There are many different ways to learn to scuba dive. An instructor teaches someone in a pool. Others jump off a speedboat and some are lucky enough to do their course on a liveaboard. In Thailand the best bang for you Baht is on a liveaboard – more dives and more experience while cruising through paradise.
The Similan Islands are home to Thailand’s most famous dive sites and are often listed as among the 10 best dive sites in the world. Conveniently located to Khao Lak and the nearby Phuket airport – the diving is very accessible. With the option of Speedboats or liveaboards – many beginning divers chose to do their Similan Liveaboard Open Water course on a 3 day journey through the uninhabited islands. These trips offer the guests their own cabins, meals and many different dive sites.
The calm clear waters, the relaxed atmosphere and the skilled instructors will all contribute to the success of the experience. This is important as SCUBA diving is a lifetime passion – not just a whim.
The courses are easy to take and only require a bit of your time. Much of the academic work can now be completed online (and for free) before you even arrive in Thailand. You can spend your vacation time in the water or on the beaches – no the classroom.
The first day is spent in the pool or on the beach simply getting used to the new equipment and incredible sensation of floating weightless! It’s fun and thrilling to realize that gravity no longer exists – it also takes a bit of practice. Diving also requires a few new skills that you are unlikely to have learned before. Your Instructor will go through all the basic skills that will be demonstrated and practiced in the pool. Then you have the opportunity to practice them too!
In the pool or off the beach – the instructor will settle down in front of the student so that they can see all that she is demonstrating. After some breathing exercises and regulator recovery at the surface the instructor will get all the divers to kneel on the bottom of the pool breathing and getting used to being underwater. The instructor, followed by the student will complete each of the skills. The students need to complete mask clearing, regulator recovery and some basic buoyancy control skills. These basic skills are required to ensure the safety of the divers, as well as giving them confidence to truly enjoy the open water. The instructor and student will then swim around at the bottom of the pool getting comfortable with the equipment and used to the feeling of weightlessness and breathing underwater.
Once these basic skills are done and everyone feels comfortable – it’s time to head off on an amazing journey through the Similan Islands. The student has the opportunity to do 9 dives with their instructor – gaining more confidence and feeling more and more at ease under the sea.
After the first couple of dives the underwater world will really open up. Passing turtles make the reefs an incredible opportunity to slow down and enjoy the marine life. That shadow over the students head? A Manta Ray – something that brings chills to even the most experienced diver. The chance to glide over the rainbow colored corals and the hundreds of species of reef fish make this a memory of a lifetime.
After the student has completed their first open water scuba dive – they surface with big smiles on their faces. The instructor will debrief them and explain how they may improve their diving knowledge and skills by doing a full certification open water scuba diver course. Only 8 more dives to go!
This is by far the best way to learn to scuba dive.
If you would like to make this story come true…simply join our Similan Liveaboard Open Water course