Paradise Koh Tao

6:30 Laying in bed listening to tropical morning bird calls, already beautiful and warm, ok out of bed and ready… WHERE DO I GET COFFEE… shit!… oh well to late… Time to dive. We all meet up at Phoenix Dive, all four of us smiling like kids at xmas. Sort our gear and off to the long tail to get out to the main boat (small boat today). On board and Xavier (or Xavy as we would come to know him by) our dive instructor went through the dive rundown…. And then we were in the water…shallow dive 5mt at Japanise Garden testing skills regulator retrieval, taking our mask off, buddy breathing but still plenty of time to look at the sea life. My first thought was ‘wow so much coral bleaching’, after speaking to Xav later he told me that 2009 was a bad year for it but as we get deeper it lessens… back on the boat for a half hour trip in the sun to our 2nd dive for the day at Mango bay, a beautiful tropical bay, deep green water surrounded by jungle… Mango bay was amazing fish life stunning… some more training and a swim around, our first real look at the aquatic world and back on the boat and back to base for lunch and an afternoon to ourselves.
So we all arranged to meet back up after lunch for a wander around the island, back to the reasort for a swim, and lounging on the beach on the sun with a chang (beer) then a group dinner that night on the resort decking watching the sun go down over the water. After dinner we head nextdoor to the bar, all the dive masters are there and look like they have been for a while, we jion Xavy, Kieth and the boys for a drink or two… Its a late start for us the next morning… so what do you think happened next… thats right cocktails on the beach watching fire twirling locals… dancing to funky house beats on the sand at the ‘fishbowl’… yes this is Thailand… Crawled out of bed and headed to breaky… freash fruit and lots of it… pinapple shake and coffee… Juliet joins me and we chat over our breakfast. OK can start the day with a few basics bank, internet, laundry then diving after lunch. White rock and The Twins this afternoon, we get down to 18mt deep into davey jones locker, water very warm, sea and fish life every where, The twins had way to many people but white rock was

Dinner time sunset

amazing, almost to our selves. A little more training at white rock and then a swim over and around the coral beds, even through a rock collapse cave which was cool… air getting low so we head back up… 4 students laughing and smiling as we head back in to port. Matt and me go out for dinner and a couple of beers with Jimi at the AC bar. Early morning for our last day of our open water dive course, Champon Pinical first followed by red rock and we’re being videoed on our final dives. All buddy checks done, breif intro on the camera and Xavy is telling us to do a ‘James Bond Entry” into the water,

Xavy and Keith... Chang Time...

‘what?’ i hear you ask… its a full front flip off the back of the boat… Matt, Tommy and me throwing high 5’s all over the shop…And in we go… down to 18mtr and was beond my expectations… just nature at its most beautiful, a quick 10min training session and up to the boat. Everybody is smiles and talk, loving it. Our2nd dive was all swimming no training, over coral, through rock cracks, under over hangs and around pinicals of rock, all covered in all manner of aquatic life, huge schools of travelly and striped barracuda swim past…. Thank you Koh Tao… Our final 3min safety stop and back onto the boat… we’re qualified… final take for the video and its back to the island for dinner and another party. Big crew turn out for our presentation and video night (video is $60, i cant believe every one didnt get one, I did… Changs and G&T’s going down well and its off to the fish bowl for a night of revelry… Ok feel like hell this morning… BIG lesson last night…Buckets are bad… EXPENSIVE BUCKETS ARE VERY VERY BAD!!!! Coffee and breakfast needed for before a day of sight seeing… much better… Pick up my scooter at about 10, fill up will fuel and I’m off to explore the island… 3hrs later back at the resort, koh Tao is a small island with very few roads… half of those i was not going down on a rental scooter… Island seen Koh Tao and both coast and mountians are beautiful… Panoramic veiws from the talest point on the island… Tommy and Joey out on the deck when I get back so its time for a swim and a beer and later dinner… Whole baked Red Snapper…. char grilled on the bbq with thai spices, soft moist spicy… oh heaven. A bit of a gathering tonight Juliet leaves tomorrow and its ‘Saint Jean’ the national day of Quebec, so with 2 Quebecians and a frenchy a long but relaxed night began. i was told it is tradition to walk and great and meet people so thats what we did along the beach side allyway and back along the beach then sitting and chilling on the beach talking to passers by. Goodbyes said at about 3am so its back to my bungalow and off to bed, advanced course starts tomorrow afternoon…

A friend of mine Tammy asked me to have a cocktail for her on Koh Tao…. well here you go Tam… it’s called a ‘shark bite’….. thought that was appropriate….

This ones for you Tammy....