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Scuba: Final Day

semi-overcast 26 °C

We were a bit relieved this was our final day of scuba. We enjoyed diving but having someone in the group who hated and struggled with each task was trying on all of us, our instructor included. We found a lady selling Thai pancakes for breakfast. She had a mountain of coconut butter that she unwrapped as she got her stall ready for the day.

Our instructor reviewed yesterday's chapter with us at our request then he took us through Recreational Dive Planner calculations For each dive, using a depth and dive time, a diver was placed in a pressure group. It helped to calculate maximum dive times too since when you dived deeper, you had to spend less time there. To do a second dive, you should calculate your surface interval time to see what group you would start in for the next dive and penalize (take away dive time) accordingly. Luckily, dive computers did the bulk of the work nowadays, but they could be expensive and we were expected to at least attempt to calculate it manually a few times.

We also talked about decompression sickness, when the nitrogen can't exit your blood and bubbles as you ascend. You get a tingly feeling and joint pain. It takes a visit to the decompression chamber and a whole lot of cash or good insurance to fix. We weren't diving enough or deep enough to encounter that during our course.

Nitrogen narcosis, another risk, is when the body absorbs the nitrogen instead of expelling it and it produces a similar feeling to being drunk. The diver would have to ascend a bit and be cautious not to return to that depth. Apparently everyone had a different depth they could tolerate and many of the dive masters had found their narcosis level. Luckily this one didn't require such a serious fix.

With little time before lunch. we wrote our multiple choice exam and all passed. Most confusion was on things we had learned that day or hadn't read up on. We got speedy lunch at Zest, just rehashing yesterday's order, and made it back just for 11:45, boat loading time.

The first dive was a review of skills performed in deeper water at the Sai Thong dive site. We also did the emergency ascent where you say 'oh' and swim up to the surface. We followed a line down to the bottom. It felt shallower and was easier than I had expected. Our German classmate was brought to tears by our tasks (why she still put herself through this everyday was a mystery to us) and our instructor was really frustrated.

We never did practice more buoyancy control and I had a hard time finding it during our fun dive style activities. Though they say it comes with more practice. Colourful fish darted around us: a beaked coral fish, pink anemone fish, blue lined groupers, butterfly fish and a magnificent anemone. On the next dive we saw the less majestic sea urchin, the tumbleweed of the sea.

At the end, we filled in our dive logs, got our pictures taken and that was that. Cards would come in the mail. Everyone passed somehow. Ryan and I had a good vent about the whole experience at the guesthouse before wandering the pier area to find a small restaurant for supper.
I had pad thai with lime while Ryan had a burger. It was more of a relief than a celebration that we were done our open water course. We'd wanted more but it hadn't really met our expectations. At least we got two more nights paid for by our course fees and we could sleep in tomorrow.

Posted by Sarah.M 12:03 Archived in Thailand Tagged fish boat padi scuba dive koh tao open_water rough_ocean

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