The first trip of 2019 had to be one that would knock off an item from the bucket list. Ever since the first time we travelled to Bali for our honeymoon, i had wanted to certify as an Open Water Diver. The quest for the best institute in KL began sometime last year and i came across Scuba Mikes Dive Co & Brand. Its run by an Expat duo Tim from the UK and Mike Malaysian born American.
I signed up for a session which included three classroom and confined pool sessions each along with an online component. The instructors Tim and Theresa were absolutely amazing and they made sure they paid extra attention to my needs. I always had a fear of drowning and also heights ever since an accident i had as a young kid. Both instructors put me at ease and paced the program and never rushed. I had an amazing time with them. The certification component involved completing 4 open water dives where we need to perform the skills learnt in the confined waters. We decided on a dive trip to Koh Lipe Thailand.
We travelled from Langkawi to Koh Lipe via ferry service which runs twice each day. The immigration was smooth, the captain of the ferry collects the passports after immigration and hands them over to the immigration authorities at Satun checkpoint in Koh Lipe. When they call out your nationality, you walk over to the immigration counter and complete the formalities. You pay the marine park fees and you are done. The best part is while you experience the organised chaos, you can sip on some chilled beer. Now how often can you carry a beer bottle to an international immigration counter.
After the paper work was complete, we walked on the long beach to Ocean Pro divers and got our gear sorted for the next days dive. Once that was complete, we walked to San Pita Hotel where we were going to spend the next three nights. The night was going to be exciting since it was my birthday.. Tim and Theresa along with my wife planned a surprise and i had a blast.
The dive began the following day after breakfast, we took the long tail boat to our dive boat which comprised of two decks.. a lower deck which had all the dive equipment and upper deck which was a dry area for all the briefing and lazing between dives. The experience of diving in open waters compared to the pool confined waters was absolutely amazing. The instructors ensured we were at ease all the while and made sure we had a good time. Four dives later, I was an official Certified SSI Open Water Diver. We had two more fun dives and i was comfortable enough to do the giant stride while holding on to my GoPro. I just cant wait to get back to the waters. Hopefully, the next time i’d get to dive with my wifey.
Heres a video of my dive experience along with the awesome bunch of friends i made during the trip… Enjoy !!!