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He only went out for some milk A blurb of monstrous proportions - it was only supposed to be a couple of lines and the odd photo.

Live-aboard, sailing, diving and discovering wrecks with nitrogen narcosis

THAILAND | Monday, 25 June 2007 | Views [4097] | Comments [1]

Ahhhh!

Ahhhh!

Over 4 days on a 20m plus sailing boat, diving 3 or 4 times a day, to sites where maybe nobody else has dived ...

I've just been down to 45m to dive a cargo wreck of a boat nicknamed the 'dog food' wreck.  So called because it was sank as part of an insurance scam off the coast of Koh Tao, and was found to be containing tins of dog food - not top quality tuna.  Typical Thailand I'm afraid.  The insurance divers had to investigate the wreck under armed guard because they had gotten death threats.  What i got was a strong hit of narcosis as I'm coming back up the line and doing a decompression stop at 10m depth. 

For those of you who don't know what narcosis is, Wikipedia says "Nitrogen narcosis or inert gas narcosis is a reversible alteration in consciousness producing a state similar to alcohol intoxication in scuba divers at depth."  I've never had an 'alcohol intoxication' where i don't recognise my own arm and I've had plenty of intoxication's.  This one hit me in a flash and only lasted a couple of seconds, but in that time I truly did not know where my arm had gone, I'm looking at the one hanging onto the line and thinking, 'who does that belong to" and "where is my arm!".  I realise later talking to Joanne, that i probably had a mild case of it at the bottom too - there was a HUGE grouper and in the bad visibility and the darkness i really thought it was some prehistoric animal.  I could not get over the size of it.  I really was excited over this big fish - and not even a shark.  I realise this probably wasn't a normal response...deep diving can be dangerous and addictive...I think i like it.

There are 12 of us on the boat, excluding the staff, unusually it's mainly a mixture of Americans and English, and our job is to sail around the gulf of Thailand, dive wrecks that maybe have only been dived once before, discover remote spots, wake up to beautiful islands and secluded bays and eat lots of food.  Our days start early and basically go: eat, rest, dive, eat, rest, dive, eat, rest, dive, eat, rest, dive, eat, drink, sleep.  It's surprisingly tiring.

I took my 10m waterproof camera on one of the dives - it was supposed to be a dive between 8m and 10m according to a book Alex our 'boss' had.  Yup, right.  For most of the dive i was several meters above everyone else, continually checking my depth gauge or swimming with my arm held high above me when i became dangerously close to the 10m limit (i reached 9.8m).  I must have looked a funny sight (or a right tw*t).  At one stage there was a ripping current - everyone was desperately clinging onto rocks on the bottom...all except me who was stuck several meters above in the middle of it all.  I worked for my food that dive.

It was a great few days, being introduced to tech diving, rescuing fish caught in stray nets, watching action man Ronnie save Chris from a huge ray.  Chris had decided to stick her head in a cave and then discovered she couldn't quickly get out of the way of this enormous animal that didn't like being looked at.  Funny and frightening.  We had a great laugh playing noughts and crosses, learning to blow air rings, discovering who kept singing while underwater, and listening to Tim (one of the wreck instructors) tell a million stories and get co-ordinates of new discoveries from the fishermen while plying them with alcohol.  Maybe I had narcosis more than once to find such things as good fun as i did.  I loved being on the boat, seeing the stars, watching the sunsets and being away from the main crowd.  This is one lifestyle i could get used to.

I finish the trip fatter, more tired, a better diver, interested in wreck dives and glad of the whole experience.  The Sumpai Jumpa do trips in the Similian islands too...I think I'll be back.

Tags: diving

 

Comments

1

I'm bloody jealous! Oh how the other half lives while we workers slave away. . . . Shane: I don't know what you mean, it's really hard work travelling in exotic places, eating out every day, diving, sailing and sunbathing...

  Jan Jul 3, 2007 11:52 AM

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one ruined t-shirt and one ruined pair of trousers.  cool.

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