Beginner Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand
Koh Tao is a wonderful place to begin diving. The conditions are great most of the year and the dive sites are close to the island.
This is where it all started for us. Grant wanted to take a beginning diving course while we were on holiday. A friend of ours, Niko, suggested that he go to Ban's Diving Resort in Koh Tao, Thailand. We arrived in Bangkok December 16, 2016. After a few days exploring the city, we booked our bus and ferry to Koh Tao along with a couple nights at Hillside Resort. Hillside is a bit isolated from the main areas of the island, but it had absolutely stunning views. It's a really nice place if you want to get away from it all. While there, Grant went online to book his dive course. We then had a short conversation that changed our lives.
Grant: Honey, the course is four days. I don't want to be away from you that long especially at the beginning of our trip.
Claudia: (not wanting Grant to give up the dive course) Awww! That's sweet honey! Why don't you sign up to start the course and then IF we get there and say that two arms are not required, I'll take the class too. (fully expecting them to say "No")
Once we arrived at Ban's, they assured me that it would be fine for me to take the course, even offering to have an additional professional with us the whole course just in case I needed some extra help. Yay! I was actually a bit freaked out, but was definitely going to follow through on my promise.
The schedule for an open water course at Ban's is the following:
Day 1: Orientation for new classes starts at 5:00pm. You will meet your classmates and instructor. After filling out some paperwork and getting some information, you will be left with your class to watch videos (required for the course). Expect this to last around 2 1/2 hours.
Day 2: Classroom & pool sessions. 8:00AM-5:00PMish. Most english courses have class in the morning and pool in the afternoon, though some are opposite.
Day 3: Classroom & 2 dives. 7:00AM-5:00PMish. Two dives are done in the morning. Yay! After a lunch break, you come back to the classroom and finish up that section of the course.
Day 4: 2 dives. 7:00AM-12:00PMish. Two morning dives wrap up your open water course.
Grant and I had nine total in our class. We had two instructors, George and Naz, and one dive master, Opal. However, George got sick in the evening so on the morning of day 2, Neil took his place as our primary instructor. The classroom session went fine and we headed to the pool after lunch. In the pool is struggled on one of the skills. Opal stayed with me and we continued to work at it while Grant went on with the rest of the class and two instructors. I would not fish the pool session that day, but did agree to try again in a couple of days. Grant completed his course on Christmas Eve.
We took Christmas off then I went back to my open water and Grant continued on to his advanced open water course. Ellie came on as my instructor for the water portions of my course. I rocked my pool skills and though I certainly wasn't the best in the ocean, I did get through my dives and I completed my open water certification on December 27th. Go me!
Grant immediately fell in love with diving. During our stay at Ban's we learned that we could become diving professionals there. Wow! We could do what we love for a living!? More on this in other post.