It’s day 3 in Phuket and we are finally settling in. It is funny how quickly you become accustomed to a new lifestyle. 5am wake up calls and hour long car rides are always worth it when they end at the water. Today’s excursion is scuba diving, I clap my hands with excitement as we wait for the car. Instead of a van we jump in the back of a truck that has been fitted with railings, a roof and seats. Transportation is always creative in Thailand. A quick 20 minute ride later we end up at our drop off spot and head towards our boat. I meet my instructor, an awesome Swedish guy, and my partner for the dives, an equally awesome Australian.
We board the boat and wait for breakfast. Everyone is chatting around us in Russian, Thai, Chinese and English. It is so impressive the number of languages people from other countries can speak. Note to self: buy Rosetta Stone. We start talking to a gorgeous group of people traveling from South Africa. They cannot stop talking about how beautiful Cape Town is and how many fun adventure activities they have. I look at my friend, he agrees, our next destination has been decided.
We are briefed on the boat and then are allowed to hang out until we reach the first dive site. We booked this trip through Aussie Divers. The package we did was three dives; Koh Bida Nok, Koh Bida Nai and Shark point. Per usual transportation, breakfast and lunch and all the equipment was included. I did the discovery dive as I am not certified which meant it was 1 guide per 2 divers. As we race towards Koh Bida Nok and Koh Bida Nai translated meaning the island closest and the island further away, which entertains me so much, my excitement level grows.
The boat slows down as I gracefully put on my wet suit. PS these look good on no one but our new South African friends naturally. After you load on all of the gear, googles, weights and fins you cannot wait to get into the water; heavy is an understatement. As you waddle towards the back of the boat I feel distinctively like scuba steve from Mr. Deeds. Fins point off the deck, hold your mask, take a breathe and jump. We are surrounded by the other divers bobbing in the water and can see down to the rocks full of coral below us. My instructor shows us how to release the air from your pack- click the red button and down you start to sink. It is an erie feeling sinking into the ocean. You loose your senses and let your eyes guide you. Once you get a hang of the breathing it is a piece of cake to swim around. As a discovery diver I am supposed to stay at 12 feet but I stray down to 15 feet. With no way to yell at you I have some wiggle room. I turn around and see my instructor motioning me to come back up… whoops I shrug underwater.
It is incredible seeing all the fish swim around you, under you, above you seriously everywhere. It is hard to describe in words so I will let the pictures do the talking. My friend’s instructor took these during their dive and I am awestruck every time I see them. (click to enlarge)
As we jet back to Patong I watch the Phi Phi islands sink away in the distance. I think how amazing it is to be able to experience an area from above and below. As my good friend Sebastian says…
Under the sea
Darling it’s better
Down where it’s wetter
Take it from me
Up on the shore they work all day
Out in the sun they slave away
While we devotin’
Full time to floatin’
Under the sea