Hello to all, at last a page in English I hear you all cry. But Nadette does a much better job than me on writing up our experiences whilst away travelling. We have been on Koh Tao now since the 29/11/2006 and as much as I don’t think much of the diving we are having a nice time and as always have made some nice new friends. Particularily amongst the ex-pats rather than with tourists. Although we have met nice tourists from France along the way as well.
There are other things to do on Koh Tao and above is one example. Fly all the way east to thaïland to enjoy a round of crazy golf. An english guy called Jeremy owns and runs a mini golf and bowling alley. We are still waiting to do the bowling as he has some staff difficulties. The Burmese staff in fact reset the “skittles” or “pins” after each bowl so it adds to the fun. And for him works out cheaper than buying the necessary automated system.
Some friends of ours live in an area called ban chalok. They have a nicer area than us and the bungalows are good too. But you need a bike to get around as it is a fair way from the beaches. When we come back from our travels we will try to get a place here too as there is a nice atmosphere between the people living here.
Clemence from Marselle is one of our new friends. A dive master who like ourselves is spending the winter away from Europe. She also agrees with us that the diving here in Koh Tao is not very good. But its still not such a bad place to be. As far as working is concerned in One month here I did as many certifications as One season in Ireland. But obviously not as much money to be made as the Thai prices for courses does not leave much for the instructor to earn. Its only really worth while if you have at least two students and even then the Philippines pays much more.
When you walk away from the coast inland there are some nice woodlands with palm trees and big hardwood trees. The locals also use monkeys to knock down the coconuts and then leave them to dry in the sun.
I have also become an SSI instructor since being here and here are my first open water ssi students. Alain and Isabelle, from St Tropez.But Isabelle was from Pecq only eight KM from Tournai so we had a lot of fun together. (By the way isa I still have all the photos)
Scuba Junction is where I now seem to work the most and also where I crossed over to SSI. I need to find out how much it’ll cost me to set up as an SSI centre in Ireland as you have to set up as a centre to teach. If its not too bad I will set up next year as it works out cheaper for the student and me. Basically the different levels are totally the same as PADI. I am also doing a Nitrox course for free over the next day or two. Then I can get a Nitrox instructor rating as well. ( Nitrox is when you add a bigger percentage of oxygen to the tank to reduce Nitrogen and increase dive bottom times)
Christmas has been and gone, for christmas we went to a simple bbq offered by one of my clients. Nothing like as good as Genesis in the Philippines. For New Year we went out to friends for dinner and then on to the beach for fireworks. Unlike the Philippines no diving on christmas day or new years day. Every one is closed. (Hangovers)
Any way thats about it for now. We leave Thailand by the 24th as our visa runs out. We will travel light as possible for four to six weeks visiting new places (for all of us) and making new friends. Probably no diving, but thats OK. The next update will be more interesting with photos of three new countries. What better geography and history lessons could we give our kids than visiting two or three new countries with such interesting recent and ancient history…..