| I spent the weekend on the beautiful Thai island of Koh Tao.
It was a very choppy 3 hour boat ride from Koh Samui to Koh Tao. At first they were handing out white bags, and silly me, I was thinking: “Are those gift bags? They must be on a special group where they get gift bags.”
A few hours later the passengers were passing their “gifts” back to the crew. Seams like seasickness is contagious. (I was later informed that the boat company I was travelling with because the other boat ferries gave see-thru gift bags)
On Koh Tao, I ended up diving with a company called Big Blue. The seemed very professional and the prices were right. $5 a night for the room and $20 per dive.
Sadly the owner of the company had died the day before I got there so there was a moratorium on diving for my first full day there (Saturday)
I outsourced and found another dive group that was willing to put together a private night dive just for me for only $20. I was stoked!
My dive master John walked with me to the beach where we took a longtail boat taxi out to sea. On the way, John explained that he is a 7 year native of Koh Tao and has done thousands of night dives. I told him I had done one but was an expert day diver.
We boarded onto a huge ship where we woke up the boat driver (they live on the boats) and he drove us out to the middle of the sea to an area called White Rock.
There, in the pitch black of night, we leapt into the ocean with all our gear and started the scariest one hour scuba dive of my life.
We had flashlights but they were small and mostly useless except for the 2 feet in front of your face. Mine kept going on and off so I kept it off most of the time and just looked at John’s.
I have no idea how to describe scuba at night. It is ….nothingness. During the day you feel so adept at maneuvering around tiny boulders and zooming in on miniscule fish. At night I just kept making sure I wasn’t going into an underwater chasm at 18 meters.
At one point, as pre-planned, John and I sat down on the ocean floor and turned off our lights so we could bask in the darkness. It was amaaaaazing. The bioluminescence came alive and little white lights were everywhere. The air bubbles we were making looked especially trippy.
Well, I got overexcited and started swinging my hands around. Not a good idea when you can’t see what you are swinging at. Long story short: I smacked by hand on a Sea Urchin. Those big spikey things that look like Superman’s spaceship
It got me pretty bad and I was in instant underwater pain and unable to do or tell anyone about it. When I surface I noticed a clear pattern of black pin pricks in my hand.
On land I took the precaution to bathe it in vinegar and hot water.
A fun souvenir from what was a heart pumping night dive!
I forgot how good it can feel to be that scared.