Monsoon Season on Koh Tao[singlepic id=30 w=320 h=240 float=left]November is the start of our low season here. Generally, it rains every day, so rain jackets are a must! Fortunately for us, this November was extremely enjoyable. While it did rain occasionally, the sun came out for several days at a time, and the visibility at the nearby dive sites was much better than expected. Lucky us! The dive shop was in full swing, and we had such a great time with our students! Laura and Chris were the full time instructors managing the shop. They received help from some of our freelancers, like Greg and Nacho, and the fun divers kept Rachel very busy. We taught several open water and advanced courses along with Nitrox and rescue courses. There is nothing more satisfying than sharing our love for scuba diving with new people!
Diving[singlepic id=27 w=320 h=240 float=right]We had plenty of fantastic dives this month. Sarah hasn’t stopped bragging about diving with Whale Sharks on several different occasions. Luckily, both Laura and Rachel experienced their first dive with a Whale Shark at White Rock. Breathtakingly awesome! Talk about spectacular creatures; they are so elegant underwater.While the weather limited us to 5 or 6 dive sites in November, we still saw loads of great underwater life. [singlepic id=28 w=320 h=240 float=left]White Rock and Twins were teeming with schools of Long Face Emperors, White-Eyed Moral Eels, Snappers, and Blue-Spotted Ribbontail Stingrays. The table corals at these dive sites were home to many juvenile Eight-Banded Butterfly fish and Three-Spot Dascyllus.
Chumphon Pinnacle was spectacular as usual. The schools of Chevron Barracuda and Batfish returned joining the school of Yellow-Tailed Barracuda and giant Marbled Groupers. The dive site is a MUST when visiting Koh Tao! We recently noticed 4 baby Scrawled Filefish on one of the shipwreck’s buoy line, and schools of Fusiliers and Rabbit fish were swarming the wreck. It continues to be really exciting watching the dive site blossom with life.
Staff News[singlepic id=29 w=320 h=240 float=right]Several of our instructors headed off for a holiday during the month. Danny and Neil both traveled to Phuket. Danny polished his sale skills by working within the dive industry, and Neil concluded a SSI Instructor Trainer course. Barry took a ‘stay-cation’ here on Koh Tao. Sarah and Gordon, who both completed their DMT course with Sairee Cottage Diving, passed their PADI Instructor course with flying colors! Congratulations to them! [singlepic id=31 w=320 h=240 float=left] Neil met up with Trevor, Greg, and Rachel in Khao Lak where they jumped on a 4-day live aboard trip that toured the Similan Islands. Although they didn’t see any Manta Rays, they dove with Leopard Sharks on two different dives!
Bear, otherwise known as Mad Skills, was the one who traveled the furthest. He went to Dahab in Egypt, to complete a Technical diving course himself. He is now a Tri-Mix diver and a bona-fide Side-Mount and Technical Deep Diving Instructor. Bear is now looking forward to developing Sairee Cottage Diving Koh Tao into a Technical Diving facility. Well done, sir!