After doing my first dives (on Koh Tao, as it happens) last October, I’d kind of… strongly recommended (read: forced) the idea on my family. Not to say there was much objection, I suppose, but I realized maybe only as we were on our way to Koh Tao that I’d never really asked anyone what their feelings on diving would be. I mean. I only think it’s one of the most mind-blowing-but-simultaneously-relaxing/meditative/cathartic-experiences-one-can-have, and it’s my personal opinion that everyone needs to spend a little more time underwater, but I guess I should have left a little more room for choice in the matter.
Of course, there was choice ultimately: dive or not dive? Well, I guess the praises I’d been singing had not fallen on deaf ears. So then: Discovery Scuba Dive or full-blown Open Water Course? After a quick chat with Andreas at Alvaro, Ryan was definitely on board for the full course (at the time his pockets were still ‘overfloweth-ing’), Dad and Nate were undecided, and Mom was pretty sure she just wanted to do the DSD. By our second morning on the island everyone was ready to get in the water!So I ended up doing my standard fun dives whilst the family got trained up. Personally, I love the way Alvaro handles the Open Water courses. Not that I had a bad experience whatsoever with Crystal when I did my own Open Water, but it was run in the common-to-nearly-universal (or so I thought) way where the first set of basic-skills training takes place in a swimming pool. With Alvaro, new divers are taken to a shallow bay where they learn some skills, and then basically get an extra dive as they make their way to the boat once they’ve shown they’re worth their salt when it comes to clearing masks. I think it’s a great way of doing things! Unfortunately, as it turns out, diving really isn’t for everyone, as Mom discovered when she encountered those minor problems of feeling supremely uncomfortable in the equipment/in the water/in general, and not exactly being able to.. you know, sink. Just the small things that come in really handy when trying to dive. But mad props for giving it a go Mamacita! As for the boys, they all ended up hooked and Dad and Nate decided to do the full course as well. Hooray!
This ended up being my busiest dive weekend to date: I completed 6 dives, including tagging along with Jesse and the boys on their last dive towards their certification, and another set of wonderful dives with Nate on our last day. (For the first the boat took us to a spot about an hour away called Southwest Pinnacle. Eugene led the dive, which is always a fun experience, and we caught a glimpse at an enormous grouper, marveled at the most hypnotizing of anemone fields, and played with some batfish at the end.) In between I got to dive with my old buddies, as they’d finally made it to the island!