Note: This is a continuation of my journal on learning to dive. You can read the first two parts at my travel journal.

I’m hooked. So, I’m back in Samui doing my last two dives for my open water certificate. As before, my instructor is the patient Adam from Rainbow Scuba. The sea around Nang Yuan is a bit rough today (don’t even ask about the trip from Samui), so we’re diving at Hin Wong on the east side of Koh Tao.

The weather top-side may be less than perfect, but beneath the waves it’s a great day. Visibility is about 6 meters or so; enough for a good look around. The landscape here is a steep sandy slope that can go down to 26 meters, but we don’t get below 10. There’s a nice row of coral boulders around this depth, with lots of curious fish to keep you company.

A pair of brightly stripped wrasse watch me do my fin pivots with a great deal of fascination, then it’s time to surface.

Filed under: Learning to Dive — Michael @ 12:30 pm