Scuba diving certification has been high on my personal bucket list for over a decade. So when I decided to visit Thailand and saw that scuba ranked high on the list of things to do, I realized it was finally time to go for it! So now I will be spending the next several days in scuba school with my new friends at Kon-Tiki Lanta Dive School in Ko Lanta. So far I have really been impressed with the professionalism and knowledge at Kon-Tiki. Much like yoga school, I’m feeling a little bit anxious but very excited. Here’s what’s involved.
Step 1: On-Line Training/Knowledge Development
Step 1 is to take to the on-line course. It takes approximately 8 hours to complete and I’m almost done. It covers the requirements, schedule, expectations, equipment, safety and regulations necessary for PADI certification. PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors and it’s the global standard for scuba diving.
Step 2: Confined Water Dives
Step 2 is confined water dives. These sessions are conducted in a swimming pool and will take a full day. Kon-Tiki has generously offered to pick me up at my resort at 7:15 AM and we will be done around 4:00. We will learn all about the necessary equipment, how to use it and important safety precautions.
Step 3: Open Water Dives
The second and third day definitely sound like the most fun because we will spend it out in the Andaman Sea in the Gulf of Thailand. I can’t wait to experience the weightlessness of diving and the beauty of all the colorful sea life! I hope I see some clown fish like Nemo and maybe a friendly shark or two. They aren’t all man eaters. We will practice managing buoyancy, breathing, hand signals, monitoring our gages and how to properly descend and ascend so as to avoid to injury. We will also have some fun and practice using all the equipment properly.
I imagine there is some sort of final exam required but I’m not sure what that entails just yet. Regardless, I am trying to keep an open mind and clear head. There won’t be any late night partying for me in Thailand, at least during the course. But I’m sure it will be the adventure of a lifetime and the beginning of a great new hobby that I can enjoy with others during my travels, and maybe I’ll even make some cool new friends in the process. Stay tuned for my progress.