Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Koh Tao (Turtle Island)

We spent the last five blissful days on Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand. The least pleasant part was at the very beginning - we had to take a three-hour boat ride over here, and it was probably the most excruciating three hours of my life. We each threw up about five times, but one guy behind us was practically vomiting the whole way, making comically horrible sounds every single time. Anyway, after a brief period in hell, we reached this tropical paradise. We did some splashing around on its pristine beaches:

We decided to get scuba certified at a resort here. Here's our instructor, teaching us how to keep our lungs from exploding:
After three days of class and one practice dive, we were ready to hit the water. They took us out to the dive sites on a big, three-story boat. Andy was pretty excited that they let him jump off the roof a few times, and even I had to jump off the second story for some corny trick in our dive video. They were taping us the whole time so that they could try to sell us a personalized dive video for $80.
Here's our whole dive group, decked out in wet suits. It was surprisingly chilly in the water, especially after forty minutes or so.
Andy insisted that we include a picture of the two Brazilians in our group, who became our buddies. Their names were Pablo and Leandro, and they were adorable.
We didn't get any pictures underwater, because we dove down to 18 meters, and Andy's camera can only survive to 10 meters. Of course, we could have bought the corny video... Anyway, Andy took pictures of the underwater life while he was snorkeling one day. We think these were nudibranches, and they were awesome!
Here's some of the different types of coral just off the beach. You can see lettuce leaf for sure, I think the other stuff is brain coral.Coming home after a long day of scuba diving.
We went to a different part of the island for one night, where we stayed in fancier bungalows that would've been really wonderful, if it hadn't been for the rooster that stood next to our bungalow and crowed every five minutes starting at sunrise. We rode scooters there! I was fully terrified at first, but it was pretty fun by the end.
Also, Andy had to alter his beard for scuba diving. If you have hair on your upper lip, your mask can't form a seal against your face, and it constantly fills up with water. Therefore, he had to shave his mustache and looked like he was Amish. I guess this is a common affliction among divers, and our resort had a weekly contest called "Weird Beard Wednesday." Anyway, here's the hairstyle he ended up with after some experimentation. Let's have a vote: should Andy keep the new beard (Chopper Andy), return to Beard Classic, or move on to some new, ultra facial hair?
Also Holethings!


Nathan said...

Keep chopper Andy!

Zouyan said...

That's a keeper.

Linda said...

First of all, beard classic, andy! Second, I want to travel now!!!! It's been like -15 in MI for the past week, and seeing your scuba diving pictures makes me want to go places! You guys both look great! What a fun time!!!! Eat some panang curry for me!

Anonymous said...

Where's the turtles?!