Ko Tao Diving

 

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Banana thai tea latte with brilliant drink carrier

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Coconut grove on the way to class

The advanced open water course requires five dives in different categories.  On the first day I did two dives: peak performance buoyancy and underwater navigation.  Both of them were actually kinda fun.  For the buoyancy dive I had to hover without moving, swim through squares and hoops without touching them, pick up and set down weights, and knock over a weight with my regulator.  The catch was I couldn’t use my hands, I had to control my location just using my breath.  For the navigation dive I had to measure how many kick cycles it took for me to cover 30 meters, and then use visual cues and/or a compass to navigate to and from certain points.

{This is where all of the great underwater photos would go, if I had an underwater camera. Let me know if you need my address to mail me one.  🙂 }

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A hard earned mojito after a long day of diving

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Birth control, for sale on the shelf of a convenience store for 40 baht ($1.20) Why do they make it so hard here in the US?

After dinner I met my Italian roommates for dinner.  It was great because we got to order and try a bunch of things, including this dish which my scuba instructor recommended.

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*Red curry peanut sauce and chicken, with rice noodles and vegetables (120 baht)

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*Chicken panang curry

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Alessio and Giu showing how hot the food was, we also ordered a pizza to see how it compares to real Italian pizza

After dinner we got “best and the best” pancakes, or roti.  One with sweet egg and banana, and the other with banana, Nutella and peanut butter.

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The second day of the course I did a deep water dive, a multilevel and computer dive, and a night dive.  To show the effect of nitrogen narcosis at greater depths, I had to do a number finding test on land, and then again at 30 meters.  It took me twice as much time to find the same numbers on a card as it had on land.  My instructor also brought an empty water bottle down with us to show the effect of the pressure.  Although it had been filled with air at surface level, at 30 meters it was crinkled up and crushed.  He then filled it with air and when we got back, at the lesser pressure on the surface, the bottle looked like it was about to explode.

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Shark Rock, our dive site

The night dive was kinda fun, especially since we saw a cuttlefish and a bunch of blue-spotted rays.  The cuttlefish looks like this: Cuttlefish.  It looks like something from a horror movie with those finger-like things in front of its face, and the fact that it moves like a hovercraft.  Afterwards I went to dinner with my dive instructor and one of the dive master trainees.  I ordered the “spicy and sour shrimp with peanut betel” because I didn’t know what it was.  Betel ended up being some sort vegetable that was like a cross between celery and okra.  It was cooked with peanuts, some sort of ground pork, and really delicious!

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Walking home I saw this guy selling pancakes wearing this shirt:

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And after three dives and the approximate 5 mile walk home, I thought I’d earned a roti.  I got one with peanut butter and banana, it was good, but not as good as the one with the Nutella.

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*Banana peanut butter pancake (50 baht)

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