Up at dawn and en path to the harbor, my abdomen fluttered with each nerves and pleasure.
I had booked an all-day boat dive by way of my hostel in Phuket, although I hadn’t been scuba diving in years.
Regardless of the fast refresher course I’d accomplished in preparation for the journey, I nonetheless felt not sure. I hoped I wouldn’t be a nuisance to my dive grasp or the opposite divers in my group.
You see, this was additionally my first solo journey and I used to be alone – no dive buddy to lean again on this time. Nonetheless, my worries weren’t sufficient to sway me. Nothing beats the sensation of respiration underwater… particularly when the water occurs to be crystal clear and a balmy 89° Fahrenheit. Whereas the Thai island of Koh Tao is well-known for its world class diving, I had no concept what to anticipate in Phuket. I merely wished to revive my scuba abilities and have a enjoyable time out on the water, even when we didn’t see a lot sea life.
See additionally: Top Koh Tao Diving Sites
Arriving on the harbor, I used to be launched to my dive grasp Praew (a neighborhood to the island), and one other diver from Germany who would be part of us for the day. Praew briefed us on the dive websites we’d be visiting and patiently answered all of our questions. Approaching the primary dive web site and feeling only a tad queasy from the boat trip out, we slipped into our gear and (after a fast security examine), slid into the water.
Right here goes nothing!
As we slowly and quietly descended, my pre-dive jitters melted away and my respiration relaxed. A complete world opened up earlier than me. Faculties of fish darted earlier than my eyes, a turtle swam within the distance, a sea snake slithered above the sand and large boulders fashioned mini underwater canyons to swim by way of. Within the distance, my dive grasp identified a reef shark darting out and in of view. This dive was proving to be top-of-the-line of my life. We caught up with a sea turtle and swam alongside it (at a respectful distance), and I quickly misplaced monitor of time.
Earlier than I knew it, our tanks have been operating low and we needed to ascend. Again on the boat, we loved contemporary watermelon and fruit juice as we recounted all that we had seen whereas shifting in the direction of the subsequent dive web site.
Over the subsequent two days, we encountered numerous extra turtles, reef sharks and fish, together with my favourite – the batfish. I even swam by way of my first shipwreck and colleges of sea life inched out of my method whereas I explored the assorted corridors.
It was, to place it frivolously, the expertise of a lifetime and one I’ll always remember.
After our last dive, Praew was sort sufficient to share his GoPro footage with us (freed from cost!), and I now have a whole bunch of lovely images to recollect the journey.
Again in my room that night, I drifted to sleep exhausted, however ever so content material and completely satisfied. I vowed to return to Thailand the next yr for an additional solo dive journey – and I did – this time in Koh Tao. I now plan to proceed to return for years to return.
Scuba diving in Thailand gives every part one might hope for when it comes to service, local weather, sea life and variety, and actually caters to all ability ranges. In reality, there’s no higher place to get licensed when you’re excited by turning into an open water diver.
To e book your individual scuba diving journey in Phuket, hold your eyes peeled for dive journeys departing to Racha Noi and Racha Yai. Journeys are sometimes all-day excursions and your chosen supplier will decide you up immediately out of your lodge. In 2017, my journey value $105 USD (3,700 Bhat) and included breakfast, lunch and kit.