Todays dive sites were Twins and White Rock, the weather was beautiful and the conditions were perfect. Everyone met at the shop, packed up their gear and loaded it onto the boat ready to make the short journey north to our first dive site of the day. For today I would be following Betty and her 4 children, Andy, Alex, Cam and Ellie on the last day of their Open Water Diver course.
We arrived at our first dive site, Twins, moored up and got our equipment ready. The group jumped in and completed the skin diver section of the course while I bobbed around waiting for them to finish. After about 15 minutes, one of our divemaster trainees popped his head above the surface with a student with ear problems and shouted the word TURTLE! I stuck my face in the water and directly below us was a Hawksbill Turtle with a few divers from another one of our groups observing it. I dumped the air out of my BCD and sank onto the sandy bottom next to the coral and started snapping away.
The little guy was so relaxed, munching away on algae and plants from the reef allowing us to get nice and close one at a time to take a much closer look at him. We sat there for around 15 minutes watching him going about his day before he disappeared with just a couple of flaps of his fins. We moved out onto the sand and completed the skills needed for the dive before heading back onto the reef for the remainder of the dive. The conditions were lovely, with crystal clear visibility and no currents or waves around the entire dive site. Along the way we came across the turtle twice more, one time it swam right underneath me without me noticing while I was busy fiddling with settings on my camera, much to the amusement of their instructor.
With the air in our tanks running low, we returned to the boat and climbed back on board. After swapping our tanks over and a quick roll call, we were ready to make the short journey to our second dive site of the day, White Rock. We completed our nice long surface intervals and jumped in ready for our second dive. The conditions at this dives site were not quite as good as the previous dive but skill absolutely beautiful and I knew we were in for a good dive.
We once again dropped down the line and onto some shallow sand to perform the skills needed to complete the course. With these skills completed and a lot of sand kicked up, we moved off onto the reef to explore the site and see what we could find. As always there was a lot to see from the tiny little dancing shrimps, to the beautiful butterflyfish and even the odd titan triggerfish or two.
Once again, the air in our tanks could only last so long and it was soon time to ascend and climb back on board. We packed our equipment back into our bags and started the journey back to the shop were we filled in all our log books and paperwork before sitting down and looking through all of the photos from another great day of diving on Koh Tao.
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