Do Not Push The Button

Diary of a Dive Instructor on Koh Tao

Another cracking day. Sun was a-shining, and we were conducting yet more swimming lessons in the pool this morning.

Today’s achievement: my student swam a length of the pool unaided & without sinking. We celebrated and I advised them that we needed to keep our focus and not get downhearted if the next attempts don’t go quite the same way.

They didn’t.


We headed out on the afternoon boat to tackle Open Water dives 1+2 which were relatively successful. Although, after surfacing from the Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent, the student is required to orally inflate their BCD rather than press the inflate button as it’s an ‘out of air’ simulation.

So here’s me – hanging on for dear life and attempting to keep my glazed, sinking, deflated, weighted student afloat – directing them to ‘orally inflate…don’t press the button, orally inflate – any time now… hello? Please orally infl-“

Button pressed.


The rest of my evening has been spent rather productively preparing another proper blog post – this time on the benefits of diving. I’m sure it’ll be an absolute hit and I know I’ve had a million benefits from my own wonderful experiences in diving, but if I get another Open Water student who doesn’t know how to swim I’m gonna pack the whole thing in.*

* I’m joking. I love what I do and if you can’t swim, it gives me yet another opportunity to change your life for the better, empowering you with a new skill to be proud of. Bring it on, guys!


Additional Highlights:

  • Mango sticky rice is the best thing ever.
  • Julian came over to me this evening to tell me that a Scottish pal of his had read my blog – possibly as it was recently shared by my wonderful friend Saska – and said ‘it wasn’t a bad read’. I’ll take that compliment, thank you very much!
  • I’ve started learning Burmese from Shwe and can now say ‘how are you’ and ‘eating’. How apt.

Additional Lowlights:

  • As we were swimming around on OW 2 at White Rock today, with the world’s worst visibility, I actually spotted – no joke – a dead parrotfish lying on the sand. It was a sad sight, upside down, swaying eerily with the tidal movement, even 10 metres down. I immediately rotated my student to face the other way in the desperate hope that they wouldn’t see it, too.
    Grim.
song of the day: Nina Simone – Funkier Than A Mosquito’s Tweeter
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