Becoming an Advanced Adventurer Scuba Diver

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It's official. I am an Advanced Adventurer. I have a qualification and everything. Allow me to explain. It's actually a diving certificate, duh! It means that I am totally, like able to go deep down, and like see stuff at night and go in shipwrecks and stuff.

After my Open Water course, I caught the diving bug, and immediately enrolled in the next course. The Advanced Adventurer course allowed us to focus on 5 specialities and either increase our skill or learn something new.

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Working with our awesome instructor Jacko from Roctopus, we selected the following; Navigation, Perfect Buoyancy, Night Diving, Deep Diving, and finally Wreck Diving.

Now, I must be honest here - I got myself and my buddy completely lost on the Navigation dive. Like COMPLETELY LOST! We actually ended up in a different bay when we finally popped up. Completely out of sight of the boat we came from. For a moment it was a bit scary...we were kind of lost at sea (arguably the worst place to be lost).

We managed to get back (shock ending there -- I am not dead), and then went on to practice our buoyancy at another one of Koh Tao's coral drenched dive sights.

The Perfect Buoyancy course is about being able to control your depth in the water by using the air in your lungs, and understanding how to control this. For those who dive, you will know the feeling of weightlessness, and that by keeping more air in your lungs you can ascend, and less air will cause you to descend.

It's a lot of fun, but quite a difficult skill to master. Thinking about your breathing for 45 minutes is surprisingly tiring!!

The night dive was seriously cool - the ocean is a completely different place at night. Just imagine your local Weatherspoon's...think of the clientele during the day, then again at midnight. That's a pretty good way of thinking about the difference in what you see.

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The Deep Diving speciality is kind of scary when you think about it, I am now certified to dive to 30 metres - pretty much 100 feet. That means that if anything went wrong, I need at least 3 minutes to safely rise to the surface, before I can do anything about it. Again, you see different stuff down deeper, pelagic animals creep around down there, colours change due to the water absorbing different light wavelengths differently, and things such as a Thermocline come to say hello.

Finally, our wreck dive allowed us to take in the joys of HMS Sattakut. The warship was deliberately sunk off Koh Tao, and now harbours lots of marine life. We swam through part of the ship (I believe it was the bridge), in almost complete darkness. And thanks to our buoyancy practice didn't smash into the roof or floor!

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In less than a working week, I am now qualified to do all kinds of stuff. But the fun doesn't stop there...I've definitely caught the diving bug, and will be back to Koh Tao, and other diving arenas around the world to keep it up.

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