First Dive Koh Tao.
Since I was I little girl I have always wanted to be a mermaid, being able to spend all day in the ocean swimming around with my fish friends now that would have been the dream #wheresflounder. So, as I can't actually be a mermaid the next best thing would be scuba diving the only thing was I was petrified at the thought.
When my sister was at university she did her scuba diving training and soon became an instructor. She was always saying that I should do a try dive because she knew how much I would love it but I always found a reason not to do one. Honestly, I was really scared at the idea of being underwater and not being able to stand up so my head pops out the water.
In 2012 my sister moved to Thailand and got a job as an instructor at a little dive shop on Koh Tao. For months, she begged me to go out to visit her, and then in 2013 I finally caved. I decided to go out in the May with one of my closest friends. So, May came and we were off on an adventure of a life time (well that’s what I thought). Once out there my sister was soon on the case to get me to try diving and do my open water course at the same time and of course I did, been though my sister used the ‘I will pay for it for your birthday’ because she knew I would never say no. I'm so glad that I did. It's was amazing and loved most of it. The only thing that ruined the experience for me is my friend I went to Thailand with. Half way through the course she decided she no longer wanted to do it and then tried her hardest to stop me from finishing the course. Let's just say me and this girl are no longer friends.
Me and my friend were not on Koh Tao for long before my sister had signed us up to start the course with her the following day. I couldn’t believe how quick the whole process signing up was, no messing. I would have thought it would take a lot longer due to all the legislation and insurance that has to be covered before anyone can enter the water. Luckily for me I had my sister to answer any question I had about the course that the receptionist might have missed to tell us. Once we had finished my sister told us to get an early night as tomorrow was going to be a long day. At first I thought it she was joking but my sister never jokes when it comes to scuba diving, always the professional. So we went for a meal at Brothers bar then we all went off to bed ready for tomorrow’s fun activities.
It was 6 o'clock in the morning and all I could hear was ‘Paramore - Misery Business’ coming from my phone. It was so loud, all I wanted was Haley Williams to stop singing and let me snooze, but my friend knew I wouldn’t get up so she hid my phone making it I had to get up to find the evil device keeping me from my favourite thing... Sleeping. So I got up found my phone, turned off my alarm and got ready. We arrived at the dive school dead on 8 o'clock and there was no one there. Great start to the day, all the students arrive at 8 for their induction and there was no one there to induct us. Let’s just say I was fuming. I could have had more time in bed, because the dive school staff definitely did. We waited till 8.30 and still no one had turned up, so I rang my sister to ask what the hell was going on? She answered and asked why I wasn’t watching my induction video. So I told her and let’s just say a lot of swearing came out her mouth. Within 10- mins she had arrived at the school and opened up one of the classrooms, apologised for the miss communication between the instructors at the school then left us to watch the induction videos. Let’s just say that was 1 hour and 30 mins of pure boredom in a hot classroom with no air conditioning. My sister and another instructor then came and divided us into 2 groups. The A team and the B team. Obviously my sisters team was the A team cause we was awesome. Next we went to the equipment room, we was shown all the equipment and how to put it all together. The nerves had finally hit 100%, I was on the verge of having a massive melt down but then my sisters dog Gizmo came bouncing in and I got to have loads of puppy cuddles to calm myself down. So the A team all sat there on the beach watching my sister demonstrated and explained everything we needed to know before our first dive which was in the afternoon.
So the afternoon came and we all carried our equipment to the long tail boat which was then taking us to the big boat which was moored outside the Sairee cove, as only long tails are allowed near the island due to the protection on the coral reef surrounding Koh Tao. Once we were all aboard the big boat we set all our equipment up and did the necessary checks whilst travelling to the dive site. The location we went to was Twins, my sister said it was called twins because there was to twin rock formation, very original I thought ha-ha. So we arrived at the location, but before we could go in the water with the scuba gear on, we had it go in just with the snorkel and mask on, as my sister had to make sure we was capable to swim so far using the snorkel. Then she got us to do a free dive to 2m, to make sure we were comfortable being under water. I loved every minute. Safe to say I was a natural. Once she had seen all the stuff she needed we then went back to the boat and geared up. By this point I was too excited to let the fear enter my mind, I had the bug and I wanted more. So we all put our equipment on, and then did our buddy checks and then we were ready to go. Walking up to the edge of the boat the fear crept back in. I stood at the edge and froze. All I had in my head was ‘What was I doing? What if something goes wrong? I could die!’ every bad scenario ran through my head in less than a minute. I was paralysed. I wanted to move but my body wouldn’t. Then I looked down at my sister who was already in the water and all she said was ‘Poodelum you are safe’ and in those few seconds I had stepped off into the unknown. Everything after that is a blur until I had gotten over my fear. I can vaguely remember the decent to the ocean floor. I can remember doing the skills that I needed to demonstrate. I also can remember a little black and white stripy fish biting my lip repeatedly due to the fact I had a scab on them. Such a weird sensation it was, till he made me bleed. The thing that I do remember like it was yesterday was seeing my dive buddy being harassed by a trigger fish. What nasty fish, I was scared and it wasn’t me it was after. Luckily my sister was soon there defending us. The trigger fish soon got bored once in realised my sister was not going to back down. After that my sister decided to call time on the dive so we made a slow accent to the surface. What a roller-coaster ride it was and I was looking forward to doing it all again the day after. All the fear that I had was now just a tiny dot on my radar, I felt silly for not doing it sooner as I loved being under the water, wishing I could stay and make friends with all the marine life even the grumpy trigger fish. Now every time I go to visit my sister I’m diving with her. There is no stopping me now...