17/18 Moo 1, Koh Tao Suratthani, 84360 Thailand         Info @ Big Blue Diving        +66 (0) 77 456 050

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How to get underwater
dive-girlsIf you were to ask anyone what equipment scuba divers use, in the same way that everyone knows a skydiver needs a parachute, most people would say a tank to breathe from, and also mention flippers and goggles. There is obviously a little more to it than that, but really not much more. People doing their open water courses with us are often surprised that once they become familiar with their equipment, and have been shown what each piece does and how it's all assembled and disassembled, it's not very complicated and by the end of the course they know exactly how to put it all together and check that it's working properly themselves before going for a dive- which is exactly why you become certified to dive; you have demonstrated to an instructor that you are competent at using your equipment, and understand how you need to behave underwater, on the surface and on the boat, in order to be able to dive safely. Luckily at Big Blue you will also have had a lot of fun in the process and seen some really cool underwater life!
Recreatonal divers require a full cylinder of air of course, and they don't carry it in their arm on their dive, they wear it on their back. So the cylinder is attached to the back of a jacket that they wear called a Buoyancy Compensator, or BC- sometimes called a BCD. Fins (not flippers!) enable a diver to move through the water much more efficiently than without, and a mask (not goggles!) allows a diver to see underwater. You also need to wear a weightbelt with varying amounts of weights on it to compensate for your body's own buoyancy, and some kind of rashvest or wetsuit- no drysuits in Thailand! The only other primary piece of equipment required is a regulator, which allows the diver to breathe from the cylinder, enables two people to breathe from one cylinder if they absolutely have to, has an air gauge that tells you what's left in the tank, and connects your cylinder of air to your BC to enable you to manipulate your buoyancy. Understanding buoyancy is key to becoming a good diver, and is probably best left for another blog post, but you'll learn all about it on the open water course too.
There are of course other peripheral items used in diving, cutting devices, compasses, computers, surface markers, frying pans and sturdy boots- no, that's underwater camping.. But that kind of thing is introduced to you on the advanced course, where you'll be given a compass, computer and surface marker, and be shown how to use them.
If you're a geek you'll find equipment fascinating, if you're not, you'll still appreciate learning to assemble and maintain your equipment so you can get underwater and enjoy it all safely. Regardless, your instructor will guide you through the learning process every step of the way with the patience of a saint, so don't worry if you initially find it all a bit confusing- you'll get it. Just remember that your instructor was in your position once!

Cable cars for Koh Tao?
cable-carAlthough Koh Tao is getting busier, it's still pretty traditional in terms of what's on offer for tourists- diving, snorkeling, off-road biking, crazy golf and bowling etc, and getting around is very basic too. How about some of the things you get in other parts of the world that are a little more extravagant, or just completely impractical for this lovely little Island of ours? The most basic example I can think of is glass-bottomed boats. I recall someone telling me there used to be one here, but they're very common in the carribean and Mediterranean. Or pedallos or whatever their called? I'm sure if Koh Tao was a playground for billionaires there would be submarine tours available, and probably hotels on the sea front with bedrooms underwater and glass walls to see the marine life. What about getting around on the Island itself, what hair-brained schemes would be possible? A cable car taking you to the top of the jungle? Trams on the main road? Zip lines from the centre of the Island to the beach.. actually that would be pretty awesome! How about a travelator from Sairee to Mae Hadd? Just be thankful that SNUBA diving and booze cruises have yet to arrive here! Let us know some of the more outlandish things you've seen on your travels on our facebook page.

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Read 1171 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 08:24