A Bittersweet Taste

Diary of a Dive Instructor on Koh Tao

Had to wake up early doors for the morning boat which leaves at 7am. The captain is usually 10 minutes late, and I’m definitely not complaining.

I have a ritual of breakfast now which is: freshly cut watermelon, banana, muesli, sultanas and soya milk. It’s ballin’, cheap, tasty and definitely keeps me regular! Win-win all round, I’d say.


It was time to finish with Open Water dives 3+4, today. We went to Twins today and saw a turtle, though I am pretty certain if I hadn’t grabbed my student and pointed and waved frantically, they would have swum right past it. This put today up to a solid 5 stars by 9am.

Dive 4 at Hin Pee Wee could have gone a little better but, when you can barely see your hand in front of your face, what can you expect? We completed all the practical requirements for the course and headed back for the Final Exam.

My student actually got full marks and we were both over the moon – for 5 whole minutes. It was somewhat short lived by my subsequent, agonising statement…

“I’m not going to certify you until tomorrow, as I require further observation to determine which certification is most appropriate.”

Scuba Diver certification:
12 metres maximum depth,
must dive with a Certified Assistant or Instructor.

Open Water certification:
18 metres maximum depth,
free to dive with another Open Water diver.

By certifying them as an Open Water diver, I would essentially be authorising this person to take themselves, another OW certified pal and some hired gear to go diving wherever and whenever they want.

If my student can’t swim or conduct themselves safely in water, is it actually right for me to grant them a freedom which could put their own, and their companion’s life at risk?

With a few simple objectives, some careful guidance, and a couple of fun dives with my student and their Rescue Diver certified partner, I think we will all be on the right side of whatever decision I see fit to make.


Additional Highlights:

  • It was Sig’s birthday today!
  • I’m adding a new feature to the Logbook: song of the day
  • I have started to receive replies for an upcoming blog feature which will be launching next month.
    Stay tuned!

song of the day: Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve

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