I know it’s been a while since I posted, I really need to get into the mood to write long and quality post and this mood didn’t want to come to me. But I believe late is better than never :).
So on my last full day I had to wake up pretty early (5 am) to do my two last diving. As I mentioned in my previous post, my left ear got blocked which made me very worried. I was not worried about the ear itself, I was upset because I thought I would not be able to finish the course and get certification. I prepared myself for not diving at all, but I still took my bikinis just in case. My instructor was already in the diving center and I immediately told him my concern. He asked me if I had pain in my ear and I sad no. As a consequence he suggested me to dive anyway, because most probably I only had water in my ear. I got very happy and relieved, I thought he would be more strict about the whole thing. Joel also let me to take my underwater camera so I quickly went back to my room and took everything. This is something I had been waiting during the whole course and I am so grateful he eventually let my take it.
The boat ride was quite long, at lest 30-40 minutes as our destination was in the middle of the sea. No more bays, no more shallow water, it became real! I felt very sea sick so I got the tablet and I remained seated at the same place, staring at the receding island. Fortunately I didn’t get more sick or something but my buddy was not that lucky; he threw up but thanks God I didn’t see it :D. It was still blurry when we arrived, but the sun came up slowly. There was only one more boat at the spot, so we were definitely early. Joel told us that the more green is the water the less visibility we have underwater. Unfortunately it was quite green but still not that bad. Joel took my camera and kept it during the whole descending. I was a bit worried of my ear but everything was all right – it didn’t get worse, I still had no pain at all. Joel was right, everything was quite blurry, it was a bit difficult to spot the interesting fishes or marine animals.
Underwater is a totally different and peaceful world. You only hear your breath and the flow of the bubbles. Floating is like flying or sitting on a puffy cloud – at lest this is how I imagine the feeling. I was so happy to take videos and photos even tough the quality was far from perfect, because of the bad visibility. I couldn’t believe we were actually 18 meters deep as I felt myself completely safe and relaxed. I always used to feel a bit uncomfortable during my previous dives but this feeling was gone. We saw blue spotted stringray, giant groupers (they were huge indeed) plus a giant jellyfish which was very interesting. It was just floating, seemed harmless but Joel told us they are very dangerous, they could kill humans. If you are diving and you don’t notice them the “arms” can actually get twisted around the neck and strangle you…sounds very scary. Anyway, our jellyfish was not even that much giant, I mean I checked other photos online and there are enormous ones, bigger size than a man.
When we got back to the surface the guys from the other boat started waving and shouting to us that there is a whale shark around. We didn’t get onto the boat, we tried to find it! My oxygen tank got empty so eventually I decided to finish the “hunting”. I gave the camera to Joel and he swam away with Joseph to find the whale shark. It was not far from us, but from that distance I still couldn’t see it. I set up my next tank when the boys got back. Joel told me to get a snorkel and the fins and jump back to the water, because I really need to see the whale shark. I did what he said, jumping into the seat without the heavy tank was such a good feeling. We swam back to the spot but I couldn’t see anything. I came back to the surface when they guys from the boat were shouting “It’s there, it’s there!” and they were pointing close to me. So I put my head back to the water and I found myself in front of the most beautiful creature I have ever seen in my life. I am not kidding, it was literally swimming towards me, looking straight into my eyes, it got so close, I could have touched it. It was around 3-4 meters long (still a baby) but it seemed much larger in the water. I was so amazed, it was definitely one of my best experiences of my life. We lost the whale shark so we went back to the boat and quickly got ready for the next dive. Another boats appeared, the news got spread quickly. The whale shark baby got surrounded by many divers, there was no chance to get close to him like before. Anyways, we had things to do, so we didn’t stay close to the surface, we got down deep again. We saw some nice fishes again but this diving was not too much enjoyable because of the other divers who suddenly appeared. There were divers everywhere, it was very annoying, everyone was so close to us, I could hardly follow my instructor, once I though I lost him, because of the others being in my way. There was another interesting thing as well. Small jellyfishes appeared out of nowhere. At the beginning I only saw one, then two, then three, then even more and more. I was trying to get out of their way but after a while it got difficult. I felt myself like being in the scene of the movie “Finding Nemo”, if you’ve seen the movie you must remember what I am talking about.
I even felt an intense stinging pain in my leg, it was like a small electroshock. It was not that much painful, it was only annoying. Joel was in front of me and he turned back just in the right time; I suddenly felt an unbearable, very intense pain around my neck and face. I didn’t see the jellyfish which just got into my face. I shout into my regulator and tears also came. Joel got close to me and set me free. He signaled the “are you okay?” hand signal but I was not okay. I felt like someone poured acid on my neck and chin so I signed back that “something is wrong” and then I did the “I am going up” movement. He and Joseph came with me as we were already very close to the surface. I needed all my will and strength not to start crying like a baby. I was so glad I had a mask on my face so they couldn’t see my eyes. Joel said he knows how bad the pain is but maybe he thought I overreacted or something. I composed myself and tried to make a joke “so one of you has to pee on my face now?” I asked. He said they had vinegar on the boat so there is no need to do that. He asked me if I feel good enough to do the last to exercises, just below the surface. Obviously I wanted to complete the course so I said yes. We went down and before I could completed the second task, it happened again; unbearable electroshock in my leg. I shouted again but I managed to finish the task. Swimming back to the boat I felt myself like a coming back from battle with injuries. I put lots of vinegar on my leg and on my face and Joel also offered me the pee :D. But I didn’t need that, the pain got a little bit better. After a while I started to feel myself super cool. I was having jellyfish stings, how amazing is that. Like being a real diver :). One bonus thing happened: my ear got popped, so Joel was right, it was no infection.
It was good to get back to the center as I got very tired after the busy morning. My buddy decided to do the advanced open water diver course, so he started on the same day at the afternoon again with Joel as an instructor. They would get back around 6 pm so I had the whole afternoon. I went for a last, nice massage, I chose a promotion package, 60 minutes aromatherapy massage with 30 minutes reflexology for 500 baht. After massage I was craving for a good latte so I chose a “western style” coffee shop which was quite expensive but at least the coffee was great.
I also did some souvenir shopping, I bought two T-shirts for myself and some small goodies for my sisters, my mother and my boyfriend. 6 pm I went back to the diving center with my underwater camera and its USB cable. My “ex buddy” was so exhausted, after all he had 4 diving that day. Joel took picture of us for the official PADI license and he also completed our diving log book. Later we uploaded all the videos on his computer plus I got some beer for us. Unfortunately we couldn’t hang out any longer, he had something to do with his girlfriend. It was my last night in Thailand, I didn’t want to spend the whole night in my room, so after a quick shower I met Joseph and we walked around the area. We stopped to watch some fire show, those guys were crazy but it was very enjoyable.
Joseph was very exhausted so we got separated before 10 pm. I said goodbye to him, somehow I got very sad when I realized that my holiday is coming to an end and most probably I will never ever seen these people again. I packed my luggage and went to the bed quite late. I wanted to make sure I would be tired on the next day so I would be able to sleep during the long journey. Next morning I had a nice breakfast at the “breakfast place” then I headed down to the bay to take the ferry to the mainland. This is how my Koh Tao holiday ended and how my very long, stressful but adventurous journey started back to Dubai. I might gonna write about it later :).
Ps.: Here is my edited video clip and the star is the whale shark! All the footage were made by my instructor but I did the editing :).