Zero to dive master

On Monday I completed my Dive Control Specialist (it’s so much easier just to say Dive Master) course. All the paperwork went in on Tuesday and yesterday I got the “Hello Mr Dive Professional” email from SSI. My certification card arrived this morning. Hurrah!

When I arrived here two months ago I had never dived and had no idea it would be so addictive. It probably helped that Koh Tao is a really nice place to be. It’s not perfect though. Here’s a short list of some of the best and worst aspects of the island.


  • Pretty scenery – places like Mango Bay are just beautiful. It was the turquoise water, white sand, bungalows, palm trees and jungle backdrop that persuaded me to extend my stay here and do more diving.
  • Pretty scenery – I’m a bloke; if girls walk down the beach in their bikinis I’m going to look.
  • Diving on the Sattakut wreck the day after it was moved and seeing a turtle there.
  • One particular dive on Chumphon pinnacle; I’ve never seen such variety and abundance of fish.
  • One night dive. Chasing the barracuda around as they chased and chomped on their prey.
  • Great people – my new diving friends.
  • Fried chicken and cashew nuts at Mint Kitchen.


  • Motorbikes, mopeds and quadbikes. And the idiots who ride them. Especially the really noisy ones.
  • Dogs. Running around everywhere, barking.
  • Noisy drunken oafs blundering around.

The pros easily outweigh the cons.

I’ve got one final full day trip to Sail Rock tomorrow; one last chance to see a whale shark before I leave. Fingers crossed.

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2 Responses to “Zero to dive master”

  1. Ruth says:

    Hi Mark, good luck with seeing the whale shark x

    • Mark says:

      Thanks Ruth.

      Unfortunately the full day trip didn’t go as planned. Bad weather meant no Sail Rock for us. Instead we hid from the wind and waves round the east side of the island. First dive at Hin Wong was THE MOST BORING ever! Second and third at Shark Island and Ao Leuk were much better. But no whale sharks 🙁

      Will have to see what New Zealand, Easter Island and South America can offer…


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