My Day O' Diving...
Just finished my dive.
On the boat ride back to Phuket.
November 15, 2006

My sister knew my one request for when we were to come to the coast: diving.

We booked the dive trip right off the bat yesterday when we got here as this is something that you can’t wait until the last minute to do (because
of not being able to fly within 24 hours of diving).

I was signed up for diving; Michelle would come on-board to go snorkeling.

While this trip was a bit pricier than other dives I have done in the past ($100), there were a lot of things included that justified its cost. There
were free-flowing bottles of water, breakfast, lunch, fresh fruit on the boat ride back to Phuket, a nice double-decker boat that would head out
for 90 minutes to and from the dive site, two dives, equipment and a dive guide. None of these things, though, would make paying the cost as
worthwhile as the fact that we didn’t have to lug the equipment from the dive shop to the boat and vice versa. Not only that - we also didn’t have
to wash the equipment. All of these things were done for us. Since both of these things are a large part of what makes diving unpleasant to me, I
was a happy camper.

The boat ride was a bit choppy. It sure made me glad that I popped two pills for motion sickness before we got going. My sister was kind of
laughing at the thought of what I’m going to have to endure when on my Antarctica trip if I was thinking
these were rough waters.

We got to our destination: Bungalow Bay. It used to consist of nothing but bungalows in the water before the tsunami. They were wiped out and
now an exclusive 5-star resort sits in its place.

The two dives were great. While I didn’t see any turtles or octopus, I
did see massive eels, squid, sea cucumbers (some that looked like snakes
but with tentacles on the ends), coral that looked like I was in some surreal mushroom forest, a sweetlips (I had to mention that one simply
because I love its name), barracudas, we touched the sticky-ish anenomes and the crème de la crème of the day…I saw a little tiger shark.

On my first dive, we came across all of these square-shaped objects. I was excited as I have never done a dive where I have found things that
have sunk to the bottom of the ocean. We swam through these squares. Well, my dive guide (I wish I could have understood what he was saying
when he told me his name but I didn’t – therefore, I’m referring to him as ‘Joe’) swam through these things. I got stuck in one and
underestimated how sharp they were and sliced my finger on another. When I got back on the boat, I had Andy (the guy in charge) disinfect my
finger. That was when I learned that I didn’t stumble across some underwater ruins; these squares were actually artificial reefs that were
dropped here last high season.

There were
so many other things I saw but I was an idiot and didn’t write down the name of everything while Joe and I went through the book
to point out our findings. I never saw my favorite thing in the book. I tried to ask Joe what the big spiky black and bright purple thing was but
this was a hard question to communicate with his lack of English and my lack of Thai. I have vowed to find a way to find out what the heck this
thing was. It was
sooo nice to have Joe all to myself and not be in a group of six people or so.

The other highlight of the day was that for the first time since I have gotten certified, I didn’t run out of air! Not even close. The first dive I
stayed in the water for 50 minutes and the second dive I stayed in for 52 minutes. My scuba self-confidence is rising.

Sadly, Michelle didn’t see too much while she snorkeled. I wanted to go snorkeling for a little while with her (since she isn’t super-comfortable in
the ocean) but there was no time as the boat was going to be moving around picking up different divers. In a couple days we’re hanging out at
one of the islands all day and we can do some snorkeling then. She seemed like she had a good enough time though I know she didn’t get as much
out of her day as I did.

Right now I am back at the resort and as exhausted as could be. How do people do four or five consecutive days of this? I’m drained after one…
Back to Thailand.