Mike visited:

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» Laos
» Cambodia
» Vietnam
» India
» Nepal
» Egypt
» Jordan
» Uganda
» Tanzania
» Malawi
» Mozambique
» Swaziland
» South Africa

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PADI Scuba Diving Certification in Koh Tao, Thailand

The rainy season was just about to hit Koh Tao, but my dive class was still at capacity with 13 Brits, three Germans, two French Canadians, one New Zealander, and one other American. We studied in a classroom together but broke into four sub-groups for the dives.

Day One – Back to School

The first day was all class work. We watched several PADI videos, took a few quizzes, and went over safety and responsibility materials. There's a lot to learn. I'd been on several one-off dives in Cancun and Grand Cayman Island years ago, and this course made me realize how dangerous and ignorant those dives were.

Day one was dull but necessary. Worn out from my journey to the island, I wasn't up for much more.

Day Two – Contained Dive

We spent the morning in the classroom before getting into the ocean shallows for a "contained" dive. There were five people in my sub-group: three Germans, one Brit, and me. Our instructor, a high-spirited and slightly manic Dutchman named Leo, took us through exercises such as recovering a lost respirator and putting a mask on underwater. He also cut off our air supply – just so we'd know what it felt like – and had us breathe from a dive buddy's extra respirator. This was too much for the German girl; she dropped out then and there.

Day Three – Still More Class Work

After another morning in the classroom, we did two real dives. Twelve meters down, coral reefs, blue-tipped stingrays, moray eels, trigger fish, the works. Glorious. It was a pleasure to run through all our signals and exercises in that environment.

Day Four – Underwater Bliss

We were on the boat at 7:30am on our final day of class. Visibility is better in the morning, and we were heading off to two of Koh Tao's premiere sites. On these dives we practiced compass navigation, emergency controlled ascents, and buddy breathing, but most of the time we were free to explore. We finished up at noon, received our certifications later that day, and then went out to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate.

Natural Born Diver

I was a fan of diving beforehand, but the PADI Open Water course put me over the edge. I feel safe, confident, and natural underwater. I can't wait to get back down there.

» underwater photo gallery
Posted on October 18, 2002 08:08 AM


Comments (post your own below)

Hey, Mike! Looks like you enjoy just what the life should be. Good to hear that you are having fun and experiencing a lot new there. Wish you get a chance to visit Korea in the future, you'll love it. Have great fun!

Posted by: Jen Yoon on October 18, 2002 10:24 AM

Now if we could just get you to dive headfirst into Lake Michigan...

DropZone International!!!

Posted by: Chad on October 18, 2002 04:03 PM

Atta boy Mike,

Have a blast, stay safe, and wear clean underwear whilst going through boarders, you'll never know when you will have a full cavity inspection.

Posted by: Vic Vacume on October 18, 2002 04:49 PM

I keep torchering myself by coming to your site!!!!
I wish I could be there!!

Posted by: Scott Ahrens on October 23, 2002 09:50 PM


I just discovered your site in preparation for a my upcoming trip to Vietnam and Thailand. Great job! I'll be in Koh Tao in a couple weeks to do some fun dives, and I was wondering which dive operation you used. Seems there are plenty.

Posted by: Brent Denhart on February 13, 2003 01:58 PM


Really enjoyed the blog ... I wish this kind of thing had been around when my wife and I did a 'big tour'. We had to use good old html. I notice you're in India just now. Have a great time and check out our site above ... we didn't spend too long there last time, but maybe you'll get a few ideas of things to see. If you're bored of an evening then my wife's travelogue is also quite good, as she'd never travelled too much before! I'm getting itchy feet again!!!!!

Posted by: Dave Conroy on February 21, 2003 01:58 AM

nice pictures from dahab
i do working for my divemaster in dahab again next week
so i sea you had a great time there and there are very nice people somme crazy people too but very good beduins and locals
you made it
stay hard to make the next step
intoo PADI (put anpther dollar inn)
i wish you all the best
greez from switzerland alain

Posted by: alain on July 3, 2003 01:53 PM

Great sight with lots of good info.
If you are ever in Bangkok pop in for a beer !!

Posted by: David Tayler on August 3, 2003 04:54 AM

Mike, I also took an Open Water Course on Ko Tao during the last few days and agree with you in every respect. Diving is just great, and so ist your site. Looking forward to your next adventures! Greetings from Ko Pangan!

Posted by: Ole on September 10, 2003 03:31 AM

Hi, I am looking to get my diving license in Koh Tao. Shall I go there and book on the spot or book in advance online for a better price. The one I saw in the internet, planet-scuba is charging at 8150 Baht with acc 3 nights (but must book in 30 days advance with deposit paid)

Cheoh Pin

Posted by: Pin on April 26, 2004 02:58 AM

Comments closed.


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