My Diving Life….
There’s always going to be life-changing choices which redefine your priorities. It’s nice to look back and remember what the reason was that made you make that decision in the first place. For me, scuba divingmost definitely changed my wandering life of a traveller into an endless underwater quest.
Breaking The Ice
My first breaths underwater came during a Discover Scuba Dive in France many years ago which consisted of a quick 10-minute swim around a pinnacle; followed 4 years ago by the PADI Scuba Diver – two-day course – in Sardinia, Italy. I enjoyed it of course, but it’s quite tricky to go diving when you live in the Alps or when you’re backpacking around the globe so I put the scuba diving aside for a while.
Then 3 months ago I decided that it would be fun to scuba dive every day. So I signed up for a Divemaster Internship Program at Crystal Dive on beautiful Koh Tao.
It took me 8 weeks to earn all my PADI diving certifications from Open Water to Divemaster. And I don’t regret my decision one bit.
In fact, I’m quite confident that it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
So what really got me into scuba diving? Not much really.
I had an epiphany one morning whilst working on a live aboard boat in the Whitsundays, Australia that I was meant to dive.
Not cook, clean or deck hand but dive!
I had never really thought about it before, but sometimes it’s better to think “why not?” rather than “why?”
But Why Koh Tao?
Well the main reason was price. It’s cheaper to do any PADI diving course on Koh Tao than anywhere else in the world; which is obviously quite interesting when you’ve been wandering around the globe for over a year!
And how could you say no to such a beautiful island, with an incredible vibe, nestled in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand?
On a more serious note, it’s a perfect place to learn how to dive with shallow and deep sites as well as wrecks. The marine life is great, weather is nice, water temperature is perfect, people are chilled.
What more does one really need?
My Favourite Part of Diving – Just Getting Wet!
It’s actually a bit difficult to put words to describe how I feel whenever I take my first breath at the beginning of each dive. The best part of my day is whenever I’m diving. It doesn’t matter whether the visibility is good or not. It feels like you’re an underwater astronaut, a long gone childhood dream of mine. Over two thirds of our planet is submerged; you could travel all around the globe and wouldn’t even see half of it if you stay dry.
Every dive is different, sure you get the usual fish and the dive sites obviously are fundamentally the same, but I never get bored. Everything is relaxed underwater, time seems to slow down and at the same time it feels like you always get back on the boat far too quickly!
I have yet to find a better feeling than the sheer joy I feel whenever I’m dropping down at Chumphon Pinnacle, with a 30-meter visibility; it feels as if you are freefalling through the clouds.
Except you replace the clouds with schools of batfish and barracudas as you drop down into the deep blue abyss.
My Best Dive on Koh Tao
Was the first time I dived Chumphon Pinnacle. It was simply mind-blowing. It was one of those dives that makes you realize why you’re a scuba diver. The water was so blue, even before we went down. As soon as we jumped off the boat and put our heads in the water, we knew it was going to be an epic dive. We could see the bottom, some 30 meters below.
As we dropped, hundreds of fusiliers were swimming around. Schools of batfish, giant groupers, great barracudas; that was my 15th or 16th dive, if even that. Pure bliss. That’s when I knew I was unconditionally hooked; from that moment on my goal was to spend as much time as possible underwater. I was a scuba addict!
The Bad Side – The Addiction
I’m so hooked right now that I have withdrawal symptoms when I stay out of the water for too long. And by too long I mean 3 or 4 days! Sometimes I feel like I’m way more excited to jump in the water than the divers I’m actually taking fun diving! I guess it’s a good addiction though.
My Scuba Diving Dream
At the top of my scuba diving bucket list is diving with manta rays. That’s what I’d love to do. Everyone is so preoccupied with spotting whale sharks – especially now with so many around – but diving with manta rays is top of my list. I’d also like to dive in Silfra in Iceland so I can touch the 2 tectonic plates and also take some drift diving in South Africa.
My Next Step
While I am loving life as a PADI Divemaster my next step is to do my IDC and hopefully work as an Instructor for a while. After that I’ll probably learn how to teach specialties and become a Master Scuba Diver Trainer, team teaching with Crystal’s most experienced instructors.
Then I’d like to buy a boat and sail as well as dive the world..!!
Author: Marie Killinger (PADI DM #389090)