Diving in Wonderland

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On Wednesday, I could sleep in, since I was only going on an afternoon dive. I felt better but still a little shaky and so I just chilled at the beach and had breakfast and later lunch, before I had to get on the boat. Funny that as soon as I was on the boat, I felt really good. Still, I decided to do only one dive and I chose to do the second one because it sounded much cooler and because I was in the group with the couple again who was so slow last time. I thought, if they had troubles with getting ready again, they would be more efficient the second time. And surely, my group was in the water half an hour after everybody else. I was so glad I wasn’t doing that dive or I’d have gone crazy while waiting. Then, only the Thai crew and I were left on the boat. They threw a lifesaver which was tied to a rope in the water and I thought it was a precaution for me, since I went for a swim. Finally, deep enough water to really be able to swim. I didn’t see down to the bottom because it was too far away but the visibility was quite good (hopefully on the 2nd dive too..) The current and waves were pretty strong and so I only stayed in the water for a few minutes. I didn’t want to exhaust myself too much. When I got back on the boat, I saw that my group was back at the surface. Apparently, they had lost someone again. So many people told me to do the advanced course..I don’t really think you get to see better stuff when you can dive lower, but the advantage would be that you only get into dive groups with divers on a certain level. Well, the lost person stuck to the 1 min rule and so my group was complete again and they all disappeared for the second time.
Now, the waves were getting more and heavier and a storm with wind and rain was passing by. Was kind of cool to be somewhere on the ocean in this crazy weather (and I didn’t have to look at anybody throwing up, since it was just me and the staff). Down where you are diving, the water is usually quiet. The only sign of a storm would be a bad visibility from dust that is raised.

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The divers started to get back on board and seems like the only thing I had missed was a small sea snake. Now I also saw what the lifesaver was for. The divers could hold on to the line while they were waiting to climb back on the boat. My group came back too (they only had a 30 something minutes dive and in these depths you should be able to stay under water for 45 to 60min) and then the boat took off to the second dive site (Red Rock). After everyone had a long enough surface time, I also got into my gear. This time, we weren’t the last group in the water and our dive master was spontaneous enough to change the dive route to the other way around, so that we wouldn’t have to swim against the current until we reached the buoy line. We did a free descend, which shouldn’t be a problem (and it wasn’t except that at the beginning, my buddy didn’t really bother to stay close to the dive master or the group, no matter how much he waved her closer. I guess I know who got lost last time…).
But we all made it to the right depth together. Visibility was good and the site awesome!!! There were so many colorful plants and rocks in different shapes and sizes. Some looked like mushrooms, which made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. And of course there were the usual fish and morays. We swam to a cave and actually dived into it! That was so cool! It was so small that we could only swim one after the other and you needed really good buoyancy in order not to hit anything. We left the cave at a different ending and were in wonderland again. My highlight was when we reached the pinnacle where we would start the ascend because there was a big turtle!!! I was looking for one on all of my dives and now there was one on my last dive here! We watched it for a while until it swam away. Then, we also saw a blue spotted sting ray and a few shrimp. Nice 🙂

Before diving

Before diving

Slowly, we started our ascend. When we got closer to the surface, I felt that the water was moving and so the waves had to be quite heavy. Therefore, I was really glad that Darren (our dive master) led us past all the other boats below the surface and then our heads popped up right behind the latter of our boat. No swimming, woohoo! I’d say a perfect 49min dive to end my stay in Koh Tao:)

When we got back to shore, the tide was so high that I got wet to my chest when I climbed out of the nutshell. Until I was done with cleaning my gear, I was pretty cold and only wanted a hot shower.
But we first had to log our dives and since I wasn’t feeling well now (clearly looks like land sickness) I thought it might be good to eat something. I shared some French fries with my dive buddy and once we logged the dive, went to my room to shower. Power was out, so I had to shower in a scarcely lit room. On top of that, of course the heater didn’t work, so the water was cold plus, the water flow stopped completely from time to time. So, it ended up to be not the best shower I ever had…
I got dressed and back to the restaurant, to meet up with Sarah and Hannah and their friends from England. I did the refresher with them and Sarah has been on every dive boat with me since then but we never ended up in the same group since she is on an advanced level.

After diving. I feel so heavy...

After diving. I feel so heavy…

We started walking towards the Thai restaurant Su Chilli. Half way there, I found a pharmacy, where I asked what I could do against my land sickness. They told me to take a sea sickness pill and that’s what I did. I really felt like I had drunk way too much alcohol. Su Chili was packed but we were lucky enough to get a table. I ordered a papaya salad but didn’t think I’d be able to eat it. However, right before the salad arrived, the pill must have kicked in because I suddenly felt better.
After dinner, I was insanely tired and so I went straight back to the hostel. Still, no power and of course no wifi either. I slept for about 3 hours and the others were also asleep by then, when I suddenly started feeling sick again. I thought about taking a second sea sickness pill but it was already too late. I knew I’d be saying hello to the food I ate a second time 😦
The image of me sitting in the bathroom on a plastic bag (the floor is wet since the bathroom is also the shower) holding a flashlight (still no power) must have been really pitiful. At least I didn’t wake anybody up.
Later, I felt a little better and went back to sleep.

In the morning, I slept for as long as I could and then had to pack my bags. It took me much longer, since I was moving so slowly. I still wasn’t hungry at all. I went to pay and hand in my key at 11. Then, I managed to walk to the shop to buy a Gatorade (my former roommates and future doctors told me that would help) and because I thought I had to eat something, I managed to eat half a bowl of rice. By then, I was so tired again, I felt like I hadn’t slept in years. I went back to the room, where luckily someone was inside to let me in. The beds were made already but I hoped that not the whole room would be booked and so I just lay on my old bed and slept. New people started arriving but there still was another empty bed. Christina, my German roommate, was so nice to go and buy me another Gatorade. I slept some more but at some point in the afternoon, I thought that I should go for a walk at the beach. It’s unbelievable! I’ve never seen so little of a place I had stayed at for so long as Koh Tao. But I was always either away on a dive boat or too tired to do anything.
I did some shopping and lay down on the sand for a while but it started getting too hot. When I got back to the room, my bed was occupied too but my dear Christina let me sleep on her bed. So far, I’ve really had good experiences with travelers looking out for each other! A proof that good strangers still exist 🙂
At 6 I got up to have dinner. By then I was hungry enough to eat almost a whole pizza. I made it to the meeting point by 7.40pm. A group of British people and I waited for the taxi to come pick us up and bring us to the pier. The taxi was a normal pick-up truck with two benches on the open area. I’ve seen many Thais being transported that way and now it would be my turn. The benches were soft and the headwind wonderful.

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