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November 12th 2013

11 Nov 2013 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >

Movember time
MovemberIt's that time of the year again when every male divemaster, instructor and divemaster trainee (DMT) slowly, over the course of the month look ever more ridiculous. Of course, it's Movember. It's still early days yet and the majority of participants have yet to reveal the look they are going to go for this year. As they look for inspiration, the beards will keep on growing. It's always difficult to commit to a particular style in case your face can't quite pull it off, or you just completely mess it up, but it would be great to see some proper pork chops, a few Clark Gables, and a full-on handlebar would be rather spectacular! The winner thus far has to be SSI instructor Rod (pictured), who has been sporting a very fetching Magnum P.I. lip tash. But that wasn't enough for Rod, oh no, he also had to shave his head to look like a grandad. I think it makes him look younger- how old do you think he looks? I reckon about 39. He does look a bit like Alf Stewart from Home & Away now, and he is Australian.. you never see them in the same room together i suppose.
Of course, Movember does have a serious side to it, the whole point is to raise awareness of testicular cancer, and generate some cash for testicular cancer charities, so that they can get the message out and commit funding for further research into this horrible disease.
Maybe it would be a good idea to hold a tash-off competition, or have a divemaster challenge where we humiliate for fun the people voted to have the best face fur. So far the most elligible contenders for the award of best hairy head are instructors Rod, Rich and Simo, and divemasters Phil and Nick. Though I reckon if Carly put her mind to it she would give them all a run for their money.. she must be sick of shaving her face by now.  As for me... roll on Fanuary.

You can make a donation to Movember here for the UK, here for Canada, and here for Australia.

Getting mobile on Koh Tao
Can't help but notice recently a big increase in the amount of push bikes available for rent on Koh Tao recently, which is great news for the environment, and people's health, but also reduces the amount of motorbikes and quad bikes on the Island. It's not as if we get traffic jams here, far from it, it's solely an issue of safety. The single best way you can ruin your holiday would be to rent a motobike, even though you've never ridden one before, and find yourself in a crash because of an overzealous throttle, bad balance, complete panic resulting in forgetting where the brakes are, or sandy concrete. God forbid, if this ever were to happen, hopefully you would come out of it with only a few minor scrapes, but the damage to your wallet would be severe when you take the scratched bike back to the rental company. They just love adding to your bill for new fairings, and they always seem to be way more expensive than you could ever imagine.. funny that.
By renting a push bike you will be safer. You will be travelling slower, so if you did come off, the damage would be less severe- especially if you're wearing a helmet. You will also be reducing the amount of motorbikes on the road, which in turn will reduce the likelyhood of crashing into one. You'll still need to ride defensively and watch out for cars, motorbikes and quad bikes, but you'll enjoy getting around much more.
So in summary, don't even think of renting a motorbike, and especially not a quad bike- they are even more dangerous as they instill a false sense of security into people and they tend to ride them faster- and they are very prone to flipping over on corners. Get on your bike instead. If you do completely ignore the above and rent a bike, please wear a helmet. Don't follow the lead of all the idiot locals. You can't retrospectively buy a new head, even if you kept the receipt.

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