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Roon the Globe Nadia's trip around the world in 365 days :)

Koh Tao - the turtle island and my non-diving scuba experience

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 25 September 2010 | Views [311] | Comments [5]

Thought i'd better do an update as it's been a few days, to be honest there's not much to tell as since i've reached the island it's been pretty much wake up - beach - eat - swim - eat - drink - sleep (repeat each day). It's great!!

I decided to come to Koh Tao as i'd spoken to quite a few people who had been and liked the idea of more of a chill out than the craziness that goes on in the neighbouring island Koh Phangan every month at the full moon party! It sounded at alot of fun, but probably something i would do if i came back with friends as i think it would be a bit dodgy going it alone!

Anyway one of the main reasons people come here is to dive, as it's one of the best places in the world to learn and very cheap too. So i apprehensively decided to sign up to a 4 day open water PADI course which qualifies you to dive up to 18 metres anywhere in the world once you complete it. I thought it would be very handy for when i got to Australia to do the great barrier reef! Day one was fine, just watching some videos and reading alot of theory about diving and how pressure changes and how you adapt to this underwater etc. On day 2 it was more of the same in the morning and then a pool session in the afternoon, so by then i was getting a bit nervous as to whether i could actually go through with it or not. Most people probably don't know because it's not something you generally talk about but i'm quite claustrophobic and it's not something i let hold me back in anything normally so i didn't want it to hold me back from seeing some really cool marine life. Anyway i thought once i got in the water and knew that i could breath safely all the fear would go away..turns out it didn't and it felt like the most unnatural thing ever! I got through about half of the techniques in the pool, which was pretty good going for me as i don't ever go swimming and i actually hate putting my head under the water (i know, you probably wonder why i was putting myself through this trauma but i was so determined to give it a try). I learned a few emergency situations, if you run out of air etc then it came to one techniques where you had to take your mask off and swim a few metres then put the mask back on, clear the water out of it and breath normally all throughout this. I tried about 4 times and everytime i would start breathing water up my nose then panic and come up to the surface. After that happened the instructor was really good with me and said we would move on and come back to that (there are about 20 skills you need to complete). But then we moved onto the next one where we were going under deeper in the pool to 2 metres and learning how to equalise to stop pain in your ears, which sounds like nothing at all but by then i had the fear of not being able to get out of the water when i wanted to so pretty much gave up there and then for my own safety and other people's! The last thing you want is to have a panic attack underwater and hyperventilate as you can puncture a lung or worse!

So i've decided that scuba diving isn't for me at the moment and since the point i realised that i've felt such relief and can actually enjoy my break here now! I definitely need to get more comfortable swimming in the sea and doing some snorkelling in shallower waters as you can still see some really cool things here and i've done all my paperwork so if i decided to do it in future then i can just do the practical sessions. However, I think i'd need some sort of hypnotherapy to get me into the sea at anywhere deeper than 1 metre haha!

Anyway i'm going back to chilling out at the beach :)



You were a braver wumin than me. I wouldn't even have tried it, it's beyond me why anyone wants to do it. Am proud of you for giving it such a good go. XXX

  Auntie Claire Sep 25, 2010 7:26 PM


I'm the same man, can't get to grips with breathing underwater!! xx

  Laura Sep 26, 2010 1:32 AM


Nad, hope we can try it together another time it would be fun, easy to say when you re half fish.lol.
take care, you done the right thing and a least you had a go, enjoy snorkelling.
talk to you soon.Dad.

  Salah Sep 26, 2010 4:03 AM


Even though I'm quite a strong swimmer something about diving freaks me out so good on you for attempting it!! mon the snorkling!! xxxx

  rosemary Sep 27, 2010 11:58 PM


Hey Nadia,
Good for you for trying - I dont even think I could have done that! I was freaked out by the pool in portugal nevermind the sea! lol Karen (my sis in law) did it in australia and was equally freaked out - sometimes these things arent for everyone and just because its popular doesnt mean its the one thing to do..... relaxing and swimming sound way better :-)
Dont know if i have just missed them but upload some photos soon - your beach photo the other day was stunning!
take care xxxxxxx

  ashley Sep 28, 2010 9:19 PM

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