now even the lows are highs

firstly: massive apologies for taking so long to post anything up here, it has been a while but my last few days have been proper hectic and massively rewarding.

my luck was truely in on the trip out of cambodia, i checked out of the angkor international at 6am to be greeted by the tuk-tuk driver who’d been showing me about for the previous few days and he got me to the airport in seemingly record time, essential as the queue at the airport meant that i was in the departure longue for only 10 minutes before the flight was called. the very easy flight to bangkok got me there with enought time to spare before catching another plane down to koh samui where i landed 30 mins before the final boat to koh tao (where i was provisionally enrolled in the diving course for the following day). i got to the island, found the diving school and was lucky enough again to be the last person they were going to sign on that day due to a lack of instructors (they were all off in myanmar doing visa runs). so i got here, signed on the the course and checked into a sweeting little bungalow 50 yards from the beach and the diving school.

the first afternoon was spent in the classroom. they get us a fairly chunky book, the first two chapters of which we were to have studied and answered the questions on before the class. no problem at all. the class explaind the function of the variuos pieces of equipment and the safety proceedures and structure of the rest of the course. day 2 and we get to dive! that first evening i wondered up the beach to sai ree and bumped into some people i met in bangkok the night before going to cambodia. very small world over here.

so, day 2. we get fitted up for wetsuits and buoyancy controlls and straight out to the boat and off to the ‘japanese gardens’ dive site. we started in shallow water learining to snorkel and clear the masks before we were let loose with the air tanks. there’s nothing more surreal that defying nature and breathing normally underwater! it’s so exciting. that first day we got down to about 7.5 meters for about a half hour and got to see trigger fish, moray eels and a school of barracuda deeper below us. i’m hooked!

the third day and we were back in the classroom after more studying to learn how to execute some of the emergency techniques and to use dive tables to calculate the amount of time you can safely dive before you start getting high for the saturated nitrogen in your system. so much more to think about that i first thought. that afternoon’s dives took us a little deeper and we practiced more buoyancy techniques and safety tips.

day four and we were back in class for the exam. no problem, passed with flying colors and celebrated suitably afterwards. this was last night, i’m feeling the effects a little now, but we have the morning off anyway. this afternoon we have two dives at different locations where we can practice a little underwater navigation and get to dive a little deeper, to 12 meters i think.

as i say, i’m hooked and as such i’m going to stay on for a few more days to get the advanced course done. deeper still, more advance ‘peak performance buoyancy’ skills, another night dive and the finale for me…underwater photography! oh yes!

time to go and get ready for the afternoon, there will be photos going up very soon, hopefully later today now that i have found a decent internet cafe and the phone lines are up again.

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    • Steve Zissou
    • March 19th, 2007

    Ah ha! You have the bug, I’m glad. See, its not all about climbing and exerting yourself, there are dangerous, beatiful pastimes where you can be fat and still have a good time.

    Keep you eyes peeled when you’re submerged mate, there are man-eaters down there. Clown fish are the worst I think.

    Also, when you’re on a coral reef, listen out for the crunching sound of all the fish feeding on the coral itself, it can be deafening at times and I’m not exagerating!

    I think I’ve told you about my old dive buddy who used to see something partuicalarly spiny and poisonous and would get big excited eyes and write on the waterproof slate thing ‘Lets catch it!’ and before I could do anything, he’d be off. To give you an idea, he once decided to kick an urchin in a mock game of football. it was like watching a car crash in slow motion as he got everyones attention before he did it and none of us could get to him quickly enough to avoid the inevitible. idiot.

    he also used to go to the surface from 30 metres down to clear his mask and then come straight back down again. he’s too stupid to live.

    good work on the title of this piece by the way.

    so to keep you updated on the important things going on, Ireland have knocked Pakistan out of the World Cup (cricket) and Freddie Flintoff has been removed as the England vice-captain after capsizing a pedalo and needing rescuing after an all night drinking binge. good lad.

    well, I have to go now, there are matters of state to attend to, until next time, bonjour.

    • Les Dawson
    • March 21st, 2007

    One day, a diver was enjoying the aquatic world. He noticed a guy at the same depth he was, with no scuba gear on whatsoever.

    The diver went down another 10 feet, but the guy joined him a minute later. The diver went down 15 more feet, and a minute later, the same guy joined him.

    This confused the diver, so he took out a waterproof pad and pencil, and wrote, “Amazing! How are you able to stay this deep down without equipment?”

    The guy took the pencil and pad, erased what the diver had written, and wrote, “I’m drowning”

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